King's International Lecture Series 2012/13

The King's International Lecture Series 2012/13 featured world-renowned scientists in translational medicine and basic science. The lectures were dedicated to Rosalind Franklin in honour of her pioneering work at King's College London to reveal the structure of DNA in 1953.

Scroll down to find out more and watch films of the lectures.

2012/13 LECTURES:

Prof Gage6 March 2013: 'Modelling neurodevelopmental disease with iPS cells' - Professor Fred. H. Gage (Salk Institute, California)

Professor Fred H. Gage's talk, entitled ‘Modelling neurodevelopmental disease with iPS cells’, presents his research into neurodevelopmental diseases.

The advent of stem cell biology has opened new avenues in the field of neuroscience research as well as therapeutic approaches for neurological diseases.
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) offer the opportunity to study human neurodevelopment in an in vitro setting by recapitulating key aspects of cell fate determination through its differentiation process. In addition, developments in cellular reprogramming has made it possible to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from somatic cells of neonates and adults; thus providing a renewable source of human neurons that can be used to investigate the etiology of neurological diseases at the cellular level using cells that harbour the same genetic background relevant to the risk for pathology.

Prof Olson21 February 2013: 'The Molecular Circuitry of Heart Development, Disease and Regeneration' - Professor Eric Olson (University of Texas)

Professor Eric Olson from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center will deliver the third lecture in King’s International Lecture Series on ‘The Molecular Circuitry of Heart Development, Disease and Regeneration’. 

Heart disease is the primary cause of human morbidity and mortality. Professor Olson and his team seek to define the mechanisms that govern heart development, disease and regeneration. Recently, they have discovered that the hearts of neonatal mice can fully regenerate following injury, but this capacity is lost early in life. The team are currently exploring the molecular underpinnings of the neonatal regenerative response of the heart, with the long-term goal of discovering combinations of genes and drugs that promote cardiac repair and regeneration. In his lecture, Professor Olson will discuss his research and progress in this field.


Professor Beatrice Hahn

18 October 2012: 'Tracing the ape origins of AIDS and malaria' - Professor Beatrice H. Hahn (University of Pennsylvania)

It is now well established that HIV-1, the cause of the global AIDS epidemic, is of chimpanzee origin, while Plasmodium falciparum, the cause of malignant malaria, is derived from a gorilla parasite. Thus, two of the most widespread and virulent diseases of modern man appear to have originated in our closest relatives, the African apes. Professor Hahn's talk will compare and contrast the ape origins of AIDS and malaria, and discuss important parallels that could provide insight into the prospects of future ape derived zoonoses. 

 

Professor Eisenberg

10 September 2012: 'The Amyloid State of Proteins in Human Diseases' - Professor David Eisenberg (University of California, Los Angeles)

David Eisenberg, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California Los Angeles, will deliver the first lecture of the King's International Lecture Series 2012/13 on Monday 10 September. His lecture is entitled ‘The Amyloid State of Proteins in Human Diseases’ and is dedicated to Rosalind Franklin.

Amyloid diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are each associated with a particular protein in fibrillar form. These amyloid fibrils were long suspected to be the disease agents, but evidence suggests that in the neurodegenerative diseases, smaller, often transient and polymorphic oligomers are the toxic entities. Professor David Eisenberg and his research team have identified a segment of the amyloid-forming protein - alphaB crystalline - which forms an oligomeric complex exhibiting properties of other amyloid oligomers: beta-sheet-rich structure, cytotoxicity, and recognition by an anti-oligomer antibody. In his lecture, ‘The Amyloid State of Proteins in Human Diseases’, Professor Eisenberg will unpack his research in this area.

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