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Baylor College of Medicine News

McNair Symposium gives research the spotlight

The third annual McNair Symposium will be held at Baylor College of Medicine featuring lectures by two Baylor McNair Scholars and three other guest lectures.

The lecture series was created by the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation with a focus on collaboration and sharing of research among those who have been named McNair Scholars.

The event begins at 1 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium on Wednesday, April 2.

Welcome remarks will be given by Dr. Paul Klotman, president and CEO of Baylor, and Dr. Adam Kuspa, senior vice president of research at Baylor. Dr. Charles Neblett, clinical professor of neurosurgery at Baylor and medical director of the McNair Medical Institute, will be giving opening remarks  as well.

New Baylor McNair Scholars, Dr. Chenghang “Chuck” Zong, assistant professor of molecular and human Genetics, Dr. Xaq Pitkow, assistant professor of computational neuroscience, and Dr. Erez Aiden, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics, will be recognized.

Guest lecturer Dr. Diane Mathis, professor in the division of immunology in the department of microbiology and immunobiology at Harvard Medical School, will discuss “Aire: A Transcription Factor Critical for Immunological Tolerance.” She will be followed by Dr. Joe Petrosino, assistant professor of virology and microbiology at Baylor, presenting, “Metagenomic studies toward microbial associations and potential triggers for type 1 diabetes.”

Baylor McNair Scholar lectures will be presented by Dr. Jake Kushner, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Dr. Malgorzata Borowiak, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology.  Kushner will discuss, “Beta Cell Regeneration for Patients with Type 1 Diabetes: Challenges and Opportunities,” and Borowiak will talk about “Strategies for Late Pancreatic Endocrine Maturation.”

The lecture series will end with a distinguished lecture by Dr. Douglas A. Melton, the Xander University Professor at Harvard Medical School, presenting a talk on “Making Pancreatic Beta Cells.”

The McNair Scholar program at Baylor identifies rising stars in four areas of biomedical research - breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, juvenile diabetes and neuroscience. The program is supported by the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and managed by the McNair Medical Institute.