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Upstate New York Health Sciences Symposium and Technology Showcase

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, Cornell University and the University of Rochester hosted the Upstate NY Health Sciences Symposium & Technology Showcase focusing on cancer biology and neurobiology. The event was held in G10 in the Biotech Building on Cornell's Ithaca campus to showcase the health sciences work being done in Upstate New York.

The morning session featured talks from researchers about their research programs from both the University of Rochester and Cornell. The day ended with a reception combined with a poster session showcasing technologies from both universities.

Keynote Speaker: Hening Lin, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University, Translating Novel Sirtuin Biological Discoveries to Cancer Therapeutics

Dr. Hening Lin was born in China and obtained his B.S. in Chemistry in 1998 from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.  He obtained his PhD degree in 2003 from Columbia University under the guidance of Dr. Virginia Cornish. From 2003-2006, he was a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Christopher Walsh’s lab at Harvard Medical School.  Lin joined the faculty of Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University as an assistant professor in 2006 and was promoted to associate professor in 2012 and professor in 2013.

Lin’s lab works at the interface of chemistry, biology, and medicine. The research in his group focuses on NAD+-consuming enzymes that have important biological functions and human disease relevance, including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases and sirtuins. His lab also works on the biosynthesis of diphthamide, the target of diphtheria toxin. His work is recognized by a Dreyfus New Faculty Award in 2006, the CAPA Distinguished Junior Faculty Award in 2011, and the 2014 ACS Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry.

Additional Speakers Include:

  • Marc Antonyak, Senior Research Associate, Department of Molecular Medicine, Cornell University, Microvesicles as Mediators of Cell Communication in Cancer and their Potential use in the Clinics
  • Jeffrey Bazarian, Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester, Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Margaret Bynoe, Associate Professor, Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease, Cornell University, Adenosine: Key to Blood Brain Barrier Regulation
  • Steve Goldman, Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Neurology, University of Rochester, Human Glial Progenitor Cells for the Treatment and Modeling of Neurological Disorders
  • Helene McMurray, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Genetics, University of Rochester, Common Cancer Cell Vulnerabilities: A New Path to Cancer Intervention?
  • Maiken Nedergaard, Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester, The Glymphatic System A New Target for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Linda Nicholson, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Investigations of a Molecular Switch to Derail Alzheimer's Disease

  • Dr. Marc Antonyak is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Cornell University. The main objective of his research has been to understand the mechanisms that promote the growth and survival of cells, particularly as these processes relate to human cancer progression. This has led him to investigate the rather interesting dual functioning protein, tissue transglutaminase (TGase-2). Antonyak has been extensively trained in cancer biology and cell signaling, and routinely performs a variety of cell-based (in vitro) approaches, as well as use in vivo tumor formation models, to investigate different aspects of cancer progression. Moreover, he has been heavily involved in the design and execution of many of the studies carried-out on TGase-2 in the laboratory thus far. Antonyak received his BS in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany, his PhD in Cancer Biology at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Marc was also a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Cerione at Cornell University.

    Dr. Jeff Bazarian MD, MPH, is an emergency physician with an active, interdisciplinary sports-concussion clinical research program at the University of Rochester. He has served as the lead investigator on projects to determine the epidemiology and outcome of mild TBI (K23 from NINDS), to image with DTI axonal injury acutely after mild TBI (R01 from NICHD), to determine the role of serum S100B in the diagnosis of intracranial hemorrhage after mild TBI (New York State Department of Health), and to validate new putative markers of axonal injury after sports-related concussion (K24 NICHD). Most recently Bazarian was the PI on a study using diffusion tensor imagine and football helmet impact sensors to investigate the natural history of white matter damage after multiple sub-concussive head blows (NFL-Charities). In 2010, Bazarian joined the University of Rochester Sports Concussion Clinic, providing outpatient concussion care to area high and collegiate athletes.

    Dr. Margaret Bynoe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. A major part of Bynoe's studies centers around the molecule adenosine, a purine nucleoside that is involved in regulating immune system responses. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence, which recognizes the outstanding research efforts and productivity of faculty members in the early stages of their careers.

    Bynoe received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Long Island University in 1991 and her PhD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1999 where she studied the molecular basis of steroid hormones in the development of the autoimmune disease, systemic lupus erythematosus. She received her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of the late Charles A Janeway, Jr. where she studied the immunological bases of Type1 Diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS) and later became an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University School of Medicine. Her major source of funding is the NIH and also recently the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

    Dr. Steven A. Goldman is the University of Rochester Medical Center Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and Neurology. He is Chief of the Department's Division of Cell and Gene Therapy, and Co-Director of Rochester's Center for Translational Neuromedicine. Goldman is Emeritus Chairman of the Department, and holds additional appointments as a Professor of Neurosurgery, and as the Dean Zutes Chair in Biology of the Aging Brain. Goldman moved to Rochester in 2003 from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he was the Nathan Cummings Professor of Neurology, and Attending Neurologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

    A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he obtained his PhD with Fernando Nottebohm at the Rockefeller University in 1983, and his MD from Cornell in 1984. Goldman is interested in cell genesis and neural regeneration in the adult brain, with a focus on the use of neural stem and progenitor cells in treating demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases. His lab focuses on the use of stem and progenitor cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease, as well as for the treatment of glial diseases such as the pediatric leukodystrophies and multiple sclerosis.

    Dr. Helene R. McMurray, Ph.D., is a cancer systems biologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 1998 and her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2004. McMurray is currently leading the development of the Bioinformatics Consulting and Education Service of the Edward G. Miner Library at URMC, as well as holding the post of Assistant Professor of Biomedical Genetics at URMC.

    During her post-doctoral training with Dr. Hartmut Land, a leader of research into molecular mechanisms driving malignant cell transformation, McMurray identified critical gene regulatory architecture that distinguishes cancerous from non-cancerous cells. Recently, McMurray's laboratory has discovered a cancer-specific role for such genes in the aggressive, hard-to-treat triple-negative sub-type of breast cancers, including identification of novel pharmacologic agents with anti-BLBC activity.

    Dr. Nedergaard is a professor at the University of Rochester at the Center for Translational Neuromedicine, where she is the co-director. She holds the Frank P. Smith Chair in the Department of Neurosurgery, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Neurobiology and Anatomy, and Neurology. She obtained her pre- and postdoctoral education at the Universities of Copenhagen, Denmark, and at Cornell University Medical School.

    The Nedergaard lab's multiple interests range from basic research on neuron-glia interactions to their role in seizure disorders and cerebral blood flow. Among her many honors was her election in 2008 to the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences in recognition of her role as a pioneer in brain research, who has demonstrated that brain cells known as astrocytes play a role in a host of human diseases. More recently, she was elected member of Academia Europaea and of the Royal Academy of Pharmacy of Spain. She has filed several patents and is a pioneer in research on the neural basis of acupuncture.

    Linda Nicholson is a Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics. She received B.Sc and M. Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1982 and 1985, respectively. In 1990, she received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics from Florida State University, where she specialized in solid-state NMR studies to uniformly oriented biomolecular systems. As a postdoc at NIH, she worked in the rapidly developing field of multidimensional solution NMR spectroscopy of proteins. She joined the Cornell faculty in 1994.

    Nicholson's research is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, "Establishing the Termodynamic and Kinetic Thresholds of Bacterial Protein Secretion via the Type 3 Secretion System", and by an NIH R01 grant, "Conformational Dynamics in Pin1 Regulation of APP Processing and Abeta Production". Nicholson's research involves the application of multidimensional NMR spectroscopy to investigate the structure and kinetics of proteins, including focusing on key proteins that have been shown to play important roles in disease processes such as Alzheimer's disease and pathogen infection.