March 21, 2003

Vanderbilt faculty speak at the biodefense conference

Featured Image

Kathryn Kidd and Kimberly Harris presented Denise Pepin, center, the Social Worker of the Year award during a luncheon on Monday. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Two Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty members participated in the first biodefense research conference titled “Biodefense: Future Research Directions. Development of Countermeasures,” convened by the American Society of Microbiology in Baltimore March 9-12.

Dr. Jacek Hawiger, Oswald T. Avery Distinguished Chair and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, spoke on a new class of peptides developed at Vanderbilt as intracellular signaling inhibitors that can prevent noxious effects of potential biowarfare agents.

Dr. Earl Ruley, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of Microbiology and Immunology, presented “Functional Genomics of the Mouse: Gene Entrapment Strategies to Dissect Inflammatory Pathways.”

More than 800 participants attended the conference, which provided the most comprehensive “state of the science” review of human biology threatened by potential bioweapons and new approaches to detection, treatment, and prevention of diseases caused by microbial agents.