TTUHSC Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
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Seminar Speaker Bios

Keynote Speaker: Mario Capecchi, Ph.D. 
Mario Capecchi, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Human Genetics and Biology,University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Dr. Capecchi is renowned for his pioneering research on gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem cells. For this, he was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Dr. Martin Evans and Dr. Oliver Smithies. His contributions to the development of mouse models have greatly advanced the ability to study specific gene functions. Using "knockout mouse" technology, scientists can now replace or disrupt genes of interest in mouse to understand its role in physiology and pathology.  Currently, Dr. Capecchi is a scientist and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator (HHMI) at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center whose research interests lie in cancer and developmental biology.  

For more information about Dr. Capecchi please visit:

Keynote Speaker: Susan Amara Ph.D.
 Susan Amara, Ph.D.

Scientific Director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD

Dr. Amara, who symbolizes a hero for many women is science, is an outstanding cell and molecular biologist. Much of her work relates to neuropsychiatric disorders, and she is best known for her work in understanding the structure-function relationship and physiology of neurotransmitter transporter proteins, which play important roles in neuronal communication, memory, and learning. These proteins are therapeutic targets for antidepressants as well as targets for psychostimulants (e.g. amphetamines). Dr. Amara currently serves as the scientific director for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

For more information about Dr. Amara’s exciting research visit: