April 21, 2011

Inaugural symposium to highlight VU’s Epithelial Biology Center

Inaugural symposium to highlight VU’s Epithelial Biology Center

Joan Brugge, Ph.D., chair of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, and James Nelson, Ph.D., professor of Biology at Stanford University, will be keynote speakers at the inaugural symposium of the Vanderbilt Epithelial Biology Center on Friday, April 29.

Epithelial cells make up the protective lining of the skin and internal organs. Center director Robert Coffey, M.D., and co-director James Goldenring, M.D., Ph.D., take a multidisciplinary approach to understand how genetic changes in these cells can lead to cancer and other serious diseases.

“By studying these cells in vitro and in vivo, as well as taking advantage of the unique capabilities afforded to us at Vanderbilt, we are poised to offer real advances in our understanding and the treatment of many epithelial disorders,” said Coffey, professor of Medicine and Cell & Developmental Biology.

Coffey and Goldenring, vice chair for research in Surgical Sciences, are among six Vanderbilt faculty members who will describe their research during the symposium, which begins at 10:15 a.m. in 208 Light Hall.

The others are Daniel Beauchamp, M.D.; Ethan Lee, M.D., Ph.D.; Matthew Tyska, Ph.D.; and Albert Reynolds, Ph.D.

Brugge’s talk, which begins at 12:15 p.m., is entitled “Extracellular matrix regulation of epithelial morphogenesis, oncogenesis and drug sensitivity.”
Nelson's lecture, on “Origins of epithelia and multicellularity,” begins at 3:30 p.m.

The symposium concludes with a reception at 5:15 p.m. in the Langford Auditorium lobby.

For more information, visit the center's website at www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/ebc.