Nov. 13, 2009
Jeremy Craig, 404-413-1357
ATLANTA - Laboratory advances in cancer research will take center stage at the seventh annual Georgia State University Biotechnology Symposium Nov. 23-24.
Presentation sessions will be held at the Commerce Club, 34 Broad St. N.W. on the 18th floor in the Brown Room. A poster session will be held Tuesday afternoon at the university’s Natural Science Center, 50 Decatur St.
"The annual biotechnology symposium originated to highlight academic-economic development fostered by support from the Georgia Research Alliance, with a focus on a specific cutting-edge research topic," said Al Baumstark, co-chair of the symposium and chair of the Department of Chemistry. "This year's symposium will allow Georgia State interact with researchers of other universities to advance research toward better detection and treatment of cancer."
Baumstark added that the symposium, under the auspices of the Center for Biotechnology and Drug Design, will allow Georgia State to further extend GSU's research in this field, and the sessions will help to build Georgia State's reputation as a center for innovation in biotechnology research.
The symposium will also allow GSU's faculty, research staff and graduate students to interact with accomplished scientists from outside speakers.
The Monday session will focus on biomarker detection, while the Tuesday session will focus on epigenetic gene regulation. In biomarker detection, surfaces of cancer cells contain different coatings than those of normal cells. Detector molecules will attach to these special surfaces, allowing for early cancer detection. With epigenetics, changes occur that cause genes to be expressed differently, but the genetic code itself - DNA - remains the same.
William J. Todd, president of the Georgia Cancer Coalition, will deliver opening remarks. Speakers will include researchers from Georgia State, the University of Georgia, the Emory School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, the Morehouse School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Florida State University.
Tuesday's session will be held in memory of Randolph L. Rill, a professor in biochemistry at Florida State University’s College of Medicine and colleague of other cancer researchers in the southeast, who recently lost a battle with cancer. Rill helped to mentor Georgia State's Zhi-Ren Liu, professor of biology and one of Georgia State’s 11 Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholars.
The university's other Distinguished Cancer Scholars include Michael Eriksen, director of the Institute of Public Health; Markus Germann, professor of biophysical chemistry; Susanna Greer, assistant professor of biology; Donald Hamelberg, assistant professor of chemistry; Robert Harrison, professor of computer science; Zhen Huang, professor of chemistry; Aimin Liu, associate professor of biochemistry; Binghe Wang, professor of medicinal chemistry and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Drug Discovery; Irene Weber, professor of biology and chemistry; and Yujun Zheng, assistant professor of chemistry.
Georgia State sponsors include the Center for Biotechnology and Drug Design, the Molecular Basis of Disease initiative, the Department of Biology, the Department of Chemistry, the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Georgia State University Research Foundation.
Past and present corporate sponsors include Applied Biosystems, Amersham Biosciences (now part of GE Healthcare Life Sciences), Beckman Coulter, Eppendorf International, Fisher Scientific International Inc., VWR International, MedRep, Inc., and BioNiQuest Lab Services Inc.
For more information about the symposium and information about registration, visit http://biology.gsu.edu/cancersymposium. An in-depth article about Georgia State’s cancer research activities is available at www.cas.gsu.edu/storydetail.aspx?id=331.