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March 2008

Release Date: March 5, 2008

Groundbreaking Neuroscientist to Deliver ASU Moon Lectureship

Dr. Jeffrey D. Macklis, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School (MGM-HMS) Center for Nervous System Repair, will deliver the 32nd annual West Texas Medical Associates Distinguished Lectureship in Science Honoring Dr. Roy E. Moon Tuesday, April 1, at Angelo State University.

Macklis’ talk, titled “Building or Repairing a Brain is Complex: Assembly Instructions Required,” will begin at 8 p.m. April 1 in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center in the ASU Houston Harte University Center. Prior to the public lecture, Macklis will also meet with ASU students to discuss “Molecular Development and Repair of Brain Circuitry” at 2 p.m. Both lectures are open free to the public.

A professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University and professor of neuroscience, neurology and neurosurgery at HMS, Macklis is credited with starting a new field of biology. The goal of his research is to achieve the cellular repair of the brain and/or spinal cord circuits damaged by diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), strokes, Alzheimer’s, and spinal cord injuries. More specifically, his laboratory focuses on nerve cell differentiation, nervous system repair via transplantation, and induction of neurogenesis by manipulation of stem cells and/or nerve cell precursors.

In addition to his teaching and research, Macklis is co-director of the Regeneration and Repair Program at the Harvard Center for Neurodegeneration and Repair and head of the Neuroscience/Nervous System Diseases Program at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He received his bachelor of science degrees in bioelectrical engineering and literature from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his M.D. with honors in neuroscience from HMS.

A prolific researcher, writer and speaker, Macklis has received research grants from more than 40 public and private entities, has published more than 100 articles, editorials and clinical communications, is a reviewer for more than 30 medical publications and has delivered hundreds of presentations at universities, foundations and medical facilities all over the world.

He is also a member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society for Neuroscience, International Brain Research Organization, American Society for Neural Transplantation and Repair, and International Society for Stem Cell Research.

A small sampling of Macklis’ many honors includes a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Award, an Innovation Award from the National Institute of Health Director’s Office, a Children’s Neurobiological Solutions Foundation Award, a Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences, and a Soderberg Prize Symposium Lectureship at the Swedish Society for Medicine.

The WTMA Lectureship honors Dr. Roy E. Moon, a longtime San Angelo obstetrician and gynecologist, who died in 1976. He practiced for 28 years with Clinic Hospital Medical Associates, now West Texas Medical Associates. The lectureship was established in 1976 and is underwritten by a grant to ASU from members of WTMA.

Each year, the lectureship brings a scientist of national prominence to ASU for public lectures, colloquia and informal discussions. Past speakers have included 11 Nobel Prize winners.

The selection committee is chaired by Dr. Grady Price Blount, dean of the ASU College of Sciences, and includes Dr. Crosby Jones, professor of biology; Dr. Toni Sauncy, associate professor of physics; Dr. George Shankle, professor of chemistry and head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and WTMA physicians, Dr. Patrick Gibson, Dr. Deborah Hajovsky, Dr. David Ivans and Dr. Fazlur Rahman.

For more information, call the ASU College of Sciences at 942-2024.