Forum for Discovery

Join us virtually for the Laboratory's annual Forum for Discovery where we celebrate you, our great supporters. At The Jackson Laboratory, we are utilizing the powers of science and the generosity of our donors to solve problems like COVID-19, cancer, Alzheimer's and so many other diseases that rob our time and our quality of life. With that in mind, we hope you will join us virtually for this event, where JAX leaders and scientists will share their insights on research related to cancer, immunology and infectious disease, answer your questions, and, most importantly, thank you for your support. 

With your support and our expertise, we can change the future of human health - together.

For questions, please contact Marisa Marinelli at (207) 288-6753 or

Thursday, July 16, 2020
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM (Eastern Time)


9:00 AM | Welcome & Introductions, S. Catherine Longley

9:10 AM | State of the Laboratory, Edison T. Liu

9:25 AM
| In Memoriam: Ken Paigen, Ph.D., 1927-2020, Edison T. Liu and David Shaw

9:40 AM
| Infectious Disease & Immunology: COVID-19: Where do we go from here?, Nadia Rosenthal and Derya Unutmaz
How do our immune systems respond to the coronavirus? And how do our individual immune responses affect disease progression? JAX researcher will discuss these questions and share how they are developing innovative, humanized mouse models for COVID-19 research, which will serve as essential tools for pre-clinical testing of vaccines and antiviral drugs.

10:30 AM | The JAX Cancer Center: Masters of Complex Systems in the Fight Against Cancer, Edison T. Liu and Jacques Banchereau
Cancer is a complex disease; a treatment that works for one patient often will not work for others. It's all because each cancer genome is a genetic tangle. Untangling each cancer's genetics is the foundation for precision cancer treatments. JAX was founded in 1929 as one of the world's first centers for the study of cancer genetics, and this year was designated a National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer center for the 34th year. Our cancer center is focused on using the genetic complexity of the cancer and of cancer patients as the target for a new generation of therapeutics. Hear directly from JAX Cancer Center leadership about their important work to help people around the country and around the world impacted by cancer.

11:15 AM | Impact of Your SupportBryan Robinson, Vice President for Advancement


Ed Liu

Edison T. Liu, M.D., President and CEO 
Dr. Liu came to JAX after founding and leading the Genome Institute of Singapore. His scientific research focuses on the functional genomics of human cancers, investigating gene regulation on a genomic scale that modulates cancer biology. His laboratory investigates the expression signatures in breast cancers that define biochemical and genetic perturbations as well as the transcriptional regulation of estrogen receptors. Dr. Liu's work spans cancer biology, genomics, human genetics and molecular epidemiology.



S. Catherine Longley

S. Catherine Longley, J.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
S. Catherine "Katy" Longley has been the executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Jackson Laboratory since July 2018. She joined JAX in August 2016 as the vice president and chief financial officer after a distinguished career in finance, public policy and law. In her current role, Katy provides strategic leadership, direction and management for all operating activities of the Laboratory. She oversees Finance, Human Resources, Facilities, Legal, IT, and External Relations and serves as the institutional official for animal welfare and chairs JAX 403(b) Retirement Plan Committee. 



Nadia Rosenthal, Ph.D., FMedSci, FAAHMS, Scientific Director and Professor  
Professor Rosenthal is the Scientific Director of The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, Maine). She is a global leader in the use of targeted mutagenesis in mice to investigate mammalian development, disease and repair. Her research focuses on the role of growth factors, stem cells and the immune system in the resolution of tissue injury for applications to regenerative medicine. Her book, Heart Development and Regeneration, is considered the definitive text in the field. She has received numerous honorary doctorates and prizes, participates on international advisory boards and committees and is a Founding Editor of Disease Models and Mechanisms, Editor-in-Chief of Differentiation and of a new Nature Partner Journal, Regenerative Medicine.

Jacques Banchereau, Director, Immunological Sciences

Jacques Banchereau, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Immunological Sciences
Dr. Banchereau is a Professor, Director of Immunological Sciences, and the Deputy Director at The Jackson Laboratory - Genomic Medicine campus in Farmington, Connecticut. He has over 35 years of expertise in human immunology research with a strong track record of research publications. His research lab is currently leading discoveries in the field of cancer vaccines and human autoimmune disease.



Derya Unutmaz, M.D., Professor 
Derya Unutmaz has received his M.D. from Marmara University Medical School, Istanbul, Turkey. He did postdoctoral studies at Novartis, Switzerland and at NYU. He was an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, where he received tenure and promoted to associate professor.  In 2006, he moved to NYU School of Medicine as tenured Professor of Microbiology, Medicine and Pathology. Since 2015 he has been Professor at Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, in Farmington, CT, and affiliated Professor at UConn School of Medicine. He is currently the director of Collaborative Research Center for ME/CFS at Jackson Laboratory.

He has published more than 100 original papers, including in Nature and Science, and is a co-inventor in 7 patents. He is the Immunology section editor of PLoS One journal since its inception and frequent reviewer at NIH grant committees. He also served as reviewer in more than 50 NIH study sections and international review committees, and was steady member of NIH, NIAID, AIDSRRC study section between 2009 and 2014. He is currently the director of NIH funded Collaborative Research Center for ME/CFS at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT.