The current pace of discovery in glycoscience on the one hand and of progress in clinical medicine on the other is unmatched by any other period in history. From all vantage points, the potential to usher forth new treatment paradigms based on convergence of these fields should be high, but, paradoxically, the very nature of the tempo of advances in these disciplines presents a limitation to bringing them together. In reality, there are very few individuals that can place clinical medicine within the framework of glycoscience, and vice versa. Regrettably, clinical medicine as presently practiced leaves little time for upholding a contemporary knowledge of basic science, and, thus, advances in glycoscience have taken this field well beyond the appreciation of most physicians. Accordingly, there is little likelihood that practicing physicians will be capable of creating opportunities for translation of pertinent findings in glycoscience into clinical reality. The key to bridging this translational chasm is to support the development of scientists with requisite interdisciplinary knowledge and experience by providing training in glycosciences concomitantly with fundamental human biology, framed by an appreciation of clinical urgency, thereby creating authentic glycobiologists with a firm mechanistic orientation to medically-oriented issues. To this end, the Glycosciences Skills Development Core in the Program of Excellence in Glycosciences (PEG) traverses this gap, providing post-doctoral fellows training in glycoscience principles and skills in concert with education in human biology and disease, creating “Translational Glycobiologists”.
The unique combination of investigators assembled in the PEG, each directing projects at the interface of glycoscience and medicine, makes this Program ideal for training in Translational Glycobiology. The unifying scientific theme of the Skills Development Core is “Glycan Engineering”, requiring intimate knowledge of carbohydrate structure and synthesis. This PEG aims to train a new generation of scientists that will appreciate how monosaccharide substitutions of cell surface glycans impact fundamental physiologic processes with profound impact on human health and disease.
A series of lectures have been made available on YouTube:
- Regenerative Medicine: Homing in on Adult Stem Cells – Implications for Future Clinical Management (Dr. Robert Sackstein)
- Glycosyltransferase-Programmed Stereosubstitution (GPS): Directing Cell Migration via Translational Glycobiology (Dr. Robert Sackstein)
- Biology of Sialyl Glycans (Dr. Joseph Lau)