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Current Lecture Season

Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past

September 21, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
David Reich, D. Phil., Harvard Medical School

Beginning in 2010, it became practical to sequence whole genomes extracted from DNA extracted from ancient human bones, and to analyze the data to understand changes in biology over time. Since then, the amount of ancient DNA data has increased at an extraordinary rate, with the number of samples with at least one-fold genome coverage being five in 2013, 18 in 2014, and 116 in 2015. Dr. Reich will begin his lecture by describing how present-day Europeans derive from a fusion highly divergent ancestral populations as different from each other as are Europeans and East Asians.

Engineering T cells: moving beyond leukemia

September 28, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Carl June, M.D. , University of Pennsylvania

It is now well established that the immune system can control and eliminate cancer cells. Adoptive T-cell transfer has the potential to overcome the significant limitations associated with vaccine-based strategies in patients who are often immune compromised. Dr. June will discuss how the emerging discipline of synthetic biology—which combines elements of genetic engineering and molecular biology to create new biological structures with enhanced functionalities—can be applied to cancer.

Democratizing discovery science with n=Me

October 5, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Elizabeth Ofili, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.C., Morehouse School of Medicine

Lack of inclusion of under represented populations in biomedical research contribute to inequities in health. The NIH Precision Medicine Initiative intends to build bridges from genome medicine to data science by reaching over 1 million Americans. It is not certain that under represented populations will actively engage PMI and other NIH discovery science opportunities. This persistent lack of participation will likely exacerbate health disparities even in this new age of genome science and digital technology.

Elements of health and disease: inorganic fluxes and metal receptors that control cell fate decisions

October 19, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Thomas O'Halloran, Ph.D. , Northwestern University

For the past three decades, Thomas V. O'Halloran has investigated how fluctuations in the amount of metal ions inside cells influence key cellular decisions. Using genetic, chemical, structural, and mechanistic approaches, he has uncovered new types of metal receptors and tied their function to a number of disease-related physiological processes. O'Halloran identified early examples of metal ion receptors called metalloregulatory proteins that regulate gene expression.

Perspective on autoimmunity: a view from the ANCA vasculitis looking glass

November 2, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Ronald J. Falk, M.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Dr. Ronald Falk is internationally recognized physician-scientist whose lifelong career has been the study of autoimmune kidney disease and ANCA vasculitis. For over three decades, his research has led to a deeper understanding of the causes and conditions that may lead to the development of ANCA vasculitis in an effort to improve the lives of those patients afflicted with vasculitis and autoimmune kidney diseases.

Stressed out: a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy

November 7, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Laurie Glimcher, M.D. , Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Glimcher is President and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Principal Investigator and Director of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the proposed Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Previously, she was the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean and Professor of Medicine of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and Provost for Medical Affairs of Cornell University. Prior to her work at Cornell, Dr.

Innate molecules in the inflammation and cancer

November 9, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Xuetao Cao, M.D., Ph.D. , Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

Dr. Xuetao Cao is the current President of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College.

Dr. Cao’s laboratory focuses on the understanding of innate signaling in immunity and inflammation, identification of cell subsets and new molecules in dendritic cell (DC)-initiated immune response and cancer immunotherapy. His group has identified important mediators and regulators of innate signaling, characterized immune subsets with regulatory function in immunity, inflammation and cancer.

Germs, genes, and host defense  

November 16, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Cisca Wijmenga, Ph.D. , University Medical Center Groningen

Cisca Wijmenga has a long standing interest in understanding the molecular basis of the host immune system and how genetic variation leads to dysregulation of a proper immune response. She is particular interested in diseases associated such an imbalance, in particular celiac disease (a common autoimmune disorder) and candidiasis (a common infectious agent causing sepsis) . Her research group focusing on the regulatory networks of immune cells and their perturbation by genetic variation or physiological stressors like infectious agents or dietary gluten.

Digging for genes that affect behavior

November 30, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Hopi Hoekstra, Ph.D. , Harvard University

Understanding which genes affect behavior, and how the resultant proteins work in the brain, remains a major challenge in biology. To address this goal, we are capitalizing on natural variation in behavior within and between species of wild mice. In this talk, Dr. Hoekstra will focus on an innate behavior, burrowing, which produces an intriguing and complex animal architecture. Dr. Hoekstra will present data from both he lab and the field that allow us a first glimpse into the genetics and neurobiology of behavioral evolution.

Adventures in brain plasticity: from memory palaces to soulcycle

December 7, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Wendy A. Suzuki, Ph.D., New York University

Suzuki’s lab studies the patterns of electrical activity in the brain that underlie our ability to form and retain new long-term memories as well as the effects of physical aerobic exercise to improve a wide of cognitive functions including mood, memory, and attention.

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The page was last updated on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 4:07pm