Wednesday, September 25
"Friendship and Your Brain"
We all need friends. Deeper and more numerous friendships promote health, well-being, survival, and even financial success, while isolation can cause physical pain and sickness. Dr. Platt will discuss the biological mechanisms that mediate our ability and desire to connect and how his team is leveraging these discoveries to improve health, well-being, team chemistry, and leadership.
Michael L. Platt, Ph.D.
Director, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative
James S. Riepe University Professor
Marketing Department, the Wharton School
Department of Neuroscience, Perelman School of Medicine
Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences
University of Pennsylvania
Michael Platt is a neuroscientist known for asking some of the most challenging questions in 21st century neuroscience - and conceiving innovative ways to find the answers. Principle questions focus on the biological mechanisms that underlie decision-making in social environments, the grasp of which has broad-scale implications for improving health and welfare in societies worldwide. Broad expertise in psychology, economics, evolutionary biology and ethology, in addition to collaborations with colleagues in these fields, have enabled him to reach ever-deeper levels of understanding about the neural bases of cognitive behaviour. Michael received his B.A at Yale and his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, both in anthropology, and did a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroscience at New York University. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Klingenstein Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation, the EJLB Foundation, Autism Speaks, the Broad Foundation, the Klarman Foundation, the Simons Foundation, and the Department of Defense, among others. He is winner of a MERIT award from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Williams Faculty Research Prize in the Duke University School of Medicine, and was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. He has given the Sage Lecture at UC Santa Barbara and has received the Astor Visiting Professor award at Oxford University (deferred). Michael has authored over 90 peer-reviewed papers and over 40 review and opinion papers, and his work has been cited over 4,000 times. Michael is an editor of major textbooks in neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience, and he is a former president of the Society for Neuroeconomics. A revered instructor and mentor, Michael won the Master Teacher/Clinician Award from the Duke University School of Medicine. He is the former Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, former Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, and founding Co-Director of the Duke Center for Neuroeconomic Studies. Michael’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Guardian, and National Geographic, as well as on ABC’s Good Morning America, NPR, CBC, BBC, and MTV. He has also served as a consultant on several films, including The Fountain (Warner Bros, Darren Aronofsky, director), as a scientific advisor to NOVA, and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of several companies.
Thursday, September 26
"One of the Most Influential Discoveries in Biology and Medicine Over the Last Decade You Never Heard Of"
How cells communicate with each other, how diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s are propagated, how infectious agents spread in our bodies, how cancer metastasizes, and how stem cells work are based on a newly discovered biological mechanism. This new facet of biology underpins vast areas of precision medicine and biomarker research including earlier and more sensitive diagnosis, prediction of therapeutic outcomes, and prognostication. The pathogenesis of every disease must be revisited because the role of this new mechanism must be assessed. Implications to therapeutics across the spectrum of medicine are likely to be profound, as evidenced by a rapid rise in clinical trials involving this process. We will define this new biologic mechanism and its potential impact on animal and human healthcare.
Andrew M. Hoffman, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM
Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine
University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine
Dean Hoffman is an acclaimed researcher, clinician, teacher, and mentor who most recently served as director of the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory and professor of large animal internal medicine at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, past president of the Veterinary Comparative Research Society, and a member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. His research programs have received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for nearly 20 years. He has authored more than 100 publications, including many in leading scientific and clinical journals.
Dean Hoffman earned his undergraduate degree with honors in biology from the University of Delaware, received his veterinary degree from Cornell University, and holds a doctorate in veterinary science from the University of Guelph in Canada.