Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #60 – March 2015




In this March newsletter, you’ll find that a lot of amazing and interesting scientific advancements have been made in the past few months. It is our pleasure at the Office for Science and Technology to keep you up to date on those advancements and continue to feed your love of science !

Café des Sciences – On February 25, Pasadena’s first Café des Sciences took place thanks to the co-organization of the Alliance Française de Pasadena, the Office for Science and Technology of the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles, and Caltech. We look forward to having many more Cafés and events with the Alliance Française in the future and hope that this Café was informative about Franco-American space collaborations ! To stay up to date with Pasadena’s Alliance Française, visit their website here.

March 26-28 - The Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies and Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles are organizing a three-day summit (Epilepsy Summit 2015) around 2 major topics - “End Epilepsy – Diagnosis, Treatment & Cures” and “Dietary Therapies – Initiation and Management”. The first two days (March 26-27) are for physicians and other healthcare professionals while the third day (March 28) is for people with epilepsy and their loved ones at the Manhattan Beach Marriott Hotel. Over 40 international experts, including Dr. Charlotte Dravet and Dr. Patrick Chauvel from France, will present on the importance of accurate diagnosis to guide treatment choices, highlight ketogenic diet therapies, and provide other treatment updates - from anti-seizure medications to neuromodulation to surgery. Early bird registration is available until Friday, March 20, 2015. More information at http://epilepsysummitla.org/.

April 19, 2015 - If you are interested in the Life Sciences AND want to collaborate with French and American scientists, consider applying for the “Life Sciences : inventing – creating – having fun 2015”. This program is funded by the Office for Science and Technology and the last call for projects is April 19, 2015. Through this program, the OST hopes to encourage students and researchers to involve themselves in Life Science, foster international scientific relations, and promote Franco-American research collaborations. Apply today !

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 March 2015 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.



February 02, 2015 : To prevent the spread of HIV among the homeless, researchers turn to math

USC researchers have teamed up with Los Angeles social workers to address a public-health problem — the spread of HIV — using an unlikely method : mathematics.

To access the full article :

February 03, 2015 : Live Long and Measure : Quest to Create Real-World Tricorder

eeking to boldly go where medical science has not gone before, the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) at the University of California, San Diego has been named the official testing site for the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a global competition sponsored by the Qualcomm Foundation to develop a consumer-friendly, mobile device capable of diagnosing and interpreting 15 physiological conditions and capturing vital health metrics.

To access the full article :

February 04, 2015 : Tony Hunter wins BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine

Tony Hunter, professor and director of the Salk Institute Cancer Center, in La Jolla, California, has received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biomedicine category for "carving out the path that led to the development of a new class of successful cancer drugs."

To access the full article :

February 06, 2015 : Immune system can wipe brain of Alzheimer’s-related plaque

New research from scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC shows that the body’s immune system may be able to clear the brain of toxic plaque build-up that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, reversing memory loss and brain cell damage.

To access the full article :

February 11, 2015 : Early Retina Cell Changes in Glaucoma Identified

Mouse study points to the specific structural features and cell types in the retina that may act as key factors in glaucoma progression

To access the full article :

February 13, 2015 : Sound barrier broken for children born without a hearing nerve

A multi-institutional team of hearing and communication experts led by the Keck School of Medicine of USC is breaking sound barriers for children born without a hearing nerve in a clinical trial backed by the National Institutes of Health.

To access the full article :

February 20, 2015 : UCLA researchers identify keys to improved polymer solar cells

Paving the way for lighter and more flexible solar devices, UCLA researchers have identified the key principles for developing high-efficiency polymer solar cells.

To access the full article :

February 24, 2015 : Cutting-edge technology optimizes cancer therapy with nanomedicine drug combinations

In greater than 90 percent of cases in which treatment for metastatic cancer fails, the reason is that the cancer is resistant to the drugs being used. To treat drug-resistant tumors, doctors typically use multiple drugs simultaneously, a practice called combination therapy. And one of their greatest challenges is determining which ratio and combination — from the large number of medications available — is best for each individual patient.

To access the full article :

February 24, 2015 : UCLA physicists offer a solution to the puzzle of the origin of matter in the universe

Most of the laws of nature treat particles and antiparticles equally, but stars and planets are made of particles, or matter, and not antiparticles, or antimatter. That asymmetry, which favors matter to a very small degree, has puzzled scientists for many years.

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February 25, 2015 : Culture Clash : How Stem Cells Are Grown Affects Their Genetic Stability

The therapeutic promise of human stem cells is indisputably huge, but the process of translating their potential into effective, real-world treatments involves deciphering and resolving a host of daunting complexities.

To access the full article :


February 17, 2015:NIH researchers reveal link between powerful gene regulatory elements and autoimmune diseases

Investigators with the National Institutes of Health have discovered the genomic switches of a blood cell key to regulating the human immune system. The findings, published in Nature today, open the door to new research and development in drugs and personalized medicine to help those with autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

To access the full article :

February 18, 2015 : NIH-supported researchers map epigenome of more than 100 tissue and cell types

Much like mapping the human genome laid the foundations for understanding the genetic basis of human health, new maps of the human epigenome may further unravel the complex links between DNA and disease. The epigenome is part of the machinery that helps direct how genes are turned off and on in different types of cells.

To access the full article :

February 27, 2015 : Liberia-U.S. clinical research partnership opens trial to test Ebola treatments

In partnership with the Liberian government, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today launched a clinical trial to obtain safety and efficacy data on the investigational drug ZMapp as a treatment for Ebola virus disease. The study, which will be conducted in Liberia and the United States, is a randomized controlled trial enrolling adults and children with known Ebola virus infection.

To access the full article :


February 12, 2015 : Immune cells commit suicide to prevent allergy

Scientists from the CNRS, INSERM and Université de Limoges, working in the Laboratoire Contrôle de la Réponse Immune B et Lymphoproliférations (CNRS/Université de Limoges)1 have demonstrated that the production of type E immunoglobulins (IgE)2 by B lymphocytes induces a loss in their mobility and the initiation of cell death mechanisms. These antibodies, present in small quantities, are the most powerful "weapons" in the immune system and can trigger extremely violent immune reactions or immediate allergies (asthma, urticaria, allergic shock) as soon as their levels rise, even slightly. These findings, published online in Cell reports on 12 February 2015, thus elucidate how our bodies restrict the production of IgE in order to prevent an allergic reaction.

To access the full article :

February 26, 2015 : European Patent Office 2014 rankings : 1st in Europe for patent applications in biomedical research

Inserm, with the help of its subsidiary Inserm Transfert, continues to rise in the 2014 rankings of French patent applicants issued by the European Patent Office (EPO). Inserm is placed 6th in France (among applicants in all organisations and sectors combined), 4th in Europe for the “Biotechnology” sector and 5th in Europe for the “Pharmaceuticals” sector[1].

To access the full article :

February 27, 2015 : VEGF-C, an indispensable growth factor for producing new neurons

The decline of the neurogenesis mechanism (production of new neurons) during ageing is implicated in the emergence of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Research studies bringing together Inserm, CNRS and Université de Pierre et Marie Curie researchers from the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (Inserm/ CNRS / Pierre and Marie Curie University), in collaboration with a team from the Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, have demonstrated the importance of factor VEGF-C in the activation of neural stem cells, and hence in the production of new neurons. These results, published in Cell Reports, bring fresh hope for the development of therapies that may help to improve the production of neurons to alleviate cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

To access the full article :




Human Genetics Seminar Series
March 09, 2015, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Health Sciences Ctr. - Room 13-105
Featured Speaker : Emmanouil (Manolis) Dermitzakis, PhD, Louis-Jeantet Professor, Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva Medical School
More Information : http://happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/157431

Therapeutic manipulation of the immune microenvironment of cancer
March 10, 2015, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Neuroscience Research Bldg. - Auditorium - Room 132
Featured Speaker : Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD Professor, Departments of Medicine, Oncology, Molecular Biology & Genetics, and Pathology Co-Director, Division of Immunology/Hematopoiesis, Oncology Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
More Information : http://happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/156644

UC San Diego

Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture - Breathless Through Time : How Oxygen Can Alter Evolution and Adaption of Life in the Ocean
March 09, 2015 – 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD
Featured Speaker : Dr. Erik Sperling
More Information : https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=118608&iSubCatID=3&iRoomID=

Cell-size Dependent RNA/Protein Phase Transitions
March 18, 2015 – 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
CNCB Marilyn G. Farquhar Seminar Room
More Information : https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=118588&iSubCatID=3&iRoomID=


USC Women in Science and Engineering Program 2015 Distinguished Lecturer
March 24, 2015 – 11:00 AM
University Park Campus, Ronald Tutor Campus Center
Featured Speaker : Dr. Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief, Science family of journals, AAAS
More Information : https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/914828

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

Why Don’t We Get More Cancer ? The Crucial Role of Extracellular Matrix and Microenvironment in Metastasis and Dormancy
March 5, 2015 - 4:00 p.m.
Trustee’s Room
Featured Speaker : Mina Bissell, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Telomerase and its Reactivation in Cancer
March 11, 2015 - 4:00 p.m.
Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Thomas R. Cech, University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute

Neural Circuits for Skilled Movement
March 26, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.
Trustees’ Room
Featured Speaker : JEiman Azim, Ph.D. Columbia University Medical Center, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysicsl

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

Tissue Resident Memory T Cells in Viral and Parasitic Disease
March 16, 2015 – 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
MBB2N - The Committee Lecture Hall
Featured Speaker : William R. Heath, Ph.D., FAA, Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology, The Peter Doherty Institute, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Dart NeuroScience Seminar Series : "Mechanisms of Axo-Axonic Synapse Formation"
March 31, 2015 - 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
DNC1 - Dorris Neuroscience Center Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Linda Van Aelst, Ph.D., Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


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Dernière modification : 17/12/2015

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