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How does the immune system recognize and fight off infection? Where does it get the energy needed to function? What role does diet play in bolstering the body’s natural defenses?
Van Andel Institute experts Dr. Russell Jones and Dr. Connie Krawczyk will tackle the critical relationship between metabolism and immunity during our next free public lecture, Fueling the Immune System, Thursday, May 13. This informative event will be hosted virtually and will feature presentations and a Q&A session.
Dr. Russell Jones is a leading expert in the study of cancer metabolism and immunology. As professor and program lead of the Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group at Van Andel Research Institute, his work seeks to uncover how cancer cells fuel themselves through metabolic interactions, with the ultimate goal of developing new cancer therapeutics.
He earned his B.Sc. with honors in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto, where he studied in the lab of Dr. Pamela S. Ohashi. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Craig B. Thompson at University of Pennsylvania in 2008, he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill University. He was subsequently promoted to associate professor in 2014 and, in 2017, also took on the role of director of the Metabolomics Core Facility at Goodman Cancer Research Centre. He joined Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Cancer and Cell Biology in 2018 as program lead and a founding member of its Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group. Dr. Jones has earned numerous accolades throughout his career, including a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Bernard and Francine Dorval Prize from the Canadian Cancer Society, and several teaching awards at McGill University. He was named a William Dawson Scholar in 2014 and elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015. He also serves as a reviewer for a number of journals, including Cell Metabolism, Immunity, Nature, Nature Immunology and Science.
Connie Krawczyk, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Van Andel Institute and a leader in investigating the links between metabolism, epigenetics and the immune system, with the goal of understanding how they work together in health and disease.
She earned her B.S. with honors in molecular biology and genetics from University of Guelph followed by her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from University of Toronto. She then completed postdoctoral fellowships in the labs of Dr. Hao Shen and Dr. Edward Pearce at University of Pennsylvania before taking a position as a senior research biologist at Merck Frosst. In 2011, Dr. Krawczyk was recruited to McGill University as an assistant professor, where her work focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating immune function and the immune system’s role in cancer development. She joined VARI as an associate professor in 2018 as part of its new Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group. She is an active member of several professional societies, including the Society for Leucocyte Biology, the immunoTherapy NeTwork (iTNT) and the Canadian Society for Immunology, and has served as a reviewer for the journals Cell Reports, Cell Metabolism, EMBO Reports, Immunity and Nature Scientific Reports, among others.
Contact Sarah Rollman at 616.234.5712 or via email for more information or to become an event sponsor.