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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    National Professors Converse On Cell Death

    On Thursday, November 2, Stony Brook’s Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology held their symposium on cell death and human disease in the Wang Center Theater. The symposium lasted from 10am to 5pm, and had a variety of speakers discussing cutting-edge research taking place in the area of cell death and human disease. The symposium has been a annual event, hosted every year by the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, sharing a variety of topics in their fields of study.

    The symposium began after Jorge Benach and James Bliska, the event chairs, said some opening remarks about the even and the involvement from the participating members. Bliska also briefly explained some background information on cell death and the different reasons why there has been much interest in this area.

    Scott Lowe, from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, began the first lecture – discussing the dissection of tumor suppressor gene networks in vivo. Lowe explained the reasons for interest in this area, as well as the work he has been completing on cancer and the use of this process to control tumors.

    At 11am, Sally Kornbluth from Duke University discussed the death in oocyte and its links between metabolism and apoptosis. Following was Harvard’s Junying Yuan’s discussion on her research on the mechanisms of cell death.

    After a small lunch break at noon, the symposium began the second session with Gerard Evan, from the University of California at San Francisco, explaining cell death in cancer. John Reed, from the Burnham Institute, talked about ER stress and cell death regulation. Following Reed was Craig Roy from Yale University discussing the control of Legionella infection by cell death.

    The final session commenced with Eileen White from Rutgers University discussing the role of Autophagy in cancer. The symposium was wrapped up after Craig Thompson from the UPenn talked about programmed cell death and Apoptosis, Necrosis, and Autophagy.

    Although it was a rainy day, the symposium attracted many people and was enjoyed by much of the audience.

    ‘I think all of the speakers are pretty good,’ said Juin Su, a Graduate Student at Stony Brook.

    A member of the department, Dr. Katz, felt the same way. ‘I think it’s been outstanding, these speakers are really the best of the best, and their presenting well and their science is terrific,’ Katz said.

    There was a wide variety of people at the symposium, ranging from faculty and graduate students, to other members of the community, although there was a slightly lower turnout of students from Stony Brook’s medical school.

    ‘Turn out has been good, although I wish there were more people from the medical school over here, but maybe it’s a little far for them to come,’ said Katz.

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