Apr 2021 – David Virshup & Judith Eisen

On Stem Cells and Neurodevelopment In the Gut

Dr. David Virshup is the director of the Programme of Cancer and Stem Cell Biology at Duke-NUS Medical School as well as a professor of pediatrics at Duke University. He Received his MD from Johns Hopkins, followed by a residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. He established his independent laboratory at the University of Utah, where he was an endowed chair at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. In 2007, he moved to Duke-NUS in Singapore to help establish the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology programme. He is Elected to the: American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association of American Physicians. His research focused on signal transduction, with an emphasis on both Wnt signaling and circadian rhythms, and his laboratory has collaborated to develop a small molecule inhibitor of Wnt secretion that is now being tested in human clinical trials.

Dr. Judith Eisen is a Professor in the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon. She completed her PhD in neurobiology from Brandeis University where she worked  in the lab of Eve Marder, where she studied circuit neuromodulation in the stomatogastric ganglion. She later joined the laboratory of Dr. Monte Westerfield at the University of Oregon as his first post-doc, where she developed methods to label and track individual neuron progenitors in the zebrafish. She then was hired by the University of Oregon as faculty, and her lab has been focused on studying how neuronal diversity is generating during development, how these neuronal circuits are wired up and how host-associated microbiota and immune systems work together to influence the development of the nervous system. Dr. Eisen has authored over 150 publications, has been awarded the Gugenhein Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and is both a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of the Arts & Sciences. 

Mar 2021 – Lori Zeltser & Alexandre Caron

The Chilling Side of Hunger

Dr. Zeltser is an Associate Professor in the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center and the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University. she graduated from Princeton University and received her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University. She continued her research training in developmental neurobiology and did her postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratories of Andrew Lumsden at Kings College London and Claudio Stern and Thomas Jessell at Columbia University. Currently, Her laboratory studies developmental influences on the formation and function of neuronal circuits regulating food intake and body weight, they explore how developmental influences exert lasting impacts on body weight regulation. 

Dr. Caron is an Assistant Professor at Laval University. He completed his PhD at Laval University with Drs. Denis Richard & Dr. Mathieu Laplante where he studied how an mTOR interacfting protein was involved in energy balance. He completed his post-doc at UTSW with Dr. Joel Elmquist, where he focused his efforts into studying how leptin is produced and where it functions through pharmacogenetics and transgenic approaches. His lab’s current goals are to understand the mechanisms by which the brain controls energy metabolism and develop pharmacological strategies to treat metabolic diseases and disorders.

Feb 2021 – Nicholas Betley & Daniel Drucker

Sensing Nutrients, Secreting Peptides

Dr. Betley received his Ph.D.,from  Columbia University, in 2010, where he worked with Thomas Jessell and investigated the developmental programs that determine synaptic partners during circuit formation. For his post doc he worked in Janelia Research Campus with Scott Sternson where they examined the structure and function of neural circuits that influence feeding behaviors.currently he is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. His lab is interested in understanding how the brain processes information from the external world to facilitate appropriate behavioral responses that are necessary for survival. 

Dr. Drucker is an Endocrinologist and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the University or Toronto. He was trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto and completed a research fellowship in Molecular Endocrinology (1984-87) at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has conducted pioneering work that has furthered our understanding of glucagon and GLP-1 and has authored several hundred publications, and issued 33 US patents covering various novel therapeutic aspects of peptide hormone action.