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NextGen PATHWAYS Symposium

Pathways 2024

Friday, March 22, 2024
7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
State Historical Society of Missouri
605 Elm Street, Columbia, MO 65201
This year's venue is at capacity and registration is now closed.

See more details on the event registration site.



7:30 am - 8:30 am: Registration and Coffee/Continental Breakfast 

8:30 am - 8:45 am: Welcome and Housekeeping 

  • Dave Arnold, Executive Director, NextGen Precision Health Initiative
  • David Lile, Former Host of Columbia Morning on KFRU

8:45 am - 10:00 am: Faculty Talks - Session A

  • “Translating Addiction Neuroscience Research” (8:45 am)
    Brett Froeliger, Professor, University of Missouri
  • “Mesenchymal Stem Cells: PATHWAYS to the Clinic” (9:00 am)
    Julie Semon, Associate Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • “Choosing the Target in Alzheimer’s Disease Therapeutics” (9:15 am)
    Michael Nichols, Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • “Demystifying Neurodegenerative Patterns: From ALS to Dementia” (9:30 am)
    Smita Saxena, Ph.D., Professor, University of Missouri School of Medicine
  • “Addressing the Final Gap in Translational Research” (9:45 am)
    John Spertus, Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City

10:00 am - 10:30 am: Break (Coffee, water, tea available)

10:30 am - 11:45 am: Faculty Talks - Session B

  • “Towards Better Understanding of ALS using a Multi-Marker Discovery Approach from a Multi-Modal Database (ALS4M)” (10:30 am)
    Xing Song, Assistant Professor, MU School of Medicine
  • “Little Fly, Big Impact: Drosophila as a Model to Understand RNA Regulation in Muscle Development and Disease” (10:45 am)
    Maria Spletter, Assistant Professor University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • “The Alliance for Precision Health: Research Collaboration” (11:00 am)
    John Grinstead, Siemens Healthineers Medical Physicist, NextGen Precision Health
  • “Machine Learning Discovery of Actionable Biological Mechanisms for Precision Medicine” (11:15 am)
    Robert Paul, Curators’ Distinguished Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • “A Novel Approach to Hemostasis” (11:30 am)
    Mark Towler, Doshi Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology

11:45 am - 12:30 pm: Lunch/Networking (Boxed lunches with water and tea available)

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Poster Session A

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm: Break (Coffee, water, tea, dessert/snacks available)

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm: Keynote Speaker - Thomas Pedersen, CEO of NMD Pharma

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Poster Session B


NextGen Precision Health’s inaugural PATHWAYS symposium draws on pathbreaking work from across the University of Missouri System to celebrate research collaborations with the potential to impact global health.

On average in the U.S., it takes 14 years for a new treatment to make it from the discovery phase to a clinical patient. We believe we can accelerate that time frame if all segments of the translational science pipeline are engaged from the beginning. At the PATHWAYS symposium, research faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students from a broad range of disciplines will build understanding to lower research barriers and jump start new projects.


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The agenda will promote a dual mission: accelerating discoveries and fostering discoverers. The symposium will provide networking opportunities for experts across our four universities and give young researchers a pragmatic approach for connecting to other fields and the translation process. By making each of our contributions accessible and relevant across domains, we can leverage our strengths and ultimately impact quality of life around the world. 



Contact the NextGen Precision Health initiative at


"UM System and NextGen Precision Health"


Reviewed 2024-03-15