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Upcoming Seminars
April 7, 2011
4:00 PM
Bldg 50, 5th Floor, Room #5328
Dr.Anil K. Patri
Title: Cancer Nanotechnology
May 19th, 2011
4:00 PM
Bldg 50, 5th Floor, Room #5328
Dr. Mukesh Verma
Title: Epigenetics in cancer control and prevention: when will it be ready for prime time?

February 25, 2011 Dr. Rita Khanna
Topic: Product Development Partnerships and their role in Global Health
Time & Location: February 25, 2011, 4 PM at Bldg 50, Room # 5328, 5th floor
Abstract: Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) are a recent model for combating developing diseases with the aim of providing drugs and vaccines to the poor in developing countries at lowest cost. Until recently, there has been little interest in the development of new drugs and vaccines for diseases of developing countries by pharmaceutical companies because of limited prospects for commercial returns. To address this market failure new strategies and partnerships are evolving. First there has been a noticeable increase in the levels of funding for research pertaining to these diseases, with a relatively significant proportion of money coming from philanthropic organizations. Along with this increased funding, new institutional frameworks are beginning to emerge. While most of the funding for R&D for developing country diseases is provided by philanthropic organizations, the commercial sector possesses the manufacturing capacity, the regulatory expertise and the financing capability necessary to produce solutions that meet the health needs of developing countries on scale. To bridge this divide, new forms of partnerships are evolving, particularly PDPs which are a particular form of public private partnership. These partnerships bring together philanthropic organizations, non-profit foundations, academic institutions, companies and governments. PDPs are committed to developing new drugs and vaccines and ensuring that they are made available and accessible at an affordable price to populations most in need of them in developing countries of the world. As these and other new paradigms continue to develop, there are a growing number of questions related to technology transfer in specific and access to medicines in general, for example issues relating to intellectual property, manufacturing, march-in rights, affordability, dual pricing, adoption and accessibility. A better understanding of the model motivating PDPs would allow developing countries to ensure that they are able to utilize PDPs most effectively in tackling diseases with high social cost. Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation (Aeras) is one such example of a non-profit organization working through public private partnerships to develop new tuberculosis vaccines and ensure that they are distributed to all who need them around the world. Each year 8 million people develop new cases of TB, and 2 million people die of the disease – nearly all of them in the developing world. The current TB vaccine used throughout most of the world, BCG, is almost a century old and has limited efficacy. In conjunction with drug therapy, a more effective vaccine would greatly reduce the TB disease burden around the world. This presentation will describe approaches that foundations such as Aeras have taken to meet their ultimate objective of making vaccines available to the poor in developing countries at lowest cost and to ensure sustainability of these efforts.
Speaker: Rita Khanna AERAS Global TB Vaccine Foundation 1405 Research Boulevard, Suite 300 Rockville, MD 20850, USA
About the speaker: Dr. Rita Khanna is the General Counsel at Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation (Aeras). In this capacity she is responsible for technology transfer, licensing, business development, technology assessment, intellectual property protection and management, contract/agreement negotiation/execution and strategic partnering with academic institutions, companies and non-profit organizations. Previously Dr. Khanna was the Director of Technology Transfer at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) where she was responsible for management and licensing of intellectual property, assessment of the commercial potential of inventions, negotiation of IP related agreements, and start up companies. She has had extensive consulting and advisory engagements with biotech companies and product development partnerships in negotiation and execution of licensing and strategic collaboration agreements. Dr. Khanna also worked at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she was involved in the assessment of inventions for their commercial potential and strategic licensing, in processing and negotiation of a wide range of agreements between NIH and pharmaceutical companies, universities and foreign governments, as well as negotiation of agreements for procuring natural products from foreign countries. She has also worked at the law firm of Venable, Baetjer and Howard where she was involved with patent prosecution, trademarks and copyrights. In addition to her technology transfer and legal experience, she has extensive scientific research experience in both academia and private industry, including at NIH, Smithsonian Radiation Biology Laboratory, a Maryland biotech company, Max-Volmer Institute and the University of Illinois. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Illinois, her J.D. from University of Maryland Law School and is a member of the Maryland Bar. Dr. Khanna has published extensively, including most recently as co-editor of a book titled “Technology Transfer in Biotechnology” (published by Wiley). She is currently lecturer at Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (NIH) on a course titled “International Strategic Partnering and Business Development”. She has received many professional awards, and has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences. She serves on the Board of several organization including Public Interest Intellectual Property Associates (PIIPA), the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) and the Global Healthcare Innovation Management Center, and was an Advisor to the World Bank’s Development Gateway, a Scientific Advisor to Institute for One World Health Program, a Committee Member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), a Committee Member of the NCI’s Decision Network Committee and Co-Chair of the first Gordon Conference on technology transfer titled "Global Aspects of Technology Transfer: Biotechnology."
Summary The talk was well received and generated interaction among the participants and the speaker. The talk was attended by 12 PIs and Postdocs.

February 10, 2011 Dr. Ramamurthi Kumaran
Topic: Morphogenesis of large structures during development
Time & Location: February 10, 2011, 3 PM at Bldg 50, Room # 5328, 5th floor
Abstract: A hallmark of developmental programs is the orchestrated assembly of complex, supramolecular structures. These structures can help define the morphology of an organism and often require proteins to assemble at the right place at the right time. We are investigating how large structures assemble by examining the morphogenesis of bacterial spores: dormant cell types that are extremely resistant to environmental insults that are produced by some bacteria in response to stressful conditions. Spores are encased in two concentric shells: a proteinaceous outer “coat” and an inner “cortex” made of peptidoglycan. The morphogenesis of both structures is highly orchestrated during spore formation. The outer coat is composed of some seventy proteins and is assembled around a basement layer composed of two proteins: the morphogenetic protein IVA and the tiny anchor peptide VM. In the first step of coat assembly, VM localizes to the surface of the developing spore and marks it as the site of coat protein deposition. Recruitment of VM to this subcellular region depends on the convex membrane curvature of the developing spore surface. In the next step of coat assembly, VM recruits IVA, which binds and hydrolyzes ATP in order to self-assemble into filaments. Successful completion of this step triggers the morphogenesis of the inner shell, the cortex. Recent work in the lab has identified another tiny peptide, the product of a previously un-annotated gene, which participates in this checkpoint. Studies of spore morphogenesis have therefore revealed fundamental cell biological mechanisms that may represent widely conserved protein localization and assembly strategies.
Speaker: Kumaran Ramamurthi National Cancer Institute, NIH 37 Convent Dr. Building 37, Room 5132 Bethesda, MD 20892 301-451-8792
About the speaker: Kumaran Ramamurthi received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles where he studied secretion of bacterial virulence proteins. He then studied subcellular protein localization as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. In 2009, he became a Tenure-Track Investigator in the National Cancer Institute and is currently Head of the Cell Biology Unit in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
Summary Dr. Ramamurthy presented an overview of components involved in bacterial spore formation. The talk was well received and generated interaction among the participants and the speaker. The talk was attended by mostly postdocs totalling 7.

January 20, 2011 Dr.Mukul Ranjan
Topic: Technology Transfer: Ensuring benefits from research
Time & Location: 20th January 2011, 4 PM at Bldg 50, Room # 5328, 5th floor
Abstract: Everything you need to know about patents, licenses, public-private collaborations, alternative careers and saving the world!
Speaker: Mukul Ranjan, Ph.D. Chief, Immunology and Emerging Infections Branch Office of Technology Development National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 6610 Rockledge Drive, Room 2800 Bethesda MD 20892-6606, USA
About the speaker: Dr. Ranjan, is Branch Chief at NIAID’s Office of Technology Development and represents NIAID in collaborations between the public, private academic and non-profit sectors. Dr. Ranjan has extensive knowledge of intellectual property and U.S. patent laws, issues and procedures, and is a member of the US Patent Bar. He has worked at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as a Biotechnology Patent Examiner dealing with receptors and cytokines. Before joining the PTO, Dr. Ranjan was a research scientist at NIH, studying gene regulation during early embryonic development and during cell differentiation in the brain. Dr. Ranjan has a special interest in alleviating the global disease burden due to infectious disease and is keenly interested in international collaborations and development issues. He has attended and spoken at a number of international symposia on technology transfer in the developing world, including the U.S.-Egypt "Investment in Biotechnology" workshop (Cairo, Egypt) and the U.S.-India Technology Managers Symposia in 2001 and 2002 (Delhi, India), the US Licensing Executives Society, 2005 Annual Meeting on “Emerging Strategies and Structures in Global Health”, the AUTM 2006 Annual Meeting where he chaired a panel on "Drugs and Vaccines for Global Health: Challenges and Strategies," the NIH/Nordic meeting, 2006 (Helsinki, Finland). He has also lectured on Patent Law to students in a Biotechnology Law and Policy Foundation for the Advancement of Education on the Sciences (FAES) class. Dr. Ranjan has a M.S. from the University of New Delhi and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.
Summary Dr. Ranjan presented an overview of Intellectual property and related issues in technology transfer. He also explained what it means to be a technology transfer specialist and opportunities in that sector.The talk was well received and generated interaction among the participants and the speaker. The talk was attended by mostly postdocs totalling 12.

January 6, 2011 Dr.Bharat Khurana
Topic: Preparing for Alternative Careers in Science: A Focus on Regulatory Career
Time & Location: 4.30 PM at Bldg 50, Room # 5328, 5th floor
Abstract: If you’re not sure what you need to do to achieve the career of your dreams, rest assured that you’re not alone. Our education system is hardwired to mold academic scientists and there is apparent ignorance of other scientific career options. As growth in tenured scientist positions has stagnated, alternative career options are becoming increasingly popular. The scientific expertise and skills of postdocs is in great demand by many diverse occupations: pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies need postdocs to conduct their science writing, drug development or intellectual property related work; government agencies need postdocs to promote science policy or technology transfer or regulate public health; teaching colleges need postdocs to teach; investment banks need postdocs to analyze and explain the science to biopharma investors, and the list goes on and on. I will present some of these alternative career options briefly and discuss in detail about the regulatory affairs profession. Tips for planning and preparing for transitioning into an alternative career will be discussed. .
Speaker: Bharat Khurana, DVM, PhD, MS-MBA FDA Commissioner’s Fellow CBER/FDA Rockwall Building 2 (RKW2) 5515 Security Lane Rockville, MD 20852 (301) 827 3280
About the speaker: I am currently working at FDA as a FDA Commissioner's Fellow, where I am involved with review of retroviral diagnostics and blood donor screening assays. Prior to joining this fellowship, I worked as a Regulatory Specialist at a Regulatory Compliance Center for Division of AIDS, NIAID, NIH. As a Regulatory Specialist, I have gained experience in managing and providing regulatory support for global HIV-1 clinical trials involving microbicides, anti-viral drugs and vaccines. Prior to moving to the regulatory affairs field, I was working as a bench-scientist. As a scientist, I have an extensive scientific research background in virology, molecular and cellular biology at NIAID/NIH and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. I was trained as a Veterinarian in India. I went to a graduate school in Germany, where I obtained my PhD in cell and molecular biology in 2001. My desire to transition into regulatory affairs career and learn about biopharmaceutical business brought me back to school in 2006 - when I enrolled myself in the unique MS-MBA dual degree program at the reputed School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. I graduated from the MS-MBA program in 2009 and am currently also teaching a course on regulatory affairs in the same program.
Summary Dr. Bharat Khurana explained in length about alternative careers with a focus on regulatory stream. The talk was well received and generated a lot of discussion among the participants. The talk was attended by mostly postdocs totalling 14.

December 2010 Dr. Ashok Kulkarni
Topic: Cdk5: A journey from brain to pain
Time & Location: 2nd Dec 2010, 4 PM at Bldg 50, Room # 5328, 5th floor
Abstract: Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is a multifocal kinase implicated in both development and disease of the mammalian nervous system. Cdk5 is a ubiquitously expressed proline directed serine-threonine kinase, but its enzyme activity is largely restricted to post-mitotic neurons because of the neuron-specific expression of its activators. Using gene targeting as a main tool, we have identified many novel roles of this kinase that indicate it is critical for proper development of the central nervous system and many neuronal functions.
Speaker: Ashok Kulkarni, PhD Chief, Functional Genomics Section, LCDB, & Gene Targeting Facility NIDCR, NIH 30 Convent Drive, Room 130, MSC 4359 Bethesda, MD 20892
About the speaker: Dr. Kulkarni received his PhD from both the Haffkine Institute, Bombay and the M.S. University of Baroda. He did his postdoctoral research work at the Columbia University, New York. He joined the Developmental and Metabolic Neurology Branch in NINDS in 1987 and then moved to NIDCR in 1995. Since then his research efforts have been focused on delineating specific roles of candidate genes in development and disease processes. He has been awarded Henry Christian Award by American Federation for Clinical Research and Merck Foundation for his work on TGF-beta 1 knockout mouse model.
Summary Dr. Kulkarni talked about generation of mouse models for CDK-5 and P35 and discussed about the interaction of these proteins and their role in pain perception. The talk was well received and generated a lot of discussion among the participants. The talk was attended by several investigators and postdocs totalling 15.

October 2010 Dr. Sankar Adhya
Topic: A gene regulatory nucleoprotein complex containing a DNA loop
Time & Location: 21st Oct 2010, 4 PM at Bldg 50, Room # 5328, 5th floor
Abstract: Using a bacterial operon, we will describe our efforts to understand the structure, assembly and dynamics of a gene regulatory nucleo-protein complex that regulates transcription from the cognate promoters. Our approach uses genetics, biochemical, and physical methods to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which transcription is regulated.
Speaker: Dr. Sankar Adhya Head, Developmental Genetics Section Senior Investigator Building 37, Room 5138 National Cancer Institute 37 Convent Drive Bethesda, MD 20892
About the speaker: Dr. Adhya received his Ph.D. from both the University of Calcutta and the University of Wisconsin. He was a research associate at the University of Rochester and Stanford University. He joined the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the NCI in 1971. Dr. Adhya was elected a Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1994, a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy in 1995, a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy in 1992, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. He has also been an adjunct professor in the Department of Genetics at George Washington University since 1987. Dr. Adhya was awarded a D.Sc. degree (Honoris causa) by University of Calcutta in 2006.
Summary Dr. Adhya's talk was well received and generated a lot of discussion among the participants. The talk was attended by several investigators and postdocs totalling 10.



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