LJI kicks off partnership with San Diego’s Fleet Science Center

Fleet's Sharp Minds lecture series to feature immune system experts

LA JOLLA, CA—Scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) are excited to discuss their immune system research with the public for Fleet Science Centers’s upcoming Sharp Minds lecture series.

The Sharp Minds lecture series is held on select Mondays, from 10:30–11:30 a.m., in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. These lectures are free with general admission or a Senior Monday ticket. Each lecture is followed by a special documentary showing in the theater.

This series of immunology lectures kicked off Monday, Oct. 2, with a presentation from LJI scientist Rosa Isela Gálvez, Ph.D. She discussed two deadly infections: malaria and dengue virus. As Gálvez explained, there’s growing evidence that childhood malaria infection can also strengthen the immune system to fight later dengue infection. She’s now working to understand how the body builds up this protective immunity.

Watch the Oct. 2 “Sharp Minds” lecture, featuring malaria and dengue virus findings from LJI scientist Rosa Isela Gálvez, Ph.D. (Video by LJI Creative Producer Matt Ellenbogen)

For Gálvez, the Sharp Minds lecture series is a valuable opportunity to meet curious San Diegans and share important discoveries. “The diseases I study are spreading quickly around the world,” says Gálvez. “Everyone in the audience today learned something new about these pathogens, and they can share that with the people they know.”

The next three lectures will feature renowned LJI scientists working to improve vaccine design, understand our DNA, and take on Alzheimer’s disease:

Monday, Nov. 6, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Unraveling the Future: Predicting the Influenza Vaccine Response through Machine Learning.”

We’re more aware than ever of the importance of vaccines. Join LJI Assistant Professor Tal Einav, Ph.D., as he describes how his group uses machine learning to dig into the wealth of antibody-virus data to develop more personalized vaccine recommendations

Monday, Feb. 5, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Charting New Territory Within the Architecture of Our Genome”

LJI Associate Professor Ferhat Ay, Ph.D., builds some of the world’s smallest maps to trace the wiring inside a cell’s nucleus to reveal how genes interact. He will discuss how he uses computational tools to understand how variations in our genome impact our immune system. 

Monday, Mar. 4, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Why Are Women More Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s Disease?”

Older women are twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s disease. LJI scientist Priyanka Saminathan, Ph.D., will share her research on how both sex and age play a vital role in driving Alzheimer’s disease and discuss the impact her research could have on the development of new biomarkers and therapeutics.

Click to see the full Sharp Minds lecture series schedule

About La Jolla Institute

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease. Visit lji.org for more information.

About the Fleet Science Center

Since 1973, the Fleet Science Center has been a central link between science, schools and scientific organizations, collaborating with the communities that call San Diego County home. Its mission is simple yet bold: to realize a San Diego where everyone is connected to the power of science. The organization delivers on this mission through engaging experiences and culturally driven education programs in neighborhoods throughout the county and the historic Balboa Park flagship location. The Fleet creates places of inspiration by collaborating with communities to support and grow STEM talent in San Diego. From interactive exhibits and school field trips to free science programs, the Fleet is forward-thinking and consistently evolving to create positive change in the world. The Heikoff Giant Dome Theater is the world’s first IMAX Dome Theater, presenting the most significant films on the planet. To learn more, visit fleetscience.org.