Past Lecture Archive

A Capacity for Healing: Treating injuries with electricity

Thursday, November 18, 2010
Dr. Min Zhao, from the Department of Dermatology and Ophthalmology at the UC Davis, will address his research into healing injuries by generating electrical fields to recruit stem cells to the injury site.

Capacity for HealingExperimental evidence suggests a profound role for bioelectricity in wound healing and regeneration. Applied electric fields have been shown to control regeneration polarity in flatworms, in limb and tail regeneration in amphibians, and in ocular lens regeneration in rodents, and they have been found to play an overriding guidance role in directing cell migration in epithelial wound healing. Electrical signals also guide stem cell migration and division. Imaging techniques have provided significant insights into cellular and molecular responses to this “unconventional” signal.

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Breathe Easy: Using stem cells to cure respiratory diseases

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Dr. Martin Birchall, a throat surgeon and Professor of Laryngology at the University College London, will discuss how his research is helping patients with respiratory diseases.

BreatheEasyConventional treatments are severely limited to cure respiratory disorders. Regenerative medicine has considerable potential to bridge this gap between what present therapy can achieve and the restoration of normal function. Birchall is a specialist in the area of the throat known as the larynx. In 2008, he was co-leader of the team which performed the world's first stem-cell based organ transplant; one in which the airway of a patient was replaced.

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Watts on the Horizon: Smart Grid delivers electricity efficiently

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Dr. Emir Jose Macari, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Sacramento State, will explain the fundamentals of Smart Grid and each of its components as well as outline the various projects that are underway in our region in support of this major initiative.

Watts on the HorizionIn mid 2008, Sacramento State launched an important initiative that would leverage on three major components from the College of Engineering and Computer Science: The only Power Engineering program in the state of California, the Center for Information Assurance and Security (Cyber Security) and the Center for Clean Energy. These three programs: power electrical engineering, communications networking and cyber security, and clean energy technology (solar, wind and biofuels) form the main components of what has come to be known as the Smart Grid.

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Bad Blood: The search for a cure

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Dr. Tim Townes, director of the STEM Cell Institute and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, will address a new gene therapy approach to treating blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia using adult stem cells.

Bad BloodDr. Townes’ group has produced induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from skin fibroblasts of human sickle cell patients either before or after correction of the mutation that causes sickle cell anemia. Corrected patient iPS cells can subsequently be cultured so as to become hematopoietic stem cells that can produce all types of blood cells for future transplantation back into these patients for a cure. These studies provide a foundation for new treatments of sickle cell disease in humans and for treatments of other inherited and acquired disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

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From Classical Philosophy to Quantum Mechanics: An evolving reality

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Dr. Michael Epperson, founder and director of the Center for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences at Sacramento State and a Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, will explore the philosophical implications of recent innovations in quantum mechanics and the resulting challenges for the conventional classical world view.

Quantum MechanicsIn classical mechanics, nature’s fundamental constituents are material substances (things); in quantum mechanics, they are units of relation (events). “In the classical world view, things have histories; in the quantum world view, things are histories,” says Epperson. He will explore how ‘classical reality’ is modeled from a more fundamental quantum mechanical description of nature.

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HIV Gene Therapy

Tuesday, December 5, 2009
Dr. Gerhard Bauer, Director of the UC Davis Good Manufacturing Practice Facility, will address a new gene therapy approach to treating Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

HIV Gene TheoryGene therapy for HIV is based on the concept that human cells can be made resistant to the detrimental effects of HIV by the insertion of anti-HIV genes into the genome of HIV target cells. Bauer, in collaboration with Dr. Joseph Anderson of the UC Davis stem cell program, has developed a highly potent combination of anti-HIV genes that simultaneously target 3 different parts of the HIV life cycle preventing the virus from entering and integrating. This novel approach offers a possible path to a cure for HIV.

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The Future Of Fighting Diseases

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Dr. Diane Krause, a Yale Professor and leading authority in stem cell research, will address new discoveries in regenerative medicine.

Fighting DiseaseIn 2001 Dr. Krause lead a team of researchers who discovered that adult stem cells taken from the bone marrow of mice can differentiate into epithelial cells for the repair of organs as diverse as liver, lung, and intestines. This research led to one of the first reports of marrow-derived stem cells contributing to tissue repair, which is now an exploding field. This lecture is funded through a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine grant in collaboration with the UC Davis Stem Cell Program.

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Biomedical Engineering

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Dr. Warren Smith, a Sacramento State professor of Electrical & Electronic Engineering who specializes in biomedical engineering will discuss the development of new medical monitors at Sacramento State.

Biomedical EngineeringThese new monitors have been made possible by miniature electronics and computers, digital signal processing, and wireless technologies. Dr. Smith will describe several projects he and his students have designed using this new technology, including the development of a depth-of-anesthesia monitor based on the patient's brain waves (the electroencephalogram, or EEG) to reduce the chance of patient awareness during anesthesia.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Daniel Orey, a Sacramento State professor of Teacher Education who specializes in mathematics and multicultural education, will discuss Ethnomathematics. A research program developed by Brazilian philosopher, educator, and mathematician Ubiratan D'Ambrosio, Ethnomathematics uses aspects of mathematics modeling to study the relationship between mathematics and culture.

EthnomathematicsEthnomathematicians study the diverse contexts in which mathematics is used outside of academic situations. An ethnomathematics program provides a basis for acknowledging mathematical structures in non-western societies and possesses the power to connect culture to mathematics. In this talk, Dr. Orey will share examples of cultural and mathematical practices he has come across in his travels around the world, including Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, Nepal, and Israel.

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Under the Microscope

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Jan Nolta, a Sacramento State alum and director of the UC Davis Stem Cell Program since 2006, will discuss research that suggests stem cells can be used to repair tissue

Under the MicroscopeNolta says human stem cells from adult sources have been shown in laboratories to promote the repair of damaged tissues. Different populations of stem cells have been shown to contribute to the regeneration of muscle, neural tissue, the liver, the heart and the vasculature. While the potential benefits could signal a radical change in medical treatment, Nolta says more research is needed to understand the mechanisms by which stem cells work.

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