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August 2020

Standup for the Cure

August 28, 2020 - August 30, 2020
Virtual MI United States

Now that Summer is here it’s time to make the most of Social Distancing by taking part in the upcoming Virtual Standup for the Cure.  Breast Cancer didn’t stop because of COVID, so neither can we.  Our mission to save lives, build community and promote an active, healthy lifestyle is more important than ever.  We need your help to continue the battle.

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September 2020

Elaine R. Mardis, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

September 2, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Implementing genomics-guided precision pediatric cancer medicine Elaine Mardis, Ph.D. is Co-Executive Director of the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and holds the Rasmussen Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair of Genomic Medicine. She also is Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Educated at the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Dr. Mardis did postgraduate work in industry at BioRad Laboratories. She…

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Valina L. Dawson, Ph.D. – Jay Van Andel Seminar Series

September 9, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Decoding Parkinson’s disease: New therapeutic opportunities Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. There is currently no therapy that can slow or halt the progression of the disease. Individuals with PD have both motor and non-motor symptoms. While 10-15% of PD is due to genetic mutations the majority of PD is sporadic. It is thought that the neurodegenerative process of PD in both familial and sporadic PD is driven by pathological alpha-synuclein, a presynaptic neuronal protein that…

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Consumers Credit Union Virtual Public Lecture

September 16, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Please join Consumers Credit Union and Van Andel Institute for a virtual public lecture, A Focus on Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s & Lewy Body Dementia. Van Andel Institute neurodegenerative science experts Dr. José Brás and Dr. Rita Guerreiro will share what scientists are discovering about these diseases in an informative event that will feature presentations and a Q&A session focused on the intersection of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lewy body dementia. Registration for this lecture closes at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15.…

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October 2020

Virtual Coffee Event – Meet Dr. Michael Henderson

October 6, 2020 @ 9:30 am EDT
Virtual MI United States

Please join us on Tuesday, October 6, for an exclusive introduction to Dr. Michael Henderson, who joined VAI this summer as an assistant professor in the Center for Neurodegenerative Science. Dr. Henderson investigates the causes of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia with Lewy bodies, and the factors that control disease progression. He hopes to translate his findings into new therapies that slow or stop this progression. This informative presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Grab a cup…

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Karen Vasquez, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

October 7, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Novel mechanisms of genetic instability in cancer Repetitive sequences have the capacity to adopt alternative DNA structures (e.g. H-DNA and Z-DNA) and stimulate genetic instability in the absence of exogenous DNA damage. However, the biological significance and the mechanisms of this DNA-structure-induced genetic instability are unknown. Here, we report that H-DNA- and Z-DNA-forming sequences are enriched at translocation breakpoints in human cancer genomes, implicating them in cancer etiology. We found that H-DNA-induced mutations were suppressed in human cells deficient in…

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Lewis Cantley, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

October 14, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

PI 3-kinase and cancer metabolism Lewis Cantley, Ph.D., has made significant advances in cancer research stemming from his discovery of the signaling pathway phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) in 1984. The author of more than 400 original papers, 50 book chapters and review articles, Dr. Cantley is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Science, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and the European life sciences academy EMBO. He…

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Susanna Greer, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

October 28, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Title TBD Speaker Information Susanna Greer, Ph.D. Director, Clinical Cancer Research, Nutrition and Immunology American Cancer Society Time & Location 12:00 pm on Zoom VAI Host: Graduate Student Association, Katie Hollis Questions? For questions, please contact Kim Cousineau at 616.234.5684.

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November 2020

2020 West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference (Virtual)

November 6, 2020 - November 7, 2020
Virtual MI United States

The annual West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference (WMRUGS) brings together nearly 400 students and faculty for a day of learning and networking. Via virtual platform, students will share the story of their research project with other college students, faculty, research scientists and other college students, as well as build their network of peers with similar interests and experiences. Attendees will also hear stimulating talks on current topics in biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, neuroscience, physics,…

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A Conversation About Depression Hosted by Carol Van Andel

November 11, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EST - 1:30 pm EST
Virtual MI United States

Join us for A Conversation About Depression — Hosted by Carol Van Andel, a virtual event that will discuss the biological underpinnings of depression, consider how a better understanding of the disorder can be translated into improved diagnostics and treatments, explore COVID-19’s relationship to inflammation and depression, and discuss community resources available to those affected. Guests will hear from West Michigan scientists working on the front lines of these efforts. No matter where you are in Michigan or beyond, join us for…

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December 2020

Sharona E. Gordon, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

December 2, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EST - 1:00 pm EST
Virtual MI United States

Title TBD Speaker Information Sharona E. Gordon, Ph.D. Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education University of Washington School of Medicine Time & Location 12:00 pm on Zoom VAI Host: Juan Du, Ph.D. Questions? For questions, please contact Kim Cousineau at 616.234.5684.

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February 2021

Hisao Masai, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

February 17 @ 12:00 pm EST
Virtual MI United States

Positive and negative regulation of DNA replication through G-quadruplexes G-quadruplexes (G4s) appear in both DNA and RNA, and recent studies implicate these structures in various biological reactions including telomere regulation, epigenome regulation, transcription, translation, splicing, viral maintenance and functions, transpositions, repair and recombination. In this seminar I would like to introduce our recent studies on its roles in regulation of DNA replication. Genome needs to replicate itself once and only once with minimum error in a given cell cycle. This…

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Van Andel Institute Virtual Forum on Depression & Inflammation

February 25 @ 4:00 pm EST - 6:00 pm EST
Virtual MI United States

Van Andel Institute cordially invites you to our virtual Forum on Depression and Inflammation, which will highlight the latest research into the roots of depression and its links to inflammation. More than 264 million people around the world experience depression, making it one of the most common mental disorders. A better understanding of the biological, social and psychological underpinnings of depression are critical for developing new treatments. Guests will hear from Van Andel Institute’s Dr. Lena Brundin and Pine Rest Christian…

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March 2021

Virtual Coffee Connection Event

March 11 @ 8:30 am EST - 9:30 am EST
Virtual MI United States

Join us on March 11 for a virtual event designed exclusively for members of the Van Andel Institute Board of Governors and JBoard, as well as the Purple Community Cabinet, event hosts and volunteers. Top scientists and educators at VAI will share exciting research initiatives and K–12 education programs that are making our world a healthier and more hopeful place. It’s a great chance to learn more about the groundbreaking work taking place on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile — without…

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Van Andel Institute Virtual Public Lecture Series: A Focus on Depression

March 18 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Please join us for our next free public lecture, A Focus on Depression, Thursday, March 18. This informative event will be hosted virtually and will feature presentations and a Q&A session with experts in depression research. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting more than 264 million people around the world. Often misunderstood as a prolonged period of sadness, depression is a serious condition that has its roots in several psychological, social and biological factors that vary…

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Marnie Blewitt, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

March 24 @ 4:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Deciphering the molecular mechanism of the epigenetic modifier SMCHD1 in normal development and disease Dr. Blewitt did her Ph.D. with Prof. Emma Whitelaw (University of Sydney), and her postdoctoral studies with Prof. Douglas Hilton (WEHI). In her postdoc, she identified a critical role for the novel protein Smchd1 in X inactivation, and studied the role of polycomb group proteins in hematopoietic stem cell function, earning her the Australian Academy of Sciences Gani medal and the L’Oreal Australia Women in Science…

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April 2021

Thomas Wichmann, M.D. – Jay Van Andel Seminar Series

April 14 @ 12:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

The role of the thalamus in primate Parkinsonism Dr. Wichmann received medical training in Germany, followed by postdoctoral training in pharmacology and electrophysiology at the University of Freiburg (Germany) and Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD). In the early 1990s, he completed residency training in Neurology at Emory University (Atlanta, GA), and has been a professor in the movement disorder division in the Department of Neurology at the same University since then, specializing in research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and…

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Van Andel Institute Virtual Public Lecture Series: Clinical Trials and Collaboration in Parkinson’s Disease

April 20 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Please join us for our next free public lecture, Clinical Trials and Collaboration in Parkinson’s Disease, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. This informative event will be hosted virtually and will feature presentations and a Q&A session with international Parkinson’s disease experts. For the millions of people around the world with Parkinson’s, treatments that slow or stop disease progression are desperately needed. One promising approach to find such therapies is drug repurposing — rigorously evaluating medications for other diseases, such as…

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May 2021

Van Andel Institute Virtual Public Lecture Series: Fueling the Immune System

May 13 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

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. Registration Dr.…

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Prof. Muzlifah Haniffa, FMedSci – VAI Seminar Series

May 19 @ 12:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Decoding the developing human immune system Muzlifah has combined single cell genomics and immunology to decode the developing human immune system. Muzlifah Haniffa is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, Lister Institute Research Fellow and Consultant Dermatologist based in Newcastle University. She graduated from medical school in Cardiff, trained as a junior doctor in Cambridge and received her dermatology specialist training in Newcastle. She was awarded an Action Medical Research Training Fellowship and a Wellcome Trust Clinical Intermediate Fellowship. Muzlifah…

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June 2021

Virtual Around the World

June 4 @ 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Hosted by Van Andel Institute’s JBoard Advisory Council, Around the World will bring together friends old and new virtually to enjoy fantastic charcuterie pairings with wines from around the world, all in support of Van Andel Institute for Education. This year’s entirely virtual event will include everything you’ll need to host a small gathering for guests in your home. VAI’s in-house chef will walk virtual guests through the process of building an exquisite, globally influenced charcuterie board, perfect for summer…

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July 2021

Origins of Cancer

July 22 - July 23
Virtual MI United States

Origins of Cancer is a scientific symposium that brings together students, scientists and medical professionals to discuss the latest breakthroughs in cancer research. The 2021 meeting will delve into the emerging field of cancer neuroscience. Speakers will discuss the unique genetics and epigenetics of brain tumors, neural signaling mechanisms that influence tumor initiation and progression, the cellular pathways driving epidemiologic links between cancer and neurodegenerative disease, the neurotoxicity of cancer treatments and more.

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September 2021

Greg Wang, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

September 22 @ 12:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

The language of chromatin modifications in human cancers Dr. Greg Wang is currently Associate Professor at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center & Dept of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, NC, USA. He received the PHD degree from University of California, San Diego, followed by a postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University. Dr. Wang’s research programs focus on mechanistic understanding of how chemical modifications of chromatin (including methylations of DNA and histone tails) regulate gene expression…

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Joseph Nadeau, Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

September 29 @ 12:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Nature, nurture and the third dimension of phenotypic variation and disease risk JHN is an internationally-recognized expert in genetic, genomic, developmental, metabolic, bioinformatic, computational and systems studies of mouse models of human disease as well as translation of results to studies in humans. JHN has been a pioneer in comparative genomics (comparative gene mapping), genetics and systems studies of mouse models of human disease (chromosome substitution strains), and transgenerational effects on cancer, metabolism, embryogenesis, reproduction and behavior (epigenetic inheritance), His…

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Van Andel Institute Public Lecture Series: Parkinson’s Disease — From Genes to the Clinic

September 30 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual MI United States

Please join us for our next free public lecture, Parkinson’s Disease: From Genes to the Clinic, Thursday, Sept. 30. This informative event will be hosted virtually and will feature presentations and a Q&A session with VAI Parkinson’s disease experts Dr. Darren Moore and Dr. Michael Henderson. Parkinson’s disease is a complicated disease with an equally complex group of factors that contribute to its onset. Age, genetic risk and even the structure of our own brains play a role in the origins…

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October 2021

Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease

October 6 - October 8
Virtual MI United States

Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease brings together hundreds of scientists, clinicians and people with Parkinson’s to explore the latest Parkinson’s disease research. The 2021 symposium will focus on the influence of genetic risk factors on cell and brain biology, including risk for Parkinson’s and the roles of organellar trafficking, lipid metabolism, the endolysosomal system and neuropathology. Speakers also will discuss how genetic factors may be leveraged for treatment with a special focus on clinical trials, drug discovery and biomarker development that…

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