Vilcek Science Symposium
October 19-October 20, 2022


The Vilcek Science Symposium brings together a cohort of outstanding scientists born outside of the United States to discuss their journeys and their scientific accomplishments. This two-day symposium will include scientific presentations by leaders from various biomedical research fields, a panel discussion about immigrants in science, and a group mentoring session.

The Vilcek Science Symposium is organized in partnership with the Vilcek Foundation and Gladstone Institutes. The symposium is hosted by the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and sponsored by Laurie Yoler and Ben Lenail, Palo Alto-based technology executives. Speakers include Vilcek Foundation Prize-winning scientists; the Vilcek Foundation Prizes recognize and celebrate the contributions of immigrants to biomedical research, culture, and society in the United States.
The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from former Czechoslovakia. The foundation’s mission is to raise awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and to foster an appreciation for the arts and sciences. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded more than $7 million in prizes to foreign-born individuals and supported organizations with over $6 million in grants. 

Jeanne Paz, PhD, conference chair and associate investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Sciences in 2019.

Due to ongoing pandemic precautions, in-person attendance is limited to invited guests, but the event will be open to everyone via livestream.



October 19, 2022
October 20, 2022
Mahley Auditorium & Online


Wednesday, October 19, 2022
8:00am Continental Breakfast
9:00am Welcome
Lennart Mucke, MD, Director and Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND)
9:10am Introduction
Jeanne Paz, PhD, Event Host and Associate Investigator, GIND
9:30am Imaging Brain Neurochemistry with Nanomaterials
Markita del Carpio Landry, PhD, Investigator, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, and Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
10:00am The Immunology of Blood: Unlocking Drivers of Neurodegeneration
Katerina Akassoglou, PhD, Director, Center for Neurovascular Brain Immunology, Gladstone Institutes, and Senior Investigator, GIND
10:30am Break
10:40am The Multi-tasking TMEM16F
Lily Jan, PhD, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Jack and DeLoris Lange Professor of Molecular Physiology, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
11:10am Mechano-sensitive Channels Involved in Neurological Disorders
Yuh Nung Jan, PhD, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Jack and DeLoris Lange Professor of Molecular Physiology, UCSF
11:50pm Break
1:10pm Immigrants in Science
2:20pm Break
2:30pm Getting Across Barriers: Gene Delivery Across the Blood-brain Barrier for Precise and Minimally-invasive Study and Repair of Nervous Systems
Viviana Gradinaru, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and Biological Engineering, and Director, Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at Chen Institute, Caltech
3:00pm Pharmacologic Protein Editing
Amit Choudhary, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Biologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
3:30pm Deconstructing Cellular and Circuit Mechanisms in Epilepsy
Jeanne Paz, PhD, Associate Investigator, GIND
4:00pm Break
4:10pm Gladstone Trainees and Symposium Speakers
5:15pm End of Day 1


Thursday, October 20, 2022
8:00am Continental Breakfast
9:00am Chemogenetic and Optogenetic Technologies for Probing Molecular and Cellular Networks
Alice Ting, PhD, Investigator, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, and Professor of Genetics, Biology and Chemistry, Stanford University
9:30am Talking to Cells Deep Inside the Body with Biomolecular Ultrasound
Mikhail Shapiro, PhD, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Director, Center for Molecular and Cellular Medicine, and Professor of Chemical Engineering, Caltech
10:00am From Stem Cell to Assembloids: Constructing and Deconstructing the Human Nervous System to Study Disease
Sergiu Pasca, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Uytengsu Director of Stanford Brain Organogenesis
10:30am Break
10:45am Building Molecular QR Codes to Store Human Cell Identity
Hani Goodarzi, PhD, Investigator, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, and Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, and Urology, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute, UCSF    
11:15am Genetic and Neurophysiological Approaches to Tackle Rett Syndrome and MECP2 Disorders (via Zoom)
Huda Zoghbi, MD, Director, Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Distinguished Service Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular & Human Genetics, Neurology, and Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine
11:45am Closing Remarks
Deepak Srivastava, MD, President, Gladstone Institutes

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At Gladstone, we are committed to providing events and professional development activities that resonate with our community’s diverse members. Our goal is to develop creative programming that encompasses a wide variety of ideas and perspectives to inspire, educate, and engage with everyone within our walls.

We want to effect positive change through our events and activities by providing a platform for discussions on important topics related to increasing diversity and inclusiveness in the sciences.