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July 9, 2002
Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering is Topic of July 12th Friday Evening Lecture at the Marine Biological Laboratory

WOODS HOLE, MA— Gail K. Naughton, Vice Chairman of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc., a California-based tissue engineering company, will present the next lecture in the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL's) 2002 Friday Evening Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at 8:00 PM in the MBL's Lillie Auditorium, located on MBL Street in Woods Hole. The presentation is free and open to the public. Dr. Robert Palazzo, Scientist at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health, Chair of the Department of Biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and MBL Summer Investigator will introduce Dr. Naughton.

Dr. Naughton's talk, titled "Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering: From Science Fiction to Medical Fact," will explore the revolutionary advances in tissue engineering that are redefining approaches to human tissue repair and transplantation. Over the last decade the field of tissue engineering has moved from "science fiction" to "science fact" with regulatory approvals allowing commercial products to be available for use in many countries.

Dr. Naughton will discuss the questions this field now faces in moving forward from tissue to organ engineering, namely where donor cells will come from and how these cells will be able to be made proliferative enough to address the need for extensive testing. The advances made in stem cell research offer the greatest promise to addressing this need, with embryonic and bone marrow derived stem cells showing the potential to create cells as diverse as nerve, liver, and pancreas. Recent work has shown that adult tissue contains stem cells with similar characteristics, thus avoiding any ethical issues involved with embryonic tissue. The potential impact of this field is great, offering novel solutions to the medical field for drug screening and development, genetic engineering, and total tissue and organ replacement.

Gail K. Naughton received her B.S. in Biology from St. Francis College in1976, her M.S. in Histology from New York University (NYU) Medical Center in 1981, and her E.M.B.A. from Anderson School at U.C.L.A. in 2001. From 1977 to 1981, Dr. Naughton was Supervisor of the Clinical Immunofluorescence Laboratory at NYU Medical Center. She was also an instructor in the NYU Department of Biology from 1979 to1981 and a Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU Medical Center from 1981 to1983. Dr. Naughton has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at York College, City University of New York, and at Hunter College School of Health Sciences. She has held the positions of Assistant Professor of Research at NYU Medical Center, Assistant Professor at Queensborough Community College, and Visiting Associate Professor at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. She was Founder and Principal Scientist from and later Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Marrow-Tech, Inc., in La Jolla, California. Dr. Naughton has held the positions of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer, and President of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc., in La Jolla, California, where she is now Vice Chairman. Dr. Naughton holds memberships in several professional societies, including the New York Academy of Sciences, The American Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and the Harvey Society. She has received numerous academic and professional honors, most recently the Lindbergh-Carrel Prize for outstanding contributions to the development of perfusion and bioreactor technologies for organ preservation and growth, presented by the Charles and Anne Lindbergh Foundation and Alexis Carrel Foundation. Dr. Naughton is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Advisory Council of Johns Hopkins University and the Board of Directors of the Ackerman Foundation, among other organizations.

Robert Palazzo received his B.S. in Biology in1979 and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in1984 from Wayne State University. Dr. Palazzo did postdoctoral work at the University of Virginia from 1984 to 1988. From 1989 to 1992, Dr. Palazzo was an Assistant Scientist and a Principal Investigator at the MBL. Since 1992, he has held several positions at the University of Kansas, including Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Associate Professor of the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Associate Professor of the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Dr. Palazzo has been a Professor in this Department since 2000. In 2001-2002, Dr. Palazzo was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. This year, Dr. Palazzo will be moving to serve as a Scientist at the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, and Chair of the Department of Biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Cell Biology, among others. Dr. Palazzo has edited the books The Centrosome in Reproduction and Cell Division (2000) and Centrosomes and Spindle Pole Bodies (2001). Dr. Palazzo continues to serve as an advocate for basic biomedical sciences and has served as a member of the Congressional Liaison Committee, the Public Policy Committee, and the Public Information Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology for the last seven to ten years. At the MBL, Dr. Palazzo serves as Co-Chair of the Governance Task Force, a member of the Long Range Planning Committee, a member of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Science Council, and Director of the Science Journalism Program’s Hands On Laboratory Course.

The Marine Biological Laboratory is an independent scientific institution, founded in 1888, that undertakes the highest level of creative research and education in biology, including the biomedical and environmental sciences.