Category: biotechnology

Franklin Visiting Scholar Series - Biotech and Public Health


Ezezika head shotThe Franklin Visiting Scholar Series continues in April with a lecture by Obidimma Ezezika on effective strategies for improved public health through the adoption of biotechnology April 3 at 2 p.m. in room S175 of the Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences.

A program leader in ethics at the University of Toronto's Sandra Rotman Centre, Ezezika is an adjunct faculty member at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He focuses on navigating ethical and commercialization challenges to innovative development initiatives in Africa.

Ezezika's lecture on "From the Lab to the Village: Innovative Global Solutions in Agricultural Biotechnology" will describe a strategic model developed to build trust and partnerships in health-related initiatives and to increase the success of biotechnology implementation to improve public health. The strategy helps align the goals of everyone involved in the "lab-to-village" pathway and provides farmers with a voice and an important role in the process, he said. The approach, which has been applied to projects sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also improves management practices and accountability.

There's a certain disconnect between our ability to grow massive amounts of food or to produce highly effective drug therapies and the ability to make the same available to those around the world. It may seem counterintuitive at first that questions on the power of technology have localized answers and Ezezika's lecture will focus on how these two are connected, interrelated and perhaps even dependent if proven research can successfully impact publc health , as its potential obviously indicates.

Thsi lecture should attract people from a variety of corners of campus - great choice of subject and speaker, as we welcome back an alum.


Targeting Cellular Invaders


What-Are-Ways-Bacteria-Avoid-The-Immune-System.jpgMy colleague Sam Fahmy brings us this story today, from UGA researchers harnessing bacterial immune systems to fight infection and disease:

“Scientists study bacteria and other microorganisms to understand essential life processes as well as to improve their use in the safe production of foods, biofuels and pharmaceuticals, and to fight those that cause disease,” said Michael Terns, a professor in the departments of biochemistry and molecular biology, and genetics in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “And now we have a new way to engineer bacteria to decrease or even eliminate the expression of the genes of our choosing.”