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John H. Blaffer Lecture Series

Each week from September through May, an internationally recognized scientist is invited to speak and present his or her latest results. Students have the opportunity to meet and interact with these distinguished scientists, and each year they are encouraged as a group to select, invite and host a speaker for one of the Blaffer lectures.

Onstead Auditorium, BSRB Room S3.8012, 4:00 p.m.
Onstead Auditorium is accessible from the Main MD Anderson Bldg, via the 3rd/4th floor Tan Zone skybridges and the front entrance to the BSRB at 6767 Bertner.

View the lecture on MDA LIVE (
MDA LIVE is the streaming media service. Programs broadcast through this method can be viewed on any PC within MD Anderson. There is no outside viewing or viewing via VPN from outside.

Spring 2014

January 7

Speaker: Huda Yahya Zoghbi, M.D., Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Title: “Neurodegenerative Diseases: The Dangers of Too Much Protein Stability”
Host: Sadhan Majumder (GEN)

January 14

Speaker: David Chan, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Title: “Cellular Mechanisms Regulating Mitochondrial Dynamics”
Host: Randy Johnson (BMB)

January 21

Speaker: Sabine Werner, Ph.D., University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Title: “Cytoprotective Signaling Pathways in Tissue Repair and Cancer”
Host: Michael Galko (BMB)

January 28

Speaker: Fred de Sauvage, Ph.D., Genentech, San Francisco, CA
Title: “Targeting Development Pathways in Cancer”
Host: Guillermina Lozano (GEN), Sponsored by Center for Genetics & Genomics

February 4

Speaker: Eric U. Selker, Ph.D., University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Title: “DNA Methylation, Gene Silencing and Control of Heterochromatin in Neurospora”
Host: Greg May (LAB MED)

February 11

Speaker: Rebecca Heald, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Title: “Mechanisms of Mitosis and Intracellular Scaling”
Host: Jill Schumacher (GEN)

February 18


February 25

Speaker: Yali Dou, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Title: “Targeting Histone Methyltransferase in Cancer Therapy”
Host: Xiaobing Shi (BMB)

March 4

Speaker: Nathaniel Heintz, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University, New York, NY
Title: TBA
Host: Ralf Krahe (GEN)

March 25

Speaker: Moosa Mohammadi, Ph.D., New York University, New York, NY
Title: “Molecular Mechanisms of FGF Signaling in Health and Disease”
Host: John Ladbury (BMB)

April 1

Speaker: David M. Sabatini, Ph.D., Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, MA
Title: “Regulation of Growth by the mTOR Pathway”
Host: Kenneth Tsai (DERM)

April 15

Speaker: Thea Tlsty, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, CA
Title: “Novel Signaling Networks Regulate Pluripotency in Adult Human Somatic Cells”
Host: Nicholas Navin (GEN)

April 22

Speaker: Bradley E. Bernstein, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Title: “Epigenetic Regulation and Heterogeneity in Cancer”
Host: Xiaobing Shi (BMB)

April 29

Speaker: Yukiko Yamashita, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Title: “The Mechanism of Asymmetric Stem Cell Division”
Host: Michael Galko (BMB)

May 6

Speaker: Brigid Hogan, Ph.D., FRS, Duke University, Durham, NC
Title: “The Life of Breath: Stem Cells in Lung Homeostasis and Repair”
Host: Jichao Chen (PUL MED)

May 13


May 20

Speaker: Angelika Amon, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA
Title: “Consequences of Aneuploidy”
Host: G&D Students, Sponsored by Center for Genetics & Genomics


For further information contact Salbi Kassardjian (Genetics) at 713-834-6337 or Doris Green (BMB) at 713-834-6267.

Blaffer Journal Club

The weekly Blaffer Journal Club features the presentation and discussion of a paper from each Blaffer speaker’s lab, on the Thursday prior to their lecture. Everyone in G&D and the Depts. of Genetics and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology is invited to participate.

GSBS Small Classroom, BSRB S3.8367 (please note different location)

Journal Club: Thursday 4/24, Noon-1:00 p.m. (please note different time)
Speaker: Heather Turner (Galko Lab)
Article: “Centrosome misorientation reduces stem cell division during ageing” Cheng et al. Nature 2008 Dec 4; 456(7222):599-604 Link to paper
For 4/29 Blaffer Lecture: Yukiko Yamashita, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
“The Mechanism of Asymmetric Stem Cell Division”

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center