Harald Sontheimer, professor in the Department of Neurobiology, director of the Civitan International Research Center, and director of the Center for Glial Biology in Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will speak at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke, on Thursday and Friday, April 7 and 8.

The distinguished visiting scholars program is sponsored by the research institute in order to bring nationally and internationally prominent biomedical and bio-behavioral scientists to Roanoke to meet with researchers and for a series of lectures to the greater research, clinical, and student/trainee communities. "Public lectures will be intended for diverse audiences in order to facilitate the dissemination of leading edge contemporary information on major topics of the underlying principles of health, disease, and healthcare," said Michael J. Friedlander, founding executive director of the research institute.

Sontheimer's public lecture from 5-6 p.m. on April 7 will be on "Glial derived brain tumors: Unique biology and opportunities for novel treatments," in room M203. A public reception will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the VTC Cafe. His current research presentation will be about "Ion channels as regulators for cell proliferation and cell migration in the nervous system" at noon April 8 in room R1059 of the research institute.

Glial cells constitute more than half of brain cells. Sontheimer has been recognized for his work on glial biology as it pertains to brain development as well as diseases associated with glial cells. His research on cell migration and invasion has resulted in three independent clinical trials using a novel compound to treat malignant gliomas and related tumors.

For more information, contact Dana Nichols at (540) 526-2013.