SEBM Programming

High Resolution Imaging in Medicine

The microscope is one of the most important tools used in the life sciences and medicine. Initial observations that organisms and tissues were made from smaller “cellular” units revolutionized biology and has since allowed scientists to answer fundamental questions of how smaller units interacted in normal tissues and are dysfunctional in disease states. Improvements in microscopic technologies have allowed scientists to explain more about biological processes and enhance the abilities of medical scientists to understand and diagnose human disease. Improvements in microscopy paralleled and augmented the molecular revolution allowing for finer detail of components in cellular homeostasis, giving deeper understanding of cellular function. Biology is founded upon fundamental rules of nature rooted in basic chemistry and physics principles. Evolving molecular techniques has continued to probe these fundamental laws while microscopy techniques based upon light wavelengths have been limited by the resolution limit of light. However, recent experiments aided by improved optics, employing computer algorithms, and developing new, enhanced fluorescent probes has demonstrated enhanced resolving power ushering in a new era of microscopy, super resolution microscopy, that can distinguish molecular details of structures at a nano-scale. Now, individual molecules can be followed inside living cells allowing visualization of molecular interactions and opening the abilities to study cells in the smallest of detail. The 2017 SEBM Symposium, “High Resolution Imaging in Medicine” will focus upon key concepts that has led to the development of these new, super resolution microscopy techniques and how they are beginning to define molecular interactions in living cells of normal and disease circumstance. We will have a keynote address by a leader in the development of the super resolution technologies followed by speakers that utilize the techniques to address questions of cellular structures, molecular interactions in neurons, and following molecules in cancer. 

Nutrition Impact on Bacteria and Host Health: From Basic science to Global View

The overall focus of this session will be how diet derived compounds influence the microbiome and the subsequent effect on human health. Host microbe interactions will be emphasized. Data will presented from diverse experimental approaches including molecular analyses, in vivo animal modeling, and human studies. 

Progress toward adoption of microphysiological systems in biology and medicine

Over the past five years, there has been a significant investment by DARPA, FDA, NIH, DTRA, EPA and other agencies in the US and Europe to fund the development of organ-on-chip (OoC) biology and technology. As a result, there are now a large number of research groups and a small number of companies that are regularly producing miniature OoC bioreactors, tissue chips, and supporting hardware that recapitulate in two or three dimensions key aspects of the function and interaction of human organs. Of particular interest is the determination of the differences between how these human-derived constructs respond in vitro to drugs and toxins and what has been observed in 2D monocultures of immortal cell lines on plastic or in transwells, in animals, and in humans in vivo. Given the accepted shortcomings of these other approaches and the OoC results reported to date, there is a widespread belief that OoCs will contribute significantly to pharmacology, toxicology, developmental biology, systems biology, and physiology. This symposium will evaluate the progress toward adoption of microphysiological systems in biology and medicine, with the speakers selected from the authors of articles in a forthcoming Thematic Issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.