past events & lectures

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  • The Helix Center for Interdisciplinary Investigation

    Synthetic and Systems Biology: Reinventing the Code of Life

    Saturday, May 11, 2013
    2:30 PM

    Participants include Andrea Califano, Mark Fishman, Michael Hecht, Christopher Mason, Saeed Tavazoie, and Michael Waldholz.

    Donations Accepted

    New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
    247 East 82nd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
    The Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium

    Synthetic biology, and its sister field systems biology, offers the means to reengineer DNA in ways (and at a pace) that Nature, in her evolutionary wisdom, never envisioned. Standing at the unique crossroads of biology, engineering, computer science and neuroscience, these emerging fields are working toward the development of novel drugs and energy sources, the cure of disease and prolongation of life, and even the creation of new forms of life. Do synthetic and systems biology herald the true arrival of Promethean Man, who has thieved the very fire of transformation--the code of life--from the gods? Experts in synthetic and systems biology, molecular genetics and biomedical research, as well as a journalist of medical innovation, will offer their views on the aspirations--and pitfalls--of this brave new science.
    ANDREA CALIFANO is the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, in the departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics and of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. He is currently the founding director and chair of the Columbia Initiative for Systems Biology. He also serves as Associate Director for Bioinformatics in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Califano serves on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards, including the Board of Scientific Advisors of St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Sanford-Burnham Institute, MD Anderson Genomic Medicine department, and the National Cancer Institute.

    MARK FISHMAN, M.D., is President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. He leads worldwide discovery and early clinical activities of Novartis, which aims to develop novel therapeutics for diseases. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Fishman was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as Chief of Cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the founding Director of their Cardiovascular Research Center. Dr. Fishman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institutes of Medicine of the National Academies.

    MICHAEL HECHT is a Professor of Chemistry at Princeton and holds affiliated appointments in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Institute for Integrative Genomics. His research is at the interface of chemistry and biology. Specifically, his lab works in protein design and synthetic biology, as well as on the molecular underpinnings of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Hecht is the Master of Forbes College, one of the six undergraduate colleges at Princeton University.

    CHRISTOPHER MASON became an Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2009, in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics and at the Institute for Computational Biomedicine. Professor Mason also holds an appointment in the Tri-Institutional Program on Computational Biology and Medicine between Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University, and he also has an appointment at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center. He is a co-founder of the New York Synthetic Biology Association.

    SAEED TAVAZOIE is a systems biologist who was professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton before joining the faculty at Columbia University in 2011. Over the years, his laboratory has addressed fundamental challenges in decoding the regulatory genome and revealing how networks of interacting genes implement complex phenotypes. The long-term goal of his research is to achieve a predictive understanding of biological behavior in terms of the structural and dynamical properties of the underlying molecular networks.

    MICHAEL WALDHOLZ most recently served for six years as managing editor at Bloomberg News/Businessweek, following his 25-year career as a writer, editor, and bureau chief at the Wall Street Journal. At Bloomberg, he was responsible for news coverage related to health care and science, including the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, health insurance, medical services, public health, and health policy. Mr. Waldholz is the author of the book Curing Cancer, and a co-author of Genome. He was awarded the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for his stories on the breakthrough in AIDS medicines.

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guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •