Research Day Recaps

2017 Photos | Video Overview | Focus on opioids: The Effectiveness of Suboxone Maintenance Treatment | Pain Management Interventions in Rural Jamaica | Pain Treatment Preferences in Healthy Students | Decreasing the Misuse and Abuse of Prescription-Based Opioids | Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs 

2016 Photos | Video | Effect of Temperature on Bloodstains| Evaluating Green Spaces or a Parks Prescription Program| Water Conservation Using Plasma

2015 Photos | Video - PT and OT Students Discuss Research | Video - Recent Grad Discusses Psychology Research

2014 Photos | Video | 6ABC Coverage

2013 Photos

2012 Video - Discover Research Day at USciences

2011 Photos | Video

2010 Photos | Video

2009 Photos | Video

Krantz Lecture Archives

Kim L.R. BrouwerResearch Day 2015: April 5

"Advancing Precision Medicine with the Science of Drug Transporters"

Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD


Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy; Kenan Distinguished Professor, School of Pharmacy and Curriculum in Toxicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD, received her BS in pharmacy from Oregon State University, PharmD/residency training and a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences/pharmacokinetics from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Pharmacy, and postdoctoral training in pharmacology/drug metabolism in the UK College of Medicine prior to joining the UNC faculty.

Dr. Brouwer directs an NIH-funded research program focused on hepatobiliary drug disposition, hepatic transport proteins, and development/refinement of in vitro models to predict in vivo hepatic drug disposition, drug interactions, and hepatotoxicity. Dr. Brouwer was founding director of the UNC Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics Fellowship Program and is co-PI of an NIH-funded postdoctoral T32 training program in clinical pharmacology. She has mentored 40 clinical pharmacology fellows, 25 postdoctoral fellows/visiting scholars, 34 doctoral students, 23 undergraduate/honors students, and published more than 200 research papers, reviews and book chapters. Dr. Brouwer is co-inventor of B-CLEAR®, an in vitro method to assess hepatobiliary disposition that correlates with in vivo data, and is co-founder of Qualyst Transporter Solutions, a UNC spin-off company.

She is a member of the international transporter consortium steering committee, the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) board of directors, and she is a member of the following editorial advisory boards: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, CPT Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology,Clinical and Translational Science, and the AAPS Journal.

She served as a member of the NIH pharmacology study section (1998-2002), the NIH quantitative and systems pharmacology working group (2010-2012), and co-chair of the NICHD pediatric transporters working group (2012-2015). Dr. Brouwer was recognized as an AAPS Fellow in 1998 and received the 2001 PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence in Pharmaceutics. In 2009, Dr. Brouwer was named a Kenan Distinguished Professor, one of the highest honors bestowed on UNC faculty.


Julie Silver

Research Day 2016: April 6

"The Role of Prehabilitation and Rehabilitation in High-Quality Cancer Care"

Julie K. Silver, MD


Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Julie Silver, MD, is one of the most innovative women in healthcare. As an Associate Professor and the Associate Chair for Strategic Initiatives at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, she is recognized nationally and internationally as an innovator, academician, teacher, award-winning author and highly successful businesswoman. As a speaker, Dr. Silver blends inspiration with unique strategies to help others become successful—whether it’s in caregiving, healing, business or other aspects of their lives.

In her 30’s Dr. Silver was named one of Ten Outstanding Young Leaders (TOYL Award) by the Boston Chamber of Commerce, and just a few weeks later she was diagnosed with cancer. This led her on a difficult but valuable journey, and she went on to found Oncology Rehab Partners LLC, a healthcare company dedicated to helping hospitals and cancer centers develop and implement cancer rehabilitation services through the STAR Program Certification. Bloomberg/Businessweek recognized Oncology Rehab Partners as one of the 12 most promising social entrepreneurial companies in 2012. That same year, Dr. Silver and her business partner were recognized with the prestigious national women’s business leadership Stevie Awards for the "Most Innovative Company" and also for "Company of the Year". Today, hundreds of hospitals and cancer centers throughout the United States have adopted the STAR Program, and recently the largest healthcare company in the U.S. took a major stake in her company—providing incredible support for her innovative work in oncology.

The Boston Globe recognized Dr. Silver’s important contributions to healthcare and society and awarded her the Top Innovator in Medicine. The Discovery Channel featured her work and the STAR Program in the show Innovations. She has been a guest on the Today Show, the CBS Early Show and Dr. Oz. her work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the London Times and NPR.

Each year hundreds of healthcare professionals from all corners of the nation come to Boston to attend the continuing education courses that she directs at Harvard Medical School titled "Career Advancement and Leadership Skills for Women in Healthcare " and "Writing, Publishing and Social Media for Healthcare Professionals". Her courses are among the highest-rated at Harvard—a very high bar indeed. One attendee summarized Dr. Silver’s speaking in this way, "At first, I thought Julie was like a big sister or a mom to us, but after this talk, I propose that she is like the best high school teacher you ever had, who teaches you, sends you out into the world, and roots for you to excel. You just can't wait to come back to the reunion to tell her about your success, your personal journey, and your gratitude."

Dr. Silver, an award-winning author, has published many books including Before and After Cancer Treatment: Heal Faster, Better, Stronger (Johns Hopkins Press), What Helped Get Me Through: Cancer Survivors Share Wisdom and Hope(American Cancer Society), and Hope and Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey (Chicken Soup for the Soul). Dr. Silver is currently affiliated with three Harvard teaching hospitals--Spaulding Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals.

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD

Research Day 2015: April 9

"The Ethics of Compassion―New Drugs, Desperate Patients, and Corporate and Government Responsibilities?"

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, HonDSc'10

Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Chair;Director, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Medical Center

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, is currently the Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and founding head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center in New York City. He is also the co-founder and Dean of Research of the NYU Sports and Society Program and the head of the ethics program in the Global Institute for Public Health at NYU.

Prior to coming to NYU, he was the Sidney D. Caplan professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia where he created the Center for Bioethics and the Department of Medical Ethics. Dr. Caplan has also taught at the University of Minnesota, where he founded the Center for Biomedical Ethics, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University. He received his PhD from Columbia University.

Dr. Caplan is the author or editor of 32 books and over 600 papers in peer reviewed journals. His most recent books are Contemporary Debates in Bioethics (Wiley 2013) and Ethics in Mental Healthcare: A Reader (MIT Press, 2013).

He has served on a number of national and international committees including as the chair of the National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group; the chair of the advisory committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning; the 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; the special advisory panel to the National Institutes of Mental Health on human experimentation on vulnerable subjects; and the Wellcome Trust on research in humanitarian crises. He served as the co-director of the Joint Council of Europe/United Nations Study on Trafficking in Organs and Body Parts. He is currently the ethics advisor to DOD/DARPA on synthetic biology, a member of the National Council on Youth Sports Safety and a member of the Ethics and Ebola Working Group of the World Health Organization.

Dr. Caplan writes a column on bioethics for He is a commentator on bioethics and health care issues for WebMD/Medscape. He is a regular commentator on medicine and science for WGBH radio in Boston. He appears frequently as a guest and commentator on various other national and international media outlets.

Dr. Caplan is the recipient of many awards and honors including the McGovern Medal of the American Medical Writers Association and the Franklin Award from the City of Philadelphia. He received the Patricia Price Browne Prize in Biomedical Ethics for 2011. He was a person of the Year-2001 from USA Today. He was described as one of the 10 most influential people in science by Discovermagazine in 2008. He has also been honored as one of the 50 most influential people in American health care by Modern Health Care magazine, one of the 10 most influential people in America in biotechnology by the National Journal, one of the 10 most influential people in the ethics of biotechnology by the editors ofNature Biotechnology. In 2014, he was selected to receive the Public Service Award from the National Science Foundation/National Science Board which honors individuals and groups that have made substantial contributions to increasing public understanding of science and engineering in the United States.

Dr. Caplan holds seven honorary degrees from colleges and medical schools. He is a fellow of the Hastings Center, the NY Academy of Medicine, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the American College of Legal Medicine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Michael S. Wolfe C'84, PhD

Research Day 2014: April 10

"Molecular Mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease and the Road to Therapeutics"

Michael S. Wolfe C’84, PhD

Professor of Neurology,Harvard Medical School

Michael S. Wolfe C’84, PhD, is professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The Wolfe research laboratory strives to understand the basic biochemistry underlying Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The major focus has been on the production of amyloid-b, a small protein that deposits in the Alzheimer brain and that is now believed to be the fundamental toxic entity initiating the disease.

In 1998, Dr. Wolfe’s laboratory published the first designed inhibitor of g-secretase, a protease that catalyzes the last step in the formation of the amyloid-b protein and that is considered an important target for developing new therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. The g-secretase inhibitors developed in the Wolfe lab have served as chemical probes, providing critical information on the mechanism, identity and biological role of this key protease. With these chemical probes, along with molecular biological and biochemical approaches, Dr. Wolfe and colleagues discovered that this key Alzheimer target is a novel enzyme complex that uses water in the otherwise water-excluding environment of the lipid bilayer to produce amyloid-b. In recent years, the Wolfe lab has expanded into the investigation of how changes in RNA, the intermediary between genes and their encoded proteins, can cause Alzheimer’s and related dementias, and how certain RNAs can be targeted for therapeutic purposes.

Dr. Wolfe received his BS. in chemistry from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, his PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Kansas, and postdoctoral training in cell biology at the National Institutes of Health. After five years on the faculty at the University of Tennessee, he joined the Harvard faculty in 1999. In 2006, he founded the Laboratory for Experimental Alzheimer Drugs at Harvard Medical School. He is also involved in reaching lay audiences on the molecular causes and potential treatments of Alzheimer’s disease, including the authoring an article, “Shutting Down Alzheimer’s,” in the May 2006 issue of Scientific American. Awards for his work include the Sato Memorial International Award in bioorganic and medicinal chemistry from the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (2003), the MetLife Award for Biomedical Research (2008), a Zenith Fellows Award from the Alzheimer’s Association (2008), and the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology (2009).

For the 27th Annual Krantz Lecture, Dr. Wolfe will speak on "Molecular Mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease and the Road to Therapeutics".



Research Day 2013: April 18

"Integration of the Education and Research Missions: Optimizing Impact in Health Science Professions"

Robert A. Blouin, PharmD

Dean and Baughn and Nancy Bryson Distinguished Professor,The University of North Carolina,Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Robert A. Blouin, PharmD, is dean and Vaughn and Nancy Bryson Distinguished Professor at The University of North Carolina (UNC) Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill. Dean Blouin has been extensively involved transforming the professional and graduate curricula at UNC, coined the Educational Renaissance. He has also led national discussions on the issues of clinical pharmaceutical scientist training, particularly at the graduate level.

During his nine-year tenure at UNC, the Eshelman School of Pharmacy has experienced significant growth in its research and education programs. The School is presently ranked No. 2 by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the School has also launched several new school-based research-center initiatives (Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery; Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy; Center for Educational Excellence in Pharmacy; and Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery).

Prior to 2003, Dean Blouin was a faculty member and administrator at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. During that time, he served as the associate dean for research and graduate education (1997-2003) as well as executive director of the Office for Economic Development and Innovations Management (2000-2003).

Dean Blouin’s research interests include studying the effect of disease and altered physiologic status on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs.


Dario Altieri

Research Day 2012: April 12

"Cancer Networks and Drug Discovery"

Dario Altieri, MD


Executive Vice President,Chief Scientific Officer,Robert and Penny Fox Distinguished ProfessorDirector, The Wistar Institute Cancer Center

Dr. Altieri joined The Wistar Institute in July 2010 as director of The
Wistar Institute Cancer Center and chief scientific officer. Altieri came to Wistar from the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he served as founding chair of the Department of Cancer Biology. In 2005, he cofounded both the National Cancer Biology Training Consortium, which promotes scientific excellence among the next generation of cancer researchers; and the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, an all-volunteer patient advocacy organization devoted to supporting pancreatic cancer research and education. Altieri’s laboratory explores the mechanisms that underlie how tumor cells survive and proliferate in cancer. In particular, he is interested in how tumor cells evade the normal processes that cause cells with genetic faults to self-destruct. Understanding these mechanisms could provide new therapeutic targets and novel approaches for virtually every type of human cancer. 

Charles L. Bosk

Research Day 2011: April 14

Defending Rights or Defending Privileges: Research Ethics and Research Governance

Charles L. Bosk, PhD

Department of Medical Ethics, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Bosk’s research focuses on the culture of medicine. In particular, how health care professionals make sense of experiences in which time-pressured decisions are required in situations filled with un-resolvable uncertainty. When those decisions lead to adverse outcomes, he is interested in which decisions are considered blameless and blameworthy.

He has three ongoing funded research projects:

  • An RWJ Health Investigator Award that looks at how ideas about safety move from national policy-setting bodies formulate ideas about ‘safety’ that then move into administrative offices of hospitals where they are converted into policies that are then embraced or evaded on the floors where care is provided
  • An ethnographic exploration of mandated duty hour limits on graduate medical education, especially as it impacts patient care and definitions of professionalism
  • An intervention to mitigate chronic fatigue in medical residents through a mandatory nap program.

He continues to work on the sociology of bioethics, research ethics, and the regulation of research; and the rise and fall of heath care problems in the public arena.

“What would you do? Juggling Bioethics and Ethnography” is his most recent book (University of Chicago Press 2008). Dr. Bosk is currently working on a manuscript, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Medical Error.”


Donald Lollar

Research Day 2010: April 8

"Child and Youth Disability: Reforms and Challenges"

Donald Lollar, EdD


Director, Oregon Institute on Disability and Development

Don Lollar, Ed.D. is a Senior Research Scientist, Division for Human Development and Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Prior to coming to CDC, Dr. Lollar practiced rehabilitation psychology for 25 years, providing assessment and therapy services to children, adults, and families across the lifespan. His advanced degrees are from Indiana University, and his most recent writings include co-editing an Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation supplement on the Science of Disability Outcomes, and articles for the Annual Review of Public Health, Public Health Reports, and the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. He spent seven years developing public health science and programs to increase participation in society among people with disabilities by promoting health and preventing secondary conditions, and currently directs NCBDDD’s Office of Extramural Research and leads the mental health workgroup. He served as the co-lead of the HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010 workgroup on Disability and Secondary Conditions (Chapter 6 of HP 2010), and is CDC representative to the advisory committee for the Child and Adolescent Measurement of Health Initiative and the Surgeon General's Task Force on Children's Mental Health. Dr. Lollar is an initiator and member of the World Health Organization task force to adapt the international classification (ICF) for children and youth with disabilities. 

Andrew E. Mulberg

Research Day 2009: April 2

"Ethical and Medical Needs of Pediatric and Neonatal Clinical Trials: Current Challenges and Future Initiatives"

Andrew E. Mulberg, MD

Portfolio Leader, Internal Medicine, Established Products,Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development

Andrew is a graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University and of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Pediatric at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia followed by a Pediatric Gastroenterology Clinical Fellowship and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Cellular and Molecular Physiology at New England Medical Center. Andrew is Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an attending Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Andrew is currently Portfolio Leader in Mature Products responsible for providing worldwide leadership in support of GI and diverse IM products within the Mature Products Therapeutic Area of Johnson and Johnson.

He has edited a book entitled Pediatric Drug Development: Concepts and Applications to be published January 2009 with Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. He is a member of multiple professional medical societies including Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, American Gastroenterological Association, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and most proudly, Les Chaines des Rotisseurs and L’Ordre du Mondial, two societies of gastronomy and oenology. He serves on the boards of the Institute of Pediatric Innovation, a nonprofit for drug formulation development for children, Go4TheGoal, a nonprofit involved in pediatric cancer and is involved in community affairs at the Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Dr Mulberg has a wife, Elyse Kopp, D.O. and two children, Nathaniel and Rebecca for whom he thanks for their unending support and love.


William Charles Sessa

Research Day 2008: April 24

"Insights into New Vascular Therapeutics"

William Charles Sessa, Jr., P;84, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine

The vascular endothelium lines all the blood vessels found in higher organisms and as such is the largest endocrine organ of the body.  Proteins, lipids and the gas, nitric oxide, produced by the endothelium protect blood vessels from environmental stress, oxidative damage and thrombosis which in turn maintains the patency of blood vessels and ensures the precise delivery of nutrients and oxygen to tissues.   In most cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, as well as in cancer, dysregulation of the vascular endothelium contributes directly to disease progression.   Thus, our lab is generally interested in what etiologic factors or genes regulate the transition of a healthy "normal" endothelium to a a lab we integrate molecules to disease, and use a broad range of technologies and strategies to achieve our goals. 

One particular pathway that has been a long standing interest in the lab is understanding the detailed molecular control of the enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), the NOS isoform localization and by dynamic protein-protein interactions that act as a rheostat to control the duration and magnitude of NO production.  NO subserves at least two broad functions;  as a paracrine or autocirne second messenger.  As a paracrine mediator, NO causes vasodilation, prevents platelets and leukocytes from sticking to the endothelium, regulates the remodeling of blood vessels.  As an autocrine mediator, NO regulates vascular permeability, growth and organization of endothelial cells into angiogenic sprouts.  Thus, insights into understanding how signal transduction mechanisms activate eNOS have led to potential novels therapeutics and models of human disease.

We have shown that eNOS is a peripheral membrane protein targets to plasma membrane caveolae and the Golgi complex and while in caveolae is negative regulated by its interaction with the caveolae coat protein, caveolin-1.  Caveolae are anatomical microdomains with unknown functions but are speculated to play a role in signal transduction, protein transcytosis and fluid homeostasis.  Biochemical, genetic and pharmacological approaches have shown that the interaction of caveolin-1 with eNOS regulates systemic blood pressure, vascular permeability and angiogenesis.   Thus, one of the major roles of caveolae/caveolins are to regulate vascular function.  Recent insights into the role of the eNOS-caveolin-1 interaction have been elucidated using a cell permeant peptide that blocks the in vivo interaction of caveolin-1 with eNOS and serves as an antagonist of eNOS.  Using in vivo models of inflammation and tumor progression, treatment of mice with this peptide reduces disease by blocking vascular permeability, thus providing a novel strategy for treating inflammation and cancer. Most importantly, these results illustrate the principal that non-canonical regions of protein-protein interactions can be identified in vitro and manipulated in vivo as a "proof-of-concept" to test the importance of any protein-protein interaction in a disease model.

In the context of signaling, we have discovered that one of the major roles of the protein kinase Akt in vivo is to phosphorylate and regulate eNOS.  Phosphorylation of eNOS by Akt increases the rate of electron flux through eNOS thus increasing NO production in vivo.  Mice lacking eNOS or Akt-1 exhibit severe limb ischemia and are excellent models for peripheral vascular disease in humans.   Interestingly, endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells express not only Akt-1, but Akt-2 and -3., however, the substrates or functions of these additional family members are not well understood and are being explored.  As a method to correct these gene deficiencies, we have developed a novel approach to improve therapeutic gene transduction.  Co-complexation of cell permeable peptides with viruses (AAV, adenovirus and retrovirus) improves viral delivery of therapeutically active genes in vivo such as eNOS and can rescue the loss of limb phenotype in mice lacking eNOS or Akt.   Ongoing experiments examining how these peptides improve viral uptake and the mechanisms of how eNOS or Akt regulate cellular functions are being explored in fibroblasts or vascular cells isolated from knockout mice. 

An additional pathway that impinges upon both eNOS and Akt is hsp90.  Hsp90 is a highly conserved protein in evolution and in mammals functions in signal transduction by serving as a scaffold for kinases or substrates.  In endothelial cells, hsp90 is critical for angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to promote cell adhesion, NO production, cell migration and angiogenesis. Thus, we have mapped the sites of interaction between the protein partners and have generated several peptides that block the docking of either eNOS or Akt onto hsp90 that will be tested in models of inflammation and cancer.  We are also embarking on using structural approaches to understand the interaction of eNOS with the negative regulator, caveolin-1, and the positive regulators Akt and hsp90. 

A newly emerging theme in the lab is using proteomics to discover novel proteins that may regulate blood vessel function. We have isolated caveolae from endothelial cells in culture and have identified several new proteins. As an example, we have identified Nogo-B which had no known function. Nogo-B is a member of the reticulon family of proteins including Nogo-A and -C. Nogo-A produced in oligodendrocytes has been identified as an inhibitor of axonal growth and repair. We discovered that Nogo-B promotes the adhesion of endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells and is a potent chemoattractant for endothelial cells. In contrast to its motogenic properties in the endothelium, Nogo-B blocks PDGF mediated migration of smooth muscle cells. More importantly, Nogo-B is highly expressed in most blood vessels and disappears after vascular injury. The genetic loss of Nogo-B does not influence vascular development but is essential for post-natal vascular remodeling and responses to tissue ischemia. Thus, a major effort is underway to clone the receptor (s) for Nogo-B and to dissect its signaling mechanisms using genetic and pharmacological strategies. We believe that there may be a  family of receptors for Nogo-B and perhaps common regions of Nogo-A. We are presently developing the requisite biochemical and genetic tools to dissect this pathway and apply the information to human diseases.


Stephen L. Mayo

Research Day 2007: April 19

"Protein Design at the Crossroads: Using Computation to Accelerate Discovery"

Stephen L. Mayo, PhD

Professor of Biology and Chemistry Investigator, Howard Hughs Medical Institute, California Institute of Technology

Dr. Mayo is a Professor of Biology and Chemistry in the Divisions of Biology and Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology and an Investigator in the Structural Biology section at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also holds an appointment at the University of Southern California School of Medicine as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University, where he developed an interactive macromolecular modeling program with Roy Olofson and a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, where he studied biological electron transfer with Harry Gray.  As a graduate student, he co-founded the company Molecular Simulations, Inc. in 1985, and served as the company's vice president for biological sciences from 1989 to 1990. Mayo also co-founded Xencor in 1997 and serves on its scientific advisory board.

Dr. Mayo, a member of the Caltech faculty since 1992, has worked for the last several years on a system for designing, building, and testing proteins with novel biochemical properties. The system automatically determines a string of amino acids that will fold to most nearly duplicate the 3-D shape of a target structure. The focus of the lab has been the coupling of theoretical, computational, and experimental approaches for the study of structural biology. In particular, the development of quantitative methods for protein design with the goal of developing a fully systematic design strategy called "protein design automation." This design approach has been captured in a suite of software programs called ORBIT (Optimization of Rotamers By Iterative Techniques) and has been applied to a variety of problems ranging from protein fold stabilization to enzyme design.

Dr. Mayo's honors are numerous and include a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Award, a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship, a Searle Scholar Award, and the Johnson Foundation Prize for adventurous and innovative research in structural biology. Dr. Mayo is a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 2004.

George PosteResearch Day 2006: April 20

"Genetics and Computing: The Drivers of Systems Biology, Molecular Medicine, and e.Health"

George Poste, DVM, PhD, DSc, LLD (Hon)

Director, The Biodesign Institute,Arizona State University

Genomics and computing are the principal technological engines reshaping medical research and clinical care. They are transforming biology and medicine from descriptive, empirical disciplines into mechanistic, information-based sciences. This transition is imposing radical change on the R&D process for drugs, diagnostics and vaccines. It is also launching a new era of molecular medicine founded on a sophisticated comprehension of the molecular pathology of diseases and its application to the creation of increasingly rational strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and, longer term, disease prediction and prevention. These trends are only in their infancy. Full realization of these opportunities will demand construction of large scale databases and novel data mining technologies to elucidate the fundamental design principles in biological systems, to establish how genetic programs direct the construction of higher order biological assemblies and to create robust algorithms for human population genetics and individual risk profiling for multigenic disorders. The daunting scale and capital investment to build the required networks, combined with perplexing ethical and legal issues related to privacy, confidentiality and societal expectations and fears, will impose unprecedented demands on the investment, research, medical and legislative communities.

The evolution of large scale medical informatics and the Internet-based health services will also produce profound changes in clinical practice and medical education, increase the importance of the consumer in healthcare decisions and cause major dislocations in the healthcare value chain.

Jeffrey Lerner

Research Day 2005: April 21

"From Bench Science to Bedside: A Discussion on Evidence Based Practices"

Jeffrey Lerner, PhD

President and CEO of ECRI

Dr. Lerner previously held the position of vice president for strategic planning at ECRI, where he played the key role in setting the course for ECRI's transition from its origins as a medical device evaluation laboratory to a broader health services research organization that assesses clinical procedures and drug therapies in addition to medical devices. ECRI's technology assessment information programs are now used worldwide by ministries of health, U.S. federal agencies (such as the Social Security Administration, Medicare and Medicaid programs, FDA, CDC, and AHRQ), state governments, private health plans (such as Kaiser Permanente), clinical specialty societies (such as the National Kidney Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics), hospitals, and other professional constituencies and by consumers directly.

Dr. Lerner is a member of the Technical Board of the Milbank Memorial Fund in New York. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Academies, a program for high-school students living in poverty areas. He is former President of the Board of the Health Strategy Network, a society of healthcare planners and managers. Dr. Lerner is an associate editor of the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management and is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine. He is an Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Over the past 25 years, he has made major presentations to government agencies and professional organizations worldwide and has written articles, editorials, and book chapters such as “The National Patient Library: Evidence-based Information for Consumers,” which appeared in the winter 1998 issue of the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.

William WelshResearch Day 2004: April 8

“Designing Drugs on the Computer”

William J. Welsh, PhD

Norman H. Edelman Endowed Professorship in Bioinformatics and Computer-Aided Molecular Design, Department of Pharmacology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

William J. Welsh, PhD, holds the Norman H. Edelman Endowed Professorship in Bioinformatics and Computer-Aided Molecular Design in the Department of Pharmacology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) in Piscataway NJ. He also serves as director of the UMDNJ Informatics Institute and is director of the UMDNJ Graduate Program in Bioinformatics.  His research interests cover a broad spectrum of applications in computer-aided molecular modeling and design including drug discovery computational structural biology and the rational design of high-performance synthetic polymers. Over the past five years he has received over $5 million in research funding from state federal and private sources. In 1999 Dr. Welsh founded GenChemiCs an outsourcing company that specializes in the development and application of advanced decision-support tools for pattern recognition drug discovery and computer-guided molecular design.

Charles O'BrienResearch Day 2003: April 10

Charles O’Brien, MD, PhD

“Developing New Medications for the Treatment of Addictive Disorders”

Professor and Vice Chair of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Charles O'Brien professor and vice chair of psychiatry has been at University of Pennsylvania since 1969. He is director of the University's Center for Studies of Addiction and chief of psychiatry at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Working in the psychopharmacology of addiction his team and he have been responsible for numerous discoveries that have improved the results of treatment for addictive disorders. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences he also holds an honorary doctorate from Bordeaux and was recently elected president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

2000: Leroy Hood | 1998: Robert Austrian |1997: Gertrude B. Elion | 1995: Frank D. Collins | 1994: Peter R. Blower | 1993: Karl Rickels | 1992: Leslie Z. Benet | 1991: Beverly S. Emanuel | 1990: Robert C. Gallo | 1989: Sir James W. Black | 1988: Julius Axelrod | 1987: George B. Koelle | 1986: Helmut F. Cascorbi | 1985: Philip Needleman | 1984: C. Jelleff Carr


Jean-Francois Jasmin


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