September 5, 2008

Lecture series to focus on pediatric infectious diseases

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Alissa Weaver, M.D., Ph.D., right, with members of her research team, from left, Scott Guelcher, Ph.D., Aron Parekh, Ph.D., and Kevin Branch. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Lecture series to focus on pediatric infectious diseases

Next week, Vanderbilt Medical Center will debut a new seminar series dedicated to pediatric infectious disease research that will feature prominent national speakers as well as Vanderbilt's own investigators.

The series is sponsored by the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and the Elizabeth B. Lamb Center for Pediatric Research. The first seminar will be held Friday, Sept. 12, at 11 a.m. in 512 Light Hall.

“This is a way to create a synergy between basic microbiology, vaccine development, epidemiology, pediatric outcomes research and much more,” said Terence Dermody, M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “Vanderbilt has never before held a seminar series specific to pediatric infectious disease research.

“The goal is to create an opportunity for investigators across the campus who have diverse interests within this field to interact with each other and identify new areas in which we can work together.”

Dermody is partnering with a number of Vanderbilt program leaders to present this series, including Sten Vermund, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health; James Crowe Jr., M.D., director of the Program for Vaccine Science; Kathryn Edwards, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program; and Mark Denison, M.D., steering committee member of the Southeast Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The conference series begins Friday, Sept. 12, and culminates in late April with a two-day visit of the Lamb Professor, a preeminent scientist invited each year from a leading academic institution.

This year's Lamb Professor, Charles Rice, Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University, also has been selected to be a part of Vanderbilt's Discovery Lecture Series.

Following are details for the first four seminars, followed by a developing schedule for the remainder of the 2008-2009 academic year. For more information on the series, call 343-2136.

• Sept. 12, 11 a.m., 512 Light Hall — Vasundhara Varthakavi, Ph.D. — “Understanding Cellular and Viral Mechanisms of HIV Release and Cellular Factors Involved in HIV Trafficking and Assembly”

• Oct. 10, 11 a.m., 512 Light Hall — Jonathan McCullers, M.D., St. Jude's Children's Hospital — “Influenza Viruses and Viral-bacterial Synergism”

• Nov. 14, 11 a.m., 512 Light Hall — Roberto Cattaneo, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic — “Mechanisms of Tropism and Development of New Measles Virus-based Vaccines”

• Dec. 12, 11 a.m., 512 Light Hall — Mark Hicar, M.D., Ph.D. — “Antibody-mediated Neutralization of HIV-1”

• Jan. 9, 2009, 11 a.m., location TBD — Samuel Miller, M.D., University of Washington

• Feb. 13, 2009, 11 a.m., location TBD — Denise Wetzel

• March 13, 2009, 11 a.m., location TBD — Eva Harris, Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

• April 10, 2009, 11 a.m., location TBD — Jenny Ting, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

• April 30, 2009, 4 p.m., 208 Light Hall (Discovery Lecture) and May 1, 2009, noon, location TBD — Charles Rice, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University.