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UCSF Celebration Features Talks by Scientists, Staff

By UCSF Today | October 7, 2005

The campus community will hear the latest about life sciences research and the plans and progress made at UCSF Mission Bay from scientists and staff during the celebration on Friday, Oct. 28.

The lectures, to be held in the newly opened Mission Bay Community Center, will begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m.

Here is the line up of speakers for the special event:

Cynthia Kenyon
-- 11 a.m.: "Turning Back the Clock: Genes, Aging and Disease," presented by Cynthia Kenyon, PhD, the Herbert Boyer Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics and director of the Hillblom Center for the Biology of Aging at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

Kenyon's lab at UCSF has increased the life span of tiny worms called C. elegans up to six times their normal life span by suppressing a single gene. This regulator gene, in combination with other genes, appears to control an entire symphony of genes that direct aging not only in worms, but in similar genetic pathways in flies, mice and possibly humans.

Ron Vale
-- 11:30 a.m.: "Nature's Nano-Motors Offer a New Strategy Against Cancer," presented by Ron Vale, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Vale is the William K. Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Anesthesia.

Vale has pioneered research on how nature's tiniest motors power intracellular activity. Vale and his research group have used a combination of biophysical, structural and cell biological approaches to understand the mechanisms and roles of molecular motors, small protein machines that transport molecules and organelles inside cells.

Jim McKerrow
-- 12 noon: "Taking on the World's Worst Parasitic Diseases," presented by Jim McKerrow, PhD, professor in the departments of pathology and pharmaceutical chemistry, director of the Sandler Center for Basic Research in Parasitic Diseases at UCSF and staff pathologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. McKerrow holds the Robert E. Smith Endowed Chair in Experimental Pathology at UCSF.

McKerrow directs the Sandler Center, which takes novel approaches to translate basic discoveries into initial drug design efforts for targeted diseases -- including Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, African trypanosomiasis and malaria -- which are often referred to as "the great neglected diseases of mankind."

-- 12:30 p.m.: "Mission Bay Today and Tomorrow," presented by Lori Yamauchi, assistant vice chancellor for Campus Planning. She will talk about what was envisioned in the UCSF Mission Bay campus master plan, progress made to date and the future development at Mission Bay both on and around the campus.

Kathleen Giacomini
-- 1 p.m.: "How Drugs May Be Tailored to Your Genetic Makeup," presented Kathleen Giacomini, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences. She is also a director of the Center for Pharmacogenomics and a professor with joint appointments in School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and School of Medicine's Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology.

As it becomes increasingly clear that genetic variation is involved with drug response, Giacomini and colleagues are working toward the goal of applying knowledge about genes and their proteins to ultimately ensure the right and most effective medicines are tailored to the special genetic needs of individuals with disease.

Read more at UCSF Today