Professor to share research, promote stem cell awareness

By Julia Aizuss

Genetic researcher and UCLA professor Richard Gatti is scheduled to give a general introduction of stem cell science today, speaking about fertilization and embryonic development in an optional assembly in Ahmanson Lecture Hall during break.

Gatti is one of several research scientists contacted by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a governmental organization that funds stem cell research programs, to participate in an outreach program in California high schools promoting stem cell awareness, Christine Sull ’12 said.

Sull interned at Gatti’s lab this summer.

Gatti, the Rebecca Smith Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA, focuses on researching DNA repair disorders. Gatti contacted Sull and offerred to speak about stem cell science on Oct. 5, Stem Cell Awareness Day, but the school couldn’t accommodate him that day, so the date was pushed back to Oct. 19.

Sull agreed to organize the presentation because “it’s an opportunity to speak with an expert in human genetics,” and if students “have any questions, they could ask them and better understand scientific frameworks of stem cell research,” she said.

The presentation could help “contextualize stem cell research into practices within that framework of biology and chemistry,” Sull said.

For those who take Advanced Placement Biology or Advanced Placement Chemistry, Gatti’s presentation was intended to give students enough awareness of unbiased information on the subject of stem cell science so they can make their own informed opinions.

Gatti planned to describe different types of stem cells and discuss what makes them unique.

He will also talk about how stem cells can be cultured and different types of stem cell research, therapies and technologies.