Seminar – Cary Harding, MD – Topic: Phenylketonuria (PKU): Pathophysiology and Therapeutics

Dr. Harding is a professor in the Departments of Molecular and Medical Genetics and Pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He is an attending physician on the OHSU clinical genetics service, the clinical genetics clinic, and the metabolic clinic at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the medical director of the biochemical genetics laboratory in the Knight Diagnostic Laboratories at OHSU. Harding’s basic and clinical research programs are focused upon the development of novel therapies, including gene and cell therapies, for inborn errors of metabolism.

Seminar – Somer Bishop, PhD – Topic: Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptom Manifestation and Differentiation from Other Developmental Disabilities Across the Lifespan

Dr. Bishop is an associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Weill Institute for Neurosciences at UCSF. She is a clinical psychologist with expertise in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Her research and clinical interests are focused on ASD symptom manifestations in individuals of different ages and levels of ability, as well as on differentiating between ASD and other developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

Seminar – Xue-jun Li, PhD – “Uncovering the Mechanisms of Motor Neuron Development and Degeneration Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells”

Dr. Li is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois Chicago. One of the research focuses in Li’s lab is to direct human pluripotent stem cells into motor neurons including both upper and lower motor neurons. She also seeks to build three-dimensional co-culture models to study the connections between upper and lower motor neurons. The other focus is to use human pluripotent stem cells to model motor neuron diseases. By combining cellular, molecular, bioengineering and system approaches, research in her lab aims to understand the pathogenic mechanisms underlying motor neuron and axonal degeneration, and to develop therapeutics for the treatment of these debilitating diseases.

Seminar – Jason Meyer, PhD – Topic: Retinal Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells to Model Human Development and Disease

Dr. Meyer is associate professor of medical and molecular genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine, with adjunct appointments in ophthalmology and the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute. His research focuses upon the differentiation of retinal ganglion cells from human pluripotent stem cells, including the derivation of glaucoma models through iPS cell reprogramming as well as Crispr/Cas9 gene editing. Ongoing projects in his lab explore the use of these cells for studies of RGC development as well as mechanisms underlying glaucomatous neurodegeneration.

Seminar – Julie Lounds Taylor, PhD – Topic: Factors that Promote a Positive Transition into Adulthood for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D. is the Transitions Lab Principal Investigator (PI) and lab director. She is an associate professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and an investigator at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. A major focus of Taylor’s research is on factors that promote a positive transition into adulthood for individuals with developmental disabilities, in particular those with autism spectrum disorder.

Seminar – Tomasz Nowakowski, PhD – Topic: Using Genomic Technology to Determine How Genetic Mutations Underlie the Pathobiology of Nervous System Disorders

Tomasz Nowakowski is an assistant professor in the Departments of Anatomy and Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He did his doctoral studies with David Price at the University of Edinburgh and a postdoctoral fellowship with Arnold Kriegstein at UCSF. Nowakowski’s laboratory investigates the development of the human cerebral cortex using high throughput single cell genomics approaches.