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ONU welcomes stem cell researcher

Sep 27, 2010

Ohio Northern University will host a lecture by leading stem cell research expert Dr. Renee Reijo-Pera in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.

Reijo-Pera’s presentation,“Human Health, Development and Stem Cells,” is part of the Keiser Distinguished Lectureship in Life Sciences program.

“I feel very grateful to my friends, former students and alumni for providing the financial means to accomplish this,” said Dr. Terry Keiser, ONU professor of biological sciences. “Dr. Pera is one of the world’s leading authorities in this area. Our students should benefit greatly from spending time with this individual.”

Reijo-Pera is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the human embryonic stem cell research and education at Stanford University. Her research focuses on understanding the genetics of human embryo growth and development and the basic properties of human embryonic stem cells. She especially concentrates on the embryo’s ability to generate pluripotent stem cells, somatic cells and germ cells.

Early in her research,Reijo-Pera identified one of the first genes expressly concerned with human germ cell development. Her laboratory has created several techniques to differentiate human embryonic stem cells from germ cells and the genetic manipulation of pathways.

After receiving her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin (Superior), Reijo-Pera went on to earn her doctoral degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. She received her postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute for BioMedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. Before joining the team at Stanford, she was the co-director of the Program in Human Stem Cell Biology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Throughout her career, Reijo-Pera has been honored with numerous awards. In particular, she was named one of Newsweek magazine’s 20 Most Influential Women in America.

Named in honor of professor and ONU alumnus Terry D. Keiser, the Keiser Distinguished Lectureship in Life Sciences brings nationally prominent life sciences scholars to ONU's campus each year to lecture and interact with students. The Keiser Lectureship was the first program of its kind at Ohio Northern.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Ohio Northern University’s quality, student-centered education distinctively combines nationally ranked sciences, arts and professional programs for more than 3,500 students in its five colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law.