Professor David “Dedi” Meiri of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming University of Arizona Inaugural Interdisciplinary Cannabis Symposium.
The symposium, sponsored by the UA’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, BIO5 Institute, College of Medicine-Tucson, and College of Science, will cover recent evidence-based research and teaching in the horticultural and medicinal aspects of cannabis (commonly known as marijuana), says Raphael Gruener, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the UA College of Medicine, scientist in residence, and event organizer.
Meiri will focus on his recent research using cancer-infected bone cells to test the efficacy of cannabinoids in combating these cells. “Meiri’s assay is using cell migration to monitor the effects of cannabinoids on disabling the cells from moving and hence from producing tumors,” says Gruener.
Meiri, a pioneer in research on the medicinal properties of cannabinoids, is an assistant professor in biology at the Technion and a member of the Technion Integrated Cancer Center. He heads the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research.
“Presently our lab investigates the vast therapeutic potential of naturally-occurring chemicals, called cannabinoids, in various cannabis species,” Meiri says. “In addition to the multitude of other studies currently being conducted in the lab, our principal focus is on how these cannabinoids affect various types of cancer, epilepsy, and glucose metabolism (diabetes).”
Six other speakers will cover other scientific aspects including the biological endocannabinoid system; chemistry and drug potency; challenges of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine; human physiology of the compounds; pediatric epilepsy treatment; and education in medical cannabis.
The daylong symposium will be held at the DuVal Auditorium, College of Medicine, Banner University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., on Wednesday, Sept. 25, beginning at 8 a.m. Admission to the IICS is free but online registration is required at www.be.arizona.edu/iics. Priority seating will go to UA faculty, students, and staff.