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NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Upcoming Lectures

Move Over, Mice: How the fusion of system biology with “organs on chips” may humanize drug development

February 10, 2016 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
Linda Griffith, Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Mice are not little people,” is a refrain that is becoming louder as the strengths and weaknesses of animal models of human disease become more apparent. At the same time, three emerging approaches are headed toward integration: powerful systems-biology analysis of cell-cell and intracellular signaling networks in patient-derived samples; 3D tissue-engineered models of human organ systems, often made from stem cells; and micro-fluidic and meso-fluidic devices that enable living systems to be sustained, perturbed, and analyzed for weeks in culture. Dr.

Why mammals suck: the food, medicine and signal of mother’s milk

February 17, 2016 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
Katie Hinde, Ph.D., Arizona State University

Mother’s milk has an organizational effect on infant outcomes, not just by providing the energy that sustains growth, but by transferring bioactives that influence immunological, neurobiological, microbial, neurobiological and behavioral development. Guided by evolutionary theory, Dr. Hinde investigates how variation in mother’s milk influences infant outcomes from post-natal life into adulthood and subsequent generations.

Beyond DNA: Sequence variation in the RNA

March 2, 2016 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
Vivian G. Cheung, M.D., University of Michigan

DNA is our genetic blueprint. Generally it is expected that RNA sequences are identical to the underlying DNA. However, there are exceptions to this one-to-one relationship, such as the A-to-G RNA editing mediated by ADAR proteins. The Cheung lab uncovered many more sites where RNA sequences differ from the underlying DNA, beyond those mediated by the known RNA-editing mechanisms. Dr. Cheung will describe their findings of RNA-DNA sequence Differences, RDDs, and how their study of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is leading to an understanding of RDD formation.

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