December 26, 2007

Dr. Jun Wu, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Shanghai Genomics, 5-26-04


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Shanghai Genomics, Inc., a leader of the Chinese biopharmaceutical industry, was founded and is managed by biotechnology professionals returning from the United States. Its mission is to develop novel therapeutic solutions for major diseases threatening the Chinese population, such as liver cirrhosis, acute lung injury/fibrosis, and infectious diseases. The first round of investors included two venture capital firms in China, Shanghai Venture Capital and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park Corporation. Shanghai Genomics is privately owned and headquartered at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong New Area of Shanghai, China. The company has 67 employees and occupies a 30,000-square-foot facility. Shanghai Genomics provides contract research services and genomics/proteomics research tools and reagents to biotech/pharmaceutical companies worldwide. The services include antibody production, antibody screening and immunohistochemistry, recombinant protein production and purification, full-length gene cloning, and Q-PCR and PCR-based gene expression profiling.

Dr. Jun Wu is the co-founder of Shanghai Genomics Inc. He attended Shanghai Medical University as a medical student and later continued his undergraduate studies at San Jose State University in the United States. In 1991, he received his B.S. degree in Microbiology and Immunology. In 1997, he received his doctoral degree at University of California, San Francisco. Later, he joined DNAX Research Institute and Rigel Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Wu is an expert in lymphocyte signal transduction and tumor immunology.

Posted by David Lemberg at 02:24 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

August 09, 2007

Dr. Charis Eng, Chair and Founding Director, Genomic Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Genetics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 8-9-07


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Dr. Charis Eng is the Chair and founding Director of the Genomic Medicine Institute of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, founding Director and attending clinical cancer geneticist of the institute’s clinical component, the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare, and Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Genetics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Dr. Eng holds a joint appointment as Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and is a full member of Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center and a member of the CASE Comprehensive Cancer Center. She was recently honored by the designation National Scholar of the Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute of The Ohio State University, and continues to hold an honorary appointment at the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Eng’s research interests may be broadly characterized as clinical cancer genetics translational research. Her work on RET testing in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 and the characterization of the widening clinical spectra of PTEN gene mutations have been acknowledged as the paradigm for the practice of clinical cancer genetics.

Dr. Eng has published over 230 peer-reviewed original papers in such journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, Nature Genetics, Nature. She has received numerous awards and honors including election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, to the Association of American Physicians and as Fellow of AAAS, the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award and named a Local Legend from Ohio bestowed by the American Medical Women’s Association in conjunction with the U.S. Senate on women physicians who have demonstrated commitment, originality, innovation and/or creativity in their fields of medicine.

Dr. Eng has been elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Human Genetics and will serve a four-year term on the Board of Scientific Directors of the National Human Genome Research Institute beginning in Autumn, 2007.

Posted by David Lemberg at 05:20 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

July 18, 2007

Christer Ström, Director, MAQUET Critical Care, 7-19-07


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Christer Ström is Director of the Ventilator Program at MAQUET Critical Care in Solna, Sweden. He is currently heading up the SERVO-i with NAVA launch.

Christer has worked with intensive care and anesthesia since 1977. He started his career as a registered nurse, registered nurse anesthetist, and lecturer in clinical physiology and anesthesia at Piteå Hospital in Sweden.

Christer joined Siemens as Product Manager in 1986 and stayed with the company as a Regional Sales Manager, He was a member of the Clinical Engineering Group and Clinical Specialist for the development of the SERVO-i ventilator until GETINGE AB acquired Siemens Life Support Systems in 2003.

MAQUET Critical Care brings together innovative medical technology, knowledge and services to help critical care providers achieve tangible, sustainable patient outcomes. With the SERVO product range, MAQUET Critical Care is the global market leader in ventilation.

The MAQUET Group is the world market leader for Medical Systems, focused on the Operating Room and Intensive Care Unit. The integrated products of MAQUET are designed to deliver the best medical treatment within acute care hospitals. MAQUET provides innovative medical solutions from three divisions - Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, and Surgical Workplaces.

MAQUET is part of the publicly listed Swedish group of companies GETINGE AB, a 1.7 million euros (fiscal year 2006) turnover company with 10,100 employees worldwide. MAQUET itself is a 600 million euros (fiscal year 2006) turnover business with 2,984 Employees and 30 international sales and service subsidiaries.

Posted by David Lemberg at 03:37 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

July 12, 2007

Dr. Francis Barany, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Program of Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Cornell/Sloan Kettering Institute, 7-12-07


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Dr. Francis Barany received his Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1981 at The Rockefeller University with Professor Alexander Tomasz. He was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow with Professor Hamilton O. Smith at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1982-1985. Upon appointment as an Assistant Professor in Microbiology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in 1985, he was named a Cornell Scholar in Biomedical Sciences, and in 1992 received a five year Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award.

Dr. Barany currently holds the rank of Full Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Program of Biochemistry and Structural Biology at Cornell/Sloan Kettering Institute. He has an adjunct appointment at The Rockefeller University in the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Structural Biology, as well as an appointment as Director of Mutation Research at the Strang Cancer Prevention Center. He is program director of two multi-center NCI and NIAID grants to develop new methods of cancer and infectious disease detection. He is best known for developing the ligase chain reaction (LCR) and ligase detection reaction (LDR) and Universal DNA arrays for detection of genetic diseases and cancer-associated mutations.

Dr. Barany was named to the "SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN 50" in 2004. Dr. Barany is recognized for his outstanding achievements in the development of a universal array genomic chip, used for the rapid and accurate detection of cancers and other diseases, especially breast and colon cancer.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:07 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

June 21, 2007

Dr. Michael Liebschner, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, and Dr. Lin Zhong, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, 6-21-07


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Dr. Michael Liebschner is Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Director of the Computational Biomechanics Laboratory at Rice University. One focus of Dr. Liebschner's work is the mechanical properties of bone. His group is developing computational techniques to describe the fundamental biomechanical properties of bone, and he is also developing minimally invasive techniques for treating and diagnosing osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. In collaboration with Rice colleague Dr. Lin Zhong, Dr. Liebschner is developing OsteoConduct, a system for “body-area communication” that takes advantage of bone's ability to conduct sound.

Dr. Lin Zhong is Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Efficient Computing Group at Rice University. Dr. Zhong received his B.S and M.S. from Tsinghua University in 1998 and 2000, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 2005, and spent one summer with NEC Labs, America and two summers with Microsoft Research while earning his doctorate. Dr. Zhong received the AT&T Asian-Pacific Leadership Award in 2001 and the Harold W. Dodds Princeton University Honorific Fellowship for 2004-2005. He joined Rice's faculty in 2005. His research interests include mobile and embedded system design, power analysis and optimization of integrated circuits and systems, and human-computer interaction.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:15 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

June 14, 2007

Dr. Eva Surmacz, Associate Professor of Biology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, and Director of the Obesity and Cancer Program, Sbarro Health Research Organization, 6-14-07


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Dr. Eva Surmacz is an internationally recognized expert in cancer biology. The work in Dr. Surmacz's laboratory, in addition to projects related to the link between obesity and cancer, includes studies on crosstalk between growth factor and steroid receptors in cancer progression and development of anti-cancer targeted strategies.

A native of Poland, Dr. Surmacz joined Temple’s faculty and the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine in 2004 from Thomas Jefferson University’s Kimmel Cancer Center. She was originally introduced to Temple in 1980 as a summer student in the School of Medicine’s department of pathology. She returned as a visiting research fellow at the School of Medicine from 1984 to 1986 and later earned her doctorate in biochemistry through a joint program between Temple and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw in 1988.

Dr. Surmacz joined the faculty at Jefferson University in 1993 after serving as a senior scientist at the Biotechnology Center in Warsaw and a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University and Jefferson. As an independent investigator, she has had research funded over the past 12 years by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, several private foundations and organizations, and the pharmaceutical industry.

The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) funds innovative and dedicated clinicians, molecular biologists, geneticists and chemists who seek to diagnose and cure cancer and cardiovascular conditions by identifying and studying the underlying molecular mechanisms of these diseases. The Organization also funds work on the links between obesity and cancer along with a new molecular therapeutics program that will spur the application of the newest discoveries to useful drug or diagnostic therapies for a wide range of diseases.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:19 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

May 17, 2007

Dr. Peter Anderson, author of Liberating the Family Physician - The Handbook of Team Care for 21st Century Family Medicine, 5-17-07


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Dr. Peter Anderson was a solo practitioner for 12 years before he joined Riverside Hilton Family Practice in 1994. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. He has been in private practice of Family Medicine for 25 years.

Dr. Anderson is a frequently requested speaker on the Family Team Care approach and is working on a article for publication. He is the author of the operational protocol manual, Liberating the Family Physician: The Handbook of Team Care for 21st Century Family Medicine. The manual is a direct response to new challenges experienced by the primary care health provider in the last decade.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:36 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

April 26, 2007

Dr. Carl Nathan, R.A. Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology and Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College, 4-26-07


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Dr. Carl Nathan's investigative research has focused on the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity. These studies utilize genetic, biochemical, and cell biological approaches to understand how macrophages and neutrophils kill microbial pathogens, tumor cells, and host cells. The immunological role of nitric oxide has become a significant focus of his investigations.

Dr. Nathan is the author or co-author of more than 187 scientific articles and more than 87 monographs, book chapters, and reviews. He has served as an editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine since 1988, and also has editorial responsibilities for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the journal Molecular Medicine. He was recently honored with election to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine.

Weill Cornell Medical College—located in New York City—is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine. The Medical College, which is a principal academic affiliate of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the teaching of basic and clinical sciences, problem-based learning, office-based preceptorships, and primary care and doctoring courses. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research in such areas as stem cells, genetics and gene therapy, geriatrics, neuroscience, structural biology, cardiovascular medicine, AIDS, obesity, cancer and psychiatry—and continue to delve ever deeper into the molecular basis of disease in an effort to unlock the mysteries behind the human body and the malfunctions that result in serious medical disorders.

Weill Cornell Medical College is the birthplace of many medical advances—from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., and most recently, the world’s first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Weill Cornell’s Physician Organization includes 650 clinical faculty, who provide the highest quality of care to their patients.

Posted by David Lemberg at 07:59 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

March 22, 2007

Dr. Nieca Goldberg, Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Director, NYU Women’s Heart Program, and Co-Medical Director, 92nd Street Y’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, 3-22-07


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Dr. Nieca Goldberg is a cardiologist and a nationally recognized pioneer in women’s heart health. Her New York City practice Total Heart Care focuses primarily on caring for women. Dr. Goldberg is Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of NYU Women’s Heart Program, the Co-Medical Director of the 92nd Street Y’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red” campaign, an AHA volunteer for over 15 years and served as a board member in NYC. Previously she was the Chief of Women’s Cardiac Care at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Dr. Goldberg is the author of the award winning and highly acclaimed book Women Are Not Small Men, which is now updated and entitled The Women’s Healthy Heart Program – Lifesaving Strategies for Preventing and Healing Heart Disease, published by Ballantine Books.

Dr. Goldberg’s research and medical publications are concerned with cardiovascular disease in women, exercise imaging and exercise. She has appeared many times on The Today Show as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, and CBS Evening News. In addition she has been featured and interviewed by reporters from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fitness Magazine, and many others discussing women and heart disease. She serves on the Woman’s Day Editorial Advisory Board.

Posted by David Lemberg at 09:01 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

March 15, 2007

Dr. Herbert A. Hauptman, Nobel Laureate and President, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, 3-15-07


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After more than 20 years with the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., Herbert A. Hauptman, Ph.D, joined the staff of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute in 1970 (then known as the Medical Foundation of Buffalo). In 1985, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Although he is a mathematician by training who has taken only one chemistry course in his life, he was able to use classical mathematics to resolve an issue that had stymied chemists for decades.

The structures of thousands of molecules have now been solved by crystallographers using Dr. Hauptman's direct methods, and many new molecular structures are added to the list each year. As a result of the information obtained in these studies, many new drugs have been designed. In honor of Dr. Hauptman’s work, as well as to honor the original donor who made the Institute a reality, the Medical Foundation of Buffalo was renamed the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute in 1994.

Dr. Hauptman's current work builds on his earlier Nobel-winning research. He and his colleagues at the Hauptman-Woodward Institute are presently working to extend the methods of structure determination to very large molecules of biological importance, including the proteins that are the targets for drug-design efforts. They have achieved new success in recent years by developing a procedure known as "Shake-and Bake" that has greatly extended the power of direct methods

The Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI) is an independent, not-for-profit, biomedical research facility located in the heart of downtown Buffalo's medical campus. For half a century, HWI scientists have been committed to improving human health through study, at a molecular level, of the causes and potential cures of many diseases. In contrast to clinical research, the focus of Hauptman-Woodward’s basic research is to determine the structures of individual substances such as proteins that play a role in the development of specific diseases. This research explores questions like the following: What is the three-dimensional shape of a particular protein molecule? How and with what does this protein interact? What controls these interactions? What structural alterations lead to the development of disease?

Working under the leadership of Nobel Laureate Herbert Hauptman, HWI scientists use the techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry, and crystallography to answer these questions. The results of their investigations provide the starting point for better drug design. In addition, other research on-going at HWI seeks to improve the methods of crystallization and data analysis used for molecular structure determination by scientists worldwide.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:36 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

Dr. Buddy Ratner, Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board, Ratner BioMedical Group, and Professor of Bioengineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 3-15-07


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Dr. Buddy D. Ratner is the Michael L. and Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization, Professor of Bioengineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. (1972) in polymer chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Professor Ratner is a past president of the Society for Biomaterials, a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a fellow of AVS The Science and Technology Society and a Fellow, Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE).

Dr. Ratner served as president of AIMBE, 2002-2003. He was vice president of the Tissue Engineering Society International (TESI) 2003-2005. In 2002 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, USA.

Dr. Ratner is the author of more 400 scholarly works. His research interests include biomaterials, tissue engineering, polymers, biocompatibility, surface analysis of organic materials, self-assembly, nanobiotechnology and RF-plasma thin film deposition. He has won the Clemson Award for Contributions to the Biomaterials Literature, the C.M.A. Stine Award in Materials Science (AIChE), the Medard W. Welch Award (AVS) and the 2005-6 C. William Hall Award of the Society For Biomaterials. Dr. Ratner was most recently elected a Fellow of the American Association For the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Ratner BioMedical Group (RBG) LLC seeks to develop and build on its portfolio of exclusively optioned and in-licensed technologies in novel biomaterials and pharmacologic agents. This will be done to advance medical care in tissue regeneration, wound healing, and unique biomaterials for enhanced drug delivery, among other applications. The Company’s broad collection of intellectual property will fuel the creation of a number of portfolio companies spanning diverse disciplines and therapies. RBG technologies stem from the intersections of materials science, engineering, modern biology and medicine, and have synergistic potential for translation to unique biomedical products and services. The company optioned exclusive license rights to 24 patents, patent applications and university technology disclosures with the intent of commercializing all these technologies.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:34 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

March 12, 2007

Dr. Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief, Nature, 3-29-04


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Dr. Philip Campbell has been the Editor-in-Chief of Nature since December 1995. He is a director of the Nature Publishing Group, having overall responsibility for the editorial quality of all Nature publications. Dr. Campbell is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. Under his editorship, Nature has won several prestigious publishing awards from the Periodical Publishers’ Association, including International Magazine of the Year in 1998. Nature’s circulation has grown significantly since 1996, and has the highest impact factor of multidisciplinary journals.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:39 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

March 08, 2007

Dr. Antonio Giordano, Director, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, and President and Chairman of the Board, Sbarro Health Research Organization, 3-8-07


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Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine; Director, Center of Biotechnology, Temple University's College of Science and Technology; and President and Chairman of the Board, Sbarro Health Research Organization. Dr. Giordano has been an internationally recognized researcher specializing in the genetics of cancer and gene therapy for 20 years.

At 26, while a post-doctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, Dr. Giordano discovered the protein p60, later named cyclin A, a substance that regulates growth in the cell cycle. At Temple University, he discovered Rb2/p130, a tumor suppressor gene which has since been found to be active in lung, endometrial, brain, breast, liver and ovarian cancers, and CDK9 and CDK10, guardians of the human genome. Research has subsequently shown that CDK9 plays a critical role in cell differentiation, particularly in muscles; HIV transcription; and the inception of tumors.

But Dr. Giordano has not limited his activities to the lab. Recognizing that scientists often make their most exciting discoveries while they are young, in 1993, while at Thomas Jefferson University, he founded the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine with the generous help of Mario Sbarro, president of Sbarro, Inc., an internationally successful restaurant chain.

In 2002, the Institute forged an exciting alliance with Temple University, forming the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO). Under the agreement, funds from SHRO go directly to the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple, where promising researchers from around the globe pursue groundbreaking research in the molecular workings of cancer and other devastating diseases. The agreement with Temple was renewed in 2005, with the addition of two new research programs in molecular therapeutics and the study of the connections between obesity and cancer.

Since 1992, Dr. Giordano has been awarded nine patents, with six pending. He has published 270 papers on his work in the fields of cell cycles, gene therapy and the genetics of cancer and serves on the editorial of a number of professional journals. His work is funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, as well as individual and program project grants from SHRO. He has received a number of international awards for his work in cancer research.

The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) funds innovative and dedicated clinicians, molecular biologists, geneticists and chemists who seek to diagnose and cure cancer and cardiovascular conditions by identifying and studying the underlying molecular mechanisms of these diseases. The Organization also funds work on the links between obesity and cancer along with a new molecular therapeutics program that will spur the application of the newest discoveries to useful drug or diagnostic therapies for a wide range of diseases.

SHRO is pledged to support the study and development of new scientific strategies to diagnose and cure all forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease. In carrying out this mission, the organization is dedicated not only to attracting excellent scientists to work in the field of molecular genetics, but to training and expanding the numbers of future researchers through its outreach programs for undergraduates and high school students worldwide.

As SHRO allocates funding for pure research, the organization also recognizes the importance of applied research. Ultimately, the goal is to produce therapeutic and diagnostic treatments that will aid doctors and patients in their fight against disease. At present, most of the funds collected by SHRO are distributed to the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine located at the College of Science and Technology of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine was founded in 1993 by Antonio Giordano, MD, Ph.D. with the generous contributions of Mario Sbarro, owner of Sbarro, Inc., an internationally successful fast food chain. Initially, it was affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 2002, scientists supported by the Institute forged a three-year alliance with Temple University. Specific research at the Institute revolves around investigations of the cell cycle and growth control, as well as the changes that cause a normal cell to turn cancerous. Much of the work focuses on how disease causing genes alter the normal functions of healthy cells.

Scientists at the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine have completed research on new technologies designed to diagnose lung, ovarian, endometrial, breast and brain tumors as well as lymphomas. Their work with gene therapy has also led to new strategies to treat tumors of the lung and brain.

Under a new agreement with the University in 2005, the Institute received continued funding from Temple, while expanding its program to include work on the relationship between obesity and cancer and a new program on molecular therapeutics, which will explore how molecular genetic research can be applied to patient therapies and diagnostics.

Posted by David Lemberg at 12:40 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

March 01, 2007

Dr. Barbara Hempstead, O. Wayne Isom Professor of Medicine and Co-Division Chief, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, 3-1-07


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Read the transcript of the SCIENCE AND SOCIETY interview with Dr. Barbara Hempstead

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Dr. Barbara L. Hempstead is a member of the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Among the honors and awards she has received are the Clinical Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute and the Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Science from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Dr. Hempstead has authored more than 70 scientific articles, with two papers published in Science and one in Nature in the last four years. Five of her articles are rated “Must Read” or higher in the Faculty of 1000 rankings. She has been Editor of the Journal of Investigational Medicine, and is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Biological Chemistry. She was Vice Chair for the Gordon Conference “Neurotrophic Factors” in 2003, and Chair in 2005.

The primary focus of Dr. Hempstead’s basic research is the role of growth factors called neurotrophins, and their receptors in human physiology and pathology. While some of her work has revealed how neurotrophins function in the arena in which most people study them, i.e., the brain and nervous system, her lab has conducted pioneering research in the roles that neurotrophins play outside the nervous system - in the cardiovascular system and on stem and progenitor cells that form blood. A major focus has been in identifying the actions of neurotrophins in promoting blood vessel growth, with implications in wound healing, atherosclerotic disease and tumor biology.

Weill Cornell Medical College—located in New York City—is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine. The Medical College, which is a principal academic affiliate of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the teaching of basic and clinical sciences, problem-based learning, office-based preceptorships, and primary care and doctoring courses. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research in such areas as stem cells, genetics and gene therapy, geriatrics, neuroscience, structural biology, cardiovascular medicine, AIDS, obesity, cancer and psychiatry—and continue to delve ever deeper into the molecular basis of disease in an effort to unlock the mysteries behind the human body and the malfunctions that result in serious medical disorders.

Weill Cornell Medical College is the birthplace of many medical advances—from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., and most recently, the world’s first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Weill Cornell’s Physician Organization includes 650 clinical faculty, who provide the highest quality of care to their patients.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:25 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

February 22, 2007

Dr. Jane Tao, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, 2-22-07


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Dr. Yizhi Jane Tao earned her bachelor's degree from Peking University in China in 1992 and her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1999. In 2002, following postdoctoral training at Harvard, she joined the faculty at Rice University, where she is currently an Assistant Professor Of Biochemistry And Cell Biology.
Dr. Tao's scientific research efforts are focused on RNA viruses. Among her favorite subjects are the influenza A viruses, including those that cause both yearly human flu epidemics and the recent widespread H5N1 avian flu.

Influenza viruses contain an RNA genome, and they replicate their genome using a set of protein factors that are different from those used by their animal hosts. Recently, Dr. Tao's group determined the atomic structure of the influenza virus nucleoprotein, a well-conserved protein with essential roles in viral RNA replication. The atomic structure of influenza virus nucleoprotein reveals interesting features that may have important applications in the development of new anti-influenza drugs.

Posted by David Lemberg at 07:20 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

December 14, 2006

Dr. Richard Stock, Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology, Barbara and Maurice A. Dean Prostate Health and Research Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Hospital, 12-15-06


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Dr. Richard Stock is Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology at the Barbara and Maurice A. Dean Prostate Health and Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Stock is a pioneer in the development of state-of-the-art approaches for radioactive seed implantation in the treatment of prostate cancer. He leads the development of this area as an integral component of the Center's activity in the treatment of localized, locally advanced, and recurrent prostate cancer. He also coordinates combination approaches using radiation treatment and orchestrates research programs in this area.

The Barbara and Maurice A. Deane Prostate Health and Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Mount Sinai Hospital represents a new and unique concept in men's health. The Center brings together multiple disciplines and their support services to provide state-of-the-art assessment and care in a comprehensive and coordinated manner for all conditions involving the prostate. Important to this mission is the provision of the necessary infrastructure to support clinical investigations of new ideas and to broaden further opportunities for advancement in our understanding of the various conditions.

Within this collaborative atmosphere, the program acts as a catalyst for translational activities (i.e., basic scientific research with direct clinical application) by investigators at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine to further interest and enhance opportunities for new avenues in diagnosis and treatment. In bringing together multiple clinical disciplines to provide state-of-the-art assessment and care in a fully supported investigative atmosphere, the Center provides immediate access to information and expertise empowering individuals and their families to choose their own path of care.

Posted by David Lemberg at 01:28 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

December 06, 2006

Dr. Arthur Caplan, Emmanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics, Chair, Department of Medical Ethics, and Director, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania, 12-8-06


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Dr. Arthur Leonard Caplan is the Emmanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Prior to coming to Penn in 1994, Dr. Caplan taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University. He was the Associate Director of the Hastings Center from 1984-1987.

Born in Boston, Dr. Caplan did his undergraduate work at Brandeis University, and did his graduate work at Columbia University where he received a Ph.D in the history and philosophy of science in 1979. He is the author or editor of 25 books and over 500 papers in refereed journals of medicine, science, philosophy, bioethics and health policy. His most recent book is Smart Mice Not So Smart People (Rowman Littlefield, 2006).

Dr. Caplan has served on a number of national and international committees including Chair of the National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group, Chair of the Advisory Committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning, Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Human Services on Blood Safety and Availability, a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses, the special advisory committee to the International Olympic Committee on genetics and gene therapy, the ethics committee of the American Society of Gene Therapy, and the special advisory panel to the National Institutes of Mental Health on human experimentation on vulnerable subjects.

Posted by David Lemberg at 11:28 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

November 29, 2006

Dr. Clifford Dacso, John S. Dunn Sr. Research Chair in General Internal Medicine, The Methodist Hospital, and Distinguished Research Professor, College of Technology, University of Houston, 12-1-06


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Clifford C. Dacso, MD, MPH, MBA, is the John S. Dunn Sr. Research Chair in General Internal Medicine, The Methodist Hospital, and Distinguished Research Professor, College of Technology, University of Houston. He is also Director of the Abramson Family Center for the Future of Health, a joint program between The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and the University of Houston College of Technology.

Dr. Dacso holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, a Doctor of Medicine degree, residency and infectious diseases fellowship from Baylor College of Medicine, a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Texas and an MBA from Pepperdine University. Past positions include Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine. He has received several awards for teaching excellence, including membership in Baylor’s Academy of Distinguished Educators.

Dr. Dacso has written a number of scholarly articles, is co-author of the Managed Care Answer Book (five editions) and the Risk Contracting and Capitation Answer Book, and is the creator of Now That You Have Cancer, a video designed to empower cancer patients and their families. Dr. Dacso is board certified in internal medicine, infectious diseases and geriatric medicine.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:54 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

November 15, 2006

Dr. Kathy J. Helzlsouer, Director of The Prevention and Research Center, Mercy Medical Center, 11-17-06


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Dr. Kathy J. Helzlsouer, M.D., M.H.S., is Director of The Prevention and Research Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. Specializing in epidemiology and medical oncology, Dr. Helzlsouer previously served as Director of Prevention Programs at The Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Helzlsouer has numerous clinical publications and presentations to her credit and is internationally recognized for particular expertise in clinical epidemiology, cancer epidemiology and cancer prevention.

Dr. Helzlsouer joined Mercy in October 2004 to spearhead Mercy's efforts to expand the base of knowledge and research in women's health, cancer risk assessment and prevention. She currently serves on several advisory boards including the American Cancer Society's Nutrition Cohort Study, the PDQ Cancer Screening and Prevention Committee of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the editorial board of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Mercy Medical Center is a university affiliated medical facility founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1874 and located in downtown Baltimore City at 301 St. Paul Street. A teaching hospital for the residents program for the University of Maryland Medical School, Mercy has been named one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation and among the ten best centers for women's health care. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women's Health and Medicine under the medical direction of world renowned gynecologic oncologist Dr. Neil B. Rosenshein.

Posted by David Lemberg at 01:43 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

November 09, 2006

Dr. Joel Glover, Coordinator, Brainstem Genetics Consortium, and Professor of Anatomy, University of Oslo, 11-10-06


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Dr. Joel Glover was inspired to study marine biology through the television programs and films of Jacque Cousteau. He was introduced to neurobiology while studying biology at UC San Diego, and became fascinated by the question of how the nervous system generates behavior in marine invertebrates. He entered the UC Berkeley Graduate Program in Neurobiology in 1978, studying the behavior and neural development of the leech under Gunther Stent and Bill Kristan. He received his Ph.D. in 1984.

Dr. Glover’s first postdoctoral research was with Jan Jansen at the Department of Physiology, University of Oslo, studying the development of the vertebrate brainstem and spinal cord. His second postdoc was with Josh Sanes at Washington University in St. Louis, using retroviruses to target neural progenitors in the vertebrate brain for studying patterns of neuronal generation and migration.

Dr. Glover returned to the Department of Physiology, University of Oslo in 1987 and continued research on brainstem and spinal cord development. He was appointed Associate Professor 1994 at the Department of Anatomy, University of Oslo, and appointed Professor in 1996. He returned to the Department of Physiology in 2000.

Dr. Glover’s main research interests include brainstem and spinal cord development, spinal cord regeneration, and the use of stem cells to generate neurons for potential treatments of brain and spinal cord pathologies. He has been Adjunct Professor at the Sars Center for Marine Molecular Biology at the University of Bergen since 2000, doing research on the evolution of the vertebrate brain through studies of the development of primitive chordate nervous systems.

The Glover lab has in recent years focused increasingly on the use of imaging techniques, in which the activity of neurons is translated into optical signals that can be recorded with high-resolution cameras and other imaging devices. Such approaches promise to revolutionize the study of nervous system development by allowing entire neural circuits to be studied at once, instead of piecemeal neuron by neuron. The lab has existed as a separate entity since 1994, and comprises today 13 members in addition to Dr. Glover. Major current efforts are devoted to the development of motor circuits in the brainstem and spinal cord, particularly within the vestibular and locomotory systems, and the use of embryonic microenvironments to stimulate adult human somatic stem cells to differentiate into neurons as a potential means of generating neurons for treating brain and spinal cord diseases and injuries.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:17 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

September 30, 2006

Professor John Mattick, Foundation Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland, 9/29/06


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Professor John Mattick is the Foundation Professor of Molecular Biology and the Director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. Professor Mattick’s research interest is in the role of noncoding RNA in the evolution and development of complex organisms. He has published over 150 scientific papers, most recently "The hidden genetic program of complex organisms" (Scientific American 291(4):60-67), “RNA regulation: a new genetics?” (Nature Reviews Genetics 5:316-323), and "Non-coding RNA" (Human Molecular Genetics 15: R17-R29).

Professor Mattick has developed a new theory of the structure of genetic information in higher organisms, which may explain the purpose of so-called junk DNA in the human genome as a hidden information system that directs human development.

The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) is one of Australia's leading research institutions and a major center for molecular bioscience research. IMB links leading-edge genomic discovery and bioinformatic facilities with state-of-the-art research to better understand human and animal biology, and to develop new pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, nanotechnologies, and disease therapies.

Posted by David Lemberg at 11:25 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

Dr. Alan Zelicoff, author of MICROBE: Are We Ready For the Next Plague?, 9/29/06


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Dr. Alan Zelicoff is a physician (board certified in Internal Medicine 1992, clinical fellowship in Rheumatology, 1983) and physicist (AB Princeton, 1975), who has had a varied career including clinical practice, teaching, and operations research. In the latter roles, he was Senior Scientist in the Center for National Security and Arms Control at Sandia National Laboratories from 1989–2003. Dr. Zelicoff’s interests include risk and hazard analysis in hospital systems and office-based practice, and in technologies for improving the responsiveness of public health offices and countering biological weapons terrorism.

Dr. Zelicoff has traveled extensively in countries of the former Soviet Union and has led joint research projects in epidemiology of infectious disease, while establishing Internet access at Russian and Kazak biological laboratories. The result of this activity is a real-time clinician-based disease surveillance and reporting system called the Syndrome Reporting Information System (SYRIS) which is now being used by public health officials responsible for monitoring the health of more than 1 million people in Texas and countless agricultural animals and wildlife as well. The State of California legislature has recently passed a bill to test this approach in order to modernize disease surveillance in the state.

Dr. Zelicoff’s latest book is MICROBE: Are We Ready for the Next Plague?, published by AMACOM Books. His next book, scheduled for release in 2007 is entitled Doctor, Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There. He is the author of numerous textbook chapters and articles, and is a frequent contributor to Op-Ed pages in the Washington Post and other newspapers.

Posted by David Lemberg at 11:16 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

June 22, 2006

Dr. Richard Borgens, Director, Center for Paralysis Research. and Mari Hulman George Professor of Applied Neurology. Purdue University, 6/21/06


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Dr. Richard Borgens is the Mari Hulman George Professor of Applied Neurology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University. He is the founder of Purdue's Center for Paralysis Research, which was established in 1987 both to develop and test promising methods of treatment for spinal cord injuries.

Most notably, Dr. Borgens developed the oscillating field stimulator, a small, battery-powered device that stimulates nerve regeneration. Early testing with spinal injured patients has produced increased sensory perception and potential use of their extremities.

Dr. Borgens is internationally known for his research on animal regeneration and spinal cord injuries. He holds several patents in the field, including one for a method of reducing chronic pain and spasticity in patients with spinal cord issues.

Prior to accepting a faculty position at Purdue, Dr. Borgens was a National Paraplegia Foundation Fellow. His early work with electrical fields drew national acclaim for his lab. Building and expanding on this work brought different approaches to treating paralysis, including PEG, or polyethylene glycol, which has the ability to break the chain reaction of spinal cord damage if it is applied quickly enough.

Posted by David Lemberg at 09:23 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

May 04, 2006

Dr. Carole Banka, Director, Women's Health Research, La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine, 5/3/06


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Dr. Carole Banka is Associate Professor of Vascular Biology and Cancer, and Director of Women’s Health Research at La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine (LJIMM). Her research focuses on
— Modeling peri-menopause and menopause for investigating inflammation, heart disease, and obesity in females
— Examining the roles of sex steroids in mediating gender differences in heart disease and obesity
— Modeling breast cancer and non-reproductive cancers for investigating the role of estrogen on healthy host tissues

Dr. Banka has authored more than 25 publications and has been quoted in editorials in Science and The Wall Street Journal. She has been interviewed on television and radio regarding issues of women’s health. Dr. Banka has served on peer review committees for the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Institutes of Health, and serves as a reviewer for many scientific journals.

Dr. Banka’s research has been supported by the American Association of University Women, NIH, the Department of Defense, the AHA, and the State of California. She has consulted to several pharmaceutical and biotech companies and presented her work at universities through out the U.S. as well as national and international conferences. Dr. Banka has recently been named to the writing group for the “Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women” by the AHA.

The La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine (LJIMM) was founded in 1989 as an independent nonprofit biomedical research institute focused on cancer and vascular biology. The Institute has become a center for molecular and biomedical research and training in the areas of cancer biology, molecular immunology, and vascular biology.

Posted by David Lemberg at 12:13 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

December 05, 2005

Dr. Michael Liebman, Executive Director, Windber Research Institute, 11/30/05


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Dr. Michael Liebman is Executive Director of the Windber Research Institute. Dr. Liebman sits on 20 advisory boards, three editorial boards, and serves as a consultant to several companies. In addition, he is the author of over 60 refereed journal articles, including several on the application of bioinformatics in cancer research, as well as several books. He was named as finalist in both BioIT’s 2003 “Best Practices in Computational Research” and Genome Technology’s 2002 and 2003 “Bioinformatician of the Year.”

Dr. Liebman is currently directing seven research projects including the Alliance for Bioinformatics in Cancer’s program to establish a collaborative environment for determination of biomarkers in cancer.

The Windber Research Institute (WRI) is a world class, state-of-the-art biomedical research facility that has taken on the challenge of finding cures for genetic and metabolic diseases. Unencumbered by institutional bureaucracy, WRI has designed—from scratch—a facility for cutting edge research.

WRI collects, classifies, and stores a vast array of well-characterized biological samples, then processes and analyzes them at the cellular and molecular level to identify DNA, RNA, and proteins that are dysfunctional or inappropriately expressed. Advanced computational, biological, and bioimaging techniques are also utilized to determine how genes and proteins affect the way a disease develops and/or progresses. The information gained is then utilized in disease management and also for development of new drugs and vaccines.

WRI is well-equipped for tissue banking, molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, cDNA microarray construction and analysis, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of proteins, mass spectrometry, microscopy, bioimaging, laser capture microdissection, bioinformatics, and data warehousing.

Posted by David Lemberg at 11:07 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

November 03, 2005

Dr. Albert Deisseroth, President and CEO, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, 11/2/05


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Dr. Albert Deisseroth is best known for the development of new directions in the treatment of leukemias and solid tumors through the use of molecular targeting and genetic therapy. Currently he is launching genetic therapy trials for vascular targeting therapy and vaccine therapy of epithelial neoplasms. He is also involved with vector mediated chemotherapy sensitization that is tumor specific, a method designed to decrease toxicity and adverse side effects while at the same time increasing the efficacy of responses produced.

Dr. Deisseroth is the author of nearly 400 articles and reports on cancer research. He has served or currently serves on the editorial boards of Contemporary Oncology, Cancer Research, Somatic Cell and Molecular Genetics, Blood, Cancer, Cancer Research, The Cancer Journal, Clinical Cancer Research, Human Gene Therapy, and Cancer Gene Therapy.

Founded in 1990, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center is a nonprofit research institute dedicated to the development of advanced biological cancer treatments, such as gene therapy, angiostatic therapy, vaccine therapy, and immunotherapy, and to making those treatments readily available to patients. The National Cancer Institute ranks SKCC as one of the top three cancer centers in the United States in the application of genomics and proteomics to the treatment of specific cancers.

Posted by David Lemberg at 03:45 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

July 19, 2005

Dr. Lee Hartwell, President and Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, June 1, 2005

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Dr. Lee Hartwell is the recipient of many national and international scientific awards, including the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Other honors include the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, and the Alfred P. Sloan Award in cancer research. Dr. Hartwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of two Nobel Laureates, is an independent, non-profit research institution, dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical research to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases.

Posted by David Lemberg at 08:10 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index