Beckman Symposium 2009 - Global Health & Emerging Infectious Diseases

April 13, 2009 | Clark Auditorium



Lucy Shapiro, Stanford University

Paul Berg, Stanford University

Director, Beckman Center for Molecular & Genetic Medicine and Professor of Developmental Biology

Emeritus Director and Professor of Biochemistry

Introductory Remarks
9:30 Joseph DeRisi, UCSF Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics Genomic Approaches to Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance and Discovery
10:15 Maria Freire, The Lasker Foundation President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation Developing Drugs for the Developing World: Tuberculosis Case Study
11:00 Tachi Yamada, The Gates Foundation President, Global Health Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Perspectives on Global Health
11:40   LUNCH  


1:00 Stanley Falkow, Stanford University Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Salmonella as an Emerging Infection
1:45 Gary Schoolnik, Stanford University Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology & Immunology The Molecular Ecology of Vibrio Cholerae in the Ganges Delta
2:25    BREAK  
2:40 Thomas Quinn, Johns Hopkins University Director, Global Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) HIV/AIDS as a Global Health Challenge for the Present & the Future
3:25 Rino Rappuoll, Novartis Global Head of Vaccines Research Vaccines: A Health Insurance of the 21st Century
4:25 Stanley Falkow, Stanford University Professor of Microbiology and Immunology  Closing Remarks

Speaker Profiles

Joseph DeRisi is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. He currently holds the Gordon Tomkins Chair of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. Dr. DeRisi has made major contributions to malaria research. He uses DNA microarray technology to study the activity of the full range of malaria genes. His analysis of gene expression in Plasmodium falciparum has revealed that an unusually high percentage of genes are expressed in a highly periodic fashion during the parasite's life cycle. This finding has revealed a vulnerable point where drugs and vaccines could be especially effective, and he has begun screening new antimalarial compounds. Dr. DeRisi and colleagues have also created a ''virus chip" - a comprehensive array of DNA sequences that characterize each viral family. The chip is being used for rapid detection of viruses and discovery of unknown viruses.

Stanley Falkow is the Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor in Cancer Research and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Over the course of his career he made discoveries of singular importance to the field of microbiology. In 1961, he and the late Julius Marmur discovered genetic elements in bacterial cells that remained distinct from the chromosome - elements now known as plasmids. He subsequently found that antibiotic resistance genes could migrate from one microorganism to another in the form of transposable genetic elements, or transposons, that can hop from plasmid to plasmid or from plasmid to chromosome. These discoveries, along with many others, laid the groundwork for understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms by which bacterial agents cause infection and disease. In recognition of his many research contributions, Dr. Falkow was awarded the 2008 Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science.

Maria Freire is President of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation and a leader in the field of global public health. She has made significant contributions to drug development for neglected diseases, public health policy, and technology transfer and intellectual property as they relate to medicine and basic science. An internationally recognized expert in technology commercialization, Dr. Freire directed the Office of Technology Transfer at the National Institutes of Health where she developed and implemented technology transfer policies for the Department of Health and Human Services and directed patenting and licensing activities for both NIH and the Food and Drug Administration. During her tenure she won numerous awards for her contributions in promoting global public health. Prior to joining the Lasker Foundation as its President, Dr. Freire was the President and CEO of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development where she spearheaded a pioneering effort to expand and accelerate the development of new drugs with which to more effectively treat tuberculosis. In addition to her work at the Foundation, Dr. Freire is a member of the Institute of Medicine and serves on numerous national and international boards and committees.

Thomas Quinn is Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Quinn's research involves the investigation of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and clinical features of HIV/AIDS internationally. The list of his research topics include the study of interactions between STOs and tropical diseases on the natural history and spread of HIV/AIDS in developing countries; an examination of the viral kinetics and transmission probabilities of HIV among discordant couples; molecular studies mapping the molecular epidemic of HIV on a global basis; and implementation of clinical care programs for HN, STOs, and other infectious diseases. He currently directs several field-based programs in Africa and Asia, utilizing community-based STD treatment linked with HIV prevention projects, and is a founding member of the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa.

Rino Rappuoli is the Global Head of Vaccines Research for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. Dr. Rappuoli spent his career developing vaccines for pertussis, meningitis, and Helicobader pylori and is jointly responsible for engineering the carrier protein used in many conjugate vaccines. He is also widely credited with launching the field of reverse vaccinology. His current research focuses on developing a vaccine for avian influenza. He and his colleagues are currently testing methods for assessing the effectiveness of H5N1 bird flu vaccines in people in order to speed preparations for mass immunization in the event of a global pandemic. Dr. Rappuoli sits on the Board of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), is co-Chairman of the R&D Task Force of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization; and is a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2005, he was awarded the Gold Medal by the President of the Italian Republic for his contributions to global health.

Gary Schoolnik is Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also Associate Director for the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. Dr. Schoolnik is a distinguished leader in the area of molecular microbial pathogenesis and pioneered the use of DNA microarrays for studying gene expression in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He is currently investigating the biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the molecular ecology of Vibrio cholerae in the Ganges Delta using a systems biology approach to look at how the tuberculosis bacterium behaves in human cells. He and his colleagues have established an online tuberculosis genome and gene expression database and are investigating which TB genes are expressed in infected tissue. Dr. Schoolnik co-chaired the NIAID Blue Ribbon Committee on Bioterrorism and was the founding editor of Molecular Microbiology. He also serves on the scientific advisory boards of numerous companies, and national and international agencies.

Tadataka "Tachi" Yamada is President of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. He leads the foundation's efforts to help develop and deliver low-cost drugs, vaccines, and other life-saving health tools to fight HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, and other diseases of the developing world. He oversees Global Health's grant-making activities that provide funding for discovery, development, delivery and advocacy. Dr. Yamada was a member of the Board of Directors at GlaxoSmithKline where he also served as Chairman of Research and Development. He has been Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and has served in an executive capacity for numerous foundations and distinguished scientific organizations.

Beckman Center Director Lucy Shapiro is the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research in the Department of Developmental Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Shapiro is a microbial geneticist whose research has resulted in major advances in understanding cell differentiation. Her innovative use of the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus has yielded fundamental insights for understanding the bacterial cell as a paradigm for an integrated system in which the transcriptional circuitry is interwoven with the three-dimensional deployment of key regulatory and morphological proteins. Dr. Shapiro showed for the first time that bacterial DNA replication occurred in a spacially organized way, and that the act of replication and the subsequent segregation of the DNA to opposite ends of the cell dictates the cellular position and time of function of the cell division machine. She has won numerous awards and distinctions for her contributions to the field of microbial genetics including the Selman Waksman Award from the National Academy of Sciences, and the 2009 Canada Gairdner International Award honoring individuals who have made outstanding and original contributions to medical research.

Paul Berg is Emeritus Director and founder of the Beckman Center, as well as Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is one of the principal pioneers in gene splicing having developed the recombinant DNA technology and methods to map the structure and function of DNA. For these achievements and for his many important contributions to the field of genetics, Dr. Berg has won numerous awards and distinctions including the Lasker Basic Science Award and the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He continues to influence scientific policy and shape the public debate on issues related to genetics and stem cell research, biotechnology, and human cloning.