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Eminent scientists to lecture in Dallas

During the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, convening this week at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, several eminent scientists will be part of the Distinguished Lecture Series.

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings, the meeting will feature a Distinguished Lecture designed to interest delegates from all Scientific Groups. All lectures will occur in the Stemmons Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

Wednesday, April 2, 11:00 a.m.

Jim Baker, Jr.
Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine & Biological Science (MNIMBS)
Ann Arbor, Mich., USA

Nanotechnology for the Enhancement of Human Health

The application of nanotechnology to the prevention and treatment of human diseases holds great promise, but has great hurdles. Nanomaterials must be biocompatible, non-toxic and functional in biologic (wet) conditions, and sufficiently well-defined to pass the scrutiny of regulatory agencies.

Early applications of nanomaterials will likely involve the development of medications that take advantage of unique aspects of nanostructures to achieve or enhance therapeutic activity. Examples will be provided for the design, synthesis, and analysis of therapeutic nanomaterials where distinct kinds of attached molecules allow for unique therapeutic functions. These applications include antimicrobial compounds, drug and gene delivery, and functional imaging. Concepts of future nanotechnology applicationssuch as cellular engineering, human performance augmentation, and genetic manipulation for the treatment of human diseasewill be addressed.

Thursday, April 3, 11:30 a.m.

Milton Packer
University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas, USA

Engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise in a Multi-institutional and Multidisciplinary Environment

Modern clinical research is reaching well beyond the confines of traditional health care disciplines to incorporate multidisciplinary perspectives, and, in the process, is reshaping approaches to disease and treatment. Yet creating a workable academic and community-based multi-institutional infrastructure to facilitate such perspectives is a great challenge. This session will present the view of the medical center in developing a modern clinical research enterprise that ensures a synergy created by cooperation and involvement across health care disciplines. A key question of such integration is: How do we effectively merge the interests and activities of those medical disciplines with long histories of high-level clinical research investigation with other health science fields, such as oral health, in which clinical research expertise and infrastructure are less-well-developed?

Friday, April 4, 11:30 a.m.

Eric Olson
University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas, USA

Genetic Control of Heart Development and Disease

Heart formation involves a precisely orchestrated series of morphologic and molecular events that, if perturbed even subtly, can have catastrophic consequences. Many of the transcription factors that control heart development also regulate remodeling of the adult heart in response to injury and stress-signaling. Mechanistic dissection of the transcriptional circuits that regulate cardiac gene expression has opened opportunities for genetic and pharmacological modification of cardiac function. We have discovered several signal-responsive and cell-type-restricted transcriptional co-activators and co-repressors that control cardiac development and remodeling.

For example, the myocardin family of co-activators stimulates the activity of SRF, and CAMTA co-activates Nkx2-5, whereas Class II histone deacetylases (HDACs) function as signal-dependent repressors of MEF2. The functions of co-activators and co-repressors, as well as the involvement of specific microRNAs, in the control of cardiac gene expression during development and disease will be discussed.

Plenary Session
Thursday, April 3, 4:00 p.m.

Careers in Dental and Craniofacial Research: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Mainly the Good!

Three prominent researchers working in dental academe will outline their career paths and will discuss why they have made this their career choice. They will also outline why their careers have been so successful and what challenges, if any, they have met while climbing the academic ladder. Finally, they will discuss why they would advise a dental student to choose a research/teaching career in dental academe.


Contact: Linda Hemphill
International & American Association for Dental Research

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