Dr. Galgiani to Compete in ‘Lightning Round’ at Reimagine Health Research Symposium

Banner image for Reimagine Health: Is My Fate in My Genes? research symposiumOf nearly three dozen research poster abstracts submitted for the “Reimagine Health: Is My Fate in My Genes?” event sponsored Nov. 20 by the Research Office of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, Arizona Biomedical Research Centre and Flinn Foundation, just 30 have been accepted for display at the research symposium and only one abstract presenter will appear in the “lightning round”—that of John N. Galgiani, MD.

John N. Galgiani, MDDr. Galgiani is a professor of medicine in the UArizona Division of Infectious Diseases at the College of Medicine – Tucson and Phoenix, executive director of the Valley Fever Center of Excellence, medical director of the Banner – University Medicine Valley Fever Program, and a member of the BIO5 Institute.

His topic is Valley fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis or cocci. The specific poster title: “Disseminated Coccidioidomycosis in Three Generations Associated with a STAT4 mutation; Transfected Mice Also Exhibit Increased Susceptibility to Coccidioidal Infection but Can Be Protected by Vaccination.”

Dr. Galgiani said, “This sort of complicated Valley fever is very unusual to find in three generations as we did in this family. But even more exciting was the fact that when we tested mice with this gene mutation we could protect it with our vaccine. We found that we could prevent their disease if we vaccinated them, the mice, against Valley fever.”

The research, he notes, is funded by an immunogenetics grant won in 2017 as well as work on a vaccine for dogs also funded in 2017 by the National Institutes of Health. Co-authors include: Lisa F. Shubitz, DVM; Steven M. Holland, MD; Joanne Berghout, PhD; Yves A. Lussier MD; and Jeffrey A. Frelinger, PhD.

EXTRA INFO: Valley Fever Awareness Week, Youth Poster Contest & Farness Lecture

2019 Governor's Proclamation for Valley Fever Awareness Week, Nov. 9-17In other news, Gov. Doug Ducey’s office issued a proclamation this week declaring November 9-17, 2019, as Valley Fever Awareness Week, noting: “65 percent of all nationally reported cases of Valley Fever occur in Arizona.”

KJZZ graphic on Valley fever cases since 1998 – 65% of which occured in Arizona[Graphic Source: KJZZ]

See Facebook posts from the Valley Fever Center of Excellence throughout the week and beyond here: facebook.com/ValleyFeverCenterArizona/

The Arizona Department of Health Services is once again sponsoring a Valley Fever Youth Poster Contest. The webpage for the competition went live in mid-September: azhealth.gov/valleyfevercontest

Flyer for 2019 Valley Fever Awareness Youth Poster Contest sponsored by Arizona Department of Health ServicesVisit to find out more, including rules, the prizes, an entry form and last year’s winners. The contest ends Thursday, Nov. 14. It’s open to anyone age 18 or younger. Click here on image at left to see a large view of the flyer.

Thomas Kozel, PhDLastly, the speaker for the 24th Annual Farness Lecture (which focuses on fungal diseases) will be Thomas R. Kozel, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Diagnostic Discovery Laboratory in the Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Nevada – Reno School of Medicine. Dr. Kozel also is president and CEO of DxDiscovery, which makes diagnostic tests for fungal diseases. He’ll speak at noon, Fri., Dec. 13, as part of the Immunobiology Research Seminar Series in the Medical Research Building, Room 102.

Casey Sapio, a coordinator for the event, said a total of 35 abstracts were submitted for the second annual research symposium. Of those, eight submitters were from Tucson: seven from the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson and one from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

“That’s quite a healthy representation for Tucson,” Sapio said. “We look forward to seeing them and their guests here.”

Thanks to the event’s sponsors, the Arizona Biomedical Research Centre and the Flinn Foundation, there is no cost to attend the symposium. However, registration is requested to ensure food and refreshments are available for all.


“Reimagine Health: Is My Fate in My Genes?”

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (MST)
(Add to Calendar)

Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building (BSPB)
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
475 N. 5th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(Directions: Google Maps!)

Registration will close on Nov. 12.

The keynote speaker is Anastasia L. Wise, PhD, program director for the Division of Genomic Medicine at the National Human Genome Research Institute, a unit of the National Institutes of Health.

The symposium is split into three parts, followed by a panel discussion and the poster/networking session—with Dr. Galgiani’s lightning presentation (3-minute talk with 2-minute Q&A) in between. Presenters speaking for about 25 minutes each on themes related to:

  • Genomics & Genetics | 10:30-11:45 a.m.
  • Gene-Environment Interactions | 1-2 p.m.
  • Social & Ethical Considerations | 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Panel Discussion: Is My Fate in My Genes? | 4-4:45 p.m.

Lightning Round: Dr. John Galgiani

  • Poster Session & Networking | 4:45-6 p.m.

Drs. Joann Sweasy and Linda RestifoNot including the abstracts, other folks from Tucson who’ll be participating in Reimagine Health include:

  • Joann Sweasy, PhD, interim director of the UArizona Cancer Center, the center’s associate director for basic sciences and a professor in the departments of Radiation Oncology and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the College of Medicine – Tucson.
  • Linda Restifo, MD, PhD, professor, Department of Neurology, College of Medicine – Tucson, Arizona Health Sciences

For the full agenda, see the image at right (click to enlarge)Agenda for 2019 Reimagine Health research symposium

MORE INFO: About the Symposium

Each of us inherit genetic material that forms who we are and can guide our way through life. Aspects of the genome are sensitive to the gestational environment, the social environment in which we are raised, and the ecological parameters that can influence gene expression. Experiences throughout life can modify the genome and the genetic transcripts that constitute who we are. In one way, genetics are a determinant of health. However, social determinants of health can overshadow, highlight, or coincide with genetics to increase vulnerability or resilience to disease.

In this symposium, interdisciplinary thought leaders present and defend the contribution of inherited genes to health and disease. Overarching themes will explore the opportunities, capabilities, future trends, and challenges of genetic knowledge, counseling, and interventions. Themed lectures will also be provided regarding the interaction of genetic medicine with environmental modifiers, including socioeconomical factors, geographic environment, aging, diet and others.

Extensive discussions will be carried out across all prioritized health research focuses of the College, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neuroscience. Attendees will appreciate the unprecedented access to information and the potential for modifiable risk factors in advancing precision health in the modern age of post genetic era.

Who Is Invited?

This event is free and open to the public*. We highly recommend researchers and healthcare professionals to attend (early registration is encouraged). We also welcome students, educators and the general public to attend this valuable conference. Seating is limited. Please register in advance to guarantee your place.

* All attendees will be provided a complimentary lunch during the conference.

Parking Map for Reimagine Health symposium in PhoenixLocation:
This symposium will take place on the first floor of the Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building (475 N. 5th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004) on the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix Campus. Click map at left to enlarge image.

Please note that you must park in the PBC garage (555 E. Fillmore, Phoenix, AZ 85004, located at the Southeast corner of 5th St. & Fillmore) for us to have the ability to provide a ticket that will let you exit for free. (There is a different garage across the street, the PBC garage can be identified by its black metal siding.) Please keep the ticket you receive at the entrance, you will receive your pass to exit when signing in at the symposium.

Questions? Inquiries can be directed to Casey Sapio (csapio@email.arizona.edu) or Aaron Sheets-Freburger—(602) 827-2007.

“Valley Fever Awareness Poster Winners Announced by ADHS, VFCE” | Posted Feb. 27, 2019
“NIH Awards $4.8M Grant to UA Valley Fever Center for Excellence to Accelerate Vaccine Development” | Posted Aug. 22, 2017
“UA Researchers Land $2.27M Grant to Study Why Some Don’t Get Valley Fever, Some Die of It” | Posted April 8, 2017

Release Date: 
11/07/2019 - 6:45pm