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Gage To Give Mahoney Lecture

In the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., Dr. Fred Gage and his colleagues are investigating the mechanisms of cell death and regeneration underlying recovery of function following brain damage. Advances in understanding how the brain develops have provided a rough blueprint of how regeneration in the damaged brain can occur.

On Wednesday, Mar. 7 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10, he will discuss his findings in a presentation titled "Neurogenesis and Regeneration in the Adult Nervous System." The 15th annual Florence Mahoney Lecture on Aging is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and is part of the NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.

Dr. Fred Gage

Recent findings have challenged the doctrine that central nervous system neurons are post-mitotic and resistant to regeneration. Evidence now supports the assertion that stem cells reside within the adult brain and may act as a source for neurogenesis in restricted sites of the adult brain.

Gage studies the cellular, molecular, as well as environmental influences that regulate neurogenesis in the adult brain and spinal cord. These adult stem cells from the brain can be genetically modified and transplanted into the adult intact and damaged brain, and can be a delivery system for therapeutic genes.

Gage was a National Institute of Mental Health predoctoral fellow from 1974 to 1976 while he completed his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. He went on to become an associate professor at Texas Christian University before joining the department of histology at the University of Lund in Sweden. In 1985, he was appointed professor in the department of neurosciences at the University of California, La Jolla, and in 1995 he was named professor of genetics at the Salk Institute.

Regeneration has gained public attention since actor Christopher Reeve's riding accident and paralysis. In 1997, Gage received the Christopher Reeve Second Annual Research Medal for Spinal Cord Repair, and since 1999 he has served as chair of the scientific advisory board for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

His numerous honors include the Fogarty International Fellowship (NSF), 1980; McKnight Foundation Development Award, 1987; Bristol-Myers Squibb Neurosciences Research Award, 1987; IPSEN Prize in Neuronal Plasticity, 1990; Ameritech Prize, 1992; Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Health and Education, 1993; Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award, 1999; and Max Planck Research Award, 1999.

He serves on the National Advisory Council on Aging for NIA. He was a member of the NIH working group on guidelines for use of human embryonic stem cells. In 1993, he was presented with an NIH MERIT Award. He is also on the advisory board of the American Society of Gene Therapy and president elect of the Society for Neuroscience. His list of published papers is approaching 300.

The annual Florence Mahoney Lecture on Aging honors her lifetime commitment to shaping national health science policy, particularly with respect to aging. As a charter member of the National Advisory Council on Aging from 1974 to 1978, she contributed time, energy and enthusiasm to help ensure the success of the newly formed NIA. She continues to follow NIA activities with interest.

A reception sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke follows the lecture. For information or accommodation, contact Hilda Madine, 594-5595.

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