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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) campuses host a variety of events that inform, challenge, and unite the biomedical research community. IRP investigators lead or participate in many of these events, and they regularly present their work at scientific conferences at the NIH and around the world. We invite you to learn about (and possibly join us in) some of our upcoming events:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Masur Auditorium, NIH Clinical Center (Bldg 10)

Join us for the Annual DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Lecture with Ron Vale, Ph.D., of UCSF, titled “The mechanisms of cytoskeletal motor proteins."  The lecture is part of the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS).  Vale is an HHMI investigator and Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, at UCSF.

about the speaker: The Vale Lab combines cell biological and biophysical approaches to understand spatial organization, movement, and signaling within cells. The lab integrates biochemical, structural, and microscopy-based approaches to study these questions at scales that span from atomic information of proteins to the behavior of cells in living organisms.  At the smallest scale, we wish to understand the detailed workings of protein machines.  A particular focus of our lab is on microtubule-based "motor proteins" that convert energy from ATP hydrolysis into unidirectional motion and force. We have concentrated for many years on the kinesin motor protein although more of our current emphasis has shifted to dynein.  The lab also is interested in understanding the mechanisms of various other proteins, including microtubule nucleating factors (augmin), microtubule regulatory proteins (severing proteins, end binding proteins), and the T cell receptor.   The lab also wishes to understand how collections of protein machines function together to generate complex behavior in living cells. As examples, they are currently interested in how numerous proteins function in building the mitotic spindle, generate specific cell shapes, transport mRNAs, and produce signaling responses in T cells. In these efforts, they use various types of microscopy to analyze cell behavior in culture or in living animals, examine consequences of gene knockdown (RNAi), and also engineer cells that exhibit new properties by introducing specific genes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Porter Neuroscience Research Center, Building 35A, Room 620/630

The Fulbright Visiting Scholars Program will host Dr. Melanie Cheung for a lecture about Huntington’s Disease among New Zealand's Maori.  Cheung is currently working as a Fulbright New Zealand scholar developing a brain resilience training programme for Huntington’s disease.  She is committed to exploring both Indigenous and Western scientific paradigms to help people with neurodegenerative diseases. Consequently, her work integrates experimental neurobiology, bioethics, tikanga (ceremony/customary) and Matauranga Maori (Maori traditional knowledge).

Over the past 6 years Melanie and her research team have worked closely with a large Taranaki Maori family that have Huntington’s disease, a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease that affects movement, personality, and higher cognitive functions.  Cheung’s research projects include: (1) developing and testing a novel brain resilience training program for Huntington’s disease (with Brain Plasticity Institute, Auckland District Health Board and Taranaki/Auckland families); (2) developing a model of mutually beneficial partnership between Maori families and biomedical scientists/clinicians; (3) clinical and translational Huntington’s disease research (with Auckland District Health Board); and (4) Mahina International biomedical and behavioral health research training for Indigenous students.