Although stem cell research is still at a very early stage, researchers worldwide believe that this technology will provide treatment and cures for devastating diseases and disabilities, including diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and spinal cord injuries. With the passage of Proposition 71 in November 2004, California is poised to become the epicenter of a new generation of scientific innovation in biotechnology that will accelerate stem cell research and ensure that the myriad therapeutic possibilities are explored to their fullest.
Please join Professors Robert Tjian, Randy Schekman, and Bob Knight to explore the complexities and promise of stem cell biology and how it might contribute to major breakthroughs in human health. Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, a member of the state’s Proposition 71 stem cell oversight committee, will introduce the lecture.
Robert J. Birgeneau
Birgeneau, an internationally distinguished physicist, served as the ninth chancellor of UC Berkeley from 2004–13. Well known for his commitment to diversity and equity, he successfully advanced a vision of “Access and Excellence.” Prior to Berkeley, he was president of the University of Toronto for four years and on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 25 years. He is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and other scholarly societies.
Schekman is a professor of molecular and cell biology at Berkeley, an adjunct professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Schekman shared the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with James Rothman and Thomas C. Südhof for their work on cell membrane vesicle trafficking.
Knight is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Berkeley. His laboratory studies the contribution of prefrontal cortex to human behavior.