Saturday, March 13, 2010

FW: University Scholar Presentation - March 24, 2010

From: Kathleen Merchant []
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 9:09 AM
To: Kathleen Liang
Subject: University Scholar Presentation - March 24, 2010


Presented by

Ralph C. Budd, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases

A Matter of Life and Death for a Cell

Nothing is so fundamental to the function of cells as the processes that regulate their growth and death. Given how opposite these processes are, it seems logical that they would be regulated by very different signals. However, a serendipitous observation by a UVM graduate student in 1998 suggested that growth and death of cells of the immune system might actually share certain signaling molecules. As paradoxical as that seemed at the time, further studies by ourselves and other groups confirmed this observation. We have spent the 12 years since then working to define how cells of the immune system manage to partially activate this "death" pathway just enough to permit cell growth without pushing the cell into a death spiral, and also wondering why cells are wired in this manner in the first place.

We now understand much about how a cell regulates this life versus death balance in signaling, and have come to appreciate that this concept applies to many cell types, not just immune cells. The cell's fate is determined by an intricate pas de deux of two molecules, one a death promoter and the other its inhibitor. The location and tempo of their dance is critical to the outcome.

As we now strive to define the conditions that drive this switch to life or death, initial studies suggest that the overall metabolic state of the cell may be central to this regulation. This brings us back to the opening University Scholar lecture last fall by Dr. Russell Tracy. He presented an intriguing "inflammation hypothesis of aging" at the level of an organ or an entire organism. We feel we may be witnessing a similar process at the level of individual cells. Recent studies suggest that similar death molecules may be central to the inflammation observed in obesity and other metabolic disorders.

4:00 PM, Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building

The University Scholar Awards Program annually recognizes distinguished faculty members for sustained excellence in research and scholarly activities. The Scholars are selected by a panel of distinguished faculty, based upon nominations submitted by UVM colleagues.

Refreshments at 3:45 and after the Seminar Sponsored by the Graduate College

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.