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By Mark L. Shelton, UMass Medical School Communications
May 16, 2013
At the 28th Annual Meeting of the Hudson Hoagland Society, celebrating science was on the top of the agenda. Thoru Pederson, PhD, the Vitold Arnett Professor of Cell Biology and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, welcomed the audience by pointing out the concrete value of their philanthropic support to UMass Medical School researchers, including newly-named Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Marc Freeman, PhD, who was a Worcester Foundation grant recipient in 2005. Dr. Pederson also noted that all four of the UMMS recipients of the UMass Technology Development Fund grants were previous recipients of Worcester Foundation grants, illuminating the importance of early philanthropic support for stellar young scientists.
Guest speakers for the HHS event were Heidi Tissenbaum, PhD, professor of molecular medicine, who engaged the audience by illustrating why the nematode C. elegans is an ideal model for the study of aging; and John F. Keaney Jr., MD, professor of medicine and chief of the division of cardiovascular medicine at UMass Memorial Medical Center, who spoke about his “favorite part of the cardiovascular system the endothelium.”
Both talks illustrated how understanding the biology of aging has important implications for an aging population.
Chancellor Michael F. Collins presented an update on the year that was at UMMS, focusing on how cuts in federal funding have a real world impact on the ability of great scientists to do science, and pointing out how identifying alternate sources of funding for research is crucial to the continued success of an extraordinarily successful institution.
Pederson closed the evening by sharing the news that HHS now has a group of student bloggers on its Facebook page who are providing a window into the study of science at UMMS, and he encouraged the audience to become Facebook friends with the HHS at https://www.facebook.com/HudsonHoaglandSociety.