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Current Lecture Season

The VHL tumor suppressor: insights into oxygen sensing, cancer metabolism, and drugging the undruggable

January 24, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
William G. Kaelin Jr., M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

A Howard Hughes Medical Investigator since 1998, Dr. Kaelin's research seeks to understand how, mechanistically, mutations affecting tumor-suppressor genes cause cancer. His long-term goal is to lay the foundation for new anticancer therapies based on the biochemical functions of tumor suppressor proteins. His work on the VHL protein helped to motivate the eventual successful clinical testing of VEGF inhibitors for the treatment of kidney cancer.

The molecular logic of synapse formation in the brain

January 31, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Thomas Christian Südhof, M.D., Stanford School of Medicine

Thomas Südhof is interested in how synapses form and function in the developing and adult brain. His work focuses on the role of synaptic cell-adhesion molecules in establishing synapses and shaping their properties, on pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms of membrane traffic, and on impairments in synapse formation and synaptic function in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

Sugar and the beating heart - the conundrum of heart failure in diabetes

February 7, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
E. Dale Abel, M.D., Ph.D. , University of Iowa

Dr. Abel's current research interests focus on elucidating the molecular mechanisms leading to cardiac dysfunction in diabetes and the regulation of myocardial growth and metabolism by insulin signaling.

Hematopoietic stem cells in stress, disease, and aging

February 21, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Emmanuelle Passegué, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Passagué's research investigates the biology of blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells in normal and deregulated contexts such as development of hematological malignancies and physiological aging.

Race, risk, and resilience: understanding racial differences in cognitive aging and brain pathology

February 28, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Lisa Barnes, Ph.D., Rush Medical College

Dr. Barnes' research focus is on racial disparities in chronic diseases of aging, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. 

Mitochondria control of physiology and disease: beyond ATP

March 7, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Navdeep S. Chandel, Ph.D., Northwestern University

For decades, the mitochondria have been primarily viewed as biosynthetic and bioenergetic organelles generating metabolites for the production of macromolecules and ATP, respectively. Our work has elucidated that mitochondria have a third distinct role whereby they release reactive oxygen species (ROS) and metabolites such as L-2-hydroxyglutarate to initiate physiological and pathological processes including hypoxic activation of HIFs, cellular differentiation, T cell activation and cancer cell proliferation. Thus, mitochondria function as signaling organelles.

Gut feelings: host microbiome interactions in health and disease

March 14, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Fiona Powrie, D.Phil., University of Oxford

Fiona Powrie is interested in the intestinal immune system’s ability to distinguish foreign microbes from the trillions of harmless bacteria that reside in our gut –and how this delicate balancing act breaks down in inflammatory bowel disease. Her work has identified suppressor ‘regulatory T cells’ that are crucial for gut homeostasis, as well as immune signals pivotal for chronic intestinal inflammation. She received the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2012 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011.

LINGO proteins: a new language for the mucosal barrier

March 21, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
De’Broski R. Herbert, Ph.D. , University of Pennsylvania

The Herbert lab investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the initiation of Type 2 immunity against gastrointestinal helminths and enteropathogenic bacteria. We are focused upon identification of novel cytokine/receptor interactions that regulate the cross-talk between epithelial and myeloid compartments leading to pathogen clearance and tissue repair.

Of bones, brain, and fat: macrophages and the control of homeostasis

March 28, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Frederic Geissmann, M.D., Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Over the past ten years, we have investigated the developmental origin and homeostasis of macrophages and the related cell types monocytes and dendritic cells. These cells play a major role in development, homeostasis and diverse types of cancer and can either restrain or promote cancer progression and metastasis. The Geissmann lab is now building on previous work to investigate mechanisms by which tissue macrophages may control tissue growth and metabolism and whether these same mechanisms play a role in cancer initiation and development.

The cryo-EM revolution

April 11, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Sriram Subramaniam, Ph.D. , National Cancer Institute

Research in the Subramaniam lab over the last decade has been guided by the vision that emerging tools in 3D electron microscopy hold great promise for imaging cells, viruses and protein complexes at high resolution in their native states, thus bridging a major gap in structural biology. In his talk, he will review examples of recent progress ranging from determination of protein structures at atomic resolution to imaging viruses, cells and tissue at nanometer resolution.

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