- To support the advancement and leadership of women in academic medicine
- To promote education and research in women’s health
Lunchtime Seminar Series
FOCUS sponsors a Lunchtime Seminar Series that covers topics related to:
- women's health research
- professional development for academic physicians
- current medical issues ("hot topics" in health care)
This interactive one-hour format provides School of Medicine faculty with diverse perspectives on a variety of medical and career development topics; offers opportunities for faculty presentations to Penn colleagues from multiple departments and with various areas of academic expertise; and promotes networking within the School of Medicine, the Hospital, and across the University. The Seminar Series is popular and well-attended by men and women faculty.
Sessions on women's health research are presented by multidisciplinary speakers with expertise in a variety of women's health issues including, e.g., breast cancer, hormone replacement, osteoporosis, depression, obesity, lung cancer, and multiple sclerosis. The portion of the Series devoted to professional development includes such topics as time management, conflict resolution, negotiation, managing a laboratory, balancing work and family, presentation skills, financial planning, mentoring, writing for publication, and "promotion 101." Finally, a host of timely, controversial medical topics are presented in what is essentially a "Grand Rounds" for the Medical School. These sessions include such topics as concerns about the avian flu epidemic; the complexities of coping with medical malpractice; how to reduce the number of uninsured while balancing cost issues; the effects of sleep deficit; and autism spectrum disorder, to list a few.
Presenters generally include faculty from the School of Medicine as well as from other Schools across the University. Speakers may include anthropologists, bioethicists, economists, lawyers, medical historians, sociologists, psychologists, as well as physicians and researchers, all of whom offer fresh perspective to a broad range of medical and professional development topics.
2014 - 2015 Current Seminar Series
*Note: FOCUS is in the process of planning additional presentations for the Seminar Series so please check here for updates.
Daniel J. Rader, MD
Edward S. Cooper, MD/Norman Roosevelt and Elizabeth Meriwether McLure Professor
Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine and Lipid Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Health System
Associate Director, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Director, Cardiovascular Metabolism Unit, Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Program Director, General Clinical Research Center, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Scientific Director, Clinical and Translational Research, Cardiovascular Institute, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Chief, Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics, Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Director, PennMedicine BioBank, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Chair, Department of Genetics
Department of Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Title: To Be Announced
Dr. Rader will discuss his translational research into high density lipoproteins, cholesterol and heart disease and his perspective on the use of statins and gender related issues.
BIO: Dr. Rader is the Cooper-McClure Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as the Chair of Genetics and Chief of the Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics in the Department of Medicine and is Associate Director of Penn’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at Penn. Dr. Rader also serves as Director of Translational Science for the Penn’s Cardiovascular Institute. Dr. Rader’s research focuses on genetic and pharmacologic regulation of lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis, and he directs a translational research program focusing on human genetics of lipid disorders and atherosclerosis and novel approaches to treatment of dyslipidemia and regression of atherosclerosis. He led the scientific and clinical development of a first-in-class inhibitor of microsomal transfer protein for the treatment of severe hypercholesterolemia which is now on the market. He has a particular interest in HDL metabolism and function, and novel approaches to targeting HDL metabolism and reverse cholesterol transport in the treatment, prevention, and regression of atherosclerosis. He has been a leader in the translation of novel findings from human genetics into new biological understanding of mechanism in the area of lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis. Dr. Rader trained in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and in lipid research at the National Institutes of Health. He has been on the Penn faculty since 1994. Dr. Rader is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the Institute of Medicine. He is a recipient of several awards including the Clinical Research Award from the American Heart Association in 2012. Dr. Rader is a frequently invited speaker nationally and internationally on his basic and translational research in lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis.
OCTOBER 29, 2014 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level
Sigrid C. Veasey, MD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Sleep Medicine
Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
The Costs of Skimping on Sleep
We have just 24 hours in a day to accomplish an impressive number of tasks. A few hours less sleep per night can add up to a 1000 extra hours per year to complete all we need to do, but what is the price of short sleep? New research in humans and in animal models suggests we pay a price indeed compromising many physiological processes and brain function. The latest work from the Veasey lab shows loss of specific neurons, an irreversible consequence of sleep loss. The talk will integrate the latest human and animal research for all to decide where to balance obligations and sleep.
BIO: Dr. Sigrid Veasey is a physician scientist who has developed a major NIH-funded program of translational research in neural injury in sleep disorders. Recently her lab has been exploring the extent of neuronal injury incurred with short sleep, sleep disruption and shift work conditions. Her group discovered that select groups of neurons in the brain are lost upon extended wakefulness. One of these groups of neurons is the locus coeruleus, neurons that are absolutely essential to sustained attention, memory and brain adaptation to physiological stimuli. Recently her group discovered that short term sleep loss results in a robust activation of anti-oxidants in these locus coeruleus neurons, a process regulated by sirtuin type 3. This mitochondrial sirtuin increases activity in response to brief wakefulness to prevent oxidative stress in locus coeruleus neurons across. Upon longer periods of sleep loss, sirtuin 3 is not activated; locus coeruleus neurons incur oxidative damage, and one third of the neurons die. This is the first substantiation of neuronal loss upon sleep loss and first evidence that the mitochondrial oxidative stress is involved in sleep loss neural injury. The lab hopes now to direct efforts towards the prevention of neuronal injury in the many individuals, including health care workers and our teenagers, who must sustain extended wakefulness.
DECEMBER 2, 2014 (Tuesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level
Adda Grimberg, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics,
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Scientific Director, Diagnostic and Research Growth Center
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
When Medicine and Social Forces Intersect: Disparities in the Management of Short Stature in Children and Adolescents
Growth is the most sensitive physical sign of a child’s overall health; growth faltering is often the first or only sign of an underlying problem. While many parents seek medical care for their children with growth faltering to make sure they are healthy, many seek medical care to ameliorate the psychosocial stressors of being short. In 2003, the FDA approved growth hormone treatment for idiopathic short stature, which it defined as the shortest 1.2% of the population, at an estimated national cost of $40 billion. This talk will review evidence for disparities in the evaluation and management of children with growth faltering/short stature and the ramifications for child health.
BIO: Dr. Adda Grimberg is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Scientific Director of the Diagnostic and Research Growth Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She received her undergraduate and medical education at Cornell University, and completed both her residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She was subsequently appointed to the faculty in the same institution in the division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. Trained as a translational physician scientist, Dr. Grimberg’s research focuses on the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis and clinical issues related to child growth. Her current NIH-funded research examines disparities in the management of short stature/growth faltering in children and adolescents. She has published over 70 scientific articles, reviews and textbook chapters. Her research has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Pediatric Endocrine Society Genentech Clinical Scholar Award, and with coverage in multiple media venues in the United States and abroad, including the New York Times. Dr. Grimberg has served on the editorial board of Growth, Genetics and Hormones, the PREP Endocrinology Advisory Board of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and as Co-Chair of the Drugs and Therapeutics Committee of the Pediatric Endocrine Society. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Federal Advisory Committee for the National Children’s Study of the Eunice KennedyShriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and on several GH and growth-related taskforces on behalf of the Pediatric Endocrine Society and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
FEBRUARY 9, 2015 (Monday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level
Jean Bennett, MD, PhD
F.M. Kirby Professor of Ophthalmology
Professor, Ophthalmology, Cell and Developmental Biology
Director, Center for Advanced Retinal and Ophthalmic Therapeutics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
An Aye for Eye Translational Research: Challenges and Opportunities with Family and Career
Dr. Bennett's talk will describe the development of gene therapy for treatment of blinding disorders but will focus on the challenges, surprises and behind-the-scenes experiences in navigating this uncharted territory. She will also describe her personal experiences caring for her children and family as well as lab members, mentees, clinical trial subjects and pets while developing this translational program.
BIO: Jean Bennett, MD, PhD has been developing gene transfer/gene therapy strategies for 3 decades and has been working specifically on eye diseases for the past two decades. She is the F.M. Kirby Professor of Ophthalmology and Cell and Developmental Biology and director of the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ophthalmic Therapeutics (CAROT) at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She has been at the University of Pennsylvania’s Scheie Eye Institute since 1992. Dr. Bennett also has an appointment as a Senior Investigator at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The goals of Dr. Bennett’s research program are to improve our understanding of the molecular bases of and to develop therapies for inherited retinal degenerations. She works closely with her husband, Albert M. Maguire, MD, a vitreo-retinal surgeon at UPenn, on this research. Their research has established the scientific underpinnings which made it possible to test the first potential definitive retinal gene therapy treatment for patients with blinding retinal degenerations. A Phase 1-2 trial, which evaluates the safety and efficacy of gene augmentation for a disease called Leber Congenital Amaurosis, was initiated in the fall of 2007 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This was the first clinical gene therapy clinical trial for a non-lethal disease to be carried out in children. Dr. Bennett is the Scientific Director of that study, which has carried out re-administration to the second eye. A Phase 3 trial for this disease is now in progress and may lead to the first approved gene therapy drug in the USA and the first approved ocular gene therapy drug worldwide. Dr. Bennett and colleagues are planning gene therapy clinical trials for additional blinding diseases.