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Pathways seminar

Pathways seminarStem cell research was the latest topic discussed in the Department of Biomedical Sciences’ second year of its “Pathways to Excellence” seminar series.

Dr. Songtao Shi from the University of Southern California visited the HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry campus Oct. 8 to present “Mesenchymal stem cell-mediated therapies.” His lecture also was transmitted via video conferencing to the other Health Science Center components as part of the HSC Faculty Senate Speaker Series.

Known as an innovator in his area of research, Shi discovered that stem cells from human periodontal ligaments and from human exfoliated deciduous teeth could be isolated. Other findings since that discovery may eventually lead to the successful use of stem cells to treat a variety of dental and craniofacial conditions.

The “Pathways to Excellence” seminar series was established in 2007 to bring cutting-edge biomedical science researchers to HSC-BCD. Each event in this series includes a presentation by the speaker followed by a focus group meeting where faculty and graduate students share information about their research and engage in group discussions with the invited expert.

The 2008-2009 series kicked off in September with a lecture about craniofacial development by Dr. Hiromi Yanagisawa from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.  On Nov. 13, the department welcomed Dr. Jacques Banchereau, director of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, to present “Dendritic cells in medicine.”

In an upcoming presentation on Nov. 19, Dr. Martha Somerman, dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry will talk about phosphate and cementogenesis. On Dec. 10, Dr. Ken Hargreaves from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will deliver a presentation on pain in the trigeminal system. The series concludes in May 2009.

More information on these seminars is available by contacting Dr. Kathy Svoboda at ksvoboda@bcd.tamhsc.edu or visiting HSC-BCD’s biomedical sciences department Web site at www.bcd.tamhsc.edu/education/bms/events/pathways.html.