Cartoon: Bridging the gap between advances in biology and their application to major human diseases

Demystifying Medicine 2022

Tuesdays: January 4 through May 3
4:00pm - 5:30pm Eastern Time
NIH Videocast http://videocast.nih.gov


Main Page
Course Materials
Speaker Profiles
Topic Introductions
CME Credit Information
Final Examination - Closes 31 May 2022 at Midnight Eastern Time

All presentations will be held online until further notice.
Please view the presentations by visiting: https://videocast.nih.gov/.


Topic Introductions

January 4 -
~ COVID: Then, Now, and the Future
~ The Global Challenge: COVID and Future Pandemics
The Demystifying Medicine course series enters its 21st season with complementary lectures concerning COVID-19 by NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, M.D., and Fogarty International Center Director Roger Glass, M.D., Ph.D., on January 4, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44341.

Dr. Fauci, a stranger to no one at the NIH, has been a public face of the COVID pandemic response since January 2020. He will share his keen insights on COVID, including the newly emerged omicron strain, in a lecture titled "COVID: Then, Now, and the Future."

Dr. Glass has helped to guide the U.S. international response to the COVID pandemic. This has included spurring international cooperation in vaccine development and distribution, as well as tracing the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of the pandemic on a global scale. His Demystifying Medicine lecture is titled "The Global Challenge: COVID and Future Pandemics."


January 11 - The Split Personality of Helicobacter Pyloriá
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about the ulcer-inducing bacteria Helicobacter pylori, by Barry Marshall, M.D., and Martin Blaser, M.D., on January 11, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44343.

The event is titled "The Split Personality of Helicobacter Pylori." Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available.

Barry Marshall is professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Western Australia. He shared a 2005 Nobel Prize with J. Robin Warren for his demonstration of H. pylori as an agent of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. (Marshall did so by purposefully ingesting the bacteria and developing gastritis!)

Martin Blaser is director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at Rutgers University. Over the past two decades, in part using H. pylori as a model system, he has studied the relationship of the human microbiome with health and diseases such as asthma, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.


January 18 -
~ Malnutrition: The Role of the Microbiome
~ How Gut Microbiome Controls Growth of Liver Tumors
The 2022 Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about the microbiome's role in health and disease, by Jeffrey Gordon, M.D., and Tim Greten, M.D., on January 18, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44345.

Dr. Gordon is director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. Often cited as the "father of the microbiome," Gordon is known internationally for his lab's research on how gut microbial communities affect normal intestinal function, shape various aspects of human physiology, and affect predisposition to diseases.

The title if his talk is "Malnutrition: The Role of the Microbiome."

Dr. Greten is an NIH senior investigator, deputy chief of the NCI Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch, and a lead investigator in numerous clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center. Greten is an expert in gastrointestinal oncology and tumor immunology with a specific research focus on hepatocellular carcinoma. His lab hopes to better understand how tumors in the liver interact with the immune system.

The title of his talk is "How Gut Microbiome Controls Growth of Liver Tumors."

Please join us for a remarkable tale of the underappreciated microbiome. And, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified.


January 25 -
~ Innate Immunity: Elie Metchnikoff (1845-1916) and the Immunity War
~ Reflections on SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic and Innate Immunity
The 2022 Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about innate immunity, both historical and in the context of the COVID pandemic, by writer Luba Vikhanski and researcher Robert Gallo, M.D., on January 25, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44347 .

Luba Vikhanski is a science writer at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. She is the author of "Immunity: How Elie Metchnikoff Changed the Course of Modern Medicine." Vikhanski will discuss how the findings of Metchnikoff, known as the father of natural immunity, sparked an "immunity war" in the mid-19th century.

Robert Gallo is the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor of Medicine and co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. A winner of two Lasker awards, Gallo is recognized internationally for his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS during his long tenure at the NIH.

The titles of their talks are "Innate Immunity: Elie Metchnikoff (1845-1916) and the Immunity War" and "Reflections on SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic and Innate Immunity," respectively.


February 1 - Defining Genes Underlying Mendelian Immunological Disorders Leads to Precision Medicine Interventionsá
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about treating hereditary genetic disorders of the immune system, by Michael Lenardo, M.D., and Helen Su, M.D., Ph.D, on February 1, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44326.

The event is titled "Defining Genes Underlying Mendelian Immunological Disorders Leads to Precision Medicine Interventions." Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available.

Michael Lenardo is an NIH Distinguished Investigator who leads the section on Molecular Development of the Immune System in NIAID's Laboratory of Immune System Biology. He also is co-director of the NIAID Clinical Genomics Program. A member of both the National Academy of Medicine and of Sciences, Lenardo has made great strides in using genomic approaches to discover the molecular basis of genetic diseases of the immune system and to develop techniques for treating autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Helen Su is chief of the Human Immunological Diseases Section in NIAID's Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology. She, too, is probing molecular mechanisms regulating the human immune system to determine how their derangements cause disease, with the objective of improving diagnosis and treatment. Her lab studies patients with a spectrum of poorly characterized, inherited immunodeficiencies and autoimmune diseases who lack molecular diagnoses.


February 8 -
~ Epigenetic Contribution to Autoimmune Diseases
~ Anticytokine Autoantibodies: Important Underappreciated Cofactors in Rare And Common Conditions
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about autoimmune diseases, by Lindsey Criswell, M.D., and Steven Holland, M.D., on February 8, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44349.

Dr. Criswell is the director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), appointed in February 2021. A board-certified rheumatologist, her research has focused on the genetics and epidemiology of human autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Criswell's research team contributed to the identification of more than 30 genes linked to these disorders using genome-wide association and other genetic studies.

The title of her talk is "Epigenetic Contribution to Autoimmune Diseases."

Dr. Holland is an NIH Distinguished Investigator and director of the intramural program at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). As chief of the NIAID Immunopathogenesis Section, he employs an integrated bench-to-bedside model in laboratory work and in the clinical appreciation of disease, which together add new insights into mechanisms of action and avenues of therapy. Holland's expertise includes immune defects of phagocytes and also cytokines and their receptors in the pathogenesis and therapy of infections.

The title of his talk is "Anticytokine Autoantibodies: Important Underappreciated Cofactors in Rare and Common Conditions."


February 15 - The Mighty Mitochondrion and Its Diseases
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about mitochondrial diseases with a focus on Parkinson's disease, by Richard Youle, Ph.D., and Derek Narendra, M.D., Ph.D., on February 15, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44353 .

The NIH conducts basic, translational, and clinical research on numerous mitochondrial diseases. This includes common mitochondrial myopathies affecting muscle tissue and also rare mitochondrial genetic disorders causing poor growth, learning disabilities, and even dementia.

Richard Youle is a senior investigator in the NINDS Biochemistry Section and a recipient of the prestigious 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He has developed a "mitochondrial quality control" system that has elucidated how the body clears damaged mitochondria and thereby protects against numerous diseases, including Parkinson's.

Derek Narendra is a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar in the NINDS Inherited Movement Disorders Unit. With a focus on Early Onset Parkinson's Disease, his lab has discovered that two genes, Parkin and PINK1, function in a novel mitochondrial quality control pathway in which impaired mitochondria are targeted for lysosomal degradation by mitophagy.


February 22 - Reimagining the Taxonomy of Autoinflammatory Disease
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about autoinflammatory diseases on February 22 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44355 .

The presentation is titled "Reimagining the Taxonomy of Autoinflammatory Disease," and the speakers are Dan Kastner, M.D., Ph.D. (NHGRI), Daniella Schwartz, M.D. (NIAID), and Kalpana Manthiram, M.D. (NIAID).

Immunocompromised? Autoimmune disease? Autoinflammatory disease? What's the relationship? The next Demystifying Medicine explores these illnesses through the lens of conditions that present with painful mouth ulcers. These include an autoinflammatory disease called PFAPA syndrome (Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, Adenitis), known as the "most periodic" of the periodic fever diseases, as well as Behšet's disease, a new monogenic illness termed 'HA20,' and even common canker sores.

NIH scientists led by Drs. Kastner and Manthiram discovered variants in inflammation-related genes associated with PFAPA syndrome, which may lead to treatment for this condition mostly affecting children and characterized by episodic fever, oral ulcers, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. In contrast, HA20 afflicts children of all ages; the gene was identified by Drs. Kastner, Schwartz, and their colleagues.

These genetic discoveries are also revealing deep insights into malfunction in the innate immune system, which may open new pathways to more broadly understand immunity gone awry in diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Kastner is an NIH Distinguished Investigator and chief of the Inflammatory Disease Section in the NHGRI Metabolic, Cardiovascular and Inflammatory Disease Genomics Branch. Dr. Manthiram is a newly appointed Assistant Clinical Investigator in the NIAID Cell Signaling and Immunity Section, having completed a fellowship in Dr. Kastner's lab.

Dr. Schwartz is an Assistant Clinical Investigator in the NIAID Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, where she sees patient volunteers, investigates relationships between allergic inflammation and autoimmune problems, and has worked with Drs. Kastner and Manthiram on the riddle of autoinflammatory disorders.


March 1 - Origin of Life: Viewed by Evolutionary Biochemist and Cell Biologist
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about the origin of life, on March 1 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44357.

The presentation is titled "Origin of Life: Viewed by an Evolutionary Biochemist and Cell Biologist," and the speakers are Nick Lane, Ph.D., University College London, and Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Four billion years ago, on a Tuesday, life arose on Earth from non-living matter. The how, where, and why remain a mystery. These earliest life forms were simple and microscopic yet had two distinct properties that set them apart from other organic chemical chains in the environment: they could metabolize and replicate.

About two billion years ago, also coincidentally on a Tuesday, life exploded with dazzling variety and complexity to include multicellular life with eukaryotic cells. A few key things happened between abiogenesis and the rise of our first eukaryotic ancestors, and this will be the subject of this Tuesday's Demystifying Medicine presentation.

Dr. Nick Lane is a professor of evolutionary biochemistry in the Division of Biosciences at University College London. His research is on the origin of life and the origin of the eukaryotic cell with a focus on the role of chemiosmosis, the process through which cells generate energy in the form of ATP by way of proton gradients across membranes.

Lane is also an award-winning author. His most recent book, from 2015, is "The Vital Question: Why Is Life the Way It Is?"

Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz is a senior group leader at Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus and a founding member of its Neuronal Cell Biology Program. Previously, from 1993 to 2016, she was chief of the NIH NICHD Section on Organelle Biology. Her research has revealed how the organelles of eukaryotic cells are dynamic, self-organized structures that constantly regenerate themselves through intracellular vesicle traffic, rather than static structures.

Lippincott-Schwartz also is an innovator of live, subcellular microscopy. Her collaborative work at the NIH on photoactivatable GFP led to the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy, which was recognized in a 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to her colleague Eric Betzig.

Join us on a 4-billion-year journey as we probe theories of how life originated and became more complex. And, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified.


March 8 -
~ Brain Development in Adolescents and Addiction Risks
~ Addiction Risks - Digital Phenotyping
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about the adolescent brain and addiction risk, by Nora Volkow, M.D., and Brenda Curtis, Ph.D., on March 8, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44359.

The event is titled "Brain Development in Adolescents and Addiction Risks: Digital Phenotyping." Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available.

Adolescence is marked by acute biological changes such as sexual maturation, height and weight gain, and further development in brain structure and organization. These rapid and amazing changes take place during a period of social pressures in which many young adults find themselves simultaneously adapting to changes in their bodies while trying to fit in to their peer groups.

What risks arise for addiction in such a scenario; how can we better assess these risks; and what are the long-term repercussions for addiction at such a tender age? Such is the matter of the next Demystifying Medicine.

Nora Volkow is director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a principal investigator in the NIH Intramural Research Program. Her body of research has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a brain disorder. She has pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate how substance use affects brain functions, and she also has made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, ADHD, and aging.

Brenda Curtis is a principal investigator in NIDA Translational Addiction Medicine Branch. Her research focus is translational, leveraging social media and big data methodology to form the development, evaluation, and implementation of technology-based tools that address substance use and related conditions such as HIV/AIDS. She also is making strides in understanding how stigma plays a fundamental role in the development and perpetuation of health inequities and addiction.

Please join us for revelations of cutting-edge translational and clinical research on the pressing topic of addiction. And, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified.


March 15 -
~ Somatic Mutations in "Benign" Diseases
~ Somatic Mutations in Rheumatologic Diseases: VEXAS and Beyond
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about somatic mutations and disease, by Neal Young, M.D., and Peter Grayson, M.D., on March 15, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44361. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available.

Somatic mutations are alterations in DNA that occurs after conception in any of our cells except the germ cells (sperm and egg) and thus not passed on to children. As these acquired mutations accumulate, they can cause disease.

Neal Young leads the Cell Biology Section in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). His lab spans the basic sciences, clinical trials, and epidemiology, and his research has transformed the understanding and treatment of bone marrow failure. Moreover, Young has mentored a multitude of trainees who now head departments of hematology worldwide.

Young will talk on the role of acquired mutations in diseases other than cancer. The title of his presentation is "Somatic Mutations in 'Benign' Diseases."

Peter Grayson is a tenure-track investigator who leads the Vasculitis Translational Research Program in the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). His lab, established in 2013, seeks to identify factors that cause vasculitis, which is characterized by an inflammation of blood vessels. Grayson hopes to find biomarkers that can predict clinical outcomes and guide patient-specific therapeutic decisions.

The title of his presentation is "Somatic Mutations in Rheumatologic Diseases: VEXAS and Beyond." Spoiler alert: The S in VEXAS stands for somatic.

Please join us for revelations of cutting-edge translational and clinical research happening right now in the NIH Clinical Center. And, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified. Add this event to your calendar now by linking to https://videocast.nih.gov/ical.ics?live=44361.


March 22 at 3:00pm Eastern Time - Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series Presentation
Tiny Technologies and Medicine: From Hepatic Tissue Engineering to Cancer Nanotechnology

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series and Demystifying Medicine are teaming up to host Sangeeta Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D., of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, on Tuesday, March 22, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., exclusively via https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44231.

The title of her talk is "Tiny Technologies and Medicine: From Hepatic Tissue Engineering to Cancer Nanotechnology." Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available; the code will be announced at the start of the lecture.

Note that special time: one day earlier for WALS; one hour earlier for Demystifying Medicine.

Dr. Bhatia is director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the Koch Institute and the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She also is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts and Science.

The Bhatia Laboratory studies how micro- and nanoscale systems can be deployed to understand, diagnose, and treat human disease.

In this talk, Dr. Bhatia will describe her progress in two application areas: liver disease and cancer. In the area of the liver, her lab is developing microtechnology tools to understand how ensembles of cells coordinate to produce tissues with emergent properties in the body. They have used this understanding to fabricate human micro-liver tissues in both '2D' and '3D' formats that enable us to study the pathogenesis of relapsing malaria and liver regeneration.

In the area of cancer, the lab is developing nanotechnology tools to meet the challenge of delivering cargo into the tumor microenvironment where transport is dominated by diffusion. Their strategy is to design nanotechnologies that emulate nature's mechanisms of homing, activation, and amplification to deliver cytotoxic drugs, diagnostic tools, imaging agents, and nucleic acids to tumors.


March 29 - Chronic COVID: Neurologic and Mental Effects
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about the neurological and mental health effects of COVID-19, by NINDS Director Walter Koroshetz, M.D., and NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

The presentations are on March 29, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44328. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available.

Chronic COVID is proving to be a complex puzzle to solve. What role does the virus play, if any, in observed neurologic symptoms such as memory loss and malaise, and how might this be compounded by the social and emotional upheaval produced by the pandemic? The next Demystifying Medicine course explores chronic COVID from the perspective of two leading neuroscientists who have helped shaped national research policy on COVID.

Dr. Koroshetz was named NINDS Director in 2015 and oversees a budget of more than $2.5 billion. Through NINDS, he has been a primary funder of COVID-19 research in the realm of the SARS-CoV-2's effect on the brain and nervous system. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Koroshetz has conducted research on excitotoxicity, a cause of neuronal cell death.

Dr. Gordon was named NIMH Director in 2016 and oversees a budget of more than $2 billion. His institute has supported both research and public outreach as it relates to the pandemic's effect on mental health. Also a member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Gordan maintains a lab in NINDS, where he employs a range of systems neuroscience techniques, including in vivo imaging, anesthetized and awake behavioral recordings, and optogenetics to study schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Please join us for insights from these experts in neuroscience. And, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified. Add this event to your calendar now by linking to https://videocast.nih.gov/ical.ics?live=44328.


April 5 - Endocrine Disrupters and Fertility
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about endocrine disruptors and fertility, by Lyuba Varticovski, M.D., and Alan DeCherney, M.D., on April 5, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44330.

Despite being crucial to the survival of our species, fertility surprisingly eludes millions of couples worldwide. In the United States, among heterosexual women aged 15 to 49 years with no prior births, nearly 20 percent are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying, according to the CDC. The CDC further estimates that upwards of 10 percent of U.S. men are infertile.

The causes are many, and endocrine disruptors ˇ chemicals that can interfere with endocrine or hormonal systems, mostly introduced to the body from the environment ˇ appear to be a central factor.

Lyuba Varticovski, a hematologist and oncologist, is an associate scientist in the NCI Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression. Her research has involved oncogenesis and novel mouse models for studying cancer and cancer stem cells. An important focus has been detecting and quantifying endocrine disruptors such as contaminants in water that activate nuclear receptors affecting humans and other life in the broader ecosystem.

Alan DeCherney, an obstetrician and gynecologist, is Deputy Clinical Director for Academic Affairs and head of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Gynecology Affinity Group at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). A world-renowned expert on fertility with a 50-year career spanning positions at Yale, Tufts, and the NIH, Dr. DeCherney studies the cellular and molecular elements of blastocyst development and implantation on the lining of the uterus and has made numerous important discoveries with implication for clinical fertility. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2004.

Please join us for insights from these experts in endocrine disruptors. And, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available.


April 12 - Seeing Biology and Physics in Space
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with a lecture by Nobel Laureate John Mather of NASA about the search for life beyond Earth and other goals of the newly launched James Webb Space Telescope, on April 12, 2022, from 4:00 to 5:30vp.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44332.

Dr. Mather is a senior astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and adjunct professor of physics at the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. He is the co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for measuring key properties of the Big Bang.

Dr. Mather also is the senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), launched on December 25, 2021, and set to commence scientific observations in June 2022 at a distance 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, or four times past the distance of the Moon.

JWST an infrared telescope 100 times more powerful than the famed Hubble Space Telescope. Among its goals is to observe the very first stars and galaxies to form in the universe, to map stellar and galactic evolution over a period of 13 billion years, and to search for biosignatures or signs of life on planets beyond our solar system.

JWST is the most ambitious astronomy project every undertaken. Come listen about the mission's 30-year development and the remarkable observations expected over the next decade. And, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified.


April 19 - How Minds and Brains Create Language
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures about how brains process language, by Evelina Fedorenko, Ph.D., of MIT and Nadia Biassou, M.D., Ph.D., of the NIH Clinical Center, on April 19, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44334.

Language acquisition is the complex process by which humans perceive, comprehend, and produce language in spoken, signed, or written forms. While much remains unknown - indeed, fiercely debated in linguistic circles - modern brain-probing tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) have opened exciting windows to study what appears to be this uniquely human trait.

Dr. Fedorenko is an associate professor in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, an investigator in the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the Middleton Career Development Associate Professor of Neuroscience. She uses behavioral and brain imaging methods in healthy adults, patients with acquired brain disorders, and "hyper-polyglots" with exceptional linguistic talent to investigate how we understand and produce language.

Dr. Biassou is a physician and staff clinician in the Radiology and Imaging Sciences Department at the NIH Clinical Center. Her interdisciplinary training places her at the cross section of applied linguistics and cognitive science, imaging, and medicine. A dedicated clinical educator, she has taught community physicians cutting-edge radiologic interpretation in various clinical settings throughout the Americas.


April 26 - Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Related Tumors: From Natural History to Precision Therapy
The Demystifying Medicine course series continues with complementary lectures on neurofibromatosis type 1-related tumors, by NCI's Brigitte Widemann, M.D., and Jack Shern, M.D., on April 26, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. exclusively on NIH VideoCast at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44336.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1) is a condition characterized by changes in skin pigmentation and the growth of tumors along nerves in the skin, brain, and other parts of the body. NF-1 is one of the most common genetic disorders, caused by mutation or deletion of one copy of the NF-1 gene. More than 100,000 people in the U.S. alone are affected by NF-1. However common this disorder, treatments have been lacking...until recently!

Dr. Widemann is chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch and special advisor to the NCI Director for childhood cancer. Her pioneering research on NF1 resulted in 2020 in the first FDA-approved medical therapy, the MEK inhibitor selumetinib, for children with NF1 and inoperable, symptomatic plexiform neurofibromas.

Dr. Shern is a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar in the Pediatric Oncology Branch. He is using next-generation genomic and molecular assays in an attempt to detect and define the somatic lesions that drive tumorigenesis, as well as high-throughput siRNA, small molecule and natural product drug screening to discover precision therapeutics designed to target a tumor's underlying genetic or epigenetic drivers.

Please join us for insights from these physician-scientists making tangible gains in the treatment of a common yet overlooked disfiguring disorder. And, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available.

Add this event to your calendar now by linking to https://videocast.nih.gov/ical.ics?live=44336.

This will be the penultimate lecture for the 2022 Demystifying Medicine season. The final lecture is May 17, moved from its original May 3 date. The Demystifying Medicine course is offered Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. from January to May and is jointly sponsored by the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) and the NIH. The course aims to bridge exciting developments in medicine with advances in the basic biological and engineering sciences.


May 17 - The Role of NIH in Science and Health: Quo Vadis




 

For questions about the course, please contact ariasi@mail.nih.gov.

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This web page was last modified on 12 May 2022.