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Biomedical Cross-disciplinary Series

There is abundant research identifying inflammation and specifically chronic inflammation as the primary pathophysiologic process in all chronic diseases. Chronic diseases and chronic inflammatory diseases (CIDs) are threatening to grow to epidemic proportions, increasing from 45.4 percent in 2000 to 49.2 percent in 2030, according to a projection from the RAND Corporation. (1) These diseases will have an immense impact on our health care system by causing death and reduced quality of life while increasing demand and cost of health care services, according to a 2016 article in Evolution, Medicine & Public Health. (2)

Join us for the GW Biomedical Cross-disciplinary Seminar Series: Connecting Academic Research & Inquiry Across Disciplines. This annual series will explore a new cross-disciplinary topic each year. The goal is to promote networking and collaboration on translational health among researchers, health care providers, and policy makers from different disciplines to shift the paradigm—from seeking a cure to developing a strategy of prevention.

This year, the focus is on "Inflammation in Chronic Disease: Cause, Consequence, or Both?" and will address both the treatment and prevention of CIDs.

Located on the Foggy Bottom campus, the inaugural series started in November 2019 and will run through September 2020. The series is open to the GW community and will cover the following topics:

  • Cancer and inflammation
  • Genomics and inflammation
  • Bioinformatics and inflammation
  • Precision medicine and inflammation
  • Cardiometabolic disease and inflammation
  • Neuropsychiatric disease and inflammation
  • Treatment approaches and inflammation

The series was organized by the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ (SMHS) Department of Pharmacology & Physiology and the Office of Integrative Medicine and Health. The seminar series is supported by departmental funding and the generosity of Ellen J. LaBelle, MD `74, RESD '78, associate clinical professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and John Pan, MD '70, RESD '74, clinical professor, Department of Clinical Research and Leadership and founding medical director, Office of Integrative Medicine and Health.


Repetitive Elements and the Immune Response in Cancer
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 (12 - 1 p.m.)

Speaker: Katherine Chiappinelli, PhD, assistant professor
Division of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine, GW SMHS

Location: Ross Hall, Room 224

Registration: Closed

Genomics and Inflammation
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 (12 - 1 p.m.)

Speaker: Tim McCaffrey, PhD, professor of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology,
and Tropical Medicine, director of the Division of Genomic Medicine, GW SMHS

Location: Ross Hall, Room 227

Watch the Webinar

Bioinformatics and Inflammation
Thursday, February 27, 2020 (12 - 1 p.m.)

Speaker: Sana Syed, MD, MS, assistant professor of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology,
Hepatology & Nutrition, UVA School of Medicine, and UVA Child Health Research Center

Location: Ross Hall, Room 117

Cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date

Cardiometabolic Disease and Inflammation
Thursday, March 19, 2020 (12 - 1 p.m.)

Speaker: Meenakshi S. Madhur, MD, PhD, FACC, assistant professor, Department of Medicine
Divisions of Clinical Pharmacology and Cardiology; assistant professor, Department of
Molecular Physiology and Biophysics; and associate director of the Vanderbilt Institute for
Infection, Immunology and Inflammation at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

This lecture will be online only via WebEX

Cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date

The Emerging Role of the Immune System in Depression and Other Psychiatric Disorders
Monday, Thursday, April 2, 2020 (4 - 5p.m.)

Speaker: Andrew H. Miller, MD, William P. Timmie Professor, Department of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences, director of the Behavioral Immunology Program, and co-leader of the
Cancer Prevention and Control at the Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine

Location: Ross Hall Room 602

Cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date

Precision Medicine and Inflammation
Monday, April 27, 2020 (12 - 1 p.m.)

Speaker: Golam Khandaker MBBS, MPhil, MRCPsych, PhD, Lead, Inflammation and Psychiatry
Research Group, Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry,
University of Cambridge, and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Cambridgeshire and
Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Location: Ross Hall, TBA

Cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date

Treatment Approaches and Inflammation
Thursday, June 25, 2020 (12 - 1 p.m.)

Speaker: Vishwa Deep Dixit, DVM, PhD, Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Comparative
Medicine and of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, and a member of the Yale Center on
Research on Aging

Location: Ross Hall, TBD

Cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date

One GW Day Event
TBD September 2020 (12 - 1 p.m.)

Speaker: TBD

Location: Ross Hall, TBD

For more information, contact co-organizer Leigh Frame, PhD, MHS, program director, Integrative Medicine Programs, and executive director, Office of Integrative Medicine and Health, at or 202-994-0184 or co-organizer Paul Marvar, PhD, associate professor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, or 202-994-5584.

Cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date


1. RAND Corporation. Projections of Chronic Illness Prevalence and Cost Inflation. Accessed December 5, 2019.

2. Straub RH, Schradin C. Chronic Inflammatory systemic diseases: An evolutionary trade-off between acutely beneficial but chronically harmful programs. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. 2016; 2016(1): 37–51.