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The epigenetic basis of common human disease

September 3, 2014
Andrew P. Feinberg, M.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Although epigenetic changes in the cancer genome have been known for three decades, the role of epigenetics in common human disease and its relationship to genetic variation has only recently begun to be explored. The Feinberg lab has been developing whole-genome approaches to the epigenetic analysis of human disease and contributing to a new field of epigenetic epidemiology that integrates genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors.

Using social media to investigate adolescent health

September 10, 2014
Megan A. Moreno, M.D., M.S.Ed., M.P.H., Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Social media technologies, which are widely used by adolescents, allow opportunities for teens to display and describe health attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. These technologies also provide an innovative means to investigate adolescent health. For the past seven years, Dr. Moreno has been investigating how adolescents choose to display health behaviors on social media, including substance use and depression symptoms. Her talk will provide an overview of her methods and key findings and illustrate challenges and opportunities in how adolescents interact with social media.

The neurogenetics of innate behaviors

September 17, 2014
Leslie B. Vosshall, Ph.D., HHMI-The Rockefeller University

Female mosquitoes require a blood meal to complete egg development. In carrying out this innate feeding behavior, mosquitoes spread dangerous infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever. Humans attract mosquitoes via multiple sensory cues including emitted body odor, heat, and carbon dioxide in the breath. The mosquito perceives differences in these cues, both between and within species, to determine which animal or human to target for blood feeding.

A multiscale biology approach for dissecting the complex processes underlying aging and aging related phenotypes

October 1, 2014
Eric Schadt, Ph.D., Mount Sinai

The annual Mahoney Lecture is named in honor of Florence Stephenson Mahoney (1899–2002), who devoted the last half of her life to successfully advocating for the creation of the National Institute on Aging and increased support for NIH. During his lecture, Dr. Schadt will focus on the integration of the digital universe of information to better diagnose, treat, and prevent human disease. The lecture will feature the work of Dr.

Intrinsic host defenses against HIV-1

October 8, 2014
Paul D. Bieniasz, Ph.D., Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center

The investigation of impeded viral replication in animal cells of particular types or species has uncovered great complexity in the interaction between retroviruses and their hosts. These studies have revealed that cells are equipped with a diverse set of proteins that can directly inhibit the replication of retroviruses, including HIV-1. Genes encoding antiretroviral proteins exhibit unusually high sequence variation, presumably because selection pressures exerted by ancient viral infections have caused them to evolve at an unusually rapid pace.

Normalizing the tumor microenvironment to enhance cancer treatment

October 22, 2014
Rakesh K. Jain, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

For more than three decades, Dr. Jain’s laboratory research has focused on improving the delivery and efficacy of anti-cancer therapies. Working on the hypothesis that the abnormal tumor microenvironment fuels tumor progression and treatment resistance, the Jain laboratory has developed novel imaging technologies and animal models as well as mathematical models to unravel the complex biology of tumors.

The mechanisms of cytoskeletal motor proteins

October 29, 2014
Ronald D. Vale, Ph.D., HHMI-University of California, San Francisco

Movement is a fundamental property of living organisms. The contraction of muscles, beating of cilia and flagella, segregation of genetic material during mitosis, and intracellular transport of membranes, proteins and mRNAs are driven by molecular motor proteins that move along cytoskeletal filaments. Dr. Vale’s laboratory, whose research is funded by NIH, has studied kinesin and dynein, the two types of motors that move along microtubule tracks.

Tuning cytokine receptor signaling with natural and engineered ligands

November 5, 2014
K. Christopher Garcia, Ph.D., HHMI-Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Garcia’s laboratory investigates the structural and functional aspects of cell-surface receptor recognition and activation in receptor-ligand systems with relevance to human health and disease. Structural information is exploited to understand the mechanisms of ligand recognition and signaling, as well as to inform engineering efforts to manipulate receptor signaling and generate therapeutics.

Past and future therapy for hepatitis C

November 12, 2014
Jay H. Hoofnagle, M.D., NIDDK/NIH

The Astute Clinician series honors a U.S. clinician-scientist who has observed an unusual clinical occurrence, and by investigating it, has opened an important new avenue of research. Dr. Jay H. Hoofnagle, an expert in liver diseases, has been involved in early evaluation and development of virtually all antiviral agents developed for viral hepatitis including interferon, ribavirin, lamivudine and adefovir dipivoxil.

Programmable on-chip DNA compartments as “artificial cells”

November 19, 2014
Roy Bar-Ziv, Ph.D., Weismann Institute of Science

For his WALS lecture, Dr. Bar-Ziv will discuss the assembly of two-dimensional DNA compartments that are fabricated in silicon. These artificial cells are capable of metabolism, programmable protein synthesis, and communication. Metabolism is maintained by continuous diffusion of nutrients and products through a thin capillary, connecting protein synthesis in the DNA compartment with the environment.


The page was last updated on Monday, November 24, 2014 - 5:47pm