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The Catalyst

2014 Just symposium features speakers, celebrates science

Staff Report

The annual Ernest E. Just Symposium is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., Friday, Feb. 28 in the James E. Clyburn Research Center Auditorium. The symposium celebrates the life and scientific achievements of Ernest E. Just, Ph.D., a native Charlestonian and prominent black marine biologist who made significant contributions to the areas of cell biology, cell structure and tissue development throughout his career.

MUSC interim president and provost, Mark S. Sothmann, Ph.D., and Etta S. Pisano, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine will welcome guests and Stephan Lanier, Ph.D., associate provost for Research, and Jacqueline McGinty, College of Graduate Studies interim dean will introduce the day’s speakers. 

Stephon H.S. Alexander, Ph.D., the Ernest Everett Just 1907 professor of Natural Sciences, Ernest E. Just program director and associate professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College will speak about the life of Dr. Just and present a lecture on "The Importance of the Liberal Arts in a Scientific Education and Career."

Also included in the morning session will be symposium keynote speaker James Jackson, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Social Research and Daniel Katz distinguished professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Jackson’s presentation is titled, “Understanding Radical Group and Education Differences in Obesity.”
Part three of the science section features graduate presenter Sybil Price-Nelson, a doctoral candidate with MUSC’s Department of Public Health Sciences. Price-Nelson’s will review details of her research in her presentation, “Genetic and Environmental Factors Leading to Lupus in the South Carolina Gullah Population.”
At midday, symposium coordinators will present the Ernest E. Just Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Research. Visiting undergraduate students will then tour the campus and meet with MUSC admissions officers.
Afternoon sessions will be led by Jennifer West, Ph.D., Fitzpatrick Family University professor of Engineering, Duke University School of Medicine;  Boris Hinz, Ph.D., associate professor, Matrix Dynamic Group, faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto; and Joan Siefert Brugge, Ph.D., chair and professor of cell biology, Harvard Medical School. West will speak on “Biomimetic Microfabrication to Manipulate Cells.” Hinz’ presentation is titled, “Mechanics and Fibrosis,” and Brugge will speak about her research in her presentation, “Modeling Morphogenis, Tumorigenesis and Drug
Sensitivity in 3D Cultures.”

The Ernest E. Just Symposium is sponsored by MUSC’s Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology; Office of the Provost; Student Diversity; the Colleges of Graduate Studies, Dental Medicine, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and the S.C. College of Pharmacy; MUSC Public Information and Community Outreach; Hollings Cancer Center; NIH/NCI P20 SC CaDRe Grant; South Carolina EPSCoR/IDeA; Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture at the  College of Charleston; S.C. NASA Space Grant; and U.S. Department of Energy.

The full program can be found at

For additional information, email Keisha Vaughn, or Titus A. Reaves, Ph.D., or call 792-1282.

February 13, 2014

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