Prominent Researchers Discuss Translating Basic Research into Therapies at UMass ‘Models to Medicine’ Symposium on May 2

AMHERST, Mass. – Four nationally prominent scientists will share their experiences translating their basic research findings into therapeutic applications during a symposium titled “Models to Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities” on Friday, May 2. The symposium is organized by the new Models to Medicine Center (M2M) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The speakers, Alfred Goldberg of Harvard Medical School, Christopher Ross of Johns Hopkins University, Sheila Nirenberg of Weill Medical School at Cornell University, and Eric Lander of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, will be the featured inaugural event of the M2M Center, which is part of the recently established Institute of Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst.

Researchers in the Models to Medicine Center discover and validate new therapeutic targets, with an initial focus on protein homeostasis, a rapidly emerging field that seeks to illuminate the intricate mechanisms governing the expression, function and fate of cellular proteins that are fundamental to the operation of many biological processes. A wave of discoveries over the past decade reveals imbalances in protein homeostasis in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and many infectious diseases. More than 50 UMass Amherst faculty labs are working on life sciences research connected to the M2M Center. Other emerging M2M areas include biology of the membrane, cellular dynamics, neural development and degeneration, genomics, and infection and immunity: models for human diseases.

The symposium, which is intended to showcase the M2M center to potential industry partners, will include a poster session from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Life Science Laboratories. In the afternoon, beginning at 12:45, the event will shift to the Student Union Ballroom where there will be a panel discussion on “Models to Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities,” and the four lectures:

  • Alfred Goldberg on “The Proteasome - From Basic Understanding to Cancer Therapy”
  • Christopher Ross on “Huntington’s Disease and Other Neuropsychiatric Disorders”
  • Sheila Nirenberg on “Talking to the Brain in Its Own Language”  
  • Eric Lander speaking on “Secrets of the Human Genome”

A reception follows at 5 p.m.


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