Each fall, the Department of Neurobiology hosts a symposium on research related to neurodegenerative and developmental research. The Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Center for the Study of Neurodegenerative Disorders supports this symposium with an endowed fund. The symposium provides a forum to feature advances in the field and to facilitate discussion among faculty, fellows, students and other interested parties.
*Next Lefler Symposium 12/4/2013 - See Details
2013 Keynote Speaker: Jeremy Nathans, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience, and Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The principal research interests of the Nathans lab center on two areas: the structure and function of the vertebrate visual system; and pattern formation in development, with a particular focus on signaling through the family of “Frizzled” receptors. In both areas of research, the Nathans laboratory uses genetically engineered mice, cell culture models, in vitro biochemical analyses, and human genetics. In their work on the visual system, the Nathans laboratory has studied color vision and inherited color vision anomalies, retinal degenerative diseases, retinal vascular development and disease, photoreceptor cell biology, and the development of neuronal morphology and axon targeting. Research on pattern formation has explored a diverse group of developmental processes that rely on Frizzled receptors, including angiogenesis in the retina, axonal growth and path-finding in the spinal cord and forebrain, embryonic cell movements, kidney development, and hair patterning on the body surface.
Jeremy Nathans is Professor in the Departments of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience, and Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He attended the Baltimore City public schools, received B.S. degrees in Chemistry and in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979, and Ph.D. (in Biochemistry) and M.D. degrees from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1985 and 1987. After a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at Genentech, he joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1988. Dr. Nathans has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the Initiatives in Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences, the Cogan Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience, the Teacher of the Year Award from the Graduate Student Association at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Champalimaud Award for Vision Research, and the Edward Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Nathans currently serves on the advisory boards of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Life Sciences Research Foundation, and the Merck Research Laboratories.
The general format of the symposium includes a talk by a Department faculty recipient of a Lefler Small Grant, two short talks by recipients of Lefler Fellowships, and a Lecture by a leader in the field of neurodegenerative and developmental research. Past Lefler Lecturers have been:
- 2012: David Ginty, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
- 2011: Roberto Malinow, UCSD
- 2010: Fred H. Gage, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
- 2009: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, University of California, San Diego
- 2008: Mark F. Bear, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- 2007: Eric Nestler, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Recording of 2007 Lefler Lecture (requires Real Media player)
- 2006: 10th Anniverary Celebration Symposium
"Birth, Death, and Repair in the Brain"
Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, UCSF
Christopher Henderson, Columbia University
Susan McConnell, Stanford University
Dennis Selkoe, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Gerald Fischbach, Columbia University
- 2005: Susan Lindquist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- 2004: Robert H. Brown, Jr., Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital
- 2003: H. Robert Horvitz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- 2002: Lawrence S.B. Goldstein, University of California, San Diego
- 2001: Huda Zoghbi, Baylor College of Medicine
- 2000: Allison Doupe, University of California, San Francisco
- 1999: Kenneth Fischbeck, National Institutes of Heatlh
- 1998: Stanley Korsmeyer, Harvard Medical School/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute