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Current Lecture Season

All lectures are viewable live at and then later archived there.

Additionally, the following lectures will be in person at Lipsett Amphitheater to a limited audience: May 4 (Namandjé Bumpus), May 11 (John Kuriyan), May 25 (Olufunmilayo Olopade), June 7 (Yishi Jin), June 8 (Yakeel Quiroz), June 15 (Gillian Griffiths), and June 29 (Ileana Cristea). Contact if you are interested in attending.

Diabetes Health Disparities: Biology, Race, or Racism

September 29, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Sherita Hill Golden, M.D., John Hopkins Medicine

As a specialty, endocrinology has focused on biological contributors to disparities in diabetes, obesity and other endocrine disorders. Less attention has been paid, however, to the institutional racism inherent in our healthcare systems and social policies that lead to those biological risk factors.

Creating Healthy Longevity: A Basis for a Third Demographic Dividend for Society

October 6, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Linda Fried, M.D. , Columbia University Medical Center

This lecture addresses the opportunities of our extended life span for individuals and society if health span is extended to approximate life span. It considers the range of health outcomes that would need to be prevented or delayed, and considers the possibilities to accomplish this. Dr. Fried will offer a perspective that increased health span combined with enabling the potential social capital of older adults could set the stage for a previously unimagined "Third Demographic Dividend" for societies.

Neural Representations of Social Homeostasis

October 13, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Kay Tye, Ph.D., Salk Institute

Kay Tye’s lab seeks to understand the neural-circuit basis of emotion that leads to motivated behaviors such as social interaction, reward-seeking and avoidance. This talk will describe how her lab employs a multidisciplinary approach including cellular-resolution recordings, behavioral assays and optogenetics, a technique that activates certain cells with light, to find mechanistic explanations for how these emotional and motivational states influence behavior in health and disease.

Evolutionary Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2

October 20, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Trevor Bedford, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Genomic epidemiology has enabled critical insights during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the forefront of these insights has been SARS-CoV-2's remarkable potential for adaptive evolution. Dr. Bedford will discuss the evolutionary dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 with a focus on the emergence of variant of concern and variant of interest viruses. He will characterize mutational patterns in these variant viruses and chart their spread across geographies.

Wound Repair: Dealing with Life's Little Traumas

November 3, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Susan Parkhurst, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Whenever an organism sustains an injury, either to single cells or to a tissue, it must act quickly to repair the wound to prevent cell death, loss of tissue integrity, and invasion by microorganisms. The Parkhurst Lab uses Drosophila as a genetic model to dissect the molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning the cell wound repair process.

A Vision Engaging Pharmacokinetic Strategies to Treat Substance Abuse Disorders and Overdose

November 10, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Kim Janda, Ph.D., Scripps Research Institute

Substance use disorders are a global public health concern with less-than-optimal treatment outcomes. This is most evident with the national emergency declared against the opioid crisis. Our ability to prevent the spread of drug abuse and aid individuals with a substance use disorder is handicapped by the lack of sufficient treatment modalities. For example, many patients receiving treatment relapse; therefore, there is an urgent need to discover effective medications to treat opioid abuse.

Blood Stem Cell Clonality and the Niche

November 17, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Leonard Zon, M.D., Harvard Medical School

Dr. Zon will discuss two critical avenues of his current research: identifying the genes that direct stem cells to become cancers or to develop into more specialized blood or organ cells; and developing chemical or genetic suppressors to cure cancers and many other devastating diseases. In the past five years, his lab has collected more than 30 mutants affecting the hematopoietic system. Several represent excellent animal models of human disease.

Advancing Therapies for Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1): Lessons Learned from Every Patient

December 8, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Brigitte Widemann, M.D., National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Brigitte Widemann is a pediatric oncologist with the primary interest of developing effective therapies for children and adults with genetic tumor predisposition syndromes, such as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), and rare solid tumors through innovative clinical trial design. Dr. Widemann currently serves as the head of the Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics Section and as Chief of NCI’s Pediatric Oncology Branch. Anticancer drug discovery and development are moving towards a more rational and targeted approach.

Cytokine Signaling: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

December 15, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
John O'Shea, M.D., National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH

Investigation of the basic mechanisms by which cytokines and interferons exert their effect led to the discovery of a new paradigm in cell signaling, namely the JAK-STAT pathway. These discoveries revealed a remarkably direct mode of regulating gene expressing but also provided insights into mechanisms of human disease and impetus to generate a new class of therapeutic agents. With new tools, it has also become clearer that cytokines and interferons have a profound epigenomic impact, and they themselves have complex genomic organization.

Thinking Critically About How We Do Science

January 5, 2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Dani S. Bassett, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Science is a beautiful rational process of highly structured inquiry that allows us to learn more about our world. By it, we see past old theories, and build new ones. We realize a phenomenon occurs because of this, and not that. Perennially the skeptic, we spar with our own internal models of how things might happen: always questioning, ever critical, rarely certain. What if we were to turn this audacious questioning towards—not science—but how we do science? Not broadly a natural phenomenon but more specifically a human phenomenon?


The page was last updated on Monday, May 2, 2022 - 4:24pm