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University Of Virginia To Host Symposium In Morphogenesis And Regenerative Medicine May 19-21

May 13, 2003 -- The University of Virginia will launch its new Morphogenesis and Regenerative Medicine Institute with a symposium bringing together leading researchers in these emerging biological fields.

Morphogenesis is the process by which cells differentiate into tissues, and tissues develop structures to form organs. Understanding these processes is one of the most difficult problems in the biological sciences.

Regenerative medicine is a promising branch of medicine in which diseases are treated with therapies that directly target developing cells and tissues. Scientific study of morphogenesis is expected to lead to regenerative therapies to help prevent birth defects, control abnormal tissue growth such as tumors, and to repair or slow the damage of tissues from aging, disease or injury.

At the symposium, prominent researchers from across the United States, Europe and Japan will cover a range of topics, such as tissue engineering and biomaterials, stem cell biology, the biology of tissue structure and other areas of morphogenesis and regenerative medicine. The symposium also will include poster sessions featuring research projects.

Eric Wieschaus, professor of molecular biology at Princeton University and winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine, will give the keynote address on cellurization and the formation of embryos. Wieschaus, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and member of the National Academy of Sciences, helped lay the foundations for the current understanding of cell signaling and the genetic transcription events that underlie the pattern formation of cells and tissues.

U.Va. created the Morphogenesis and Regenerative Medicine Institute to unify and integrate its strong research programs in cell biology, genetics and biomedical engineering. The institute will expand on the current revolution in genetics, genomics, and molecular and cell biology. Its goal is to discover the basic principles underlying the ways in which cells form, organize, maintain, regenerate and repair the three-dimensional structures of tissues and organs.

The institute is expected to have a significant effect on the practice of innovative medicine, and will develop educational and training programs for outstanding young scientists and physicians. Barry Gumbiner, chair of U.Va.’s Department of Cell Biology, is director.

For more information on the symposium and the institute, please visit: The symposium schedule follows.

Monday, May 19
7 p.m.
Welcome Address, Auditorium, McLeod Hall
Barry Gumbiner (U.Va.)
Director, Morphogenesis and Regenerative Medicine Institute
7:15 p.m.
Keynote Lecture, Auditorium, McLeod Hall
Eric Wieschaus (Princeton University): Cellularization and Gastrulation
8:30-10 p.m.
Wine and Cheese Reception, MR5- McLeod Hall – (registration required)

Tuesday, May 20
All sessions: McLeod Hall Auditorium
9-9:15 a.m.
Introductory Remarks
Ray Keller (U.Va., Department of Biology)
Session 1: Patterning/Morphogens
9:15-10 a.m.
Alex Schier (Skirball Institute, New York): Nodal Signaling: From Morphogens to Morphogenesis
10-10:45 a.m.
Janet Heasman (University of Cincinnati): Early Xenopus Development
10:45-11:15 a.m.
Coffee Break
Gary Odell (University of Washington-Seattle): Modeling of Signaling Networks and Morphogenetic Movements
Noon-2 p.m.

Session 2: Cell Biology of Tissue Structure
2-2:45 p.m.
Yuh Nung Jan (University of California-San Francisco): Cell Polarity, Asymmetric Cell Division, and Neuronal Morphogenesis
2:45-3:30 p.m.
Masatoshi Takeichi (Riken Institute, Kobe, Japan): Cell Adhesion, and Neural Morphogenesis
3:30-4 p.m.
Coffee Break

Session 3: Organogenesis
4-4:45 p.m.
Frank Costantini (Columbia University, New York): Kidney Morphogenesis
4:45-5:30 p.m.
Kathryn Anderson (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York): Genetic Control of Gastrulation and Neural Patterning in the Mouse Embryo
5:30-8 p.m.
Poster Session, Open Reception, and Buffet Dinner – (registration required)

Wednesday, May 21
Session 4: Tissue Homeostasis and Disease
All sessions: McLeod Hall Auditorium
9-9:45 a.m.
Mark Ferguson (University of Manchester, UK): Skin Regeneration Following Wounding: Application of Discoveries from the Embryo
9:45-10:30 a.m.
Hans Clevers (Utrecht University, Netherlands): Intestinal Morphogenesis, Colorectal Cancer, WNT signaling
10:30-11 a.m.
Coffee Break
11-11:45 a.m.
Francoise Dieterlen (Institut d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Moleculaire du CNRS, Nogent sur Marne, France): Embryonic and Fetal Hematopoiesis
11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m
Session 5: Tissue Engineering/Biomaterials
1:30-2:15 p.m.
Jeff Hubbell (Institute for Biomedical Engineering, ETH-Zurich): Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering, Polymer Chemistry
2:15-2:45 p.m.
Coffee Break
Session 6: Stem Cell Biology
2:45-3:30 p.m.
Helen Blau (Stanford University): Stem Cells, Muscle Development and Regeneration
3:30-4:15 p.m.
Allan Spradling (Carnegie Institute, Washington, D.C.): Stem Cell Niches, Drosophila Ovary Development

Contact: Fariss Samarrai, (434) 924-3778

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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Last Modified: Tuesday, 13-May-2003 16:08:19 EDT
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