New Frontiers in Medical Science

Biotechnology and Medicine lecture series

New Frontiers is an informal series that brings together leaders in science and engineering with members of the community to discuss how biotechnology and medicine are changing the present and future. Discussions are free to the public with the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about each topic. The lectures are held every 4th Thursday from 6-7 p.m. in our IMAX Theater.

If you would like to be a New Frontiers speaker, please contact Carole Flores .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 602-716-2000 ext. 251. Click here to download Presentations at a Science Museum; A Guide for Scientists on Talking to Museum Guests.

Educators earn one hour of professional development for each lecture attended.
Join us for these upcoming lectures:

March 27, 2014

Speaker: Lih-Fen Lue PhD, Senior Scientist/Professor, Director of Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, Arizona

Discussion: Soothing the Inflamed Brain; Alleviating Neuroinflammation to Extinguish Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases

Summary: We all experience moments of forgetfulness (at the refrigerator, where we parked, acclimating to new technology), but what you may not know is that during the aging process, memory loss and learning ability are the first brain functions to decline. Aging is inevitable, but is it possible to slow down these gradual losses of brain function that accompany getting older? Are age-associated neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's preventable? What can we do to take better care of our brains? In this talk, we discuss the concept of brain inflammation and how it could be key in slowing down aging-related degeneration and disease. We also address how making practical choices in lifestyle, diet, and "brain exercise" can change adverse processes.

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April 24, 2014

Speaker: Rachael Sirianni PhD, Assistant Professor, Barrow Neurological Institute

Discussion: Overcoming barriers: nanomedicine and the science of drug delivery

Summary: By the year 2020, disorders of the brain and spinal cord – collectively, the central nervous system (CNS) – will represent 14% of the global burden for human disease. Unfortunately, many experimental drugs do not reach CNS tissue when they are administered orally or through the bloodstream. The brain is protected by a tightly joined network of cells that pose both passive and active barriers, which prevent passage of agents from blood to the CNS. These blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers prevent CNS-active drugs from reaching their full therapeutic potential. Our laboratory specializes in drug delivery, which is the science of getting drugs where they need to go. We design nanoscale polymer carriers, i.e., nanoparticles, to encapsulate and deliver drugs directly to target tissues in the CNS. Nanoparticles release drug over long periods of time, degrading into harmless metabolic byproducts over the course of weeks and months. By engineering the surface of the nanoparticle to interact with specific cell types, drugs that would not otherwise be effective are able to reach the brain for improved therapy. In this talk, I will discuss some of the challenges we face in achieving better therapy of disease in the CNS and present examples of new, clinically translatable drug delivery technology that may be capable of overcoming some of these barriers.

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May 22, 2014

Speaker: Heidi Rula MD is the medical director for the University of Arizona Integrative Health Center in downtown Phoenix, the world’s leading integrative medicine institution.

Discussion: Healthcare for the Optimal You!

Details: Dementia and other neurological deaths have dramatically increased over the last 30 yrs. The total cost of care for neurological diseases exceeds that of heart disease and cancer. Dr. Rula will review integrative medicine strategies that you can implement now to help keep your brain healthy for the years to come.

Register here