News & Information

STEM lecture will focus on disease battle


Stem cells’ potential on two fronts in the battle against Parkinson’s disease will be the topic of Sacramento State’s next STEM lecture.

Dr. Xianmin Zeng will deliver the lecture, “War on Parkinson’s: How Stem Cells Can Reverse the Ravages of Disease,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Redwood Room at the University Union. The lecture is presented by the Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Excellence.

Zeng, a stem cell biologist at the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, is researching ways to fight Parkinson’s with stem cells, which can be induced to become neurons that can replace those lost to the disease.

She’ll also discuss stem cells’ potential for use in creating new screening processes for novel drug therapies.

Parkinson’s disease destroys dopamine-producing neurons and is one of the nation’s leading causes of death. The disease causes the death of nerve cells in the brain that are needed for agile and controlled muscle movement. Symptoms include hand tremors and an inability to walk.

Zeng’s expertise is in neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. She has been at the Buck Institute since 2005. She received both her master of science (1997) and her doctorate (2000) in molecular biology from the Technical University of Denmark, then performed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in stem cell neurobiology at the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

For more on Dr. Zeng’s work, visit For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.

– Ahmed V. Ortiz