Dr. Roberta Lynn DeBiasi, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Children’s National Health System, explored tick-borne illnesses and Lyme disease during the November 12 President’s Lecture. She was joined by Jason Miller, assistant professor of computer information science, who gave a talk titled “Tick Genomes.”
DeBiasi is a professor of pediatrics and microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine, and principal investigator in the Center for Translational Science at Children’s Research Institute. Her research expertise includes basic science, clinical/translational research, and severe and emerging viral infections.
Miller has expertise in the development of bioinformatics software for processing DNA sequencing data. He just published a journal article on genome sequencing in ticks, titled “A draft genome sequence for the Ixodes scapularis cell line, ISE6.” He contributed to the Celera Assembler family of genome assembly software programs (CA, CAbog, AlpaCA, and CAnu) and to the publications of many animal and plant genome studies.
The impact of climate change on biodiversity was the topic of Dr. Thomas Lovejoy’s President’s Lecture on November 27. The co-creator of the long-running PBS television series “Nature” and director of George Mason University’s Center for Biodiversity and Sustainability, Lovejoy presented a talk titled “A Wild Solution for Climate Change.”
Lovejoy serves as a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation, has served as president and biodiversity chair of the Heinz Center for Science, senior advisor to the president of the United Nations Foundation, and as chief biodiversity advisor and lead specialist for environment for Latin America and the Caribbean for the World Bank. Lovejoy and Lee Hannah, senior fellow in Climate Change Biology at Conservation International’s Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, are working on a new book about climate change and biodiversity for Yale University Press.