Past Lecture Archive
Our next STEM Scholars Lecture
will be held September 26, 2013
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.
Unlocking Neuropsychiatric and Movement Disorders in Children
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Dr. Madeleine Cunningham, CSO Moleculera Labs, Inc., and Presidential Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, will address new research on pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders.
Dr. Cunningham’s is an internationally recognized expert in molecular mimicry, autoimmunity, and infection related to brain and heart disorders. Her novel work discovered neuronal receptors targeted by antibody in movement and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Road Map to a Cure
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Dr. John Wagner will address new treatment approaches using cell and molecular therapies to combat life-threatening diseases.
Dr. Wagner's research has focused on the development of new treatment approaches for life-threatening diseases for which conventional treatments are unsatisfactory. Most of his work is in the setting of leukemia and bone marrow transplantation, but also includes skin diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and neurological diseases.
Click here to view this lecture (allow 5 minutes to download)
Neural Networks: The Quest for an Artificial Brain
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Dr. V. Scott Gordon, Professor of Computer Science at Sacramento State, will address his current research and work "teaching" neural networks.
Since the first appearance of digital computers in the 1940s, researchers in the area of Artificial Intelligence have tried to model the brain using hardware and/or software. Although considerably more primitive than our real brains, these artificial brains, more commonly called "neural networks", can learn! Gordon has taught neural networks how to divide hard problems into smaller ones, learn by example, recognize patterns, and track moving objects. Real-world applications for neural networks are wildly diverse, ranging from adaptive optics to offshore fish sorting, and local industry right here in Sacramento is at the leading edge of this pioneering field.
Tissue Repair: Enhancing bone marrow-derived stem cells for novel cell therapies
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Dr. Fernando Fierro, Stem Cell Research Scientist at the Institute for Regenerative Cures in Sacramento, will address the use of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of bone, tissue and other types of wound repairs.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have great potential as therapeutic agents due to their ability to differentiate into many cell types allowing for replacement of damaged tissues in autologous and allogeneic transplants. Advances in the understanding of bone marrow-derived MSC biology have led to improvements in determining optimal subpopulations, growth conditions, and gene signatures for therapeutic purposes. Work altering gene/microRNA expression levels of human MSCs for optimization and therapeutic potential for bone repair, non-healing ulcers, limb ischemias, as well as the basic mechanisms involved in differentiation, proliferation, and self-renewal will be discussed.
Neonatal Stem Cells: A window to perinatal health and resource for regenerative medicine
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Dr. Suzanne Pontow, Co-Director of the California Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program at the UC Davis Health System, will address current research on neonatal stem cells.
Neonatal stem cells function as building blocks during fetal life and can be isolated from placenta, umbilical cord, and umbilical cord blood after birth. Often discarded as medical waste, these cells can offer a window to life in the womb and can be used to study diseases that become evident long after birth. Additionally, neonatal stem cells are a source of cells for transplantation and tissue engineering. Current understanding and usage, as well as a new public banking option for California cord blood, will be presented.
Underwater Treasures of Costa Rica: Fish Parental Care Below the Rainforest
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Dr. Ronald Coleman, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, will address his research of cichlid fishes' behavior in the waters of the Costa Rican Rainforest.
The rainforest is a magical place full of sights and sounds found nowhere else. Some of the most beautiful and intense biology occurs in the waters that run below the rainforest. Dr. Coleman will discuss his research in those waters studying cichlid fishes and their dutiful parental behaviors raising and protecting their offspring in this dynamic environment.
Fragile Genes & Autism - The Fragile X familiy of disorders: What our children can teach us
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Dr. Paul Hagerman, professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at UC Davis and Director of the NeuroTherapeutics Research Institute (NTRI) in Sacramento, will address current research on fragile X disorders.
Fragile X syndrome is the leading known genetic cause of autism, an inherited form of mental impairment, and may also cause neurodegenerative disorders with features of dementia and loss of movement. Mutations in the fragile X gene result in distinct neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Research using adult stem cells is underway to develop models to explain the neuronal dysfunction and for the development of targeted therapies for fragile X disorders.
War on Parkinsons: How Stem Cells Can Reverse The Ravages of Disease
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Dr. Xianmin Zeng from the Buck Institute for Age Research will address her current research using stem cells to battle the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease destroys dopamine-producing neurons leading to a loss of voluntary movement and mental decline. Dr. Zeng’s research shows the potential to reverse the damage of this disease using stem cells induced to become neurons. The new neurons replace those lost to the disease restoring neurological function. Her work with stem cells has also provided new screening methods to test novel drugs therapies for Parkinson’s disease treatment.
Worlds to Discover: Exploring the galaxy for dinosaurs
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Dr. Dale Russell, Adjunct Professor in the Geology Department at Sacramento State, will discuss his research exploring the possibility that dinosaur-like biotic systems are likely to exist somewhere, within the vastness of the Milky Way Galaxy.
We know that unrelated animals resembling snakes, rodents, deer and cats can be found on most continents – but is it possible that they can also be found on many undiscovered planets? Dr. Russell posits that animals recognizably dinosaurian in form may have repeatedly evolved on planets thousands of light-years from earth.
To Each His Own: How engineers, scientists & doctors are using your own cells to create personalized stem cell medicine
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Dr. John Chapman, president and founder of Stem Cell Partners LLC and adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Sacramento State will discuss how healthcare professionals are joining forces to create regenerative medicine treatments that use a patient’s own cells as the therapeutic agent.
Autologous cell therapy (using the patient’s own cells) is at the forefront of the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The administration of living cells to sites of tissue injury or disease are offering benefits ranging from avoiding amputation of limbs for patients with severe peripheral artery disease to enhancing cosmetic surgery outcomes in plastic surgery patients. By using the patient’s own cells, the risk of disease transmission and tissue rejection is avoided.
Going Viral: Using viruses and bone marrow stem cells in the fight against diseases
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Dr. Donald Kohn, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics(MIMG) & Pediatrics at UCLA, will discuss his research engineering viruses to deliver genes to stem cells for re-transplantation back into patients.
Bone marrow from diseased patients can be removed and the damaged gene within the hematopoietic stem cells (the progenitors for blood and immune cells found in the bone marrow) can be repaired by using retro-viruses to deliver the corrected gene. Dr. Kohn will talk about his research on using viruses to deliver genes to the hematopoietic stem cells and methods to ensure that the viral vectors his team uses are both effective in delivering the corrected gene and safe for use in the clinical setting. In addition, he will discuss his current clinical trials using these new and improved virus vectors to cure a severe immune deficiency disorder (SCID) and sickle cell anemia.
About Face: Using symmetry to measure the health of ancient Romans
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Dr. Samantha Hens from the Department of Anthropology at Sacramento State will discuss her research using three-dimensional modeling techniques to study craniofacial fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of ancient Roman populations.
Her research focuses on the skull's shape. Symmetrical features are often perceived as indicators of good health, virility and even survivability, while fluctuating asymmetrical features suggest underlying genetic problems, ill health or environmental stress. The study attempts to show a positive association between FA and stress and identify specific regions of the cranium that are most likely to show developmental stressors.