Nobel Laureate keynotes conference on nanomedicine, geriatric care, brain injury

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 11, 2006 – Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate, will be the keynote speaker at the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine Third Annual Via Research Recognition Day and Geriatric Update for Continued Medical Education on Oct. 5-6, 2006.

Kroto, a professor in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences at the University of Sussex., will speak on "Architecture in NanoSpace.” He received the Nobel in Chemistry in 1996 along with Robert F. Curl and Richard E. Smalley for the 1985 discovery of fullerenes (C60 Buckminsterfullerene), a new form of carbon in which the atoms are arranged in closed shells. Kroto's research areas in addition to fullerenes are spectroscopy of unstable species and reaction intermediates, cluster science, including carbon and metal clusters, microparticles, and nanofibers, and astrophysics, specifically interstellar molecules and circumstellar dust.

The focus on Thursday, Oct. 5, will be nanomedicine and biomedical applications of nanoparticles. Virginia Tech President Charles Steger will provide an introduction to biomedical research at Virginia Tech, where many of VCOM's faculty members are adjunct faculty.

Other speakers on nanomedicine will be Roop Mahajan, director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech, on "Nanotechnology and Modern Medical Science: Challenges and Opportunities"; Harry C. Dorn, professor of chemistry at Virginia Tech, on "New Nanoscale Multi-Modal Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches in Biomedicine"; and Ishwar Puri, professor and head of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech, speaking about "Biomedical Applications of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles in Microfluidic Systems."

Mahajan comes to Virginia Tech from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is the founder and co-director of MicroElectronic Devices in Cardiovascular Applications (MEDICA).

Dorn has invented a new family of filled fullerenes with many applications, including as a diagnostic and therapeutic agent that boosts the sensitivity of MRI techniques and improves the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors. Based on findings with animal models, Dorn and colleagues at Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech have funding from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to further develop, produce, and test nanoparticles that can identify brain tumor cells and selectively target them for radiation therapy.

On Friday, Oct. 6, topics will be anti-aging medicine, geriatric care, and osteopathic medicine in the genomic era, image-guided therapy, and depression in older adults.

Traumatic Brain Injury will be addressed both days by such speakers as Ross D. Zafonte, DO, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, speaking on clinical trials in traumatic brain injury; Katherine H. Taber of the Veterans Affairs Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center in Salisbury, N.C., on the neurobiology of traumatic brain injury; and Robin A. Hurley, MD, of the Hefner Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Salisbury, on the neuropsychiatry of traumatic brain injury.

Attendance at the conference is limited to approximately 600 participants. Registration includes admission to all sessions, continental breakfast, beverages, and lunch. To register, contact Kelly Varelos at (540) 231-3150 . On-site registration will be $50 per person and depends on availability of space.

The meeting site will be the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), 2265 Kraft Drive, Blacksburg, VA. For additional information about the conference, contact Hara Misra at (540) 231-3150.

• Continued Medical Education (CME) Credits – DO’s: VCOM is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The college anticipates being approved for 12 AOA Category 1-A credits pending approval by the AOA CCME. Each physician should claim only the hours of credit that he/she actually spent in the educational activity.

• CME Credits – MD’s: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essentials and Standards of the Medical Society of Virginia through joint sponsorship of Lewis Gale CME Organization, the Montgomery Regional Hospital, and the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. It is anticipated that the Lewis Gale CME Organization will designate this educational activity for a maximum of 12 credits AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in this activity.

VCOM’s research facility is located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. Learn more about the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine at

The Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine is a professional graduate college offering the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) The college operates with a collaborative agreement with Virginia Tech for research and for student activities.