Dr. Dan Littman to Give Keynote Address at Second Lasker Lessons in Leadership Workshop for International Postgraduate Medical Research Students

Presenters will share best practices and discuss personal experiences pertaining to getting scientific research published

Aug 04, 2015, 09:14 ET from WIRB-Copernicus Group

PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- WIRB-Copernicus Group (WCG), the world's largest provider of regulatory and ethical review services and software to support clinical research, and Certara®, the global biosimulation technology-enabled drug development company, today announced that the second "Lasker Lessons in Leadership" career-oriented workshop for postgraduate medical research students will be held on Aug. 4 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Main Campus in Bethesda, MD. This new workshop will focus on "The Art of Publishing."

The keynote address will be given by renowned immunologist Dan Littman, MD, PhD, Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Littman's laboratory applies molecular and genetics tools to study how T lymphocytes develop and participate in inflammation and how HIV interacts with the host innate immune system.

Dr. Littman will also present in the afternoon on "Cellular and molecular mechanisms for Th17 cell differentiation." Th17 cells are T cells that are responsible for many autoimmune diseases. Dr. Littman's group discovered a nuclear receptor that regulates differentiation of Th17 cells and lymphoid tissue inducer cells that can be targeted for autoimmune disease therapy. He and his colleagues identified a commensal gut bacterium that selectively induces Th17 cells and promotes autoimmunity in mice, which may be relevant for human diseases, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, thought to be influenced by imbalanced microbiota. 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with colleagues who are accomplished published researchers and national journal editors. They include Beverly Purnell, PhD, who is the senior editor of SCIENCE Magazine. Alan Sher, PhD, is chief of the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases and its Immunology Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH, Section Head of Immunity to Infections on the editorial board for Faculty of 1000, senior editor for The Journal of Experimental Medicine, and a member of the editorial board for Nature Reviews in Immunology. Enrique Schisterman, PhD, is chief and senior investigator in the Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the NIH. He is also a member of the founding editorial board for the American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics and Gynecology, section editor for Current Epidemiology Reports: Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology, and a senior editorial board member for the International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics, and an associate editor for the American Journal of Epidemiology.

This student education program, which was developed by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation in collaboration with the International Biomedical Research Alliance and the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program, is co-sponsored by WCG and Certara.

Lasker Foundation President Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA, said, "Communicating research findings to professional colleagues and the general public is an essential driver of scientific advancement. This Lasker Lessons in Leadership event will highlight the importance of writing and publication skills to ensure effective dissemination of medical research."

"WCG is always looking for novel ways to help foster discovery and exploration among our future scientific leaders," commented WCG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Donald A. Deieso, PhD. "The Lasker Lessons in Leadership series gives talented young researchers practical assistance, ensuring that their careers are well established, and allowing them to focus on solving our current medical challenges such as curing cancer." 

"Certara is committed to helping educate the next generation of medical researchers and pharmacometrics scientists. That is an integral part of our mission to get safer, more effective drugs into the hands of patients who need them as fast as possible," said Certara CEO Edmundo Muniz, MD, PhD. "We are delighted to support this important Lasker Lessons in Leadership initiative."

The NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program was created in 2001, through collaboration between the NIH and Oxford and Cambridge Universities, to revolutionize the way in which the most talented biomedical PhD and MD/PhD students in the United States and the European Union are taught. These students receive accelerated training, work on collaborative projects that address critical biomedical research problems, and graduate earlier than in traditional programs with a PhD degree from either Oxford or Cambridge University. They spend an equal amount of time with a mentor in a laboratory at either Oxford or Cambridge University and an NIH Intramural Laboratory.

The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation was founded in 1942 by Albert and Mary Lasker with the goal of finding cures and new hope to battle disease through biomedical research. The Lasker Awards are among the most respected science prizes in the world. Since 1945, the Awards Program has recognized the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease. The Awards were created with the goal of inspiring the public to invest in the biomedical research that saves lives.

Lasker Awards often presage future recognition by the Nobel committee, so they have become popularly known as "America's Nobels." Eighty-six Lasker laureates have received the Nobel Prize, including 44 in the last three decades.

The Foundation also promotes scientific education and public policies that enhance biomedical research.

For additional information regarding the Lasker Lessons in Leadership series, please contact Randi Balletta at rb@biomedalliance.org.

Dr. Littman's keynote address will be videocast live from 9:30-10:30 a.m. ET on Aug. 4 at http://videocast.nih.gov. After the event, his speech will be archived at http://videocast.nih.gov/PastEvents.asp?c=0&s=1.

In addition, the inaugural Lasker Lessons in Leadership keynote speech, given by Ralph Snyderman, MD, Chancellor Emeritus and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University, and entitled: "From Brooklyn to Lab Bench to Board Room: Lessons Learned," is available at http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?Live=15680&bhcp=1

Further information about the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program can be found at http://oxcam.gpp.nih.gov.

About WIRB-Copernicus Group

WIRB-Copernicus Group (WCG) is the world's largest provider of regulatory and ethical solutions for clinical research. The company provides Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) reviews, and Human Research Protection (HRP), Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Biosafety consulting services. Its technology offerings include IRB workflow management solutions (IRBNet), clinical trial management software for sponsors and contract research organizations (ePharmaSolutions), and Part-11 compliant online learning solutions for research professionals (WCG Academy).

The pioneer of independent ethical oversight, WCG continues to drive progress in the clinical research space. WCG empowers clients to accelerate life-saving advancements, while ensuring that the risks of progress never outweigh the value of human life.

For more information, please visit www.wcgclinical.com or follow us on Twitter @WCGClinical.

About Certara

Certara is a global biosimulation technology-enabled drug development company. Its customers include hundreds of biopharmaceutical companies around the globe, together with several regulatory agencies. Certara's solutions, which span the discovery, preclinical and clinical stages of drug development, enable data-driven decisions, leading to more precisely designed trials with a reduced risk of failure and improved subject safety. For more information, visit www.certara.com.

About the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation

Founded in 1942, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation envisions a healthier world through medical research. It seeks to improve health by accelerating support for medical research through recognition of research excellence, public education, and advocacy. For much of the 20th Century, the Foundation was led by Mary Lasker, who was America's most prominent citizen-activist for public investment in medical research. She is widely credited with motivating the White House and Congress to greatly expand federal funding for medical research, particularly through the National Institutes of Health. For more information, please visit http://www.laskerfoundation.org.

About the International Biomedical Research Alliance

The Alliance's mission is to support the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program and associated global PhD and MD/PhD training programs based in the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, America's largest biomedical research organization. Its goal is to assure the financial viability and scientific excellence of the Scholars' program by supplementing government funding. The Alliance supports program events and scholarships designed to enrich the program and broaden the perspectives of its highly selective students as they train to become the next leaders in biomedical research. It was created in 2005 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, please visit http://biomedalliance.org.

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