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Moffitt to hold media symposium

Writers from Florida will get a taste of what it is like to learn about the medical world on Monday at this year’s Biotech Symposium for Journalists.

The event is the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute’s fourth symposium and the first one organized with the help of USF’s Health Sciences Center.

Since journalists and reporters are the ones informing the public about research at medical institutions such as Moffitt, the organization wants to educate writers about what is going on in terms of medical breakthroughs and research.

“The idea is to train the messengers,” said Andrea Brunais, a member of media relations for Moffitt. “What we are doing is bringing the journalists all together so that they can hear, in a concentrated fashion, directly from the frontlines of the labs.”

This year’s topic for the symposium is biotechnology. The event will feature lectures by doctors from both USF and Moffitt, who will discuss the research from both institutions involving biotechnology. The event will also offer tours of certain sections of Moffitt and the Health Sciences Center at USF coinciding with the lectures given at the symposium.

Some of the topics for the lectures at the symposium will include: “The Power of Small: The Technology of Delivering Drugs and Genes Through Nanoparticles” by Shyam Mohapatra, the director of basic research for the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the USF Health Sciences Center, and Richard Lockey, the division director and professor at the Joy McCann Culverhouse, chair in Allergy and Immunology, “Microarrays and Proteomics: Big Science on Small Samples” by Steve Enkemann, a staff scientist in the Microarray Facility at Moffitt, and Matthew Androlewicz, a staff scientist in Proteomics at Moffitt. Also discussed Monday will be “Creating Stem-like Cells – a Source of Hope for Brain Repair?” by Paul Sanberg, a professor of Neurosurgery and director of the Center for Aging and Brain Repair and associate vice president of biotechnology development at the USF Health Sciences Center.

There will also be a lecture during lunch at Moffitt with Carolyn Popper, a private consultant with business, science and medical experience said Brunais. Popper will give a speech titled “Biotech’s Impact on West Central Florida’s Economy.”

The three optional tours at the symposium include two at Moffitt and one each at USF’s Health Sciences Center and the USF Center for Aging and Brain Repair. The tours at Moffitt will not include the entire building but will concentrate on sections of the building that are related to topics in the aforementioned lectures.

Moffitt’s Biotech Symposium for Journalists will be held at the Stabile Research Building Conference Room 1. An introduction to the symposium starts at 8:30 a.m. Monday. For more information visit,