Whitehead Institute Spring into Science - an evening lecture series for the Cambridge community featuring the latest in biomedical research

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March 7, 2019

Tags: Page LabWeinberg LabWeng LabAwards + Announcements

Whitehead Institute is hosting Spring into Science — evening lectures for the Cambridge community featuring the latest in biomedical research. Registration required. Scroll down for more information and to register.



Whitehead Institute Member Robert Weinberg

April 17, 6-7pm

The Deadly Side of Cancer: How Cancer Spreads

Robert Weinberg

Founding Member, Whitehead Institute

Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research, MIT

Member, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT


In a talk geared toward a general audience, Robert Weinberg, a Founding Member of Whitehead Institute and the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will explore challenges and advances in cancer research, as well as insights from his own lab and others into the final step of cancer development: metastasis. An internationally recognized authority on the molecular and genetic basis of human cancer, Dr. Weinberg’s accomplishments include the discovery the first human oncogene and the first tumor suppressor gene. His lab is currently focused on understanding cancer metastasis, a process that accounts for 90% of all cancer-associated deaths.



Whitehead Institute Member David Page

April 24, 6-7pm

Sex Differences in Health and Disease

David C. Page

Director and Member, Whitehead Institute

Professor of Biology, MIT


Why is there a higher incidence of heart disease in men than women? Or a greater prevalence of autoimmune disorders in women? David Page, Director and Member of Whitehead Institute and a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, investigates the genetic origins of sex biases in human health and disease. Although we are commonly taught that the difference between XY (male) and XX (female) biology is a matter of sex hormones produced by the testes or ovaries, in fact there are a number of genes that differ between the X and Y chromosomes that are expressed outside of the reproductive tract. Differences between Y-linked genes and their X-linked counterparts may result in distinct biochemical environments throughout the body. Page will be discussing the latest research about how sex biases in disease may originate from these biochemical differences between XY and XX cells.



Whitehead Institute Member Jing-Ke Weng

May 1, 6-7pm

Tapping into Plants' Natural Chemical Arsenals Without Taxing Nature

Jing-Ke Weng

Member, Whitehead Institute 

Assistant Professor of Biology, MIT


Small molecules are low molecular-weight organic compounds omnipresent in all living organisms. Humans have a long history of using these compounds from nature to fulfill a wide range of purposes including forming the basis for traditional global medicine. In this lecture, Jing-Ke Weng, a Member of Whitehead Institute and an assistant professor of biology at MIT, will discuss how discoveries in natural product chemistry and biochemistry particularly from plants have impacted our society in big ways. The rapid advances in emerging fields, such as genomics and synthetic biology, have now enabled us to explore and exploit the remarkable diversity of plant chemistry in an entirely new way.



Whitehead Institute Fellow Kristin Knouse

May 8, 6-7pm

Lessons from the Liver: Uncovering Novel Approaches for Regenerative Medicine

Kristin Knouse

Scott Cook and Signe Ostby Fellow, Whitehead Institute


 The inability of organs to renew themselves and the loss of differentiated cells underlies numerous diseases across organ systems, including heart attack, stroke, and neurodegeneration. However, the liver, in contrast to most organs, has a remarkable ability to regenerate itself after various forms of injury. While the liver’s regenerative ability has been appreciated for decades, it is still unclear why the liver can do this while other organs cannot. Kristin Knouse, a Fellow at Whitehead Institute, will be discussing the work in her laboratory aimed at understanding what endows the liver with this unique regenerative ability with the ultimate goal of one day conferring this capacity to other organs in the setting of injury or disease.

Whitehead Institute is a world-renowned non-profit research institution dedicated to improving human health through basic biomedical research.
Wholly independent in its governance, finances, and research programs, Whitehead shares a close affiliation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology
through its faculty, who hold joint MIT appointments.

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