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NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Upcoming Lectures

Bacteria as master regulators and aphrodisiacs

May 25, 2016 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
Nicole King, Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley

Choanoflagellates are the closest living relatives of animals, and the mechanisms underlying their interactions with bacteria promise to illuminate both the origin of animals and the interactions between animals and bacteria. By studying the choanoflagellate S. rosetta, Dr. King’s lab has discovered that specific lipids produced by environmental bacteria determine the development of multicellular “rosettes” from a founding cell. Recently, she has found that bacteria in the genus Vibrio regulate gametogenesis and mating in S. rosetta.

Tailored drug release surfaces for regenerative medicine and targeted nanotherapies

May 26, 2016 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
Paula T. Hammond, Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alternating electrostatic assembly is a tool that makes it possible to create ultrathin film coatings that contain highly controlled quantities of one or more therapeutic molecules within a singular construct. These release systems greatly exceed the usual ranges of traditional degradable polymers. The nature of the layering process enables the incorporation of different drugs within different regions of the thin-film architecture; the result is an ability to uniquely tailor both the independent-release profiles and order-of-release of each therapeutic to the targeted region of the body.

Genome regulation by long noncoding RNAs

June 1, 2016 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
Howard Y. Chang, Ph.D. , Stanford University

Dr. Chang’s research addresses how large sets of genes are turned on or off together, which is important in normal development, cancer, and aging. Chang discovered a new class of genes, termed long noncoding RNAs, can control gene activity throughout the genome, illuminating a new layer of biological regulation. He has invented new methods for defining the shapes of RNA and DNA genome-wide. The long term goal of his research is to decipher the regulatory information in the genome to benefit human health.


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