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Mapping the Brain: A Future Biotech Industry in California?

Ralph Greenspan, Director of the Center for Brain Activity Mapping, Associate Director of the Kavli Institute for Mind and Brain and Professor in Residence of Neurobiology and Cognitive Sciences; William J. McGinnis, Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego
  • Mapping the Brain: A Future Biotech Industry in California?
  • 2014-06-12T12:00:00-07:00
  • 2014-06-12T13:00:00-07:00
  • Ralph Greenspan, Director of the Center for Brain Activity Mapping, Associate Director of the Kavli Institute for Mind and Brain and Professor in Residence of Neurobiology and Cognitive Sciences; William J. McGinnis, Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego
When
Jun 12, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
Where
1130 K Street, Room LL3
Contact Name
Contact Phone
(916) 445-5100
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While it is no mystery to any of us why we need a brain, it remains a major mystery how the brain does what it does. As a result, when illness or injury disturbs the brain’s normal activities, we are hard pressed to treat the problem effectively.

 

Those who have been affected — either personally or through family and friends — by conditions such as traumatic brain injury, autism, schizophrenia, depression, stroke or Alzheimer’s disease — know all too well the tragedy and feeling of helplessness that comes with running up against the limitations of current treatment options. The human cost of these afflictions is staggering, and the economic cost enormous.

 

The speakers from UC San Diego will explain how President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) and UC San Diego’s newly established Center for Brain Activity Mapping (CBAM) will make it possible to overcome technical barriers to provide scientists with a better idea of how the brain works and thus how to treat its malfunctions. They will also describe how these efforts can  stimulate a new “neurotechnology” industry in the state, the economic benefits for California that are likely to result from such basic research on the brain, why students need to be involved and the economic benefits that have resulted from past investments in basic biological research at UC San Diego.

 

Ralph GreenspanRalph Greenspan is Director of the Center for Brain Activity Mapping, Associate Director of the Kavli Institute for Mind and Brain and Professor in Residence of Neurobiology and Cognitive Sciences at UC San Diego.  He has worked on the genetic basis of behavior and brain function in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) almost since the inception of the field, studying with one of its founders, Jeffery Hall, at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, where he received his Ph.D. in biology in 1979.  Dr. Greenspan’s research includes studies of the consequences of mutations and localized genetic alterations in the nervous, molecular identification of genes causing naturally occurring variation in behavior, and the genetic analysis of fruit fly sleep and attention.  His current research addresses large-scale network interactions pertaining to the action of genes and neurons.  In 2011, he was one of the small team of scientists that produced the white paper for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that eventuated in the  BRAIN Initiative.  In addition to research papers, he has authored:  Fly Pushing: The Theory and Practice of Drosophila Genetics,  An Introduction to Nervous Systems, and How Genes Influence Behaviour (with Jonathan Flint and Ken Kendler).

 

William (Bill) J. McGinnis, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences at UC, San Diego. He received his BS degree in biology in 1978 from San Jose State University, then went on to UC Berkeley, where he received his doctorate in molecular biology in 1982. He is well known internationally for his work on how genes that control embryonic development in fruit flies—specifically a class of regulatory genes, known as Hox, that act as master switches by turning on and off other genes during embryonic development. He discovered with two other scientists in 1983 that the same Hox genes in fruit flies that control the placement of the head, thorax and abdomen during the development of the fruit-fly embryo are a generalized feature in shaping the body plans of all higher animals, including humans. His current research has been focused on understanding the roles of genes in humans and other animals that regulate the regeneration of animal skin and other epithelial barriers after wounding. He was a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow at the University of Basel in Switzerland and, from 1984 to 1995, was on the faculty of Yale University, where he held joint appointments as a professor of biology and a professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry. His awards include the Vietnam Service Award, a Searle Scholar Award, a Presidential Young Investigator Award and a Dreyfuss Teacher/Scholar Award. In 2010, he was elected a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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