The Friday Center will offer a new lecture series for fall, 2013 in its popular What’s the Big Idea? program on the topic of “Medical Mysteries.” Four eminent UNC presenters will share their work in four different areas of medical research. We will explore many fascinating questions, including:
Plan to join us on Thursday evenings, October 3, 10, 17, and 24. Lectures are $10 each, or $30 for all four.
This lecture has sold out and registration has closed. The microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live in or on the human body. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), there were eighteen publications containing the word “microbiome” in 2005. The number of microbiome scientific studies published in 2012 reached 1,516, and today there are over 4,000 publications in this field, many of which have had a major impact on human and animal health. Components of microbiome can be considered targets for drug development and have been associated with human diseases like obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, and necrotizing enterocolitis. This presentation will introduce you to the terms “microbiome” and “microbiota” and will highlight the importance of a healthy gut microbiota. The talk will also define the most current scientific methods to analyze the human-associated microbiota and the effect of diet, nutrition, and other factors on the gut microbiota composition.
M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril is an assistant professor of cell biology and physiology and director of the Microbiome Core Facility, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Sharpless will discuss the molecular biology of human aging. Particularly, he will discuss cellular defense mechanisms that prevent cancer, but in the performance of this beneficial function, cause us to grow old.
Dr. Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina, and then attended the UNC School of Medicine. He further trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and in hematology and oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After clinical training, Dr. Sharpless completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Dana-Farber, and joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 2000. Dr. Sharpless returned in 2002 to the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine where he holds the Wellcome Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Research. He is presently the Deputy Director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and will become Cancer Center Director on January 1st, 2014.
Dr. Sharpless is a practicing oncologist who runs a 20-person basic science group that employs genetically engineered mice to study cancer and aging. His research has focused on how normal cells age and undergo malignant conversion. Dr. Sharpless discovered a fundamental biological link between cancer and aging, and has used this knowledge to develop murine models and human diagnostic tests of molecular age. Work from his group has described novel regulators of metastasis, identified pharmacological approaches to protecting stem cells in vivo, and characterized circular RNAs, a novel form of non-coding RNA. He has authored more than 100 original reports, reviews and book chapters, and is an inventor of 14 filed or issued patents. His work has been published in high-profile journals such as Cell, Nature, NEJM, and Cancer Cell, and has been covered extensively by the international news media. Work from his lab has formed core intellectual property of two RTP start-up companies: G1 Therapeutics and HeathSpan Diagnostics, which have garnered more than $18M in federal and venture funding. He co-founded and co-directs the UNC Mouse Phase I Unit, the UNCSeq™ Molecular Diagnostic Program and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Experimental Therapeutics Program. His lab has been continuously supported by the NIH (NCI, NIA and NIEHS) as well as awards from research foundations including the Sidney Kimmel Foundation, the American Federation of Aging Research, the Paul Glenn Foundation, the Ellison Medical Foundation, and the Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation. He is an editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and Aging Cell, and is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and has served on the ASCI council from 2011 to 2014.
Selected lay press coverage:
Nodding disease has emerged as an important public health issue in Eastern Africa over the last decade. This mysterious illness is devastating to those who acquire it, but we still do not understand what is causing it. We will investigate the evidence for the different etiologies of this unexplained disease and discuss their implications for treatment and control.
Dr. Jonathan Juliano is an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Curriculum of Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an expert in tropical medicine and runs an active research program targeted at creating a better understanding of parasitic diseases of the developing world.
There are millions of pet animals in the United States. This talk will focus on infections that can be acquired from pets and how to protect yourself from these infections.
David Weber is professor of medicine, pediatrics, and epidemiology in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the Gillings School of Global Public Health. He is also associate chief medical officer of UNC Healthcare.
Each course is $10, or you can register for all four lectures for only $30. Payment must accompany registration. Make checks payable to the Friday Center.
There are four ways to register:
Online: register online
Mail: Print out the registration form and mail it to
Fax: Print out the registration form and fax it to 919-962-5549.
Phone: Call 800-845-8640 or 919-962-2643.
If you have special needs to accommodate a motor or sensory impairment, please indicate your needs on the registration form.
UNC-Chapel Hill uses an alternative to the Social Security number called the Personal ID (PID) to aid in keeping records for students and participants. If you do not have a PID, you will be required to enter your birthdate and gender so that we can assign you a PID. We appreciate your cooperation.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to equality of educational opportunity. The University does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Cancellations received in writing by September 26, 2013 will receive full refunds; this applies only to those who registered for the entire series of 4 lectures. No refunds will be made after this date. Refunds cannot be given for individual lectures.
Lectures are held at the Friday Center, which offers ample free parking. The Friday Center is located approximately three miles east of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, just off Highway 54 East (Raleigh Road). The Center is a short distance from Interstate 40 (from Raleigh, I-40 exit 273A; from Greensboro, I-40 exit 273). See Map and Directions to the Friday Center.
For information, contact:Jill Conrad (email@example.com), Program Facilitator