St. Stephen's School Presents
COVID, Genetics & the Race for a Vaccine
9 December at 17:30 CET
Featuring world-renowned St. Stephen’s community members
Drs. Fred H. Gage, Peter K. Gregersen & Stephen Altschul
Moderated by Dr. Fiona Leckie
Fiona Leckie, Ph.D. (Teacher)
Chair of Science Department, St. Stephen’s School
Dr. Fiona Leckie has taught chemistry at St. Stephen’s since 2007. Previously, she was a member of the school’s discipline committee. Having spent her formative years between Ireland and Scotland, Dr. Leckie completed her doctorate at the University of Sheffield and subsequently spent several years at the Università La Sapienza in Rome as a researcher, where she published over 20 papers in academic journals. She has lived in many diverse countries such as Zambia, Nigeria, and the United States and brings a wealth of experience to St. Stephen’s challenging academic environment.
Peter K. Gregersen, M.D. (Class of 1968)
Professor and Head, Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research
Professor, Molecular Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Originally trained as a rheumatologist, Peter K. Gregersen has been working in the area of human genetics for over three decades. Dr. Gregersen has led several major international consortia to study the genetics of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, myasthenia gravis, myositis and other autoimmune disorders. On May 2, 2013, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences presented Dr. Gregersen with the Crafoord prize for his genetic research in rheumatoid arthritis. The prize was presented to Dr. Gregersen in Stockholm by the king of Sweden. Over the last six years Dr. Gregersen has turned his research efforts to the understanding and diagnosis of endometriosis, a common and understudied disorder of women of child bearing age. Most recently, during 2020, Dr. Gregersen has participated in international consortia on the genetics of SARS-Cov-2 infection; he has also been awarded major funding as an investigator within the NCI SeroNet, the major NIH supported effort to understand the immune response to SARS-Cov-2.
Fred H. Gage, Ph.D. (Class of 1968)
Adler Professor, Laboratory of Genetics and President of The Salk Institute
Adjunct Professor, UCSD
Fred H. Gage, Ph.D., President and a Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics, joined The Salk Institute in 1995. He received his Ph.D. in 1976 from The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gage's work concentrates on the adult central nervous system and unexpected plasticity and adaptability to environmental stimulation that remains throughout the life of all mammals. In addition, he models human neurological and psychiatric disease in vitro using human stem cells. Finally, his lab studies the genomic mosaicism that exists in the brain as a result of mobile elements that are active during neurogenesis. Prior to joining Salk, Dr. Gage was a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego and remains an Adjunct Professor. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, and American Philosophical Society, a foreign member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Gage served as President of the Society for Neuroscience in 2002, and President for the International Society for Stem Cell Research 2012.
Stephen Altschul, Ph.D. (Former Faculty, 1979-1981)
National Institutes of Health
Stephen Altschul received his A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard College
in 1979, and his Ph.D. in the same field from M.I.T. in 1987. Dr. Altschul has been a researcher at the U.S. National Institutes of Health from 1987to the present. Dr. Altschul's work in the field of Bioinformatics has focussed primarily on the development of measures, algorithms and statistics for the comparison and analysis of protein and DNA molecules.