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The Summer of Science seminar series goals are to: 

  • Introduce you to researchers from around the world.
  • Inspire you as you continue your research to improve the health of Indiana residents and those beyond our borders.

Organized by: Decio Eizirik

Suggestions for future speakers:
Email Decio at deizirik@ulb.ac.be or deizirik@indianabiosciences.org.

Upcoming Events

Pancreas Tissue Slices from Organ and Tissue Donors for the Study of Diabetes Pathogenesis

Wednesday, August 04, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Pancreas Tissue Slices from Organ and Tissue Donors for the Study of Diabetes Pathogenesis

Presenter: Stephan Speier, PhD

Organization: Technical University Dresden, Germany

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Dr. Stephan Speier is a professor of pancreatic islet cell physiology at the Technical University's Institute of Physiology. He also served as the group leader at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) and Paul-Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID).

His group investigates the role of beta cell mass and function at distinct stages of diabetes pathogenesis and aims to discover novel therapeutic targets for beta cell protection and recovery in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

A central aspect of his group's research is the translation of their findings into the human setting by utilizing novel platforms to study human pancreatic tissue and isletsIn addition, they utilize their unique platforms to optimize alternative cell sources for the successful generation of cell replacement therapies for diabetes.

Dr. Speier obtained his PhD from the European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen / Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany. He received his diploma degree in human biology from Philipps-University Marburg, Institute for Normal and Pathological Physiology in Marburg, Germany.

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Role of iPLA2b-Derived Lipids in T1D Development

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Role of iPLA2b-Derived Lipids in T1D Development

Presenter: Sasanka Ramanadham, PhD

Organization: The University of Alabama at Birmingham

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Dr. Sasanka Ramanadham is a professor in the Department of Cell, Development and Integrative Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Prior to joining the University of Alabama, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM). At WUSM, he worked with Dr. John Turk on lipid signaling in islet function. After his promotion to associate professor he focused on the contribution of lipid signaling to beta-cell death. Also during this time, his group identified a role for iPLA2b in this process and demonstrated that it plays a role in the development of T1D.

Dr. Ramanadham's recent focus has been on identifying the iPLA2b-derived lipids involved and countering their effects to mitigate diabetes development. Of special interest is how iDLs produced by beta-cells and immune cells work in concert to promote beta-cell death, leading to T1D.

Dr. Ramanadham received his undergraduate degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He obtained his PhD at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Colombia, Vancouver, BC.

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Therapeutic Targeting of Metabolic States and Metabolic Fluxes

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Therapeutic Targeting of Metabolic States and Metabolic Fluxes

Presenter: Weiping Han, PhD

Organization: Neurometabolism in Health & Diseases Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR

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Dr. Weiping Han obtained his PhD at Cornell University and did his postdoctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh and HHMI/UT Southwestern Medical Center. Currently he is the director of Neurometabolism in Health & Diseases at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (A*STAR), and is a professor at the National University of Singapore and Duke-NUS Medical School. His research interest centers around metabolic homeostasis in health and disease. 

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Functionally Mature Stem Cell Islets Allow the Modelling of Insulin Secretory Defects

Wednesday, August 25, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Functionally Mature Stem Cell Islets Allow the Modelling of Insulin Secretory Defects

Presenter: Timo Otonkoski, MD, PhD

Organization: University of Helsinki, Finland

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Dr. Timo Otonkoski is the professor of medical stem cell research at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. He directs the Biomedicum Stem Cell Centre, a core facility for human pluripotent stem cell services.

He also is the vice director of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Islet Study Group. His main research interests are in cellular reprogramming for the generation of patient cell-specific disease models. He is particularly interested in pancreatic beta cell differentiation and diabetes.

Additionally, Dr. Otonkoski is a specialist in pediatric endocrinology and serves as the Doctor in Chief at the Children's Hospital.

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Unexpected Roles of LncRNAs in Islet Biology

Wednesday, September 01, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Unexpected Roles of LncRNAs in Islet Biology

Presenter: Lori Sussel, PhD

Organization: University of Colorado School of Medicine

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Dr. Lori Sussel is the Research Director of the Barbara Davis Diabetes Center (BDC) and Director of the NIDDK-funded Diabetes Research Center.

Throughout her career, her research has focused on the coding and non-coding regulatory pathways controlling pancreatic islet cell development and function, which has contributed to the understanding of the islet dysfunction that occurs during the course of diabetes.

At the BDC, Dr. Sussel has established an internationally recognized interdisciplinary research division focusing on all aspects of T1D research and discovery.

Dr. Sussel also is a Professor of Pediatrics and Cell & Developmental Biology, as well as the Sissel and Findlow Stem Cell Chair and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Basic Science Research.

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Cyclic AMP Signaling in Islet Hormone Secretion: Old Questions and New Insights

Wednesday, September 08, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Cyclic AMP Signaling in Islet Hormone Secretion: Old Questions and New Insights

Presenter: Anders Tengholm, PhD

Organization: Uppsala University, Sweden

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Dr. Anders Tengholm is a professor of secretion research at Uppsala University. His main field of interest concerns intracellular signaling that controls pancreatic islet hormone release and the mechanisms underlying the perturbed hormone secretion in diabetes.

Dr. Tengholm studied medicine in Uppsala and completed his PhD in 2000. Following a postdoc period at Stanford University, he moved back to his alma mater, where for the past 18 years he has led a research group that utilizes various live-cell imaging approaches to monitor the kinetics of a number of messengers, signaling proteins and exocytosis.

A particular focus has been how the spatio-temporal dynamics of ATP, Ca2+ and cAMP in b-cells contribute to the normal, pulsatile pattern of insulin secretion. Current research activities also include the stimulus-secretion coupling processes in glucagon- and somatostatin-releasing cells and the role of paracrine signaling within the islet for shaping the hormone release patterns. 

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