University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series

May 9, 2024 - 2:30pm to 3:45pm
Location: TBD

Dr. A. Malikopoulos, Professor in the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Information and Decision Science Lab at Cornell University will be hosting a lecture as part of the CRF Tay Gavin Lecture Series on Thursday, May 9.

Professor Malikopoulos' interdisciplinary research includes analysis, optimization, and control of cyber-physical systems (CPS); decentralized stochastic systems; stochastic scheduling and resource allocation; and learning in complex systems.

April 25, 2024 - 8:30am to 9:45am
Location: Integrative Learning Center S140

Dr. W. Kraus, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology Medicine and the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University will be hosting a lecture as part of the CRF Tay Gavin Lecture Series on April 25.

Dr. Kraus is a clinician scientist with research interests in the use of exercise for favorable mediation of cardiometabolic risk.

February 13, 2024 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Conference Center, Life Sciences Lab

Exercise Therapy for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

Dr. Lee Jones 

In this lecture, Dr. Jones will discuss the considerable clinical and public interest in whether engaging in exercise, either among those individuals at elevated risk of cancer or those recently diagnosed with cancer, can influence disease development and progression. Dr. Jones will review the current evidence base as well as ongoing studies linking exercise to cancer risk as well as the impact of exercise in those diagnosed with cancer.

Dr. Lee W. Jones is a Member and Attending Physiologist in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Exercise-Oncology Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Jones completed PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowship in Exercise Oncology at the University of Alberta. He joined MSKCC in February 2014. Dr. Jones research program focuses on a translational approach to the investigation of structured exercise therapy on cancer pathogenesis. He has published numerous scientific articles and has served on several working groups at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Dr. Jones’ research program has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, and U.S. Department of Defense.

December 1, 2023 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Arnold House 221

Leveraging Diversity in Polygenic Risk Scores for Diabetes and Other Advances in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology

Dr. Alisa Manning

In this lecture, Dr. Manning will introduce polygenic risk scores for common, complex diseases like type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Polygenic risk scores are a new precision medicine tool that uses 15 years of research in genetic epidemiology to obtain personalized relative risks. A current challenge is to develop polygenic risk scores using statistical methods and epidemiological models that promote and leverage diversity without exacerbating health disparities. In the US, the prevalence of diabetes is highest in African American and Hispanic or Latino communities and these patient populations are more likely to develop diabetic complications. To realize the precision medicine goal of early identification of diabetes and treatments targeted to the individual patient, Dr. Manning will show how her research takes advantage of multi-ancestry summary statistics from genome-wide association studies to create improved polygenic risk scores in diverse ancestries. 

Dr. Alisa K. Manning uses novel analytic methods in genetic and molecular epidemiology to study multifactorial diseases like type 2 diabetes to detangle their complex architecture, enable translational research, and accelerate precision medicine. She is an Assistant Investigator in the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit (CTEU) within the Mongan Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Member of the Metabolism Program at the Broad Institute. She develops statistical methods and applies them on large and complex study data. She is a principal investigator in the NIDDK AMP-CMD Consortium, analyzing whole genome sequence association data, NHLBI’s TOPMed Consortium, leading the diabetes working group and studying ‘Omics data with T2D, NHGRI PRIMED Consortium, developing state-of-the-art polygenic models for diabetes outcomes and complications of diabetes, and the NHLBI BioData Catalyst Consortium, leading development of BioData Catalyst powered by Terra. 

November 16, 2023 - 11:30am to 12:45pm
Thompson 106

Generational Overlap: Changing Demography and Shared Lifetimes

Dr. Marcy Carlson

This talk will consider how changing demographic patterns (especially declining/delayed fertility and longer life expectancies) shape the prevalence of generational overlap, especially for children and grandparents. Generational overlap in the form of shared lifetimes represents a fundamental condition guiding whether and how kin relationships across generations may develop and how resources may be shared – with notable variation by socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and family complexity. 

Marcia (Marcy) J. Carlson is the Sewell-Bascom Professor of Sociology, and Associate Dean of Graduate Education, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her primary research interests center on the links between family contexts and the wellbeing of children and parents, with attention to inequality and public policy. She served from 2016-2021 as Director of UW’s Center for Demography and Ecology, and in 2021, she was Vice President of the Population Association of America. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and several private foundations. She is currently co-PI of NextGenPop, a program focused on recruiting the next generation of scholars into population research. 


November 2, 2023 - 1:00pm to 2:15pm
Morrill 1, N326

The Evolutionary Epidemiology of Iron Deficiency

Dr. Katherine Wander

Iron deficiency can affect susceptibility to infectious diseases in complex ways, by limiting iron available to both infectious agents and immune defense. The combination of these effects may result in an optimal iron intake that is inadequate to meet tissue iron needs. This hypothesis has been tested by evaluating associations between iron nutrition and multiple common infectious diseases, with mixed results. These findings can help to illuminate the circumstances in which iron deficiency is likely to decrease (and increase) infectious disease risk. All components of the epidemiologic triangle—host, agent, and environment—are likely to influence the impact of iron deficiency on infectious disease risk. 

Dr. Wander is a biological anthropologist and epidemiologist working at the intersection of human evolutionary biology and health. Much of her research seeks to understand how humans (particularly children) cope with nutritional and infectious disease stress, and how these stresses impact the immune system. She has recently published papers about iron deficiency and infectious disease risk; immune activity in human milk; the impact of gender and kinship on risk for chronic disease; and how genetic adaptations to high altitude may decrease risk for chronic disease among Himalayan-descended populations. She collaborates on research in Tanzania, Nigeria, Bangladesh, China, and Vanuatu. 

October 24, 2023 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Commonwealth Honors College East Room

Orchestrating Immunological Symphony in Type 2 Diabetes

Jason K. Kim, Ph.D.

Obesity is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes, and inflammation plays a critical role as a molecular link. This lecture presents how inflammation causes insulin resistance, an early characteristic of type 2 diabetes, as cytokines regulate glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle and liver. Pro-inflammatory macrophages are involved in this obesity-mediated event, including liver disease. In all, obesity and aging are physiological states of low-grade, systemic inflammation, and metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, may be treated by targeting our body’s immunological system.

Dr. Kim received his B.S. from UC Irvine in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from USC in 1996. He began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Section of Endocrinology and metabolism at Yale Medical School in 2002, moved to Penn State College of Medicine as an Associate Professor of Cellular and molecular Physiology in 2005, and joined UMass as a Full Professor with tenure in 2008. As an NIH-funded investigator since 2001, his research studies the molecular link between obesity, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes, publishing over 180 peer-reviewed articles. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Seoul National University in Korea, an Adjunct Investigator at Harvard Medical School, and serves as a Chair of NIH and AHA grant review committees, Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of Hong Kong, External Advisory Committee at JHU, Columbia, and Hawaii, and scientific advisory boards of pharma. He has further mentored more than 100 MD/PhD students, undergraduate interns, research/clinical fellows, and junior faculty, many are now established investigators.

May 4, 2023 - 4:00pm
Commonwealth Honors College East Room

Black Women and Maternal Health Inequities: Addressing the Role of Racism

Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH, CHES

Throughout U.S. history, women of color have disproportionately suffered reproductive injustices. Implicit medical bias, unequal distribution of resources and a dearth of consistent, timely prenatal care and obstetrics aggravates existing disparities. Currently, Black women in the U.S. are 3-4x more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication compared to White women. This presentation will explore the complexities of these issues with an emphasis on community-based research and responses.

April 26, 2023 - 4:00pm
Commonwealth Honors College

UMass Black Women United are proud to welcome you to a UMass Center for Research on Families (CRF) Tay Gavin Lecture presented by Dr. Katrina Hutchins. Many Black women in higher education are exhausted and burned out, as they are experiencing higher levels of stress, anxiety, relationship-breakdown, insomnia, depression, and emotional and physical fatigue. Their struggles often are unspoken, and their voices are often minimized or muted. Dr. Katrina Hutchins will amplify the need for voice power, while inspiring Black women to remember and reconnect to their “whole voice” when navigating professionally and personally. She will share insights and strategies for daring to own the power of voice to be seen, heard, and valued.

Dr. Katrina Hutchins is the Founder & CEO of Re-Source Solutions, a personal and professional growth and development company whose research is focused on the voices of women in workplaces where organizational silence is present. As the creator of the Voice Positioning System, Dr. Hutchins addresses the power dynamics of silence and helps women explore their voice behavior and to align new behaviors with their intrinsic power to be seen, heard, and valued. 

September 26, 2022 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
South College, Room W245 - UMass Amherst

Social relationships can enhance the quality of life by conferring higher levels of subjective well-being, greater resilience against adverse circumstances, and better health. To obtain these benefits, humans must navigate a complex social world where self-interest must be balanced by interest in others. In this talk, Dr. Campos asserts that Latino contexts are of theoretical and applied interest for studying these questions and present a series of studies that show that Latino cultural values that emphasize interest in others are associated with benefits for relationship quality and implications for health.