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Scientist encourages faculty to seek opportunities

By Cindy Abole
Public Relations

World-renowned biochemist Cynthia Kenyon, Ph.D., shared her insights on aging and inspired female colleagues as the guest presenter of the MUSC Women Scholars Initiative's (WSI) annual Eminent Scholar program
Sept. 15.

Kenyon met with female faculty and spoke about the molecular biology of aging as part of her talk, "Cells and Pathways that Control of Aging of C. elegans," held at Gazes Cardiac Research Institute auditorium. Her ongoing research studies show how genetic control circuits are involved in the aging process. At the talk, Kenyon was presented with the WSI award.

Kenyon and her colleague's discoveries have led to a better understanding of the aging process by more focused study on simple organisms such as the microscopic roundworm, C. elegans, to study gene regulation and changes in its lifespan and other biological processes.

2011 Women Scholars Initiative Eminent Scholar Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, center, met with WSI members Drs. Sudie Back, Bonnie Dumas, Ashli Sheidow, Amy Bradshaw, Samar Hammad and Barb Rohrer on Sept. 15.

Earlier, Kenyon met with graduate students, research colleagues who specialize in aging and women campus leaders. She answered questions, shared career advice and addressed the benefits of mentorship and professionalism in research and science.

"The opportunities for junior faculty and women scientists are incredible today. I encourage new faculty and women to seek out and respond to those opportunities and get involved," she said.

Kenyon earned a dual graduate degree (chemistry and biochemistry) from the University of Georgia in 1976. She earned her doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981 and later worked with Nobel laureate Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. She is the Herbert Boyer Distinguished Professor and American Cancer Society Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Department of Biochemistry. She is director of the Hillblom Center for the Biology of Aging at UCSF. Kenyon is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and has received numerous honors and recognition for her research work.

Kenyon is MUSC's fifth named Eminent Scholar. Last year, Kristi Anseth, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Distinguished Professor of the University of Colorado-Boulder was the event's speaker. The award is sponsored by the WSI and the College of Graduate Studies' Molecular & Cellular Biology and Pathobiology external seminar series.



Friday, Oct. 14, 2011

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