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2009 Public Lecture Series
April 29 to May 20, 2009 - 7 to 8:30 p.m.

StemCell 101: The Basics and Beyond

Few scientific advances have so captivated biomedical researchers and the public alike as have stem cells.

The life-saving procedure of bone marrow transplantation, now routine, can be traced to the discovery of adult stem cells 50 years ago. Human embryonic stem cells, first isolated in the last decade, and adult cells recently reprogrammed to have similar characteristics are opening a new window to understand human health and disease and hold great promise for future therapies.

Learning about these master cells begins with basic biology and proceeds to complex cellular cascades and signals, with engineering added on the pathway to tissue repair, replacement and regeneration.

Hear about the different types and sources of stem cells, their unique characteristics to renew and differentiate, the questions being pursued and the challenges to be overcome. Let Wadsworth Center scientists explain the science and separate the reality from the hype.

Series Host: David Anders, Ph.D.

Wednesday, April 29
Stem Cells' Potential: Vive la Differentiation!
Matthew Kohn, Ph.D.

Stem cells hold great promise for the future of medicine because of their ability to transform into many different cell types. What types of stem cells are there, where do they come from and how do they differentiate? Learn the characteristics that define a “stem cell” and what makes them so valuable for biomedical research. Finally, find out how these master cells might provide future therapies against a wide range of disease. More ...

Wednesday, May 6
Programming Stem Cells: Dressed to Express (or Repress)
Randall Morse, Ph.D.

The identity of every cell type in our bodies, from "stem" to stern, is specified by which genes are turned on and which are turned off. This gene expression is controlled in part by proteins called transcription factors. Certain factors are critical to the "stemness" of cells, and scientists have harnessed them to reprogram mature, differentiated cells into a stem cell-like state. Hear about these and other proteins that provide an "epigenetic" signature of stem cell identity and potential. More ...

Wednesday, May 13
Found in Translation: Stem Cells from Bench to Bedside
Kathy Chou, Ph.D.

The stunning breakthroughs in stem cell research in recent years offer promising solutions for halting or reversing degenerative diseases and for replacing damaged tissue. Can Nature be imitated? This talk will highlight the emerging approaches from basic science to biomedical engineering that are advancing stem cell research discoveries toward practical applications to improve human health. More ...

Wednesday, May 20
Cancer Stem Cells: When Longevity is Counterproductive
Stewart Sell, M.D.

Cancers arise from adult stem cells normally present in tissues, but which have become malignant due to various causes. The difference between cancer growth and normal tissue renewal is that the normal cells differentiate and eventually die, while cancer cells do not differentiate and grow continuously. The presence of long-lived stem cells in both normal tissue and cancers has important implications for the development of effective cancer treatments. More ...

First come, first served.

Lectures are held on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m
David Axelrod Institute
120 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY

Doors open at 6:30
Limited seating
Photo ID required
No backpacks

Thank you for your cooperation

Of Continuing Interest