MSMR LAB CHAT CAFÉ™ FALL – WINTER SERIES
Throughout this time of increased social and professional distancing, it’s important that we remain connected to each other. That’s why MSMR continues to offer LAB CHAT CAFÉS, virtually free bi-weekly café discussion forums focused on the unique challenges that our industry is currently facing.
Call it socially distanced water cooler conversations … we all have a strong desire to learn from professionals in our field and connect with like-minded people. Our MSMR virtual meeting cafés will encourage you to interact and create a shared vision and a set of guiding principles for how we all will evolve during this time.
Don’t miss this unique chance to connect … Our virtual café meetings will never replace our face to face, BUT, for now, they are an effective way to get our community together – and an opportunity to build engagement, confidence and openness among our members during this time.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2020 1:00 – 2:30 PM SPECIAL MEETING TOPIC
JAMES O’REILLY, PRESIDENT, MSMR, INC.
PREPARING FOR AND RESPONDING TO ANIMAL ACTIVISTS ATTACKS: AN UPDATE
Animal rights activists continue to become more and more sophisticated in their methods for attacking research institutions over their use of animal models. While physical protests become rarer, activists are turning to new means of identifying, engaging and criticizing researchers and their institutions. Through Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests; the creation of ‘front’ organizations that disguise their true roles; and indirect harassment via public officials, activists have maintained a steady string of attacks aimed at embarrassing biomedical research professionals.
MSMR will present a special Lab Chat Café on “Preparing For and Responding to Animal Rights Attacks: An Update.” MSMR President Jim O’Reilly will examine new tactics being used by animal rights activists, and how to better prepare for such attacks, as well as what to do if your research institution is subjected to one of these campaigns. Having a plan in place and being ready for such incidents can help stave off unwelcome press and ensure that your research work won’t be unduly harmed.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Dr. CATHLEEN (CAT) LUTZ, PhD, MBA, SENIOR DIRECTOR, MOUSE REPOSITORY & IN VIVO PHARMACOLOGY GENETIC RESOURCE SCIENCE / SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST, THE JACKSON LABORATORY
MOUSE MODELS FOR COVID-19; THEIR APPLICATION TO THERAPEUTIC DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH.
The current mouse models for COVID-19 will be reviewed with a summary of their use with an emphasis on therapeutic applications. Strategies for additional models for COVID-19 that are currently in progress and becoming available will also be discussed, with an emphasis on research applications for the study of comorbidities and sequela.
ABOUT CAT … Dr. Lutz is Director of the Mouse Repository and the Rare and Orphan Disease Center at The Jackson Laboratory. She has fiscal and managerial oversight of a growing collection of more than 8,500 unique strains, including over 1,700 live colonies for distribution to the scientific community. As part of the Mouse Repository program, Dr. Lutz is the Principal investigator on a number of NIH sponsored resource grants, including the Mutant Mouse Regional and Research Center at JAX, The SMSR grant to support recombinant inbred and Chromosome substitution panels, as well as the NICHD Cytogenetic Resource to support Down Syndrome related strains and research. Dr. Lutz also serves as the Director of In Vivo Pharmacology and Efficacy Testing Program in Bar Harbor, which interfaces with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to pursue novel therapeutics across a variety of therapeutic areas.
A neuroscientist by training, Dr. Lutz conducts research in neurodegenerative diseases, including Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Friedreich’s ataxia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemperal Lobe Dementia (FTD. Her lab works closely with multiple disease foundations and researchers in the development, characterization and validation of mouse models that support their research and drug discovery goals. These organizations include The ALS Association, The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Foundation, Cure SMA, and the Grace Science Foundation.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2020 4:00 – 5:00 PM
ANGELA (ANGIE) BIRNBAUM, DIRECTOR OF BIOSAFETY, TULANE UNIVERSITY
INTEGRATION OF BIOSAFETY AND ANIMAL BIOSAFETY LABORATORY COMPLIANCE WITH QUALITY ASSURANCE
With the intense research initiatives associated with work with an emerging pathogen like COVID 19 and the quick need to develop vaccines and therapeutics for the human population, quality assurance has become a paramount need to ensure research data has rigor and reproducibility. Rigor and reproducibility will help to ensure scientific data is meaningful, lacks variability experiment to experiment, and can be performed again as long as same procedures are followed. This discussion will help to align the complex work with emerging pathogens, while also offering ideas and help in ensuring rigor and reproducibility is intact.
ABOUT ANGIE… A nationally certified biosafety expert, Angela Birnbaum leads a national working group that will launch a collaborative research program on COVID-19 among National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs). The group will work to develop vaccines and evaluate treatments against the disease using a non-human primate model. It will release research findings to scientists and collaborators in real-time to accelerate progress to find successful treatments and preventions against the disease. Tulane research facilities at the School of Medicine, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the National Primate Research Center are continuously on the forefront of solving global issues.
As director of the Office of Biosafety, Angie ensures that the university’s state-of-the-art laboratories are also exemplary in their biosafety practices. The Office of Biosafety provides resources to Tulane labs where researchers work with various biological materials. The goal is to minimize the health risks of research that involves biohazard materials, like recombinant DNA, biological toxins and infectious agents. Angie also serves as the national co-chair of the Biological Select Agent Toxin Community Advisory Committee, which helps to guide federal regulators who oversee programs that use high risk select agents and toxins.
An international expert in her field, Angie travels across the world to help other research facilities establish their own vital safety regulations, which can prevent the spread of diseases to healthcare workers and biomedical researchers. This summer, she took part in the Department of State and Defense Threat Reduction Middle East/North Africa tour with a group coordinated by Sandia National Laboratories.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2020 4:00 – 5:00 PM
WHITNEY BALDWIN, PhD, TAKEDA Pharmaceuticals
EARLY COVID-19 VACCINE DEVELOPMENT AND CURRENT STATUS
In direct response to curb the global COVID-19 pandemic, more than 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are being developed with more than 40 of those having entered clinical development. This seminar will provide an overview of the current COVID-19 vaccine candidate landscape, with particular focus on those currently in late stage clinical development.
ABOUT WHITNEY … Whitney Baldwin has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Colorado State University and more than four years of experience in pre-clinical vaccine development and molecular virology. Whitney is currently a member of the Discovery function within the Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda on assignment as a CDC guest researcher as part of a collaborative research agreement for Zika virus vaccine development.