University of Virginia's Anderson Symposium to Focus on 'MicroRNAs'

March 16, 2209 — The Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research at the University of Virginia will host its annual Anderson Symposium on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jordan Hall Conference Center Auditorium. The symposium, free and open to the public, attracts physicians, scientists, researchers, faculty, students and guests from across the nation.

"MicroRNAs in Development and Disease" will feature some of the nation's top research scientists focusing on microRNAs, single-stranded molecules that regulate gene expression and are involved in the normal development and differentiation of cells. Various disturbances in microRNAs can lead to abnormal cell function associated with many diseases.

"Understanding how microRNAs work can help us develop novel strategies to combat diseases that involve corrupt microRNAs," said Loren D. Erickson, assistant professor in U.Va.'s Department of Microbiology.

Speakers will include Amy E. Pasquinelli, assistant professor of molecular biology at the University of California at San Diego; Frank J. Slack, associate professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale University; Bryan R. Cullen, director of Duke University's Center for Virology; and Benjamin W. Purow, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Virginia.

Topics to be addressed include how microRNAs impact diseases such as cancer and the hepatitis C virus.

In 1955, a U.Va. alumnus, Dr. John F. Anderson, a former National Institutes of Health director who enjoyed a long career in public health, medical research and medical production, made a gift to the University to establish a lecture series in medical science and public health. The Anderson Symposium, supported by the John F. Anderson Memorial Lectures in Medicine, shares the latest authoritative developments in medicine or public health here or abroad.

The Beirne B. Carter Center was founded through the generosity of Beirne B. Carter, a Virginia businessman. His vision was that the center would serve as a catalyst for the development of new ways to diagnose and treat human diseases. The mission of The Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research is to develop and sustain a program of research and training in immunology of international stature.

For information about the symposium or the Beirne B. Carter Center, call 434-924-1274.