Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #55 - October 2014




The Office for Science and Technology would like to congratulate two French researchers this month ! Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, received the 2014 Lasker DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award on September 19, 2014. Yvette Taché, PhD, will soon receive the 2014 William S. Middleton Award, the highest honor awarded annually by the Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service (BLR&D), from the research division of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. She’s the first woman to win it since 1962 !

Save The Date ! The Alliance Française de Los Angeles, with the support of the Office for Science and Technology, will be hosting a Ciné-Sciences on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 6:15pm. The documentary “Le ventre, notre deuxième cerveau / The gut, our second brain” will be screened in French with French subtitles along with a Q&A in French and English with Dr. Yvette Taché, recognized leading expert in brain-gut interactions.

November 14, 2014 - Save The Date – Los Angeles will be the last stage of the French Ameri-Can Climate TalkS (FACTS) conference series. In partnership with the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative (LARC) for Climate Action and Sustainability, the Embassy of France in the United States and the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles will organize a conference at UCLA to discuss the challenges climate change represents for cities around the world. On the American side, Alex Hall, Mary Nichols and Pam O’Connor will be speaking and debating with former French Minister of the Environment Corinne Lepage, French paleoclimatologist Valérie Masson-Delmotte and European innovation expert Daniel Zimmer. The voice of Planetary Radio, Mat Kaplan, will be moderating the discussion which topic will be : "Climate Ready Cities : Taking Action to Mitigate Climate Change and Adapt in Urban Areas."
We encourage you to come and engage in the discussion of climate change. Registration will open soon.

Finally, this will be Kyle Costenbader’s last newsletter as Intern for the Office for Science and Technology at the Consulate general of France in Los Angeles. We would like to thank Kyle for helping us over the past few months and wish him all the best as he recently enrolled in a Master of Science in Global Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the USC. A warm welcome to Mandy Majidian, a Senior at UCLA, who will be joining us as our new intern.

Kyle Costenbader, Science and Technology Intern
Mandy Majidian, Science and Technology Intern
Viviane Chansavang, Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology
Fabien Agenes, Attaché for Science and Technology

To read the full version of the October 2014 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.



September 02, 2014 : Enzyme Controlling Metastasis of Breast Cancer Identified

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified an enzyme that controls the spread of breast cancer. Specifically, they found that the enzyme regulates cancer cells’ ability to transmit signals that stimulate cell growth and survival by regulating the activity of a protein called p38 which when “knocked down” prevents metastasis.

To access the full article :

September 04, 2014 : Team Identifies Important Regulators of Immune Cell Response

In a collaborative study, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology have developed a more effective method to determine how immune cells called T cells differentiate into specialized types of cells that help eradicate infected cells and assist other immune cells during infection.

To access the full article :

September 08, 2014 : UCLA biologists delay the aging process by ‘remote control’

Researchers identified a gene called AMPK that can slow the aging process throughout the entire body when switched on in key organ systems. Activating the gene in fruit flies extended the animals’ lifespans by about 30 percent.

To access the full article :

September 10, 2014 : Simple method turns human skin cells into immune-fighting white blood cells

For the first time, scientists have turned human skin cells into transplantable white blood cells, soldiers of the immune system that fight infections and invaders. The work, done at the Salk Institute, could let researchers create therapies that introduce into the body new white blood cells capable of attacking diseased or cancerous cells or augmenting immune responses against other disorders.

To access the full article :

September 11, 2014 : Scientists Discover Neurochemical Imbalance in Schizophrenia

Using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), researchers at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California, San Diego have discovered that neurons from patients with schizophrenia secrete higher amounts of three neurotransmitters broadly implicated in a range of psychiatric disorders.

To access the full article :

September 17, 2014 : Scripps Research Institute Chemists Modify Antibiotic to Vanquish Resistant Bacteria

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised a new antibiotic based on vancomycin that is powerfully effective against vancomycin-resistant strains of MRSA and other disease-causing bacteria.

To access the full article :

September 18, 2014 : Protein in ‘good cholesterol’ may be a key to treating pulmonary hypertension

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a control mechanism for an area of the brain that processes sensory and emotive information that humans experience as “disappointment. The discovery of what may effectively be a neurochemical antidote for feeling let-down is reported Sept. 18 in the online edition of Science

To access the full article :

September 18, 2014 : Microscopy technique yields new data on muscular dystrophy

A new microscopy technology that allows scientists to view single molecules in living animals at higher-than-ever resolution has revealed fresh findings on the causes of muscular dystrophy.

To access the full article :

September 19, 2014 : Scientists discover an on/off switch for aging cells

Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered an on-and-off “switch” in cells that may hold the key to healthy aging. This switch points to a way to encourage healthy cells to keep dividing and generating, for example, new lung or liver tissue, even in old age.

To access the full article :

September 25, 2014 : Modified vitamin D shows promise as treatment for pancreatic cancer

A synthetic derivative of vitamin D was found by Salk Institute researchers to collapse the barrier of cells shielding pancreatic tumors, making this seemingly impenetrable cancer much more susceptible to therapeutic drugs.

To access the full article :


September 09, 2014 : Eating habits, body fat related to differences in brain chemistry

People who are obese may be more susceptible to environmental food cues than their lean counterparts due to differences in brain chemistry that make eating more habitual and less rewarding, according to a National Institutes of Health study published in Molecular Psychiatry External Web Site Policy.

To access the full article :

September 15, 2014 : Genetics of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak

An international team at the Broad Institute and Harvard University collected virus samples from 78 patients living in Sierra Leone near the origin of the 2014 outbreak. The researchers used advanced technologies to quickly and accurately analyze the viral genomes. The work was funded in part by NIH’s Common Fund and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The findings were published in Science on September 12, 2014.

To access the full article :

September 29, 2014 : Microgel Particles Boost Blood Clotting

Researchers developed microgel particles that mimic platelets and help form blood clots. The approach could lead to new treatments for uncontrolled bleeding.

To access the full article :


September 11, 2014 : “Immortal” flatworms : a weapon against bacteria

By studying an original model organism, an aquatic flatworm called the planarian, scientists have succeeded in identifying a novel mode of defense against bacteria such as the causal agent of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). Present in a latent state in humans, this mechanism could be stimulated by pharmacological intervention.

To access the full article :

September 11, 2014 : Steroid hormone to fight age-related diseases

Through the study of the roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, the team led by Hugo Aguilaniu has discovered a hormone that enhances longevity and reduces fertility, thus reproducing the effects of an extreme diet. The scientists, based at the Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire de la Cellule (CNRS/ENS de Lyon/ Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), now intend to explore its mode of action in the hope of finding new ways to combat age-related diseases.

To access the full article :

September 18, 2014 : The origin of Uranus and Neptune elucidated ?

A team of French-American researchers led by the UTINAM Institute (CNRS/Université de Franche-Comté) has just proposed a solution to the problematic chemical composition of Uranus and Neptune, thus providing clues for understanding their formation.

To access the full article :




Human Genetics Speaker Series Seminar
More Information : https://www.genetics.ucla.edu/speakers/
Genetics and Genomics of Color Patterns : Model Systems in a Post-Genome World
October 6, 2014 – 11:00am-12:00pm
Gonda Building First Floor Conference Room, 1357
Featured Speaker : Greg Barsh, M.D., Ph.D., Investigator, HudsonAlpha Institute ; Professor of Genetics, Stanford University

The 3D Genome in Transcription
October 27, 2014 – 11:00am-12:00pm
Gonda Building First Floor Conference Room, 1357
Featured Speaker : Bing Ren, PhD ; Member - Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research ; Professor - Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine ; UCSD School of Medicine

EPSS Distinguished Alumni Lecture 2014 : Hunting for Killer Asteroids, the Past, Present and Future of Near-Earth Asteroid Surveys
October 9, 2014 – 6:30-8:00pm
Young Hall - Room CS76
Featured Speaker : Alan Harris, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Space Science Institute
More Information : http://epss.ucla.edu/alumni-lecture-2014/

DGSOM I3T Immunology Forum Seminar Series : Treatment of hematologic malignancies with chimeric antigen receptor T cells
October 21, 2014 – 12:00-1:00pm
Neuroscience Research Bldg. - Auditorium - Room 132
Featured Speaker : James Kochenderfer, M.D., Investigator, Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute
More Information : http://www.cancer.ucla.edu/index.aspx?recordid=1705&page=247

117th Faculty Research Lecture : Oncogenes, Metabolism, Development, Cancer and the Little Fruit Fly That Could
October 26, 2014 – 3:00-4:30pm
Schoenberg Music Building - Schoenberg Hall
Featured Speaker : Utpal Bannerjee, Ph.D., Irving and Jean Stone Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
More Information : http://happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/138862

UC San Diego

Nutrition and Aging : New Controversies and Challenges
October 15, 2014 – 12:00-1:00pm
Basic Science Building – Garren Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Cheryl Rock, Ph.D., R.D., Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Cancer Prevention and Control Program, UCSD
More Information : https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=78156&iSubCatID=&iRoomID=3

Epithelial cell turnover - New roles for mechanical tension driving cell death and division
October 15, 2014 – 4:00-5:00pm
Natural Sciences Building Auditorium (room 1205)
More Information : https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=88172&iSubCatID=3&iRoomID=

Hopi Hoekstra seminar "Digging for genes that affect behavior"
October 29, 2014 – 4:00-5:00pm
CNCB Marilyn G. Farquhar Seminar Room
More Information : https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=88202&iSubCatID=3&iRoomID=


BISC Inter-Section Seminar : The Contribution of Complex Genetic Interactions to Heritable Traits
October 16, 2014 – 4:00pm
University Park Campus / Hedco Neuroscience 107
Featured Speaker : Ian Ehrenreich, Ph.D., Molecular and Computational Biology Section, Department of Biological Sciences, USC Dornsife
More Information : https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/910901

Fall 2014 Multidisciplinary Research Colloquium Series in Aging
Vascular Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease
October 23, 2014 – 12:00pm
University Park Campus / Andrus Gerontology Center GER 224
Featured Speaker : Daniel A. Nation, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology
More Information : https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/910857

Extending Cardiac Healthspan by Enhancing Mitochondrial Function
October 30, 2014 – 12:00pm
University Park Campus / Andrus Gerontology Center GER 224
Featured Speaker : Peter Rabinovitch, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pathology, University of Washington
More Information : https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/910387

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
More Information : http://www.salk.edu/events/scientific_seminars.html

This Is Your Brain on Music
October 16, 2014 – 4:00pm
Featured Speaker : Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., McGill University, Canada

The Scripps Research Institute
More Information : http://www.scripps.edu/california/events/seminars.html

The Neurobiology of Need
October 7, 2014 – 10:00-11:00am
DNC Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Scott M. Sternson, Ph.D., Group Leader, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus

A Paradigm Shift in Asymmetric Synthesis : Progress towards a General Metal-catalyzed Cross-coupling Reaction that Enables the Use of Optically Active Secondary and Tertiary Nucleophiles
October 14, 2014 – 2:00-3:00pm
BCC1 – W.M. Keck Foundation Amphitheater
Featured Speaker : Mark R. Biscoe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, The City College of New York

Molecular Control of G Protein Mediated Neurotransmission
October 16, 2014 – 1:30-2:30pm
BCC1 – W.M. Keck Foundation Amphitheater
Featured Speaker : Kirill Martemyanov, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Neuroscience, Scripps Florida

Action and Regulation of MicroRNA-mediated Gene Silencing
October 16, 2014 – 3:30-4:30pm
BCC1 – W.M. Keck Foundation Amphitheater
Featured Speaker : Martin Simard, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Laval University Cancer Research Center, Quebec, Canada

Improving the Specificity and Potency of Monoclonal Antibodies for Cancer Therapy
October 29, 2014 – 4:00-5:00pm
BCC1 – W.M. Keck Foundation Amphitheater
Featured Speaker : Christoph Rader, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Cancer Biology, TSRI Florida

Leveraging Olfaction to Study Emotional Behavior in the Mouse
October 30, 2014 – 2:00-3:00pm
BCC1 – W.M. Keck Foundation Amphitheater
Featured Speaker : Lisa Stowers, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience, TSRI


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Dernière modification : 23/02/2016

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