AAAS Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division Convenes 8-10 April in Houston for Annual Meeting

The AAAS Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division will convene in Houston from 8-10 April to explore the latest advances in 21st century fields such as biomedical research, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology.

More than 400 researchers are expected during the three days of presentations at Rice University. Houston is also the site of Baylor College of Medicine, which is co-hosting the meeting, and of the Texas Medical Center, making it a capital of cutting-edge research in medicine and fields of biology, chemistry, and engineering that are related to medicine.

The meeting will also feature cosmologist Stephon Alexander of Haverford College in Pennsylvania, who will deliver the John Wesley Powell Memorial Lecture on “Dark Energy and the Future of Science.” Alexander’s research has traversed quantum physics, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and string theory—and as a jazz saxophone player, he sees a profound link between music and science.

“Exploring a physics problem is like jazz improvisation,” he once told National Geographic. “Understanding the basic rules and themes lets you take off in spontaneous new directions. Music allows me to understand physics on a simpler, yet deeper level.”

Alexander’s presentation is scheduled for Saturday 10 April from 2-3 p.m. in the BRC Building auditorium on the Rice campus.

“Whether the topic is dark energy or synthetic biology, the presentations scheduled for this year’s meeting will illustrate how multi-disciplinary approaches are vital to helping answer some of science’s most pressing questions,” said David T. Nash, executive director of the AAAS division. “The engagement between the outstanding researchers from Texas and the Southwestern and Rocky Mountain states, represented at this year’s meeting, and between these same researchers and the general public, is an important and necessary step for scientific growth and increasing societal awareness.”

More than 400 researchers are expected during the three days of presentations at Rice University. Houston is also the site of Baylor College of Medicine, which is co-hosting the meeting, and of the Texas Medical Center, making it a capital of cutting-edge research in medicine and fields of biology, chemistry, and engineering that are related to medicine.

Rice University, the Baylor College of Medicine, and the Texas Medical Center comprise one of the most productive research hubs in the United States, with some 30,000 researchers, faculty and staff engaged in multi-disciplinary work. The three days of the division’s meeting will offer several day-long symposia of interest to scientists and engineers:

  • Regulation of Embryonic and Tissue-Specific Stem Cells;
  • Nuclear Receptors and Co-Regulators: Mechanisms and Translational Potential in Cancer;
  • MicroRNAs in Development and Disease; and
  • Genome Instability and Tumorigenesis.

In addition, other symposia will focus on synthetic biology, systems biology, and nanotechnology in biology and medicine. There will also be a symposium on developing leadership skills for teaching and education.

Gerald J. Wilmink of the Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio will deliver a plenary lecture at 11 a.m. on Thursday 8 April: “Terahertz Radiation: An Introduction and Overview of Late-Breaking Findings of the Last Spectral Band of the Electramagnetic Spectrum.”

Terahertz radiation is the term for electromagnetic waves that can pass through a variety of substances and materials, including paper and clothing, wood, masonry and plastic, and clouds and fog. That creates novel potential for imaging in medicine, security, astronomy, and other fields.

Saturday’s program in Houston calls for a contributed papers session and a poster session.

The four regional divisions of AAAS—Pacific, Arctic, Caribbean, and Southwest and Rocky Mountain (SWARM, for short)—serve as regional networks for scientists, organizing meetings on regional issues and promoting publications from scientists active within the division.

SWARM is the second-oldest division, with origins dating to 1920. The Pacific Division’s charter dates to 1915, followed by the Arctic Division in 1951, and the Caribbean Division in 1985.

The SWARM Division currently has more than 14,000 members from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana (east of the Continental Divide), Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming; the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Sonora; and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

All AAAS members in good standing and who reside within the specified boundaries of a regional division are automatically considered members of that regional division. In addition, a AAAS member in good standing can request membership in any of the four divisions by notifying the division president. Non-AAAS members also may attend the regional division meetings.

Links

Get complete information on the 2010 Annual Meeting of the AAAS Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division, from 8-10 April in Houston.

Learn more about AAAS’s four regional divisions.