Science Pub: “Changing the Strategy for Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases” followed by a Special Interactive Session
March 3rd, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Paradise Creek Brewery’s Downtown Restaurant – 245 SE Paradise St
Free Admission – $5.00 suggested donation (all donations support the Palouse Discovery Science Center)

Sip your favorite brew, while you learn a thing or two! Science Pub is an opportunity to enjoy learning about science in an informal atmosphere; no scientific background necessary! Just bring your curiosity and a thirst to learn.

Topics and presenters are arranged by the Palouse Discovery Science Center (PDSC) and WSU’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassador (EFA) Program. All Donations support PDSC. Click here for more information.

This month’s speakers:

Join Joe Harding on March 3rd at Paradise Creek Brewery for his pub talk “Changing the Strategy for Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases” followed by a special interactive research commercialization session with Grant Norton and Kimberly Christen.

By any measure, the efforts to develop an effective treatment for any of the major neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease have been an abject failure. The pharmaceutical industry has spent over one trillion dollars trying to develop anything effective with zero to show for it. So why? Come listen to Joe break down the reasons and present the effective approaches that have been championed by his research group to combat neurodegenerative diseases.

The special interactive session will highlight current research developments and what it takes to move the results of research out into the communities.

Dr. Joe Harding is a professor of physiology and neuroscience at WSU, and Chief Scientific Officer, director, and co-founder of Athira Pharma, a Seattle based company which is developing novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases based on technology developed at WSU.

Joe’s laboratory is focused on the development of small molecule therapeutics that target growth factors. These include both activators and antagonists. Most recently they have been developing activators of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which have powerful regenerative properties. Two of these molecule are poised to enter human clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to their potential utility in treating multiple neurodegenerative diseases they are currently being considered in his laboratory and collaborator’s laboratories as treatments for traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, transplant reinnervation, hearing loss, general wound healing, fibrotic diseases, type II diabetes and congestive heart failure. Conversely they are actively developing and examining the utility of HGF and dual HGF/macrophage stimulating protein (MSP) antagonists as anti-cancer and anti-angiogenic therapeutics. Dual HGF/MSP antagonist have exhibited promising therapeutic activity in xenograph models of pancreatic cancer, which has up until now been untreatable. One of Athira Pharma’s drugs is poised to enter the final phase of human clinical trials.

Dr. Grant Norton is Dean of the Honors College and Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. In 2007, Professor Norton co-founded GoNano Technologies, a start-up company focused on applications of a unique nanomaterial platform. More recently, his research on next-generation battery materials was licensed to Seattle-based Intellectual Ventures. As an EFA, Norton shares his expertise with the National Science Foundation’s SBIR program, technology licensing, and developing business plans for early-stage funding.

Dr. Kim Christen a Professor in and the Director of the Digital Technology and Culture program and the Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University. Her work explores the intersections of cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, information ethics, and the use of digital technologies in and by Indigenous communities globally. She directs several projects including: the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, a collaboratively curated site of Plateau cultural materials; Mukurtu CMS, a free and open source content management system and community access platform designed to meet the curatorial needs of Indigenous communities; and the Sustainable Heritage Network, an online initiative dedicated to making the preservation and digitization of cultural heritage materials sustainable, simple, and secure.