Hamner Institutes Scientist to Speak at Conference Focusing on Military Life Sciences Initiatives

Research Triangle Park, NC, November 19, 2009 --(PR.com)-- The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences has announced that Melvin Andersen, Ph.D., director of The Hamner Program in Chemical Safety Sciences and director of the Computational Biology Division, will join a panel at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative’s (TMTI) Industry Day on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, located at 300 Reunion Blvd. in Dallas, Texas. The workshop is part of the Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology (CBD S&T) Conference, to be held Monday, Nov. 16 through Friday, Nov. 20. Andersen’s panel will discuss the use of Systems Biology approaches in toxicology to address critical TMTI program needs.

The conference, hosted by the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), is designed to identify and examine interrelated areas of basic and applied research within the chemical and biological defense landscape that are relevant to both the medical and physical science disciplines. During the conference, the TMTI Industry Day will bring together professionals from government, academia and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries to discuss TMTI, the current state of medical countermeasure preparedness, plans for enhancing national capabilities to respond to emerging and novel biological threats, and collaborative opportunities.

“The drug and chemical safety efforts conducted by The Hamner and North Carolina have far-reaching implications, including the contribution to military life science initiatives,” said Andersen. “The systems biology panel should provide an excellent discussion as to how best to develop necessary therapeutics, insure their safety and speed introduction for specialized use in military situations.”

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-The mission of TMTI is to protect the warfighter from emerging and genetically engineered biological threats by providing a novel response capability from identification of pathogens to the development of medical countermeasures. TMTI envisions that these efforts will also be applicable to a civilian population.

- The conference will create an opportunity for interaction and collaboration between the traditional computational biology scientific areas and explore opportunities for revolutionary scientific advancement in emerging areas including, but not limited to, nanotechnology, bioinformatics, systems biology, and omics via delivery of hundreds of combined keynote, oral, and poster presentations. Outstanding members of the CB research community will be highlighted and recognized by the presentation of awards based on the quality of the individual research and presentations submitted to the conference.

-The Systems Biology panel will address needs for physiological immune system responses and cellular responses to specific pathogens at a systems level in order to identify critical steps in pathological disease progression as well as potential sites in cellular pathways for development of therapeutics.

About Melvin Ernest Andersen, Ph.D..:
Melvin Ernest Andersen, Ph.D. is the director of The Hamner Program in Chemical Safety Sciences and director of the Computational Biology Division. Dr. Andersen guides research directions, mentors staff and ensures the adequate reporting of results at The Hamner. As director of the Computational Biology Division, he imparts a computational systems biology emphasis to dose-response assessments for the health effects of environmental chemicals. His current research interests include the development of mathematical descriptions of control of cellular circuitry and the dose response and risk assessment implications of perturbations of these circuits.

About Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences:
The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences is a nonprofit research organization strategically located on a 56-acre campus in the heart of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For 35 years, scientists at The Hamner have conducted preeminent research in environmental health sciences and chemical risk assessment. Built upon an integrated systems-biology platform, The Hamner has broadened its mission to include translational research in biopharmaceutical safety, metabolic disorders, and oncology. The site also includes an Accelerator, which houses emerging companies and provides opportunities to develop collaborative research and educational programs with academia, industry, and government. The Hamner model for translational research and technology development integrates innovative science with business development while capitalizing on academic and industry partnerships. The Hamner supports the discovery of new, safer drugs and formation of new companies, which leads to research-based public health policy and enhanced economic development. For more information, visit www.thehamner.org or call (919) 558-1200.

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