School of Medicine Basic Sciences launches Apex Lecture Series

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By Alexandra Scammell 

To recognize scientists who are at the forefront of sea-change advances in biomedical discovery, the Vanderbilt School of Medicine Basic Sciences is launching the Apex Lecture Series. These school-wide seminars, which occasionally will be in conjunction with departmental and/or center seminar series, will connect Vanderbilt’s campus scientific community with scientists who are pioneering new fields, new ideas and new opportunities to benefit human health. 

The first Apex Lecture will feature Jason Spence from the University of Michigan Medical School, where he is the H. Marvin Pollard Collegiate Professor of Gastroenterology and a professor of internal medicine, biomedical engineering, and cell and developmental biology. Spence is an expert in the study of developmental and stem cell biology and has led work creating three-dimensional intestinal organoids from human pluripotent stem cells. His laboratory works to understand how the endoderm and its associated organs develop, with a focus on intestine and lung development. The laboratory also uses model organisms to explore the molecular mechanisms of embryonic development. 

Spence will present a talk titled “Interrogating Stem Cell Niches During Human Development” on Monday, May 8, at 12:15 p.m. in 1220 MRBIII. This presentation will be co-sponsored by the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. 

The second Apex Lecture, “Mechanism of Genetic Quality Control in Germ Cells,” co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt Center for Structural Biology, will be on Monday, May 22. It will be given by Volker Dötsch from Goethe University at 4 p.m. in 1220 MRB III. Dötsch’s research contributes to the understanding of biological structure, function and interaction at the molecular level. He is known for his creative use of biochemical and biophysical techniques to address challenges in biomedical research. 

To stay up to date on the lecture schedule, visit the Apex Lecture Series website.