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2006 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cultural Series begins March 14

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Hot Topics Include Autism, Obesity and CSHL’s Cancer and Neuroscience Research

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cultural Series is a tradition in which an eclectic mix of artists, writers, and scientists present lectures, concerts and exhibits that provide compelling glimpses of how we experience, discover, live in and make sense of our world. Open to the public, the aim of the Cultural Series is to stimulate, inspire and entertain.

The lectures begin at 7 p.m. and are held in Grace Auditorium at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (One Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY). They are free of charge, but due to seating limitations, reservations are required. For reservations, call the Events Hotline, 516-367-5016.

Tuesday, March 14: Seeking the Cause of Autism. Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge, is the author of several books for parents and teachers on the subject of autism and is the Director of Cambridge Lifespan Asperger Syndrome Service, a clinic for adults with Asperger Syndrome. His current research is testing the “extreme mail brain” theory of autism at the neural, endocrine and genetic levels.

Tuesday, April 25: Recent Progress in Cancer Research. In a follow-up to his 2003 “Cancer: Mission Possible” lecture, Dr. Scott Lowe will describe the approaches that are now being taken at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to improve the way many forms of cancer are diagnosed and treated. Dr. Lowe is a leading cancer biologist, deputy director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Tuesday, May 16: In Search of King Solomon’s Ring: Cognitive & Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots. Grey Parrots are particularly noted for their cognitive abilities and Dr. Irene Pepperberg studies the mechanisms of learning in these birds. The main focus of her work is to determine the cognitive and communicative abilities of Grey Parrots and to compare their abilities with those of great apes, marine mammals, and young children.

Tuesday, June 13: Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code. Science journalist and author Matt Ridley will speak about the subject of his latest book: Francis Crick, the legendary scientist and co-discoverer of the DNA double helix.

Tuesday, September 12: Leptin and the Biological Basis of Obesity. Dr. Jeffrey Friedman is a physician studying the genetic mechanisms that regulate body weight and the effects an encoded protein, called leptin, has on weight reduction. His research on various aspects of obesity received national attention in late 1994, when it was announces that he and his colleagues had isolated the mouse obese gene and its human counterpart.

Tuesday, October 24: Recent Progress in Neuroscience Research. Dr. Tim Tully, the St. Giles Foundation Professor of Neuroscience at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, will describe the approaches that are now being taken at CSHL to understand the brain, what goes wrong in a variety of diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism and schizophrenia, and how researchers are working to improve the treatment of these and other brain disorders.

A diverse line-up of 12 classical concerts is also scheduled beginning March 18 and running on Saturday evenings at 6pm in Grace Auditorium through December 2. A $100 per person Subscription Pass is required to attend the Concert Series, which includes five concerts in the spring and seven concerts in the fall. A CSHL Association Friend Membership (annual gifts of $300 or more) entitles you to register for up to two free Subscription passes. For more information, call 516-367-8840.

Paul Liam Harrison will display his exhibition, Pertaining to Origins: Organization of Form and Function, in the Racker Room of Blackford Hall from September 26 – October 1. The exhibit explores the inner workings of the cell as revealed to Harrison through the work of his scientific collaborators at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, University of Dundee and elsewhere. His art combines traditional printmaking methods with new and emerging technologies with striking results. The exhibit opens on Tuesday, September 26 at 7pm with an appearance by the artist; it continues to be open daily 9am – 5pm until October 1.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, non-profit basic research institution. Under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Stillman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), more than 330 scientists at the Laboratory conduct groundbreaking research in cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics, and bioinformatics. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is one of eight National Cancer Institute-designated basic research centers in the U.S. and the only such center in the tri-state area.

Written by: Communications Department | | 516-367-8455

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About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,000 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle, high school, and undergraduate students and teachers. For more information, visit