Nerd Nite No. 74: A collaboration with YPACS

Join Nerd Nite and the Philadelphia Young Professionals of the American Cancer Society for our 74th Nerd Nite. In between speakers we will have the return of the dry t-shirt contest! Come in your nerdiest shirt, wear it with pride, you might win a prize!

Alexandra Psihogios will present “A High Cost for Low Adherence: Barriers to Adolescent/Young Adult Adherence to Cancer Treatments

When it comes to following medical recommendations, such as taking medications, changing our diets, or following a new exercise routine, most of us do not do exactly what the doctor orders. For adolescents and young adults with cancer (AYA), medical nonadherence is a pervasive but under-researched problem that is associated with devastating consequences. Cancer and its intensive treatments interrupt aspects of normative AYA development and family functioning, such as increased dependence on parents at a time when independence should be increasing. In this talk, I will discuss developmental and family functioning barriers to medical adherence, and how interventions that address these barriers may help to improve cancer outcomes for this vulnerable population.

Alexandra Psihogios, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in Behavioral Oncology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she conducts research and provides psychological consultation and intervention to patients with cancer and their families. Under the mentorship of Drs. Lamia Barakat and Lisa Schwartz, and with support from the American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dr. Psihogios is completing her research on AYA canceradherence. She obtained her B.A. in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago.

David Issadore will talk about “Monitoring Cancer Progression, Metastasis, and Drug Efficacy via Exosomes

The transformative growth in microelectronics in the latter half of the 20th century was fueled fundamentally by the ability to simultaneously miniaturize and integrate complex circuits onto monolithic chips. The impact of this growth has been profound– computing is pervasive and portable, communication is instant and global, and information is ubiquitously gathered and shared. My research aims to harness these same electrical engineering approaches, which have enabled the microelectronic revolution, to solve high impact problems in medical diagnostics. To accomplish this goal my lab develops hybrid microchips, where microfluidics (i.e. micrometer sized plumbing) are built directly on top of semiconductor chips.

David Issadore is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the integration of microelectronics, microfluidics, nanomaterials and molecular targeting, and their application to medicine. This multidisciplinary approach enables Issadore’s lab to explore new technologies to bring medical diagnostics from expensive, centralized facilities, directly to clinical and resource-limited settings for applications including early detection of pancreatic cancer, Tuberculosis diagnosis in patients co-infected with HIV, and prognosis of traumatic brain injury.

Sara Meyer will give us the scoop on Acute Myeloid Leukemia

What is Acute Myeloid Leukemia and why do I study it? How did I even end up doing biomedical research to begin with? I’ll be describing why leukemia is such a challenging disease to treat by puzzling Doctors and Scientists for decades, what are some of the most significant research advancements and medical breakthroughs in leukemia, and go over what my research lab in the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson is doing to better understand and treat this disease.

Sara Meyer is an Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University in the Department of Cancer Biology. She earned her PhD at the University of Cincinnati (2009) and completed her postdoc fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (2016). Her primary research focus is acute myeloid leukemia (AML), where she uses the latest cutting-edge approaches and technologies for developing new model systems and studying the mechanisms of disease development, progression, and responsiveness to therapeutics. Dr. Meyer’s goal is to better understand and leverage the epigenetics and non-coding RNA biology of AML to inform new ways to treat the disease.

The details:
Doors open at 4pm. Show at 7:30pm. We recommend you get there early to ensure getting a good seat!
$5
Wednesday, May 3rd
Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Avenue

Nerd Nite 73: Young Ben Franklin, Operation Lusty, and the Zika Virus!

Our April Nerd Nite has three great talks lined up just for you! Coming in just one week, Nerd Nite alum Michael Ceriello will enthrall us with “Operation Lusty: Behind the Stolen Technology Which Enabled the Modern Aerospace Industry”, Chris Kuncio will regale us with “Re-Imagining the Image of Ben Franklin Pt. 1: The Boston Years – Drinking, Fighting, and the Enlightenment”, and Malaya Fletcher will be exploring her work with Zika and what it means for our region.

ALSO– local singer songwriter Emily Mineo will be joining us again for the entertainment portion of the night.

The details:
Doors open at 4pm. Show at 7:30pm. We recommend you get there early to ensure getting a good seat!

Admission: $10 – half of the proceeds will go to the March for Science!

Wednesday, April 5th
Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Avenue

Nerd Nite No. 72: A Celebration of One Book One Philadelphia!

Our March Nerd Nite is part of One Book, One Philadelphia, a signature program of the Free Library of Philadelphia that promotes literacy, library usage, and citywide conversation by encouraging the Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book. The 2017 featured selection is Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”

Ian Sheffer will give us a talk on Medical Puzzles.

Say the words “medical” and “puzzle” and most people think of exotic diseases, odd symptoms, quirky travels, and the TV show House. Of course, these strange and unusual cases do occur, but the reality of day-to-day medical puzzles is much more complex–and far more interesting. I will discuss how activism, art, and politics helped science and medicine solve the puzzles of the AIDS epidemic and turn HIV from a death sentence into a manageable chronic disease. I will also discuss the many pieces of the puzzle that have to fit together for HIV treatment to be successful for patients living with the virus today.

Ian G. Sheffer, MD, MBe is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine. He earned undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Biology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, a Master’s degree in Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed his medical training at Temple University School of Medicine and Temple University Hospital. He currently practices and teaches in Philadelphia at Hahnemann University Hospital, Partnership Comprehensive Care Practice, and the Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric and Adolescent HIV at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. When he’s not at the bedside, you’ll likely find Dr. Sheffer at the Bucks County Curling Club throwing rocks down sheets of ice.

Thomas Rush will give us a brief glimpse into Coordination and Computing.

Starting with the Byzantine General’s Problem, moving to the idea of consensus, and moving into Bitcoin and then Ethereum, I will discuss a series of four “problems” and their subsequent “solutions” which have come together over the last 50 years to bring us the programmable, immutable, shared public data store that we have today. I will end with an example of they types of software this new software platform enables.

Thomas Jay Rush owns his own Internet-based software company, Great Hill Corporation, founded in the dark days prior to the Internet. In 2012, Mr. Rush took an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from Rosemont College. Until late 2015, he taught writing and poetry at the Community College of Philadelphia. In late 2015, Mr. Rush encountered Ethereum. Since then he has been full-time, night and day, blockchain focused. His new firm, QuickBlock.io, aims to deliver blockchain data analytics at speed.

Graham Dobereiner will Catalyze us into action!

What is catalysis, and why study it? I’ll be describing the history of the field of catalysis, how it became the obsession of so many scientists, and go over what my research group is doing at Temple. Light jokes will be served.

Graham Dobereiner is an assistant professor of chemistry at Temple University. He’s been at Temple since 2014, where he runs a research group and teach classes. Before Temple he got his PhD at Yale (2011) and did a postdoc at MIT.

Our entertainment portion of the evening will be hosted by Kalela Williams, who will lead us through a bit of book talk & trivia.

Kalela Williams has been the director of One Book, One Philadelphia since 2012. In her spare time she enjoys creative writing, and her most recent work appears in Calyx: A Journal of Art & Literature by Women, and Drunken Boat. She is currently working on a novel.

The details:
Doors open at 4pm. Show at 7:30pm. We recommend you get there early to ensure getting a good seat!
$5
Wednesday, March 1st
Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Avenue

Nerd Nite No. 71: Activism, Animal Rescue, and the Canine Biome

Our first Nerd Nite of 2017 will feature talks by Gilberto Gonzalez, Lindsay Condefer, and Ana Misic.

Lindsay Condefer will discuss her work with Street Tails Animal Rescue

Bio: Lindsay founded Street Tails Animal Rescue in 2001, shortly after opening Philadelphia’s first natural pet boutique. Since then she’s helped save the homeless and unwanted animals in our area….with a focus on those with special needs. As the universe would have it, 4 yrs ago (almost to date), she took in a foster pup who was born with a double cleft nose, lip and palate. That pup flourished beyond any medical expectations and has been dubbed the “ambassadog” for children with Craniofacial differences. She doesn’t know where the universe will take her in the future, but is thankful to be able to spread the word on kindness and hoping to make (even a small difference) as she continue to help the lives that we save along the way.

Ana Misic will give a talk called “The Canine Microbiome: What’s Living On Your Dog?”

Dogs are our best friends and we share a lot with them, including our germs! In this talk, I will explore the canine microbiome (the collection of bacteria, viruses, and fungi) living in and on your dog and also how this knowledge can help us improve human health as well as the health of your pet.

Bio: Ana Misic is from California, has a degree in Chemistry and Microbiology at the University of California – Santa Barbara. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biomolecular Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in the lab of Dr. Daniel Beiting. She studies staph infections and GI diseases in humans and animals.

Filmmaker, writer and activist Gilberto González will discuss his work.

Bio: González published “Three Rings” a shockingly sexy, gritty and humorous fictional memoir that captures the flavor of growing up in the hood and is roughly based on his relationships with women in his adolescence. González says that he “wanted Three Rings to focus on life in the hood but from the point of view of interpersonal relationships.” Three Rings weaves into the pages many of González’s powerful paintings of urban landscapes to underscore the themes of the book, which was a runner-up in the New York Book Festival.

PLUS: Wear your nerdiest T-shirt and prepare to tell the crowd about it for fame, admiration, respect and maybe even a prize, as the Nerd Nite Dry T-Shirt Contest returns tonight!

The details:
Doors open at 4pm. Show at 7:30pm. We recommend you get there early to ensure getting a good seat!
$5
Wednesday, February 1st
Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Avenue

Nerd Nite No. 70: Tobacco, Aphasia, Superspreaders, and the glorious return of The Cost is Correct!

Stephanie Gervasi will present “Disease Superspreaders”

“Superspreaders” are individuals who contribute disproportionately to the spread of infectious disease. Identifying the unique physiological and behavioral characteristics of superspreaders may be key to predicting when and where epidemics and disease-driven extinctions will occur. I will discuss how the integration of tools and principles from the fields of epidemiology, immunology and behavioral ecology has guided my past and present research about the dynamics of infectious disease in wildlife populations and risk of zoonotic pathogen transmission to humans.

Steph Gervasi is a postdoctoral scientist at Monell Chemical Senses Center (@MonellSc) who is fascinated by parasites and pathogens. As a disease ecologist, she endeavors to understand the factors that drive extinctions and epidemics in wildlife and increase the risk of pathogen spillover from wildlife to humans. Steph got her PhD in Zoology at Oregon State University, her MS in Natural Resources at the University of Michigan, and is thrilled to be currently living in the beautiful city of Philadelphia. She would love to talk to you about her favorite parasite-inspired horror movies and why toads are the coolest animals on the planet.

Sadhvi Saxena will present “More than Words – Tales of The Unspeakable Brain”

Imagine you want to say “I love you,” but you can’t actually speak the words. Imagine you have a gluten allergy, but you can’t read the ingredient list. Imagine that this happens all of the time, despite the fact that your intelligence, thoughts and consciousness are intact. Some stroke and brain injury survivors have to deal with this frustration everyday, because they have what is known as aphasia. Aphasia hinders one’s ability to speak, write and understand both written and verbal language. This talk will introduce the audience to the diversity of aphasia, it will discuss the brain and aphasia research from a clinical perspective, and it will delve into innovative methods for aphasia treatment.

Sadhvi is a shameless lover of broken brains. For 6 exciting years, she has been researching brain injury, dementia, and the use of noninvasive brain stimulation to study and treat brain disorders. When not working with patients or playing with data, she advocates for the development of personalized, continued, and affordable rehabilitation. She received her M.S. in Clinical Investigation from Boston University and is currently finishing up her M.H.S at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Ryan Coffman will present “The Tobacco Industry: Behind the Smoke and Mirrors”

The talk would focus on the Tobacco Industry’s extensive history of deception and manipulation to promulgate the tobacco epidemic domestically and globally. This includes denying that nicotine is addictive concealing the harms of second hand smoke and general industry manipulation of scientific evidence and public health efforts to reduce adult and youth smoking. I would reference real industry quotes secured by litigation and actual campaigns the industry has launched to targeting vulnerable populations.

Ryan Coffman, MPH, CHES, CTTS-M is the Tobacco Policy and Control Program Manager for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.  In this role, he seeks to reduce adult and youth tobacco use smoking through out the city through policy, systems, and environmental strategies. Such as preventing youth tobacco use, helping tobacco users quit, mass media campaigns, and clean indoor and outdoor air laws. This presentation he will expose the source of the tobacco epidemic and pandemic. The Tobacco Industry itself.

Entertainment by Nerd Nite Favorite Ben Leach, who returns with Sears Wishbook “The Cost is Correct” trivia!

The details:
Doors open at 4pm. Show at 7:30pm. We recommend you get there early to ensure getting a good seat!
$5
Wednesday, December 7th
Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Avenue