Research Retreat




 9:00 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. Welcome
John Byrne, Ph.D.,  Associate Dean for Research, Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
 9:05 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Remarks from Michael Blackburn, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of Research, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
Dean, MDACC UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer
University of Texas Health Science Center Houston
9:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. Breakthrough Discovery Symposium I
Chaired by Theresa Koehler, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
“Insights into language from cortical recordings”

Nitin Tandon, M.D.,  Professor, Department of  Neurosurgery

“Genetic dissection of brain dysfunction in obesity development”

Qingchun Tong, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Disease

Double-stranded DNA breaks and genomic reorganization in the pathogenesis and treatment of heart failure”

Ali J. Marian, M.D., Professor and Director, Center for Cardiovascular Genetic Research
George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation
James T. Willerson Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Research

 10:35 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. Break
10:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Keynote Address
Introduction by: Cesar Arias, M.D. MSc., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
Director, Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Microbial Genomics (CARMiG), McGovern Medical School
Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the School of Public Health, UTHealth
Margaret and Herbert Dupont Chair in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, UTHealth

Paul Offit, M.D.
Director of the Vaccine Education Center
Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Infectious Diseases
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
“SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines: Where Do We Stand?”

11:50 a.m. – 12:35 p.m Postdoctoral Symposium
Chaired by Consuelo Walss-Bass, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
“A novel role for smooth muscle α-actin in the nucleus of smooth muscle cells”

Callie Kwartler, Ph.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Genetics

“Bacterial outer membrane vesicles provide an alternative pathway for trafficking of type III-secreted effectors into epithelial cells”

Natalie Sirisaengtaksin, Ph.D., MDACC UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

  “Inhibiting sphingosine kinase 2 mutant-Huntingtin-induced neurodegeneration in neuron models of Huntington disease”

Jose Felix Moruno-Manchon, Ph.D., Department of Neurology

12:35 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. Graduate Student Education Committee Poster Session

Semi-Finalist, Fellows and Medical School Student Poster Review Student Education Committee Poster Session

2:35 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. Breakthrough Discovery Symposium II
Chaired by Mandy Hill, DrPH, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine
“Electrocardiographic QT interval: From GWAS to molecular mechanisms”

Ashish Kapoor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Human Genetics

“The noncoding regulome in human health and disease”

Wenbo Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

“Gut-brain axis in relation to amyloid-β aggregation”

Bhanu Priya Ganesh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology

3:55 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Winners of Graduate Student Education Committee Poster Competition Announced