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'Distinguished Scholar Series' Brings National Experts to Roanoke

Monday, August 19, 2013  
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What makes a human brain human? What role does aging play in cancer development? How can robotics help restore quality of life to stroke survivors? What are the latest advances in the genetics of autism? And what role does the public play in biomedical research?  The fourth annual season of public lectures in the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute’s Distinguished Scholars Series will bring leading experts in biomedical and health research from across the nation to Roanoke to answer these and other questions.


Dr. Ronald DePinho, one of the world’s leading oncologists and cancer researchers, will talk about how cancers affect us as we age. Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Chair at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., will discuss what makes a human brain human. Dr. Gary Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, will discuss his vision for a diverse, adaptive, and networked biomedical science enterprise.


Other topics in the upcoming series will include the family-wide impacts of such genetic diseases as fragile X syndrome, the use of robotic assistance in rehabilitation for stroke survivors, the translation of genetic mutations into therapeutic targets for cardiac rehabilitation, the Obama administration’s BRAIN Initiative, the use of deep brain stimulation in treating resistant depression, and the mechanisms by which viruses infect the nervous system.


The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will take place on Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute at 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke. A free public reception will precede each lecture at 5:00 p.m. For a complete schedule, visit the institute’s website.

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