LSI to celebrate 10 years of discovery at two-day symposium


The Life Sciences Institute will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a two-day biomedicine symposium featuring an impressive list of former University of Michigan researchers.

The “Victors for Discovery: Biomedicine at Michigan” symposium will be May 14-15 at Palmer Commons. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in Forum Hall and the Great Lakes Room.

“The speakers all have two things in common — they shaped their science at U-M, and they now hold national leadership positions in government, research and health care,” said Alan Saltiel, Mary Sue Coleman Director of the Life Sciences Institute.

Jack Dixon, now a professor at the University of California, San Diego, will open the symposium on May 14 with the keynote Mary Sue and Kenneth Coleman Life Sciences Lecture. He was part of the U-M faculty from 1991 to 2003 and served as chief scientific officer of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. President Mary Sue Coleman will introduce Dixon.

Daniel Klionsky, left, is a faculty member at the Life Sciences Institute and an international leader in the research of the cellular process called autophagy. (Photo by Scott C. Sodeberg, Michigan Photography)

At 4:10 p.m. on the May 14, a panel discussion on the future of biomedical research will be introduced by National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis S. Collins, a physician-geneticist who worked at U-M from 1984 to 1993.

Dr. David Ginsburg of the LSI will moderate the panel. Panelists will be Dixon; Dr. William N. Kelley, former chief executive officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System; Michael A. Marletta, president and chief executive officer of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California; and Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“This outstanding panel of nationally recognized researchers will be discussing the future of the academic scientific enterprise,” Ginsburg said.

On May 15 at 11 a.m., a panel discussion on drug discovery in the 21st century will be introduced by Tachi Yamada, chief medical and scientific officer of Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Panelists are Vishva Dixit, vice president at Genentech; John Lowe, senior director of the research pathology department at Genentech; Gary Nabel, the chief scientific officer and senior vice president at Sanofi; Craig Thompson, president and chief executive officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and founder of Agios Pharmaceutical; and Barbara Weber, senior vice president and global head, Oncology Translational Medicine, of Novartis Oncology. Saltiel will moderate.

“The panelists represent a remarkable range of perspectives, and each has had significant impact on drug discovery research,” Saltiel said. “We’re looking forward to a lively discussion.”

The LSI celebrated its grand opening in May 2004 and now houses researchers in molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, genetics, bioinformatics and physiology working together to solve scientific problems in human health.

“We’re very proud of U-M’s influence on the scientific world and are looking forward to welcoming back such a range of leaders,” Saltiel said.


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