LDS Life Science Symposium


The next LDS Life Science Symposium will be held in 2019. Please check back with us then to see what we have planned!

July 20–22, 2016
Museum of Ancient Life
Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, Utah

This symposium provides a forum for LDS scientists conducting research in the life sciences.

The symposium’s purposes are as follows:

  • Establish connections among LDS life scientists from across the U.S. in a scientifically stimulating environment.
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations.
  • Develop mentoring relationships between LDS students and established LDS scientists.

Keynote Speaker

David J. BearssDavid J. Bearss

David J. Bearss, PhD, will be the keynote speaker for the LDS Life Science Symposium. His topic is “Lessons in Life and Translational Medicine from a Life Science Entrepreneur.”

For the past 15 years, Dr. Bearss has had a consistent and successful track record of drug discovery and development in both academic and industrial settings. He is an expert in small-molecule drug development and in the use of genetic model systems in drug discovery. He has deep experience in translational research focused on drug development and the use of genetic markers to predict drug sensitivity. He is also an expert in the development and use of genetically modified animals to model human disease.

Dr. Bearss received his doctorate in cell and structural biology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. He was on the faculty at the University of Arizona from 1999 to 2003.

In 2003 he cofounded Montigen Pharmaceuticals, where he served as chief scientific officer until Montigen was acquired by SuperGen in 2006. He served as chief scientific officer at SuperGen, overseeing early drug discovery and development. He subsequently codirected the Center for Investigational Therapeutics at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

He also was an associate professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah and associate professor of physiology and developmental biology at Brigham Young University before cofounding Tolero Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he currently is CEO.

Dr. Bearss has published more than 60 manuscripts and book chapters. He has more than 20 patents issued or pending, and has won several awards for his scientific achievements.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Amy Barrios, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah
    "Fluorogenic Probes of Tyrosine Phosphatase Activity: Chemical Probes put Phosphotyrosine Dependent Cellular Signaling in the Spotlight”
  • Arminda Suli, Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, BYU
    "Ribbon Localization at Mechanosensory Hair Cell Synapses”
  • Cliff Whatcott, Tolero Pharmaceutical
    “TP-0184-mediated ALK2 inhibition is a potential therapeutic for anemia of chronic disease”
  • David Hansen, Genentech, Inc.
    "Untangling the Brain’s Neuroinflammatory and Neurodegenerative Transcriptional Responses”
  • Diane Ward, Department of Pathology, University of Utah
    "Mitochondrial Iron Metabolism:  A Tale of Two Transporters”
  • Jamie Jensen, Department of Biology, BYU
    "The Evolution of Evolution Acceptance" 
  • Julianne Grose, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, BYU
    "PAS kinase: a key to PASsing respiration”
  • Mark Parnell, Vettore Biotech
    “Targeting the Lactate Transporter MCT4 in Cancer and Inflammatory Disease”
  • Pui Kwok, Cardiovascular Research Institute, UCSF School of Medicine
    “Single Molecule Approaches to Genome Analysis”
  • Quinn Peterson, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University
    "How to Make an Islet”
  • Ryan Watts, Denali Therapeutics
    "Discovering and Developing Therapies for Neurodegeneration”
  • Russ Teichert, Department of Biology, University of Utah
    "Functional profiling of neuronal cell types and phenotypic screening”
  • Sarah Franklin, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah
    "Epigenetic Mechanisms Regulating Cardiac Morphology and Physiology”
  • Scott Hale, Department of Pathology, University of Utah
    “Gene Expression Programing of Memory CD4+ T Cells”
  • Val Sheffield, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa
    "Curing Blindness”

Organizing Committee

John “Keoni” KauweLaura BridgewaterSteve WarnerCory Teuscher