CU-Colorado Springs launches institute

The first scientific research institute at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will begin with an on-campus international scientific symposium Jan. 31.

The first scientific research institute at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will begin with an on-campus international scientific symposium Jan. 31.

The CU Institute of Bioenergetics will be ceremonially launched with a symposium that will feature top scientists from American, Canadian and Mexican universities. All events will take place at the Lodge.

Bioenergetics is the study of how cellular metabolism governs the interaction between cells. The interaction between human cells is central to life, death and disease. The CU Institute of Bioenergetics will conduct research to determine the effects of bioenergetics on the immune system. The research will be used to treat or cure diseases such as cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

“I am honored to be the chief scientific director and co-director of this institute and to help bring some of the finest minds in North America to Colorado Springs,” Karen Newell, Clement L. and Margaret Markert Professor of Biology, said. “By working together, I believe we can discover the cause of many of our nation’s most serious health problems.”

Newell and Robert Camley, professor, Physics, will co-direct the institute which will build on existing campus faculty strengths in biology, physics, chemistry, nursing, applied mathematics and computer engineering and with programs at CU-Denver, CU-Boulder and the CU Health Sciences Center. The institute will collaborate with other academic and research institutions internationally.

Chancellor Pam Shockley called the institute’s creation an investment in multidisciplinary scientific research and recognition of the high-quality faculty on campus.

“We have the opportunity to demonstrate the principles of a University Without Walls,” Shockley said. “Our goal is to bring the power of all members of this campus and the CU System to tackle diseases that shorten the human life span or significantly reduce one’s quality of life.”

The CU Board of Regents approved the institute’s formation at its November meeting. The institute will report to the Office of Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

On Jan. 31, beginning at 2 p.m., Newell and Camley will provide a scientific overview of the institute. They will be followed by nine speakers who will connect their fields of expertise, ranging from cancer treatment to the effects of aging on the immune system, to the study of bioenergetics.

The speakers, and their topics, are:

2:20 p.m. — Mike Zawada, associate professor, Health Sciences Center, “Impact of Stem Cell Transplants on the Immune System.”

2:40 p.m.– Jim Burkhart, professor, Physics, and Zbigniew Celinski, associate professor, Physics, “Impact of Radon/Microwaves on Immune Signaling.”

2:50 p.m. Charles Benight, associate professor, Psychology, “Trauma and the Immune System.”

3:00 p.m. Sara Qualls, professor, Psychology, “Aging and the Immune System.”

3:30 p.m. Barbara Osborne, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, “Cell Death Why do we Care?”

3:55 p.m. Richard Goldsby, Amherst (Mass.) College, “A Cow Could Save Your Life.”

4:20 p.m. Peter Bretscher, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, “A Vaccine Could Save Your Life.”

4:50 p.m. Luis Benitez-Bribiesca, chief of medical investigations in oncology, Institute of the Instituto Medical Seguridad, Mexico City, “The Death of Cancer Cells.”

6 p.m.- Shockley will be joined by Linda Nolan, dean, Letters, Arts and Sciences; Joe Rallo, dean, College of Business; Jeremy Haefner, dean, College of Engineering and Applied Science; and Carole Schoffstall, dean, Beth-El College of Nursing, in launching the institute. A reception will follow.

Interested faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend. There is no charge to attend. However, guests are asked to call 262-3613 to reserve seating.