2nd Annual Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases 
Fall Symposium
September 21, 2016, Sheldon Museum of Art – 12th and R Street 
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

“Quantitative Research”

The Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases (NPOD) hosted the 2nd Annual Fall Symposium on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.  The symposium is always a free, day-long event for faculty, postdocs, students, staff, industry partners, and other interested parties offering an opportunity to explore relevant topics and to network with fellow researchers in academia and industry.   The speakers this year were internationally recognized experts on the topic of “Quantitative Research": 

l to r: Yang Xie, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Director, Quantitative Biomedical Research Center; NPOD Director Janos Zempleni; Irina St. Louis, University of Minnesota Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine. Not pictured: Ying Xu, University of Georgia, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Ying Xu
Regents-Georgia Research Alliance Eminent  Scholar Chair  and Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular  Biology
University of Georgia
“Fenton reactions play key driving roles in cancer formation and progression”

Ying Xu is the "Regents and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar" Chair Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department and the Founding Director of the Institute of Bioinformatics, the University of Georgia since 2003. Before that, he was a senior staff scientist and group leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his Ph. D. degree in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991. His current research interests are in cancer systems biology and microbial genomics. He has over 300 papers and five books. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transaction on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

Dr. Irina St. Louis
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
University of Minnesota
“Posttranscriptional regulation of cellular signaling by GU-rich and AU-rich elements”

Irina St. Louis earned her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Ural State Medical Academy, Yekaterinburg, Russia. She completed her residency in lab pathology at Russian Medical Academy for Postgraduate Education, Moscow. Dr. St. Louis joined the Department of Microbiology, at University of Minnesota, as a postdoctoral trainee in 2003; followed by fellowships at the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute and Lymphoma Research Foundation. In 2013, Dr. St. Louis was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Medicine. The research in her Lab is centered on the area of post-transcriptional gene expression regulation, specifically through messenger RNA degradation. Dr. St. Louis also teaches the “Foundation of Critical Thinking in Medicine” course for first year medical students. She holds multiple postdoctoral travel awards (from AACR, FEBS, EMBO, RNA Society and IBM) and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Mentor Award (2011-2013). 

Dr. Yang Xie
Associate Professor
Department of Clinical Science
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
"Quantitative biomedical research in the era of precision medicine"

Dr. Yang Xie is the founding director of the Quantitative Biomedical Research Center and the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center Bioinformatics Shared Resources at UT Southwestern Medical Center. With training in biostatistics, medicine and epidemiology, Dr. Xie has an excellent understanding of translational research, developing predictive and prognostic biomarkers, and precision medicine. Her primary quantitative expertise is in integrated analysis of high-dimensional data, preprocessing and analysis of high-throughput data, prediction model building, and validation. She also has extensive experience with the design and analysis of clinical trials and epidemiological studies and the development and maintenance of comprehensive databases. Dr. Xie is leading several large national/international research projects, including one grant to develop novel statistical models and integrative analysis approaches to identify functional targets of RNA-binding proteins.

The Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Poster Competition and reception was held following the speakers, giving young researchers an opportunity to present their work as well as exchange ideas and visit with the speakers.  The competition this year included 15 research posters that represented 8 laboratories and multiple departments at UNL.  Posters were judged by three NPOD faculty investigators.  Judging criteria included the overall presentation of the research, content, oral explanation, and scientific merit. The top three posters were selected and the winners received a framed “Research Award” certificate along with a $150 cash prize.


Poster winners: 

Poster winners pictured l to r: Jiang (Peter) Shu, NPOD Director Zempleni, Ana Aguilar Lozano, Rituraj Khound

Funding for this retreat was provided by grant support through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20GM104320.