Place: LASR 102 (70 seats)
Title: Stem cells, complexity and the science of being
Abstract: Complexity theory shows how systems of interacting individuals that fulfill basic criteria self-organize into larger scale structures. Such systems exist in hierarchies, e.g. cells self-organize into bodies, bodies self-organize into larger scale social structures (e.g. ant colonies, human cities, ecosystems). Cells themselves emerge from self-organizing biomolecules which arise from self-organizing atoms, and so on, down to the smallest, indivisible, Planck scale units. These smallest things (perhaps “strings”), too small to arise from smaller things, come in and out of existence from an “energetic vacuum.” This scientific “everything-as-complex-system” (a “Science of Being”) leads to insights regarding alternate, non-Cell Doctrine models of the body, has implications for consciousness studies, and correlates scientific understandings to contemplative insights from diverse traditions (e.g. Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu).
Brief bio: Neil Theise is a diagnostic liver pathologist and adult stem cell researcher in New York City, where he is Professor of Pathology and of Medicine at the Beth Israel Medical Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His research revised understandings of human liver microanatomy which, in turn, led directly to identification of possible liver stem cell niches and the marrow-to-liver regeneration pathway. He is considered a pioneer of multi-organ adult stem cell plasticity and has published on that topic in Science, Nature, and Cell.