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Ackerman gives Vallee Lecture
Carla Shatz, Susan Ackerman and

Susan Ackerman gives 2022 Kuggie Vallee Lecture at Stanford

Susan Ackerman, PhD, a pioneer in the study of homeostasis in developing and aging neurons, gave the 2022 Kuggie Vallee Distinguished Lecture at Stanford University in late October. More than 150 people packed the Clark Center Auditorium for her lecture, which was entitled “mRNA Translation and Neurological Defects.” Transfer RNAs, the non-coding RNA adaptor molecules which deliver the appropriate amino acid to the ribosome during translation, are encoded by hundreds of genes in the mammalian genome suggesting great redundancy. In her lecture, Dr Ackerman demonstrated the heterogeneity of expression of these molecules between brain cell types and how mutations in a single tRNA can epistatically interact with other genetic defects to cause neurodegeneration and epilepsy. (Ackerman Lab)

Named for the Vallee Foundation’s co-founder, Kuggie Vallee, the prestigious Lecture series is devised to inspire young women to continue a career in science by highlighting the work of distinguished female scientists. Dr Ackerman could not be more distinguished.  She is the Steven Kuffler Professor in the Section of Neurobiology, Division of Biological Sciences, Vice Dean for Research, and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and an HHMI Investigator. She was selected by a committee chaired by Dr Carla Shatz, Catherine Holman Johnson Director of Stanford Bio-X and a 2017 Vallee Visiting Professor. Dr Ackerman’s talk was open to all and generated a lively Q&A session.  

A mini retreat held the following day in the beautiful Allied Arts center in Menlo Park was attended by 40 or 50 female Stanford faculty and postdocs . The “Women Empowering Women” workshop was led by Tina Seelig, Jennifer Raymond, Lisa Rowland, Kay Kostopoulos and Dan Klein. Participants came away from the interactive sessions on entrepreneurship and acting with power with new tools to help them navigate the workplace and advance their careers.  

Kuggie Vallee Lecture Ackerman

Workshop 1

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Workshop 2