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Current Lecture Season

Mechanistic basis of cancer immunotherapy

April 18, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Ira Mellman, Ph.D. , Genentech, Inc.

My group’s long interest in understanding the cellular mechanisms of the immune response has increasingly focused on the problem of cancer immunology and immunotherapy. We have now established an entire department devoted to this effort, and postdocs in my group seek to understand how checkpoint inhibitors (eg anti-PD-L1), vaccines, immune agonists and their combinations work to produce durable anti-cancer responses.

Sensing from within: how the immune system discriminates friend from foe

April 25, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Katherine A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School

The Fitzgerald lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling the inflammatory response. We are interested in determining how the immune system discriminates between pathogens, resident microflora and host molecules to both protect the host from infection and avoid damaging inflammatory diseases. We employ multifaceted approaches including immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics to understand these mechanisms.

Cerebellar synaptic signaling as a metaphor for mentorship: how silence and speech get different deeds done

May 2, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Indira M. Raman, Ph.D. , Northwestern University

The cerebellum facilitates learned, coordinated movements and corrects errors. Signals to execute these functions are carried by the large neurons of the cerebellar nuclei, which form the major premotor projection from the cerebellum.

From genetics to therapeutics in Alzheimer’s: accelerating translation, increasing success

May 9, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Lennart Mucke, M.D. , University of California, San Francisco

We study processes that result in memory loss and other major neurological deficits, with an emphasis on Alzheimerís disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders. Our long-term goal is to advance the understanding of the healthy and the diseased central nervous system to a point where rational strategies can be developed for the prevention and cure of these conditions.

Why the immune system needs us

May 16, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Carl Nathan, M.D., Weill Cornell Medicine

To better understand and assist the immune system, my lab focuses on M. tuberculosis (Mtb), the leading cause of death from an infectious disease. Mtb has evolved to exploit human immunity, about which it must have much to teach us. Mtb can both elicit and withstand an immune response strong enough to liquefy lung and send forth infectious droplets that spread the disease. We study the biology of Mtb in the non-replicating states imposed by the sub-sterilizing host immune response and look for ways to overcome the phenotypic resistance to antibiotics that results.

Beyond the individual: population health research and why the NIH should care

May 23, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Ana V. Diez Roux, M.D, Ph.D., MPH, Drexel University

Dr. Diez Roux is internationally known for her research on the social determinants of population health and the study of how neighborhoods affect health. Her work on neighborhood health effects has been highly influential in the policy debate on population health and its determinants. Her research areas include social epidemiology and health disparities, environmental health effects, urban health, psychosocial factors in health, cardiovascular disease epidemiology, and the use of multilevel methods.

Killer lymphocytes, the new bug exterminators

May 30, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Judy Lieberman, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

The Lieberman lab studies cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) that are key cells in the immune defense against viral infection and cancer. 

Structural plasticity in the adult mammalian brain.

June 13, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Elizabeth Gould, Ph.D., Princeton University

Our laboratory studies structural plasticity in the adult mammalian brain. We are interested in identifying the environmental, hormonal and neural stimuli that drive changes in the number, shape and size of neurons, astrocytes and microglia. The ultimate goals of our work are to determine the functional consequences of structural plasticity and to identify factors that enhance plasticity and cell survival in the adult mammalian brain.

Cell and genome organization in mitosis, development, and homeostasis

June 20, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Yixian Zheng, Ph.D. , Carnegie Institution for Science

I began my research career studying how microtubules regulate various cellular processes, especially microtubule assembly, mitotic spindle assembly, and chromosome segregation. As a PhD student in Dr. Berl Oakley’s lab, my study of g-tubulin has inspired me to use biochemical approaches to investigate the mechanism of microtubule nucleation as a postdoctoral fellow in Drs. Bruce Alberts and Tim Mitchison’s labs at UCSF. This has led to the discovery of the g-tubulin ring complex (gTuRC) and the demonstration of its microtubule-nucleating activity from purified tubulins.

Decoding the genome regulatory program for T-cell identity

June 27, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Ellen V. Rothenberg, Ph.D. , California Institute of Technology

The Rothenberg group’s research is at the interface of immunology, stem cell developmental biology, systems biology, and genomics. They study gene regulation and development of T lymphocytes, gene networks controlling hematopoietic cell fates, and mechanisms underlying the dynamics of single-cell developmental decisions. 


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