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Mathematics and Sciences Celebration scheduled for Jan. 27-28

For immediate release 
Jan. 25, 2006

Keynote speakers will explore outstanding alumni accomplishments as part of Abilene Christian University’s Mathematics and Sciences Celebration Jan. 27-28.

Dr. James Womack, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Genomics at Texas A&M, will deliver the first speech of the weekend entitled "Advances in Animal Genomics and Biotechnology."

Womack will explore revolutionary advances in reproductive biology and genomics during the past two decades. Like other scientific advances of the past century, these new technologies come with potential for misuse and ethical concern.

Dr. Jeff Kimble, William L. Valentine professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, will present "The Quantum Optics Circus – Flying Photons, Acrobatic Atoms, and Entangled Ensembles," taking a look into the advancements in quantum physics. Kimble is known for teaming with five other physicists to complete the first-ever teleportation experiment.

Dr. Janice Massey, professor of neurology and co-director of the electromyography laboratory and the Myasthenia Gravis Clinic at Duke University Medical Center, will deliver "Muscle Specific Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (MuSK) Antibodies in Patients with Seronegative Myasthenia Gravis."

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is characterized by fluctuating muscular weakness usually involving ocular muscles with variable involvement of oropharyngeal, facial and limb muscles. The use of MuSK antibodies holds promise for better diagnosis of MG and unusual myopathies and may allow for better therapy for this unique group of patients.

More than 35 alumni who have proven professional excellence since graduation will deliver speeches and lectures in their respective fields, ranging from biology to chemistry to mathematics. This Friday and Saturday event will delve into the many studies within these fields.

The celebration will begin with registration in the Biblical Studies Building Rotunda at 8 a.m. Friday morning. All are welcome to attend.

Each day of the conference is divided into segments for each respective subject, and each segment is separated by breaks for lunch, chapel and visiting opportunities. All sessions will be held in either the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building (OPBSB) or the Foster Science Building (FSB). 

Friday, Jan. 27

Biology and Physics:

8:40 a.m.          Biology Plenary: James Womack [OPBSB Hart Auditorium]

9:50 a.m.          Clifton Nunnally, "Sediment Community Flux in Response to Seasonal Hypoxia in the Gulf of
                        Mexico" [OPBSB Hart Auditorium]

10:10 a.m.        Colin Peden, "Fickle Fish, Wicked Worms, and Short-sighted Salamanders: Evolutions of an Evolutionary   
                        Biologist" [OPBSB Hart Auditorium]

10:30 a.m.        Brian Perkins, "Intraflagellar Transport Proteins Regulate Photoreceptor Development and
                        Maintenance" [OPBSB Hart Auditorium]

Chemistry and Physics:

1:20 p.m.          Physics Plenary: Jeff Kimble, "The Quantum Optics Circus – Flying Photons, Acrobatic Atoms, and Entangled
                        Ensembles" [OPBSB Hart Auditorium]

2:30 p.m.          Thad Walker, "Manipulating Atoms with Light" [OPBSB 115]

2:50 p.m.          Tony Ohlhausen, "Chemistry and Beyond: The Tale of a Surface Chemist" [OPBSB 130]

3:10 p.m.          Kevin Dennis, "Bean Burritos to Semiconductors" [OPBSB 115]

Saturday, Jan. 28

Chemistry and Health Professions:

8:30 a.m.          Chemistry Plenary: Clayton Heathcock, "Total Synthesis of the Highly Cytoxic Marine Natural Product
                        Spongistatin" [OPBSB Hart Auditorium]

9:40 a.m.          Bruce Heyen, "What I Did When I Stopped Lecturing in My College Chemistry Courses" [OPBSB 115]

10:00 a.m.        R. Dana Bradshaw, "Developing a Framework to Rebuild Health Infrastructure in Greater New Orleans
                        Following Hurricane Katrina" [OPBSB 130]

Health Professions and Mathematics and Computer Science:

12:30 p.m.        Health Professions Plenary: Janice Massey, "Muscle Specific Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (MuSK) Antibodies in
                        Patients with Serongative Myasthenia Gravis" [OPBSB Hart Auditorium]

1:40 p.m.          Richard Bradford, "Mathematical Models of Agents and Incentives" [OPBSB 115]

2:00 p.m.          David Vanderpool, "Bright Leaves, Dark Leaves: Texas Surgical Society Presidential Address, 2001" [BSB 130]

2:20 p.m.          Jennifer Hylemon, "Technology in Mathematics Education" [OPBSB 115]

Chemistry and Mathematics and Computer Science:

3:00 p.m.          Cory Pecinovsky, "Design and Synthesis of Photocromatic Macrocyclic Liquid Crystals: An Avenue to
                        Photomodulated, Nanoporous Materials" [OPBSB 130]

3:20 p.m.          Jeff Wilhite, "In the Image of the Creator" [OPBSB 115]

3:50 p.m.          Mathematics/Computer Science Plenary: James Wade, "Building America's Future: Activating Science in the
                        21st Century" [OPBSB Hart Auditorium]

For a complete schedule and list of speakers for the event, visit




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