Investigating Telomeres: Using High-Performance Microscopy for Understanding Cancer

On Thursday, August 14, join experts from the scientific community for a panel discussion at the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) in New York on investigating telomeres using high-resolution imaging.
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NEW YORK - Aug. 11, 2014 - PRLog -- Telomeres, the region of DNA at the end of each of our chromosomes, protects our genes from unwanted deterioration or fusion with nearby chromosomes. On Thursday, August 14, 2014, join scientific experts for a panel discussion at the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) in New York on the exciting possibilities and future implications of this topic.

Dr. Sabine Mai, a Senior Investigator at the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, will discuss how 3D telomere profiling can be used to diagnose, prognose, and monitor cancer patients to aid clinicians in staging and treating patients. Dr. Mai, who is also Professor of Physiology, Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Human Anatomy and Cell Science at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and Director of the Genomic Centre for Cancer Research and Diagnosis (GCCRD), will open the evening’s event with a presentation on the clinical challenges related to high-performance imaging for aging and cancer research. Dr. Mai obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Basel Institute for Immunology in Switzerland. During this time, Dr. Mai also conducted research at the NIH/NCI in Bethesda, MD, at the Laboratory of Genetics. Her research focus is on mechanisms of genomic instability. Dr. Mai has longstanding experience in molecular imaging and offers international workshops and courses on basic and advanced imaging technologies and applications. She has developed new and unique tools to sensitively detect cancer cells, to subgroup cancer patients, and to monitor disease.

She will be joined by Dr. James Fitzpatrick, Core Director and Senior Staff Scientist at the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center and Interim Senior Director of the Scientific Core Facilities at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. Dr. Fitzpatrick will present on the microscopy techniques and high-performance tools currently available, which have been used to create detailed models of telomeres. He obtained his B.Sc. at Kings College, London and his Ph.D. in chemical physics at the University of Bristol, also in the U.K. In his Ph.D., he designed and developed a novel injection seeded optical parametric oscillator (OPO) laser system for the study of nuclear hyperfine structure in gas-phase free radical species. After completing his doctorate, Dr. Fitzpatrick moved to the United States as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania where he shifted his focus to study biological molecules, such as peptide mimics and their gas-phase micro-solvated clusters using high-resolution fluorescence spectroscopy. In his second postdoc at Carnegie Mellon University, also in Pittsburgh, he spent his time studying protein-protein interactions using tools such as fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). After that, he was hired as an imaging scientist in the Carnegie Mellon National Technology Center for Networks and Pathways, an NIH-funded Roadmap initiative whose mandate was to develop fluorescent probe and imaging informatics technologies to study networks and pathways in living cells. In 2009, Dr. Fitzpatrick moved to the Salk Institute to direct the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center where his primary research focus is the integration and application of optical and charged particle detection technologies to study biological systems.

Dr. Bernhard Zimmermann, Senior Director of the Global Marketing Life Sciences division at Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH in Jena, Germany, will also speak. Dr. Zimmermann will reveal a new microscope and innovative technology that could be instrumental in future cancer research. Dr. Zimmermann has been with Carl Zeiss holding various positions since 2001. Prior to that, Dr. Zimmermann was a research scientist at the Institute for Biochemistry and Biology at the University of Potsdam. From 1993 to 1995, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, VA. Dr. Zimmermann holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Regensburg, Germany.

James Sharp, President of Carl Zeiss Microscopy, LLC, and President and CEO of Carl Zeiss, Inc., will moderate the panel discussion. Mr. Sharp has served Zeiss in North America as well as in Germany, managing operations in both light and electron microscopy. The August 14th panel discussion will further investigate why the vitalization of telomeres is so important for understanding cancer as well as why techniques other than confocal microscopy are necessary for investigating the disease.

Dr. Joann Halpern, Director of the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) in New York, will give the evening’s welcome remarks.

The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, August 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the German Center for Research and Innovation (871 United Nations Plaza, First Avenue, btw. 48th & 49th Streets). To RSVP by August 11, click here (

Unable to attend? Follow @gcri_ny ( and the hashtag #cancer for live tweets.

This event is co-sponsored by the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) and Carl Zeiss, Inc.

The German Center for Research and Innovation ( provides information and support for the realization of cooperative and collaborative projects between North America and Germany. With the goal of enhancing communication on the critical challenges of the 21st century, GCRI hosts a wide range of events from lectures and exhibitions to workshops and science dinners. Opened in February 2010, GCRI was created as a cornerstone of the German government’s initiative to internationalize science and research and is one of five centers worldwide.

Jennifer Audet
Source:German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI)
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Tags:Telomeres, Cancer, Microscopy, Imaging, Aging Research
Industry:Medical, Technology
Location:New York City - New York - United States
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