8th Annual Meeting

Monday, March 14, 2022
The George Washington University

Registration Rates:
Undergraduate Students – $12
Graduate / Medical Students – $22
Postdoctoral / Clinical Fellows and Staff Scientists – $35
Faculty / Group Leaders – $50


Keynote Address

Dr. Rajini Rao (she/hers)
Professor of Physiology
Director, Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Title:An unconventional calcium pump links store-independent calcium entry to cell adhesion, DNA damage response and mitochondrial respiration

Speaker Bio:

Rajini Rao is professor of Physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in
Baltimore, Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry (1988) at the University of
Rochester, N.Y. and postdoctoral training in Genetics at Yale University before being recruited to
Johns Hopkins University as Assistant Professor in 1993. Her laboratory investigates ion
transporters, including secretory pathway Ca 2+ -ATPases and endosomal Na + /H + exchangers, with
a focus on their role in human disorders, ranging from cancer and autism to neurodegeneration.
Dr. Rao is an active educator and mentor. As director of the NIGMS-funded T32 training program
in Cellular & Molecular Medicine, she oversees a multi-departmental graduate program with
over 140 faculty and 130 Ph.D. students. She has developed university-wide resources in
teaching rigor and reproducibility, and career training as part of curriculum development for
Ph.D. students. Rao is a long standing advocate for women in science, having chaired the
Committee on Professional Opportunities for Women at the Biophysical Society for nearly a
decade, and co-founded stemwomen.net. She is a frequent panelist and speaker on gender
equity and mentoring at local and international STEM venues. Rao has held multiple elected
leadership roles in the Biophysical Society and ASBMB, chaired FASEB and Gordon conferences,
and served on journal editorial boards and grant review panels at the NIH, DOD, and HHMI,
including the NIGMS TWD review panel for T32 training grants.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Jeremy Rotty, Ph.D. (he/his)
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Dr. Jeremy Rotty Portrait

Title: “The actin cytoskeleton and ECM context influence macrophage activation”

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Jeremy Rotty obtained a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Berea College. He then completed his
PhD in the lab of Dr. Pierre Coulombe at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. This work
revealed a novel regulatory role for keratin intermediate filaments in Src kinase signaling and
cell motility, which jumpstarted his career-long interest in cell migration and the cytoskeleton. Dr.
Rotty then completed his postdoctoral training in Dr. James Bear’s lab at the University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill. His postdoctoral work revealed that the actin cytoskeleton is
homeostatically regulated, and that the branched actin-polymerizing Arp2/3 complex is required
for integrin-mediated extracellular sensing. Since 2017, Dr. Rotty has been an assistant
professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the Uniformed Services University where he
continues to study cell migration, cytoskeletal regulation and extracellular matrix sensing.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Megan Wenner, Ph.D. (she/her)
Associate Professor
University of Delaware

Title: “Menopause and Vascular Health”

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Megan Wenner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Delaware, and the Director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Research Laboratory. She completed her PhD in Physiology from the University of Delaware, and postdoctoral training at the John B. Pierce Laboratory, an affiliate with Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Wenner’s research focus is on cardiovascular health in women. She studies autonomic regulation and vascular function in women throughout the lifespan to understand the influence of both aging and fluctuations in sex hormones on cardiovascular function. Her current R01 examines the role of endothelin-1 in contributing to declines in endothelial funciton in women during the menopausal transitions, and how estrogen modulates this response.