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Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series

Alumni Lecture Series announement

In an on-going effort to provide career development to students in the College of Graduate Studies, the Distinguished Alumni Lecture was created.  The day-long event includes a one hour seminar to help mentor our graduate students in the area of career development, lunch with graduate students, and several meetings with our faculty.

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023
12:00 Noon
Room 103 WH

Distinguished Alumni Lecture

Julie Siegenthaler, PhD
Asssociate Professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

’Stuck on you’: Meninges formation and function in brain development

Dr. Julie Siegenthaler completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience & Behavior at Mount Holyoke College and her PhD in Neuroscience studying the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on brain development at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Siegenthaler began studying the development of the meninges and brain vasculature while a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, San Francisco and started her laboratory at the University of Colorado in 2012. The Siegenthaler laboratory studies the interplay between the CNS and its vital support structures, the meninges and the brain vasculature. The meninges surround the brain and spinal cord providing a protective covering. However, the meninges and in particular meningeal fibroblasts are an important source of developmental cues that regulate neuronal migration, neurogenesis, CNS vascular development and development of the calvarium. CNS disease and injury are frequently accompanied by breakdown of the meninges and vascular instability, and recently the Siegenthaler laboratory generated a single cell transcriptome atlas of the embryonic mouse meninges. This together with ongoing work has opened the door to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying CNS meninges development and function. In particular, they study how meningeal and perivascular fibroblasts populations are established and act locally in the immature CNS to control blood vasculature and CNS macrophages at brain borders. Further, the lab focuses on CNS barriers in the meninges and vasculature, their development and instability in disease, specifically ischemic stroke, viral encephalitis and bacterial meningitis.

To see photos from 2023 Distinguished Alumni Lecture visit: https://flic.kr/ps/3ZDw2U

Julie SiegenthalerJulie Siegenthaler, PhD, 2023 Distinguished Alumni Lecturer, meets with students during the student lunch.

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Previous Distinguished Alumni Lectures:

  • April 12, 2010 - The first annual Distinguished Alumni lecture was presented by Dr. Carlo Nalin, Executive Director of the Novartis Oncology Division of Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation. Dr. Nalin earned his Ph.D. in 1982 in our Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program. His thesis sponsor was Dr. Richard Cross.
  • April 29, 2011 - Dr. Kip West, Lead Senior Scientist at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Dr. West earned his PhD in 2001 from our Anatomy and Cell Biology Program. His thesis advisor was Dr. Christopher Turner.
  • May 15, 2012 - Dr. Paul Cheney, Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Cheney earned his Ph.D. degree in 1975 in our Physiology Program. His thesis sponsor was the late Dr. James Preston..
  • March 15, 2013 - Dr. Matthew Bonaparte, Scientist at Sanofi Pasteur. Dr. Bonaparte earned his PhD in 2005 from our Microbiology and Immunology Program. His dissertation sponsor was Dr. Edward Barker.
  • February 11, 2014 - Dr. Jack (Matt) Webster, Senior Scientist, Project Director of the Diagnostics and Biomedical Technologies at GE Global Research. Dr. Webster earned his PhD Degree in 2004 from our Pharmacology Program.  His dissertation sponsor was Dr. Richard Wojcikiewicz.
  • April 20, 2015 - Karlett J. Parra, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Parra earned her PhD from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program in 1998.  Her thesis sponsor was Dr. Patricia Kane.
  • February 24, 2016 - Mary Fowkes, MD, PhD, Director of Neuropathology and Autopsy Service, Associate Professor of Pathology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Fowkes earned her PhD from the Anatomy and Cell Biology Program in 1999.  Her thesis sponsor was Dr. David Mitchell.
  • February 7, 2017 - Georgia Tomaras, PhD, Professor of Surgery, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Tomaras earned her PhD from the Microbiology and Immunology Program in 1998. Her thesis sponsor was Dr. Steven Taffet.
  • February 16, 2018 - Dr. Sami Noujaim, Associate Professor of Cardiology and Assistant Professor of Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology at the University of South Florida. His thesis sponsor was Dr. Jose Jalife.
  • October 17, 2023 - Julie Siegenthaler, PhD, Associate Professor, Pediatric Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her thesis sponsor was Dr. Eric Olsen.