2007 Fourth Annual Fall Symposium


Save the Date for a State-of-the-Art Symposium on:

Mechanisms Underlying Sex Differences in Cardiovascular-Renal Disease
Co-sponsored by Georgetown University, MedStar Research Institute and Washington Hospital Center

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Research Building Auditorium – Georgetown University


12:00-1:00 p.m.

  • Lunch

1:00-1:15 p.m.

  • Welcoming Remarks
    Kathryn Sandberg, PhD
    • CSD Director 

1:15-2:20 p.m.

  • Opening Address “Are Estrogens Risk or Protective Factors in Neurodegeneration: What the WHI Told Us and is There More to the Story?”
    Phyllis Wise, PhD 
    • Provost and Executive Vice President 
      Distinguished Professor, Physiology & Biophysics, Biology and Obstetrics & Gynecology 
      University of Washington

2:20-3:25 p.m.

  • “Inflammation, Age and Mitochondria: Understanding the Neuroprotective Effect of Estrogen”
    Sue P. Duckles, PhD 
    • Professor, Department of Medicine 
      Associate Dean, Faculty Development 
      University of California, Irvine

3:25-3:35 p.m.

  • Coffee Break

3:35-4:40 p.m.

  • “How Much of the Difference Have the HRT Trials Explained?”
    Elizabeth Barrett-Connor 
    • Distinguished Professor and Chief
      Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine
      University of California, San Diego

4:40-5:45 p.m.

  • Key Note Address “Estrogen Receptors in Heart Failure and Diabetic Renal Disease” 
    Kenneth Korach, PhD 
    • Chief, Laboratory Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology 
      National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

5:45-6:00 p.m.

  • Where do we go from here? Panel discussion moderated by: Barbara Howard, PhD, FAHA

6:00-7:00 p.m.

  • Wine and Cheese Reception. All Welcome!

Speaker Biographies

Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, PhD 
Distinguished Professor and Chief, Division of Epidemiology 
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine 
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor is a Distinguished Professor and Chief, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Her research concerns healthy aging with a particular focus on gender differences and women’s health. Her pioneering work spans many areas including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, memory loss and exogenous and endogenous hormones. She is author of more than 700 publications.

Dr. Barrett-Connor is founder and director of the Rancho Bernardo Heart and Chronic Disease Study, begun in 1972, with continuous support from the NIH. She is (or was) Principal Investigator of several multi-center clinical trials including the Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions (PEPI) study, the Heart and Estrogen-Progestin Replacement Study (HERS), the Raloxifene Use in The Heart (RUTH) study, and Diabetes Prevention Program. Follow-up Study (DPPOS).

Dr. Barrett-Connor has served as President of the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association; President of the Epidemiology Council of the American Heart Association; President of the Society for Epidemiologic Research; President of the American Epidemiological Society; Member of the Armed Forces Epidemiology Board, and member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Aging. She is a Master of the American College of Physicians of Medicine and a member of the Institute of Medicine. She has received many awards including four MERIT awards from the NIH.

Sue P. Duckles, PhD 
Professor of Medicine 
Associate Dean of Faculty Development
University of California, Irvine

Dr. Sue P. Duckles is a neuroscientist and cardiovascular pharmacologist interested in the unique function of the cerebral circulation. Current research focuses on two major areas: influence of gender and sex steroid hormones on vascular reactivity and effects of estrogen on mitochondrial function.

Most recently Dr. Duckles’ laboratory has discovered a novel effect of estrogen on mitochondrial function. Chronic estrogen treatment increases mitochondrial efficiency and reduces oxidative stress in cerebral blood vessels. Estrogen treatment increases levels of specific proteins in cerebrovascular mitochondria, including ERa, cytochrome c, subunits I and IV of complex IV, and Mn superoxide dismutase. Functional assays of mitochondria show that estrogen increases enzyme activity, but mitochondrial production of H2O2 is decreased. Furthermore, estrogen decreases superoxide production in mitochondria. These novel findings suggest that vascular protection by estrogen may be mediated, in part, by modulation of mitochondrial function. These actions of estrogen may also contribute to the longer lifespan of women.

Dr. Duckles’ work also demonstrates that chronic estrogen treatment increases vasodilator function of cerebral microvessels. After chronic estrogen treatment, there is a substantial up-regulation of endothelial function, with greater production of the potent vasodilators, NO and prostacyclin. Estrogen treatment results in increased levels of NO synthase, cyclooxygenase-1 and prostacyclin synthase. In contrast testosterone treatment increases contraction of cerebral blood vessels, effects dependent on a reduction in endothelial derived hyperpolarizing factor. Estrogen and testosterone also have opposite effects on vascular inflammation in the cerebral circulation. Estrogen suppresses the vascular inflammatory response, while testosterone augments vascular inflammation. All of these effects may contribute to the well-known gender differences in the morbidity and mortality of stroke as well as the neuroprotective effects of estrogen.

Kenneth Korach, PhD 
Chief, Laboratory Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology 
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

Dr. Kenneth S. Korach is the program director of the Environmental Diseases and Medicine Program, chief of the Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology, and chief of the Receptor Biology Section at the NIEHS. He received his PhD degree in endocrinology from the Medical College of Georgia in 1974. His doctoral advisor was the late Thomas Muldoon, in whose laboratory he characterized biochemical properties of estrogen receptors in the pituitary and hypothalamus.

From 1973 to 1976, Dr. Korach was a postdoctoral biological chemistry research fellow at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of the late professor Lewis Engel, where he developed steroidal affinity and photoaffinity substrate reagents for characterizing the human placental estradiol dehydrogenase enzyme. He also received a Ford Research Fellowship award while at Harvard. Dr. Korach joined the NIEHS in 1976, where he has headed a research group investigating the basic mechanisms of estrogen hormone action in reproductive tract and bone tissues with an application toward understanding how hormonally active environmental estrogens influence physiological processes. During this time Dr. Korach has studied the role of the estrogen receptor in mediating hormonal responses in uterine tissue; characterized estrogen receptor and hormonal responsiveness during early development; described the coupling of growth factor and nuclear receptor signaling pathways; investigated estrogen carcinogenesis and toxicity; and created mouse lines using different transgenic technologies and gene targeting strategies for evaluating the role of the estrogen receptor in endocrine regulation and hormonal carcinogenesis.

Dr. Korach was an editor for Endocrinology, the flagship journal of the American Endocrine Society, and is the past editor-in-chief of the journal. He holds multiple adjunct professorships in the Department of Molecular Toxicology as well as Biochemistry at North Carolina State University, in Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina Medical School, and in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical School. He was appointed into the Senior Biomedical Research Service (SBRS) at the NIH. He is the recipient of NIH outstanding performance awards, NIH Merit Awards, numerous keynote meeting lectureships, the Medical College of Georgia Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Edwin B. Astwood Award from the Endocrine Society, the Keith Harrison Lecture Award from the Australian Endocrine Society, the Transatlantic Medal from the British Endocrine Society, and the Firkin Oration Research Award from the Australian Society of Medical Research.

Phyllis Wise, PhD 
Provost and Executive Vice President 
Distinguished Professor, Physiology & Biophysics, Biology and Obstetrics & Gynecology 
University of Washington

Phyllis M. Wise became Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Washington, on August 1, 2005. As the University’s chief academic and budgetary officer, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs provides leadership in educational and curriculum development, formulation and allocation of space, long-range strategic planning, and management of the University’s research programs, and serves as deputy to the President and provides advice and assistance to him and to the Deans and the faculty in these matters.

Dr. Wise, who is a distinguished professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Biology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington, previously served as dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California at Davis, from 2002 to 2005. Prior to that, she was professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington from 1993 to 2002. Dr. Wise was a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, from 1976 to 1993, promoting through the ranks to full professor of physiology in 1987.

She holds a bachelor’s degree (1967) from Swarthmore College in biology and a doctorate (1972) degree in zoology from the University of Michigan.

As dean of biological sciences at UC Davis she chaired the group that oversaw life science initiatives, including: the Genome Center Initiative, the Center for Neuroscience, the Center for Population Biology and the Bodega Marine Laboratory. She has also served as a member of the International Programs Advisory Group at Davis, the UC Davis Enterprise Campus Board and the Coordinating Council for the Center for Regenerative Science and Therapies.

Dr. Wise was featured in Parade Magazine cover story on “The Quiet Heroes” engaged in lifesaving research and has received many awards, including the Award for Excellence in Science from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in 2002, and the Women in Endocrinology Mentor Award in 2003. She was also selected by the Endocrine Society in 2004 as the recipient of the Roy O. Greep Award for outstanding contributions to research in endocrinology. These awards recognize outstanding contributions to original research.

Dr. Wise also has received two MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) awards from the National Institutes of Health, from 1986 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2010. MERIT awards provide NIH grant recipients with funding for innovative research over an extended period of time. This highly selective award is presented to researchers who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity and lifelong dedication to mentoring junior investigators, particularly women.

Her research interests include endocrine mechanisms regulating neural plasticity during aging, and neuroprotective actions of estrogen after stroke injury and during aging.