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University of Pittsburgh’s Science2010 Plenary Lectures Scheduled

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 6, 2010 – Plenary lectures from four distinguished scientists will be presented as part of Science2010: Transformations, the University of Pittsburgh’s 10th annual showcase of science and technology. The lectures will take place Oct. 7 and 8 at Alumni Hall, Seventh Floor Lecture Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

Dickson Prize in Medicine Lecture, 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 7

“The DNA Damage Response: Stopped for Repairs,” will be presented by Stephen J. Elledge, Ph.D., Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Dr. Elledge is one of the leading and most prolific scientists in the fields of cell cycle regulation and cellular response to genotoxic stress. He received his doctorate in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. After 14 years on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Elledge was recruited to Harvard Medical School in 2003. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, the Genetics Society of America Medal and the G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research.

Provost Lecture, 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7

“Strengthening the Connections: Research, Innovation and Economic Growth,” will be given by Patrick D. Gallagher, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Dr. Gallagher earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and philosophy from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., and a doctorate in physics from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined NIST in 1993 as an instrument scientist at the agency’s Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), a national user facility for neutron scattering in Gaithersburg, Md., and was named NCNR director in 2004. A former agency representative to the National Science and Technology Council, Dr. Gallagher remains active in U.S. policy for scientific user facilities. His leadership in interagency coordination of such policy was recognized with a Commerce Department Gold Medal award in 2006.

Mellon Lecture, 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 8

“Our Habitual Lives: How the Brain Makes and Breaks Habits,” will be presented by Ann M. Graybiel, Ph.D., Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an investigator at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

Dr. Graybiel completed her undergraduate work at Harvard University and earned her doctorate from MIT. Her research helps to explain how the forebrain’s activity states are controlled and modulated during motor activity, procedural learning and cognition; how the brain’s habit system functions; and how humans switch from conscious activity to nearly nonconscious behavior. Dr. Graybiel has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In 2001, she was awarded the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor. She has received the James Rhyne Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, Robert S. Dow Neuroscience Award, Prix Plasticité Neuronale IPSEN and Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science.

Klaus Hofmann Lecture, 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8

“Metabolic Flexibility and Suspended Animation,” will be given by Mark B. Roth, Ph.D., MacArthur Fellow, cell biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and affiliate associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington.

Dr. Roth earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and his doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He completed postdoctoral studies at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore. Early in his career, Dr. Roth discovered a class of phosphoproteins that act as autoantigens in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. This discovery led him to develop the anti-SR protein antibody assay, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2003 as a clinical test for the diagnosis of lupus. His recent work in metabolic flexibility and suspended animation earned him a MacArthur Fellowship and a 2007 Award for Significant Technical Achievement by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

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