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Molecules and Life: Science Serving Society
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Molecules and Life: Science Serving Society


The Inaugural Eckerd College Science Symposium

Sheen Science Center at Eckerd College

October 2324, 2009


Please join Eckerd College faculty, students, alumni and friends for Molecules and Life: Science Serving Society, a symposium focusing on areas where emerging science and social issues converge. Presentations from accomplished speakers and scientists-in-training will celebrate the research accomplishments of Eckerd students in the Natural Sciences, and Eckerd alumni in medical, research or other science careers.


Friday, October 23, 2009

2:00–3:15 p.m.  | Tour of Science Facilities
                          Led by Faculty and Students
3:30– 3:45 p.m. | Official Welcome
                          Dr. Lloyd W. Chapin, Vice President for Academic Affairs and
                          Dean of Faculty, Eckerd College
                          Dr. Jeff Dodge '84, Honorary Chair of the Symposium
4:00–5:00 p.m.  | Exploiting Tricks Viruses Use as New Targets for
                          Anti-HIV Therapy
                          Dr. Karin Musier-Forsyth '84
5:00–6:00 p.m.  | From Ancient Folklore to Modern Medicines
                          Dr. Guy W. Bradley '85
6:00– 6:30 p.m. | Reception and Informal Poster Viewing
6:30–7:30 p.m.  | Keynote Address
                          Dr. Patrick Griffin

Saturday, October 24, 2009

7:30–8:30 a.m.     | Continental Breakfast and Opening Remarks
8:30–9:30 a.m.     | Global Climate Change: Our Great Challenge
                          for the 21st Century
                          Dr. Susan Soltau Kilham '65
9:30–10:15 a.m.   | Formal Poster Presentation of Student Research
10:15–11:15 a.m. | Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a Biosensor to Test
                           for the  Neuromuscular and Reproductive Impacts
                           of Common Pesticides
                           Dr. Denise Flaherty, Assistant Professor of Biology, Eckerd College
                           Ms. Amy Zeifman, Senior Biology Major, Eckerd College
11:15–11:45 a.m.  | Closing Remarks: The Sciences at Eckerd College
                             Dr. Laura Wetzel, Chair of the Natural Sciences Collegium,
                             Eckerd College
                             Dean Chapin

Featured Speakers


Dr. W. Guy Bradley ’85 earned a B.S. in Biology from Eckerd College and a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine. He is an Associate Member of the Tampa Bay Research Institute, where his research led to the development of a patented pinecone extract (Immune Extra), which improves immune responses in mammals. He is also a former Eckerd College Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology, for which he received the Robert A. Staub Distinguished Teacher Award in 2002.


Dr. Jeffrey A. Dodge ’84 earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Eckerd College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine. He was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin and has been a Research Fellow with Eli Lilly & Company in the Women’s Health Research Division since 1991. He is involved in basic research in the discovery of new drugs, such as Evista, for the treatment of breast cancer, osteoporosis, postmenopausal diseases, fibroid tumors and endometriosis.


Dr. Denise Flaherty earned a B.A. in Biology from Wheaton College, Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University. She has been an Assistant Professor of Biology at Eckerd College since 2005 and teaches Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Neuroscience and Genetics. Her research interests include the development and structure/function relationship of large elastic proteins in muscle and screening for the physiological impacts of pesticides. Her work uses the model genetic organism Caenorhabditis elegans.


Dr. Patrick Griffin completed his doctoral studies in Chemistry at the University of Virginia. In 2004, he joined The Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Florida, as Professor of Biochemistry and Director of Drug Discovery. In 2006, he was named Director and Head of the Translational Research Institute and, in 2007, was named Professor and Founding Chairman of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics. He serves as a member of the Scripps Florida Steering Committee and TSRI-Pfizer Joint Steering Committee, and as Co-Principal Investigator of The Scripps Research Institute Molecular Screening Center (SRIMSC).


Dr. Susan Soltau Kilham ’65 earned a B.S. from Eckerd College and a Ph.D. from Duke University, and completed postdoctoral work at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She has been a Professor of Environmental Science at Drexel University since 1991. Most recently, her research has related to the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, including studies on diatom species in the large lakes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the ecosystem consequences of the extinction of frogs in Panama. She received the McArthur Alumni Award from Eckerd College in 1977.


Dr. Karin Musier-Forsyth ’84 earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Eckerd College and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. In 2007, she began her current position at The Ohio State University as the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Biological Macromolecular Structure. Her Biological Chemistry research focuses on investigations of quality control mechanisms in protein translation and molecular interactions critical for retroviral replication. She has received several awards for her work in science and teaching.


Molecules and Life: Science Serving Society, a free event open to the public, is part of Eckerd College Alumni Weekend 2009. Please note that the lectures and schedule are subject to change. For more information and updates, visit or call 727.864.7703.


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