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The Center for Sensory Biology Inaugural Symposium

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Media Relations and Public Affairs
Media Contact: Audrey Huang
Oct. 16, 2006


The Center for Sensory Biology Inaugural Symposium
“Sensory Biology: Understanding Our Windows to the World”

Nine experts in sensory biology (see full list below) present their current findings to an audience of more than 200 key scientists

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13, 2006
Vernon B. Mountcastle Auditorium
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
725 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21205

Animals – including people – have over eons developed intricately specialized systems to sense, process and interpret information from the outside world. Research to uncover the molecular players in these systems has revealed that very similar chemistry and biology are involved in seemingly very different sensory activities such as vision, hearing and touch, pain and temperature sensation.

The newly established Center for Sensory Biology in the Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins is believed the first and only of its kind to combine laboratories studying all the senses in one location.

To kick off this new multidisciplinary collaboration, the Center will present investigators’ latest findings from research at Hopkins and elsewhere at an all-day symposium.

Find out how the retina detects light; how hair cells of the inner ear sense sound; how cells and molecules link up to build the sense of smell; why pain is mainly in the brain and how our skin feels temperature changes.

Reporters who wish to attend may contact Audrey Huang at 410-614-5105 or to register, or come directly to the event.

“Light detection in the retina”
King-Wai Yau, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

“Biochemical mechanisms of visual pigment regeneration in the vertebrate retina”
Gabriel H. Travis, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology and Biological Chemistry
Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA School of Medicine

“High fidelity signaling in the inner ear: molecules of mechanotransduction in hair cells”
Peter G. Gillespie, Ph.D., Professor
Oregon Hearing Research Center and Vollum Institute, Oregon Health & Science University

“Transmitter release at the hair cell afferent synapse: mechanisms underlying high fidelity signaling in the inner ear”
Elisabeth Glowatzki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology¬¬¬--Head & Neck Surgery
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

“Molecular biology of pheromone detection: from genes to circuits and behaviors”
Catherine Dulac, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Harvard University

“Building smell: mechanisms for generating the cells, apparatus and wiring of olfaction”
Randall Reed, Ph.D., Co-director, Center for Sensory Biology, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

“Pain insensitivity – nature or nurture?”
Clifford Woolf, M.D., Ph.D., Richard Kitz Chair of Anesthesia Research, Director, Neural Plasticity Research Group, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"Heat-gated ion channels and temperature sensation by neuronal and nonneuronal cells"
Mike Caterina, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

“TRP channels: mediators of sensory signaling”
Craig Montell, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Chemistry
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

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