Past Lecture Archive
Our next STEM Scholars Lecture
will be held February 19, 2015
Beyond the Scalpel:Engineering Biomaterials and Stem Cells for In Utero Repair of Birth Defects
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Dr. Aijun Wang, Assistant Professor at UC Davis’ School of Medicine, will address engineering biomaterials and stem cells for in utero repair of birth defects.
Birth defects are the largest single cause of infant death in the United States and result in billions of dollars of healthcare costs. Fetal surgery has emerged as a promising new field with the demonstrated potential to produce better outcomes than postnatal surgery for various birth defects. Currently, our lab focuses on innovative, cross-disciplinary approaches combining bioengineering techniques with surgical procedures to improve the outcome of the fetal treatments and overcome the limitations of current treatment. Early results highlight fetal tissue engineering’s potential for functionally curing otherwise debilitating birth defects.
Stem Cell Therapy is Going to the Dogs! Translational Applications from Canine to Human Patients
Utilizing dog patients can help speed the investigation of novel therapies that may translate into technologies and treatments that apply to human diseases. Diseases tested for response to stem cell therapy include degenerative myelopathy (a canine form of human familial ALS), dilated cardiomyopathy, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and early onset Parkinson’s disease. Pilot dogs affected by theses widely disparate diseases all appear to benefit from stem cell therapy, suggesting that the cells may work through multiple therapeutic mechanisms. If therapeutic benefit is proven, a dog patient can be so much more than “a human patient’s best friend.”
Nurses to the Rescue: Saving Lives One Clean Mouth at a Time
U.S. hospitals are required to monitor ventilated patients who contract pneumonia but not those who aren’t on ventilators, making NV-HAP an underreported and unstudied disease. Dr. Baker teamed up with area nurse leaders to study methods of preventing NV-HAP. Their study focused on identifying the incidence of NV-HAP and determining the effectiveness of basic oral care in battling the disease. The nurse-led pilot program at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento produced remarkable results driving down the rates of pneumonia.
The Impact of Aging on Endogenous Cardiovascular Progenitor Cells in Human Neonates and Adults
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Dr. Mary Kearns-Jonker, Associate Professor of Medicine at Loma Linda University School of Medicine will address her current research focused on cardiovascular progenitor cells.
Cardiovascular progenitor stem cell-based treatment has the potential to improve functional outcome in patients with heart failure. Dr. Kearns-Jonker’s research team is studying a promising new population of cardiovascular progenitor cells (CPC) that can be isolated as clonal populations from the heart of human neonates and adults. When administered for stem-cell based repair, these CPC’s can be differentiated into all cardiovascular lineages, including cardiac myocytes, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells.
Re-Engineering a Retina Using Stem Cells
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Dr. Deepak Lamba, Assistant Professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging will address his current research focused on identifying new methods to treat degenerative vision disorders using stem cell technology.
The retina is subject to a variety of inherited and acquired degenerative conditions. Loss of human retinal neurons is not compensated by any regeneration from resident cells. Dr. Lamba’s work on a cell-based therapy for retinal degenerations using pluripotent stem cells is promising. His recent focus on retinal repair in mouse models as well as generating a three-dimensional retina using bio-engineered scaffolds is essential before this form of therapy becomes available to patients.
Forest Migration in a Warming World
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Dr. James Wanket, Associate Professor of Geography at Sacramento State, will discuss his current research using fossil pollen to track climate and ecosystem changes in our regional forests over the last several thousand years. This lecture is presented in collaboration with the Sacramento State One World Initiative: Global Perspectives on Migration.
Because trees are the backbone of many ecosystems, understanding the way in which trees migrate is essential for understanding the fundamental variability of forest environments. Dr. Wanket studies our regional natural lakes and wet meadows that provide natural archives of fossil pollen from surrounding forests. Fossil evidence can then be used to establish the comings and goings of tree species over timescales that include major environmental changes and help to predict the consequences of ongoing anthropogenic climate change for existing forest ecosystems.
New Directions in the Treatment of Spina Bifida
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Dr. Diana Lee Farmer, fetal and neonatal surgeon and chair of the Department of Surgery at UC Davis Health System will discuss her current research focusing on a novel stem cell therapy for repairing damaged neural tissue in spina bifida patients.
Spina Bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube of a baby in utero. Diana Lee Farmer, MD, FACS, FRCS, is known for her skilled surgical treatment of congenital anomalies and for her investigations on the safety and effectiveness of providing spina bifida treatments before birth. She has recently begun research using stem cell treatments to reverse the effects of the disease.
Attacking Cancer Stem Cells With Immunotherapy: Potential for Cure?
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Dr. William J. Murphy, Professor and Acting Chair of the Department of Dermatology and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine (Hematology and Oncology) at UC Davis School of Medicine, will discuss his current research using the immune system to fight cancer stem cells (CSC).
Using the immune system to target CSCs represents a new treatment therapy and perhaps a long-term cure to successful tumor eradication. It is believed that these cells are resistant to conventional cancer therapies (chemotherapy and radiation) and why most patients eventually relapse after treatment. Applying immunotherapy after traditional cancer therapies in preclinical models has allowed for successful cancer eradication.
The Earthquake Proof Home – Is it in our future?
Tuesday, September 26, 2013
Dr. Benjamin Fell, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Sacramento State, will discuss his current research on building light-frame (residential) structures in high seismic regions.
Imagine a resilient and sturdy system of superior building materials and enhanced engineering to limit earthquake damage to common homes. Dr. Fell has focused his research on alternative seismic fortification for light-frame (residential) structures. Test results obtained at Sacramento State from full-scale planar wall specimens subjected to earthquake-type loading provide efficacy for this system. The 20 full-scale tests represent the first phase of a three-phase, multi-year, National Science Foundation project in collaboration with Stanford University.
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine: Current Reality and the Future
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Dr. Keolebogile Shirley Motaung, Section Head and Managing Director of the Research & Innovation Department of Biomedical Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Tshwane, South Africa, will discuss her research in the field of tissue engineering of articular cartilage for the treatment of osteoarthritis
Tissue engineering is an emerging field that is defined as the science of design and manufacture of new tissues. The manufacture of these tissues helps to restore the function of impaired organs and the replacement of lost parts due to diseases and ailments such as cancer, liver disease, kidney failure, heart failure, diabetes, HIV, bone fracture, and lost skin through burning. This lecture was presented in collaboration with Pan African Studies, Women’s Studies and the Cooper-Woodson College Enhancement Program at Sacramento State.
Stem Cell Biology and Medicine: Rapid Advances in a New Field of Science
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Dr. Alan Trounson, President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will discuss the progress of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), a $3 billion stem cell initiative founded by Proposition 71 in 2004.
Under Trounson’s leadership, these funds have been used to establish the institutional and intellectual infrastructure for stem cell sciences that has resulted more than 1300 publications, 12 new stem cell institutes, and basic research programs that are leading to transformational discoveries revolutionizing the development and clinical applications of stem cell therapies. CIRM is creating a major network of new stem cell clinics in California to deliver clinical benefits to patients in the next two years.
Stem Cells and Fertility
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Dr. Renee Reijo Pera, Director of the Stanford University Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Education, will address new research using stem cells as models to study human embryo and germ cell development.
Identifying how cell fate decisions are made in the embryo, in particular how programming and reprogramming occurs in the early embryo and subsequently how the germ cell lineage, which gives rise to eggs and sperm, is allocated from the somatic lineages that comprise the rest of the body, is important for our understanding of embryo development. These studies are valuable to the understanding of human reproductive failure, one of the most common health problems in men and women and a common cause of birth defects.
Issues, Myths and Potential Solutions: An Overview of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Leo Winternitz, Senior Advisor for The Nature Conservancy, will discuss common myths about water usage in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and provide some recommendations about the Delta’s environment and water supply for the future. This lecture is also part of the Sacramento State One World Initiative: Global Perspectives on Water.
The Delta’s environmental health has been deteriorating prior to the 1970s; it’s now at a critical stage and water supply reliability has been significantly disrupted. This has resulted in a resumption of “water wars” in the Delta and calls for environmental restoration. This presentation will dispute common myths about Delta water use and provide an overview of the major Delta issues.