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Brenda Shivers Lecture Series

Brenda ShiversThe Brenda Shivers Lecture Series at the Higuchi Biosciences Center provides a forum for discussion by leading bioscience and biomedical researchers on cutting-edge topics dealing with neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. This lecture series honors the distinguished career of Brenda Shivers, who received her bachelor's of science and doctorate in physiology from the University of Kansas. During her distinguished career she conducted neuroscience research at the Rockefeller Institute in New York; the Center for Molecular Biology in Heidelberg, Germany; Tulane University in Louisiana; and Parke-Davis Research Laboratories in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Shivers helped discover novel treatments for Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases. In 1998 she left the research she loved due to complications resulting from her battle with multiple sclerosis. She died in 2007.

Peter Boxer set up a fund to support this lecture series in 2007 to continue the legacy of his former colleague and dear friend Brenda D. Shivers.   To receive information about upcoming lectures or to suggest a topic or speaker, please contact Paula Hinman at phinman@ku.edu or 785-864-0908, or John Stobaugh at stobaugh@ku.edu or 785-864-3996.

To make a donation to the Brenda Shivers Fund, please contact Paula Hinman at phinman@ku.edu or 785-864-0908 at the Higuchi Biosciences Center.


The Inaugural Brenda Shivers Lecture was held virtually via Zoom on May 14, 2021 and the recording of the presentation is available below.  

Eugenia Trushina

Invited Speaker: 

Dr. Eugenia Trushina
Professor of neurology and pharmacology
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN



Dr. Trushina is a Professor in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the Mayo Clinic Rochester. She received her doctoral degree in organic chemistry from Saratov State University in Russia. Dr. Trushina completed her postdoctoral training at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester studying redox chemistry related to nitric oxide and mechanisms of mitochondrial dynamics and function in Huntington’s Disease. Dr. Trushina translational research program is focused on the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly as they intersect with studies on aging and metabolic disorders, and mitochondria-targeted therapeutics. Her group developed neuroprotective treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, which is now in the lead optimization and preclinical characterization stage. Dr. Trushina is a recipient of the NIH NINDS, NIA, NIEHS, BrightFocus, GHR, ADDF, and Mayo Clinic Research Awards.



"Exploiting mitochondrial signaling for therapy of neurodegenerative diseases"

Declining brain energetics has been recognized as the underlying factor for the development of multiple neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). At the same time, new evidence uncovered key roles of mitochondria signaling that could facilitate adaptation to energetic stress and promote organismal survival and function, including energy restitution. Mitochondria signaling orchestrates multiple essential cellular mechanisms ranging from a maintenance of energy homeostasis and metabolic functions to autophagy, epigenetic modifications and cell death. I will discuss the development of small molecule mitochondria targeted therapeutics found efficacious in delaying the onset of AD via inducing multiple neuroprotective mechanisms that promote health and longevity, restoring energy homeostasis.

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