2010 Vincent J. Cristofalo, PhD
This endowed Lectureship is an annual tribute to Dr. Vincent Cristofalo, an expert in cellular aging, a cherished mentor, and the founder of the Institute on Aging at Penn (formerly the Center for the Study of Aging).
The Fourth Vincent J. Cristofalo, PhD, Annual Lectureship took place on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at the University of Pennsylvania.
The 2010 Cristofalo Lectureship
The Fourth Cristofalo Annual Lectureship welcomed Carol W. Greider, PhD, Daniel Nathans Professor and Director, Molecular Biology & Genetics, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, to Penn on October 19th as the 2010 Cristofalo Lecturer. Dr. Greider was invited to speak about her research into telomeres, work which brought her the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - along with her co-recipients, Drs. Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak. Institute on Aging Fellows, Penn Medicine researchers and staff, Peggy Cristofalo and the Cristofalo family, and colleagues from area colleges and universities gathered to celebrate the exceptional research in aging and aging-related diseases and the pioneering and mentoring spirit of the late Vincent Cristofalo - creator and founder of the Institute on Aging (originally called the Center for the Study of Aging).
Following opening remarks from IOA Director, Dr. John Trojanowski, Dr. Robert Pignolo paid tribute to Vincent Cristofalo and his quest to follow the science to better understand the cellular aging model and its implications for human aging.
Dr. Greider then took the floor for her lecture, discussing the structure and function of telomeres - the structures that cap the ends of chromosomes - and of telomerase, an enzyme which she discovered 25 years ago and which can prevent telomeres from becoming critically short. She described recent findings from her group and others linking changes in telomere and telomerase to human diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis and cancer. Dr. Greider also discussed her mouse models that have yielded an understanding of the mechanisms by which telomere dysfunction can contribute to degenerative diseases but also put the brakes on cancer progression. Interestingly, Dr. Greider’s findings indicate that small differences in telomerase activity can have important effects, suggesting that subtle tweaking of telomerase activity may be a tool for improving human health.
After the lecture, those in attendance gathered for a reception and the chance to speak individually with Dr. Greider about her research, findings, and her Nobel Prize.
About the 2010 Cristofalo Lecturer
Carol W. Greider , PhD, Daniel Nathans Professor and Director of Molecular Biology and Genetics in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, will serve as the 2010 Cristofalo Lecturer. An expert in telomeres, Dr. Greider shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn (University of California, San Francisco) and Dr. Jack Szostak (Harvard University). The trio were recognized for their 1984 discovery of telomerase.
Dr. Greider presented her lecture, "Telomerase and the Consequences of Telomere Dysfunction."
Giving to the Cristofalo Annual Lectureship Fund
If you would like to make a contribution to the Vincent J. Cristofalo, PhD, Annual Lectureship Fund, please contact Irene Lukoff, Director of Development
Healthy Brain Aging & Neurodegenerative Diseases, for the IOA. Ms. Lukoff may be reached directly at 215-573-0187. Or, you may send a private email to firstname.lastname@example.org.