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Famous Immunologist and Geneticist Edward K. Wakeland Visits BIG
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A report on “A genomic analysis of the immune system” was given by Prof Edward K. Wakeland in BIG (Beijing Institute of Genomics), Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS) on Feb 15th, 2012. Prof Edward K. Wakeland introduced the latest research advances in his laboratory, through characterizing the variations of the genome and transcriptome in a cohort of normal individuals to associate specific genetic variations which are related to autoimmune diseases with specific functional changes in the innate and adaptive immune systems. The lecture was hosted by Prof. FANG Xiangdong.

Prof Edward K. Wakeland has been launching the project “Research of the Epigenetic Regulation on the Differentiation of Tumor and Stem Cells” collaborating with Prof. FANG’s group since he was invited as the foreign specially appointed investigator in 2010. He addressed a lecture about “Advances on GWAS, Biological Chip, and the Next Generation Sequencing Technique” in graduate school of CAS.  He also participated in the guidance of young researchers and students and worked on some details like manuscript modification during his stay in BIG.

Prof Edward K. Wakeland and Prof. FANG’s group launched a wide range of academic exchanges and collaboration with several national well-known institutes and universities such as School of Medicine in Tsinghua University and Institute of Hematology & Blood Diseases Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Benefiting from Prof Edward K. Wakeland’s research background and work experiences, Prof. FANG and his collaborators successfully acquired a series of national project grants, and improved the academic level in several fields including stem cell, blood diseases, tumor genomics and bioinformatics. The project for international cooperation and exchange of CAS plays a pivotal role in elevating the creativity of science and technology as well as international academic status of the domestic young researchers.

Prof Edward K. Wakeland is an international distinguished immunologist and geneticist and famous for the research field in systemic lupus erythematosis and other autoimmune diseases. He is the founding Chairman of the Department of Immunology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. His laboratory is utilizing mouse genetics to delineate the genetic basis for autoimmune disease pathogenesis. Their primary focus has been on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a debilitating autoimmune disease initiated via a profound loss of immunologic tolerance to nuclear antigens. They have used genetic manipulation of the lupus-prone NZM2410 murine model of SLE to dissect SLE pathogenesis into a series of discrete stages and these mouse models have been widely adopted in autoimmune diseases research field.

 Prof Edward K. Wakeland was delivering a speech in BIG. (Image by ZHANG Zhaojun).