JANUARY 6 - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): From Causes to Treatment and Long-Term Outcome
- Maximilian Muenke, MD (NHGRI) - Biosketch - Dr. Max Muenke obtained his undergraduate and M.D. degree from the Free University School of Medicine in Berlin. He then pursued residency training in the Department of Pediatrics of the Christian-Albrecht University in Kiel in his native Germany. Dr. Muenke was awarded a three-year scholarship from the German Research Foundation to work with Dr. Uta Francke in the Human Genetics Department at Yale. Following this research fellowship, he completed training at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Elaine Zackai in Clinical Genetics and research training as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Associate with Dr. Robert Nussbaum. From 1990-97 he served on the faculty of the Departments of Pediatrics and Human Genetics at Penn where he was awarded tenure in 1996. In 1997 he joined the intramural program of NHGRI at the NIH as the Head of the Human Development Section and since 2000 as Chief of the Medical Genetics Branch. Dr. Muenke has directed Medical Genetics training since 1993 first at CHOP/Penn and since 1997 at NIH. The focus of his research has been on the delineation and identification of the underlying causes of craniofacial anomalies in humans. His lab made seminal discoveries in linking Sonic Hedgehog signaling to normal and abnormal brain development in humans. His group identified several genes important in craniofacial disorders including the most common craniosynostosis syndrome, now termed Muenke syndrome. More recently, his lab has identified susceptibility loci for ADHD, with further research focused on predicting severity, treatment response, and long-term outcome. Dr. Muenke is passionate about training the next generation of leaders in the field of genetics and genomics and he finds the work with families affected by genetic / genomic disorders as one of the most rewarding aspects of his professional career.
- Philip Shaw, MB, ChB, PhD (NHGRI) - Biosketch
JANUARY 13 - Dengue: "Breakbone Fever:" a Major "Unpublicized" Killer Disease
JANUARY 20 - New Advances in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment (Immunotoxins)
- Raffit Hassan, MD (NCI) - Biosketch
- Paul Meltzer, MD, PhD (NCI) - Paul Meltzer, MD, PhD is Chief of the Genetics Branch in the Center for Cancer Research of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Meltzer has a basic science background in molecular biology, genetics and genomics. He is also clinically active as a pediatric oncologist in the NCI clinical program. Dr. Meltzer moved to NIH from the University of Michigan in 1993 to join the Cancer Genetics Branch in the newly established intramural program of the National Center for Human Genome Research (later to become NHGRI). In 2006 he moved from NHGRI to his current position in NCI. Dr. Meltzer's research focuses on the application of genome technologies, most recently DNA and RNA sequencing, to the characterization of genetic alterations in cancer cells. His areas of emphasis include gene expression profiling, mapping and characterization of genome abnormalities, chromosome biology and bioinformatics. He is also interested in translational applications of genome technologies with specific disease interests center on solid tumors, particularly sarcomas and other rare cancers.
JANUARY 27 - Ebola: A Terrifying Challenge
- Jens Kuhn, MD, PhD (NIAID) - Biosketch - Jens H. Kuhn, MD, PhD, PhD, MS, is a Principal at Tunnell Government Services (TGS), Inc., Bethesda, MD, USA, tasked as the Virology Lead (Contractor) at NIH/NIAID/DCR's new Biosafety Level 4 facility, the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick) in Frederick, MD, USA. He is also TGS Team Leader for all 10 IRF-Frederick TGS contractors. Dr. Kuhn specializes in highly virulent viral human and animal pathogens. He is the author of "Filoviruses: A Compendium of 40 Years of Epidemiological, Clinical, and Laboratory Studies" (Vienna: Springer, 2008) and co-author of "The Soviet Biological Weapons Program-A History" (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012), and has studied and worked in Germany, Italy, Malta, Russia, South Africa, and South Korea. In the US, he rotated through or worked at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; the Arthropod-borne Infectious Disease Laboratory (AIDL) in Fort Collins, CO; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA; and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, MD. Dr. Kuhn was the first western scientist with permission to work in a former Soviet biological warfare facility, SRCVB "Vector" in Siberia, Russia, within the US Department of Defense's Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. Dr. Kuhn was a contributor to the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland's Controlling Dangerous Pathogens Project and a member of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation's CBW Scientist Working Group. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), Chair of the ICTV Filoviridae and Mononegavirales Study Groups, and a member of the ICTV Arenaviridae, Bornaviridae, Bunyaviridae, and Nyamiviridae Study Groups. He furthermore serves as a Subject Matter Expert for NCBI for all mononegaviruses as a member of the NCBI Genome Annotation Virus Working Group and the database RefSeq. He served or serves on the editorial boards of Applied Biosafety, Archives of Virology, BioMed Research International, Journal of Bioterrorism and Biodefense, OA Virology, PLoS ONE, PLoS Pathogens, Viruses, Virologica Sinica, Voprosy Virusologii, and World Journal of Virology, and has been a peer reviewer for Antiviral Research, Applied Biosafety, Archives of Virology, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, Biotechnology Progress, BMC Veterinary Research, DNA and Cell Biology, Frontiers in Public Health, Future Virology, Intervirology, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Applied Microbiology, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Journal of General Virology, Journal of Virology, The Lancet. Infectious Diseases, Nature Protocols, PeerJ, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, PLoS ONE, PLoS Pathogens, Science, Veterinary Journal, Virologica Sinica, Virology, Virology Journal, Viruses, and Zoonoses and Public Health. Dr. Kuhn was a member of the 2009-2011 US National Academy of Sciences' Committee on "Animal Models for Assessing Countermeasures to Bioterrorism Agents"; and is continuously involved with AAAS's and the US State Department's bioengagement efforts in the BMENA Region, Turkey, and the NIS countries. Dr. Kuhn can be found on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/pub/jens-h-kuhn/1b/817/72.
- Nancy Sullivan, PhD (NIAID) - Dr. Sullivan is a tenured Senior Investigator at the National Institutes of Health, and Chief of the Biodefense Research Section at the Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, NIH. She received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Retrovirology from Harvard University where she studied mechanisms of HIV-1 entry and neutralization. She also received her Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Harvard University.
Dr. Sullivan's research is on the immunologic correlates and mechanisms of protection against infection by hemorrhagic fever viruses, with a focus on filovirus immunology. Ebola virus infection is a highly lethal disease for which there are no effective therapeutic or preventive treatments. Dr. Sullivan was the first to show vaccine-induced protection against Ebola in non-human primates using a gene-based prime boost vaccine. This was followed by the development of a single shot vaccine that showed protection within four weeks, thus making it a very practical vaccine that could be used in the face of an acute Ebola epidemic, and this format is now standard in the field of Ebola vaccine research.
Dr. Sullivan uses the vaccine model of immune protection, as well as studies in human survivors of filovirus infection, to define immunologic mechanisms of virus clearance. She demonstrated the importance of CD8+ T lymphocyte responses for effective vaccine protection using adenovirus vector vaccines, and is continuing this work to define specific CD8+ T-cell populations that associate with protective immunity.
FEBRUARY 3 - Tuberculosis: Return of the "White Plague"
- Clifton Barry, PhD (NIAID) - Dr. Clifton E. Barry III received his Ph.D. in organic and bio-organic chemistry in 1989 from Cornell University, studying the biosynthesis of complex natural products. Following postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Barry joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' (NIAID's) Rocky Mountain Laboratories. In 1998, he was tenured as chief of the Tuberculosis Research Section, Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, NIAID. The TRS is a multidisciplinary group of research scientists comprised of biologists, chemists and clinical researchers who share a common interest in TB. TRS projects focus on understanding the scientific issues that facilitate the development of drugs that will make a genuine difference in the outcome for TB patients globally. TRS scientists are highly interactive worldwide in this endeavor and as a result of our outstanding collaborations TRS is the most widely cited TB research group in the world. In addition to current TRS laboratories in Bethesda TRS works closely with the International Tuberculosis Research Center located in Masan, South Korea; with Chinese colleagues at the Henan Provincial Chest Hospital in Zhengzhou, China; and with colleagues at Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
- Ray Chen, MD (NIAID) - Ray Chen is a staff clinician in the Tuberculosis Research Section (TRS) of the Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Chen graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia, then trained in Internal Medicine at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). While at UAB, he also received a Masters of Science in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Chen has worked for NIH since 2003 and was based in Beijing, China from 2004-2012, where he administered the larger NIAID research projects in China, primarily in HIV, influenza, and tuberculosis. He worked with U.S. and Chinese investigators to develop clinical research infrastructure at research sites, conduct clinical trials to international standards, and analyze data and publish research results. Currently, Dr. Chen is the staff clinician in the Tuberculosis Research Section, Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Division of Intramural Research at the NIAID. He leads the TRS clinical research team in conducting a number of clinical trials in South Korea, China, and South Africa on developing new treatment and diagnostic methods for drug-sensitive and drug-resistant tuberculosis. He has co-authored over 30 articles published in peer-reviewed journals.
FEBRUARY 10 - Ras: a Cancer Mechanism and Target
FEBRUARY 17 - CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER
FEBRUARY 24 - Marijuana: the Highs and Lows
MARCH 3 - Malaria: Bioengineering and the Global Epidemic of a Killer
- Sangeeta Bhatia, MD, PhD (MIT) - Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia is the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of EECS and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT and an HHMI Investigator. Her lab focuses at the intersection of engineering, medicine, and biology to develop platforms that interface cells with synthetic systems for use in tissue regeneration, stem cell differentiation, medical diagnostics and drug delivery. Dr. Bhatia's findings have produced human microlivers which model human drug metabolism, liver disease, and interaction with pathogens. Her group also develops communicating nanomaterials to interrogate and treat cancer. She has appointments at Brigham & Women's Hospital, Broad Institute, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and MIT's Koch Institute and Ludwig Center. Dr. Bhatia received her B.S. from Brown University, M.S. and Ph.D. from MIT, M.D. from Harvard and completed graduate and post-doctoral training at MGH. Prior to MIT, she was tenured faculty at UCSD, and worked in industry at Pfizer, and others.
- Thomas Wellems, MD, PhD (NIAID) - Biosketch
MARCH 10 - Mitochondria: Biology Meets Disease
MARCH 17 - Alcohol: How Does it Do the Things it Does?
- George Koob, PhD (NIAAA) - George F. Koob, is Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as of January 27, 2014. As NIAAA Director, Dr. Koob oversees a wide range of alcohol-related research, including genetics, neuroscience, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment. As an authority on alcoholism, drug addiction and stress, he has contributed to our understanding of the neurocircuitry associated with the acute reinforcing effects of alcohol and drugs of abuse and the neuroadaptations of the reward and stress circuits associated with the transition to dependence. Dr. Koob has published over 650 peer reviewed papers and several books including the "Neurobiology of Addiction," a comprehensive treatise on emerging research in the field, and a textbook for upper division undergraduates and graduate students called "Drugs, Addiction and the Brain." He has mentored 11 Ph. D students and over 75 post-doctoral fellows. He received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Physiology from Johns Hopkins University in 1972. He spent much of his early career at the Scripps Research Institute as the Director of the Alcohol Research Center, and as Professor and Chair of the Scripps' Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders. He has also served as a researcher in the Department of Neurophysiology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Arthur Vining Davis Center for Behavioral Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
- Bin Gao, MD, PhD (NIAAA) - Biosketch
MARCH 24 - Vision: Cerebral Pathways and Diseases
- David Leopold, PhD (NIMH)
- Emily Chew, MD (NEI)
- Edmond Fitzgibbon, MD (NEI) - Biosketch - Edmond FitzGibbon Md is a staff clinician neuro-ophthalmologist in the Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, NEI. Dr. FitzGibbon studies eye movements in patients and volunteers to give insight into neurodegenerative diseases and motion vision. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics at Cornell University, MD from Albany Medical and did ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic. He is currently president-elect of the North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society and has authored over 50 manuscripts.
MARCH 31 - Bladder Cancer: Chromosomes and a Major Disease
APRIL 7 - Infertility: an Increasing Problem Prompting Remarkable Advances
APRIL 14 - Sickle Cell Anemia: a Vicious Viscid Sickle Cycle
- Alan Schechter, MD (NIDDK) - Dr. Alan N. Schechter received his A.B. degree in 1959, with distinction in all subjects, from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and his graduate education at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York, N.Y., from which he received the M.D. degree in 1963. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. After two years of clinical training in internal medicine at the Albert Einstein Medical College hospitals in New York City he came to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1965 as a Research Associate. There he began his long connection with the Laboratory of Chemical Biology (now the Molecular Medicine Branch) working with Dr. Charles J. Epstein and with Dr. Christian B. Anfinsen, who was to be a co-recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, on problems of protein folding. During the decade from 1965 to 1975 Dr. Schechter developed with Dr. Anfinsen several new approaches to the study of the mechanism by which proteins attain their biologically active conformation.
Since the mid-1970's Dr. Schechter's main scientific interest has been fundamental and clinical research related to developing treatments for the genetic diseases of hemoglobin. He and his colleagues contributed to our understanding of the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease through biophysical studies of sickle red cells and molecular studies of hemoglobin genes. This work led to a major revision of our understanding of the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease in terms of the thermodynamics of intracellular polymerization and a quantitative basis for the evaluation of disease severity and response to therapy. These studies led Dr. Schechter and his colleagues to pioneering studies, in small groups of sickle cell patients admitted to the NIH Clinical Center, of the effects of 5-azacytidine and hydroxyurea, which stimulate fetal hemoglobin expression, to treat sickle cell disease. Hydroxyurea is now used worldwide as the first FDA-approved drug to benefit specifically sickle cell disease patients. In subsequent studies aimed at developing other approaches to therapy, he and his colleagues showed that red cells could transport nitric oxide systemically and have recently shown that infused nitrite ions are activated to nitric oxide by hemoglobin acting as a reductase. They are currently studying the mechanisms of this reaction and its implication for a variety of physiological processes, including especially the modulation of platelet reactivity and blood clotting. These results form the basis of studies based on nitrite administration to patients with a variety of cardiovascular diseases by several companies licensed by the NIH to use patents based on Dr. Schechter's work.
Dr. Schechter is currently the Chief of the Molecular Medicine Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. For a decade he served as Chair of the Advisory Committee of the DeWitt Stetten, Jr. Museum of Medical Research at NIH and from 2006 to 2008 served as Acting NIH Historian. He also served on the NIH Director's Committee on Scientific Conduct and Ethics and from 1995 to 2002 on the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility. He is a co-author of the NIH's "Guidelines for the Conduct of Research" and "Guide for Training and Mentoring". Since 2004 he has been on the Council of the NIH Assembly of Scientists, which he chaired for five years. He serves, or has served, on multiple scientific review committees for the NIH, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. For more than thirty years he has been an officer of the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) at NIH. During this period he also was on the teaching faculty of the FAES, the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He is a member of many professional societies and has served on multiple national and international committees and the editorial boards of several scientific journals. For the last ten years he was Co-Editor of "Perspectives in Biology and Medicine," published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Christopher Austin, MD, PhD (NCATS)
APRIL 21 - Glycoprotein Diseases: Important, Unrecognized and Challenging
- John Hanover, PhD (NIDDK) - Biosketch
- Sergio Rosenzweig, MD, PhD (NIAID) -
Dr. Rosenzweig is a pediatrician and immunologist with more than 20 years of experience in the field of primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs). He did his training in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he first came to work at the NIH in 1999. He is currently the Deputy Chief of the Immunology Service at the Clinical Center, NIH and the Co-Director of the Primary Immunodeficiency Clinic, NIAID, NIH. Dr. Rosenzweig is and active member of multiple scientific societies focused on PIDs, has extensively published in the field and his scientific interests are mainly focused on genetic susceptibility to infectious diseases.
APRIL 28 - The Future for Biomedical Scientists
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