Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s 2021 Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series starts Jan. 29
The Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series has welcomed 97 leading biomedical research scientists since it began in 2012
A University of California, Davis cardiovascular scientist will kick off the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC’s spring 2021 series of weekly lectures by leading biomedical researchers.
The virtual seminar by Crystal Ripplinger, titled “The Nervous Heart: Insights into Autonomic-Mediated Arrhythmias,” is set for 11 a.m. Friday and is the first of 14 in the research institute’s Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series coming up this spring.
The seminar series, which runs annually from September to May, has featured 97 leading biomedical researchers from throughout the country since the program began in 2012. Presented virtually via Zoom primarily for research and clinical audiences throughout the academic year, the lectures are also open to all members of the Virginia Tech community including graduate students, undergraduates, faculty, and staff, as well as the public.
“The Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminars are a crucial component of our research enterprise at the institute, as well as the broader university community and the VTC academic health center,” said Michael Friedlander, Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology and executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. “The seminars connect graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with the world’s premiere innovators who are pioneering new approaches to some of the most important topics in science and medicine, while inspiring innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations between speakers and Virginia Tech faculty, students, and staff.”
Each presentation is sponsored by one or more of the institute’s research centers, including the Addiction Recovery and Research Center; the Center for Heart and Reparative Medicine Research; the Cancer Research Group; the Center for Human Neuroscience Research; the Center for Glial Biology in Health, Disease, and Cancer; the Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors; and the Center for Neurobiology Research.
Ripplinger, a professor and the vice chair for research and administration in the Department of Pharmacology in the UC Davis School of Medicine, integrates imaging techniques in new ways to study how activity in the nervous system modulates the electrical activity of the heart for normal function and in disorders that can lead to arrhythmias and even sudden cardiac death. Ripplinger’s seminar on Friday will explore what her research has revealed about lasting impacts from heart attacks that lead to potentially lethal abnormal heart rhythms.
Other lectures coming up in the series include:
- “Using Social Media to Study Cannabis: Health Beliefs, Use Patterns, Consequences, Risk Factors, Interventions,” by Alan J. Budney, professor in the Geisel School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and director of the treatment development and evaluation core in Dartmouth College’s Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, on Feb. 5.
- “Memory, Learning to Learn, and Control of Cognitive Representations,” by Andre Fenton, professor in the Center for Neural Science at NYU Langone Health, at New York University, on Feb. 19.
- “Re-establishing Developmental Pathways for Heart Regeneration,” by Kristy Red-Horse, associate professor in the Department of Biology and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University, on Feb. 26.
- “Reprogramming the Brain Cancer Stem Cell,” by John Laterra, professor in the departments of neurology, neuroscience, and oncology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and co-director of the brain cancer program in the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, on March 5.
- “Effect of Contemporary Societal Exposures on Adolescent Behavioral Health,” by Adam Matthew Leventhal, professor in the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Department of Preventive Medicine and in the Department of Psychology in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, and director of the USC Institute for Addiction Science at the University of Southern California, on March 12.
- Tentative title: "Brain Imaging to Eavesdrop on Craving in Substance Abuse," by Hedy Kober, associate professor in the Yale University School of Medicine’s departments of psychiatry and psychology, on March 19.
- “The Epigenetic Basis of Memory Formation and Dysregulation in Memory Disorders,” by Farah Lubin, associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, on April 2.
- “Chemistry of the Adaptive Mind,” by Roshan Cools, professor and chair of cognitive neuropsychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and a principal investigator at Radboud University’s Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, on April 9.
- “Aerobic Fitness and Susceptibility for Metabolic Dysfunction,” by John Thyfault, professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology in the School of Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center and scientific director of the Center for Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, on April 16.
- “Multi-channel MEG Measurements with a Wearable OPM System,” by Elena Boto, research fellow in the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre in the University of Nottingham’s School of Physics and Astronomy, on April 23.
- “Control of TGF-beta Signaling and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition,” by Rik Derynck, professor in the departments of cell and tissue biology and anatomy in the UCSF Medical Center’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, San Francisco, on April 30.
- “Stem Cells and Genomics for Cardiovascular Diseases,” by Joseph C. Wu, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and the Simon H. Stertzer Professor of Medicine and Radiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, on May 7.
- “The Application of Digital Health to Behavioral Health: State of the Science and Vision for the Future,” by Lisa Marsch, the Andrew G. Wallace Professor in the Geisel School of Medicine, and director of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at Dartmouth College, on May 28.
The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute also hosts the Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture Series, Brain School, international conferences, and the Timothy A. Johnson Medical Scholar Lecture Series.
Previous Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminars from the fall are archived on the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s website, including:
- “Can Food Be Addictive?” presented by Ashley Gearhardt, associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, on Sept. 4, 2020. (Watch Archived Lecture)
- “The Fabric of the Neocortex,” presented by Andreas Tolias, professor and the Brown Foundation Endowed Chair of Neuroscience, and founder and director of the Center for Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence in the department of neuroscience at the Baylor College of Medicine, on Sept. 11, 2020.
- “Design and Optimization of CAR T cells and their Application to Glioblastoma,” by Christine Brown, professor in the Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, the Heritage Provider Network Professor in Immunotherapy, and deputy director of the T Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory at City of Hope, on Sept. 18, 2020.
- “Parkinson’s Disease and Why Development Matters,” presented by Deanna Benson, professor in the Nash Family Department of Neuroscience and the Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, on Sept. 25, 2020. (Watch Archived Lecture)
- “The Future of Health and Medicine: Where Can Technology Take Us?” presented by Daniel Kraft, the faculty chair for medicine at Singularity University, and founder and chair of Exponential Medicine, on Oct. 2, 2020. (Watch Archived Lecture)
- “The Genetics of Invasive Glioblastoma Cells,” presented by Nhan Tran, professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic, on Oct. 9, 2020.
- “Innovating for Health & Racial Equity: Transforming the Social, Structural, and Clinical Determinants with Our Nation’s Most Vulnerable Populations,” presented by Antwi Akom, professor and founding director of the Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab (SOUL) at the University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco State University, and co-founder of Streetwyze, on Oct. 16, 2020.
- “Unlocking the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Cannabis and Relevance to Psychiatric Risk,” presented by Yasmin Hurd, professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology and the Department of Systems Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine, and director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai, on Oct. 23, 2020. (Watch Archived Lecture)
- “Neurovascular Interactions: Mechanisms, Imaging, Therapeutics,” by Katerina Akassoglou, senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, and professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, on Oct. 30, 2020.
- “Cell-Cell and Cell-Matrix Proteins in the Cardiomyocyte: Focus on ZO Proteins,” presented by Robert S. Ross, professor of medicine, and co-director of the molecular cardiology program at the University of California, San Diego, on Nov. 6, 2020. (Watch Archived Lecture)
- “Engineering the Bio/Nano Interface for Enhanced Nano-Immunotherapy,” presented by Evan Scott, the Kay Davis Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Microbiology-Immunology in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine, on Nov. 13, 2020. (Watch Archived Lecture)
- “Running on Dopamine: Metabolic Regulation of Reward Seeking,” presented by Nils Kroemer, junior group leader of computational psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Tübingen, on Nov. 20, 2020. (Watch Archived Lecture)
- “Sex, Drugs, and Radiomics of Brain Cancer,” presented by Kristen R. Swanson, the Vasek and Anna Maria Polak Professor in Cancer Research, and professor of neurological surgery, molecular neuroscience, and radiation oncology at the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Ariz., on Dec. 4, 2020. (Watch Archived Lecture)
- “Cells That Tile Your Brain: Astrocyte Contributions to Neural Circuits and Disease,” presented by Baljit Khakh, professor in the departments of physiology and neurobiology in the Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, on Dec. 11, 2020.
—Written by Matt Chittum