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Symposium Features Research Of McNair Medical Institute Scholars

April 24, 2012

The first McNair Symposium, featuring the work of McNair Medical Institute Scholars in the Texas Medical Center, will be held at Baylor College of Medicine Wednesday, April 25.

The symposium will become an annual event and is in keeping with the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation’s focus on collaboration and the sharing of research among those who have been named McNair Medical Institute Scholars.

The five MMI Scholars at BCM will present research, as will a MMI Scholar at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a M.D./Ph.D. McNair Scholar at BCM.

The event, to be held from 1-6 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium, is open to the public.

The McNair Medical Institute Scholars program was announced at BCM in September 2007. McNair Scholars all become members of the McNair Medical Institute at BCM.

There are a total of eight MMI Scholars in the Texas Medical Center, as well as 10 current M.D./Ph.D. McNair Scholars.

Research to be presented at the symposium includes:

- Dr. Benjamin Arenkiel, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics and neuroscience at BCM and an investigator at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, “Genetically Dissecting Brain Circuits.”

- Dr. Melissa Bondy, professor and associate director of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM, “Familial Glioma — Are we any closer to finding a gene?”

- Dr. Malgorzata Borowiak, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology and a member of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center at BCM and the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at BCM, Texas Children’s Hospital and The Methodist Hospital, “Pluripotent stem cells as a platform to study human pancreatic development and disease.”

- Dr. Jake A. Kushner, associate professor and head of the Division of Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology at BCM and service chief for those programs at Texas Children’s, “Beta cell regeneration for type 1 diabetes: challenges and opportunities.”

- Dr. Xiang “Shawn” Zhang, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology at BCM, “Toward the prediction and eradication of latent bone metastasis of breast cancer.”

- Dr. Sushovan Guha, assistant professor of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at MD Anderson Cancer Center, “CXCR2 ligands mediated signaling in pancreatic cancer microenvironment.”

- Dr. Hsaio-Tuan Chao, a student in BCM’s Medical Scientist training program, “Deciphering Gabaergic Dysfunction in models of Rett Syndrome.”

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