Andrew Baird (UC San Diego)
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 4:00 P.M.
**Please watch the following video on YouTube prior to attending the seminar. The speaker will present based on the understanding that you have reviewed this very interesting and insightful 60 min presentation about global warming.**
Rethinking the Ethos of Academic Research (& Organizations) in an Age of Changing Climate (and COVID19): One and the Same
Academic research is a national engine of innovation that has historically relied on the discoveries of individuals, working in their individual laboratories and funded by their individual grants in an increasingly competitive environment that is sustained by internal (promotion) and external (recognition) forces. We posit that this model of research is outdated. While once very conducive to discovery, it is unable to address the emergent challenges of 21st-century research, as exemplified by the long term challenges faced by the climate crisis and acute societal response to COVID19 that require a unified, sustained and coordinated response.
Andrew Baird trained in biochemistry (Ph.D., 1980) at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and neuroendocrinology at the Salk Institute with Roger Guillemin (Nobel,1977) where he studied angiogenesis and the control of cell growth. He was involved in characterizing basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) and its high and low-affinity receptors, identifying the FGF2 promoter, generating the first transgenic mouse overexpressing FGF2 and using structure-function studies to characterize ligand-receptor interactions, FGF2 agonists and antagonists. In the biotechnology sector, he led pre-IND drug development including QA/QC, cGMP, manufacture and process development for wound healing/injury/inflammation therapeutics and returned to academia to demonstrate the feasibility of using phage-based gene delivery and directed evolution to create hybrid vectors for gene delivery. His current work in the Department of Surgery at the University of California San Diego is focused on inflammatory resilience and susceptibility after injury and infection and specifically defining the role of taxonomically-restricted and human-specific genes in inflammation, tissue repair, and regeneration. As member and currently chair of the University Committee on Research Policy (UCORP), he has worked to bring the climate crisis to the forefront of the Academic Senate’s agenda and specifically, helped with the call for senate faculty to increase engagement in developing innovative solutions to the climate crisis.