In addition to seminars at Amherst College, we will also post off-campus seminars that may be of interest you and, if attended, will count towards the comprehensive requirement for BCBP senior majors.
Wed, Feb 3, 2016
Mt. Holyoke College Computer Science Seminar: Professor Gevorg Grigoran, Computer Science, Dartmouth College. Seminar Title: "Learning to Program Protein Structure and Function."
Professor Grigoran's Research: http://grigoryanlab.org/?sec=research
Nature appears to "program" proteins to perform remarkably complex tasks. We would like to do the same, on demand! Protein design is a problem that embodies this aim. Designing a protein means choosing a specific amino-acid sequence, from an astronomical number of possibilities, which folds into the desired structure and performs the desired function. Computational protein design seeks to do this by combining concepts from physics, biology, and chemistry into predictive models of protein structure and function. However, the unresolved grand challenge in the field is to make models that are accurate enough to be useful but are computationally f easible. In this talk I will summarize some of the advances we have made towards this goal through complementary approaches.
UMass Animal Biotechnology & Biomedical Seminar: Professor Dong Wang. Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, UMass Amherst. Seminar Title: "Herding Bacteria: How a Eukaryotic Host Controls its Microbial Partners."
Dong Wang's Research: http://www.biochem.umass.edu/faculty/dong-wang
Thu, Feb 4, 2016
Fri, Feb 5, 2016
Mon, Feb 8, 2016
Biology Seminar with Katherine P. Lemon, MD, PhD. Department of Microbiology, The Forsyth Institute. Seminar Title: "Nose Picking for Progress: Mining the Nasal Microbiome for New Insights into Pathogens."
Abstract: Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae are medically important bacterial pathogens. Both are also common constituents of the healthy nasal microbiome, and, in the case of S. aureus, the skin microbiome. The emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant clones of both of these species accentuates the need for new approaches to prevent infections by either. A number of commensal/mutualistic bacteria colonize the same body sites as S. aureus and S. pneumoniae. It is commonly accepted that bacteria occupying the same habitat may profoundly influence each other’s physiology. Yet, remarkably little is known about interactions that can occur between benign commensal bacteria and either S. aureus or S. pneumoniae. Our focus is to identify and characterize such interactions at a molecular level to better understand potential drivers of nasal and skin microbiome composition, and of pathogen colonization. We hypothesize that among the commensal members of the human nasal and skin microbiomes, there are beneficial bacteria that can interfere with pathogen colonization and/or shift pathogen behavior towards benign commensalism. Such beneficial bacteria, and the molecules they produce, could be the basis for novel small molecule and probiotic therapies to both prevent and treat infections.
Tue, Feb 9, 2016
UMass Molecular & Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor James Monaghan, Department of Biology, Northeastern University. Seminar Title: "Molecular regulation of proliferation and patterning of a regenerating salamander limb."
Professor Monaghan's research: http://www.northeastern.edu/cos/faculty/james-monaghan/
Wed, Feb 17, 2016
UMass Animal Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences Seminar: Professor Weston Porter, Genetics, Texas A&M. Seminar Title: "SIM2s Regulation of the DNA Damage Response and Metabolic Adaptation in DCIS Progression."
Professor Porter's Research: http://genetics.tamu.edu/faculty/westin_porter and https://www.vasci.umass.edu/graduate/departmental-seminars/spring-2016/sim2s-regulation-of-the-dna-damage-response-and-metabolic
Mon, Feb 22, 2016
Amherst College Department of Mathematics and Statistics Seminar: Aaron Coburn, Web Services @ Amherst College. Seminar Title: "Protein Data Analysis at Scale."
Abstract: The R programming environment is used by researchers and students alike to perform all manner of statistical analysis. This talk will describe a project at Amherst College that is using R to simulate and analyze protein structure perturbation, an area of study that has wide ranging implications for many branches of medical research. While writing the code for these simulations in R is relatively straight forward, running the code on a single machine can be prohibitively time consuming. In this situation, the typical approach is to rewrite the software so that it can be deployed on a Hadoop- or
With this project, we took a different approach and used Spark, one of the newer distributed computational platforms. The primary advantage of Spark in this case is its tight integration with the R execution environment, meaning the R code did not need to be substantially changed in order to run across a cluster of worker machines. Using the protein simulation project as a case study, this
talk will explore how Spark allows data scientists to make use of existing Rbased code both to analyze very large datasets and run highly parallelized computations.
Wed, Feb 24, 2016
UMass Animal Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences Seminar: Dr. Sarah Perry, UMass Amherst. Seminar Title: "Nature-Inspired Materials Design."
Professor Perry's Research: http://www.umass.edu/perry/People/Sarah_Perry.html and https://www.vasci.umass.edu/graduate/departmental-seminars/spring-2016/nature-inspired-materials-design
Thu, Feb 25, 2016
UMass Chemistry Seminar: Professor Brian McNaughton. Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University. Seminar Title: "Expanding the Functional Utility of Proteins as Research Tools and Therapeutic Leads."
Thu, Mar 3, 2016
UMass Microbiology Seminar: Dr. Rika Anderson. NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illiinois-Urbana/Champaign & Marine Biological Lab. Seminar Title: "Unraveling the Impact of Environmental Dynamics on the Microbial Pangenome."
Tue, Mar 8, 2016
UMass Molecular & Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Eugene Koonin, National Ctr for Biotechnoloyg Information NIH/NLM/NCBI. Seminar Title: "Insights into the evolution of viruses and antivirus defense systems from genomic & metagenomic data mining."
Professor Koonin's Reserach: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/CBBresearch/Koonin/
Wed, Mar 9, 2016
UMass Animal Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences Seminar: Professor Dominique Alfandari; UMass Amherst. Seminar Title: "Complex roles of ADAM metalloproteases during Cranial Neural Crest cell migration."
Professor Alfandari's Research: http://people.umass.edu/~alfandar/
Wed, Mar 23, 2016
UMass Animal Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences Seminar: Professor Peter Chien, UMass Amherst. Seminar Title: "Regulated protein degradation during bacterial growth."
Professor Chien's Research: http://openwetware.org/wiki/Chien
Thu, Mar 24, 2016
UMass Chemistry Seminar: Professor Veronica Vaida (Five College Lecture Seminar Series). University of Colorado @ Boulder, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Seminar Title: "Building Molecular complexity with Sunlight at Aqueous Interfaces."
Professor Vaida's Research: http://chem.colorado.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=288:veronica-vaida&catid=41:faculty&Itemid=93 and https://chem.colorado.edu/vaidagroup/
Fri, Mar 25, 2016
Five College Lecturer - Professor Veronica Vaida; University of Colorado @ Boulder, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Seminar Title: "Sunlight and Water Mediated Chemistry in Planetary Atmospheres Including the Contemporary and Ancient Earth."
Professor Vaida's Research: http://cires.colorado.edu/about/organization/fellows/veronica-vaida/ and https://chem.colorado.edu/vaidagroup/
Professor Vaida will also be giving a lecture at UMass Amherst on 3/24/16: "Building Molecular Complexity with Sunlight at Aqueous Interfaces." 11:30a.m. in LGRT, Room 1634.
Mon, Mar 28, 2016
Biology Seminar with Professor Adam Learner, Professor of Medicine, PI and Director of Hematology Training Program
Boston University School of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology
Seminar Title: To Be Announced
Wed, Mar 30, 2016
UMass Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department Nordin Lecture: Professor Peter Walter, University of California San Francisco, HHMI. Seminar Title: "From Protein Folding to Cognition: The Serendipitous Path of Discovery."
Professor Walter's research: http://walterlab.ucsf.edu/member/76/peter-walter/
UMass Animal Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences Seminar: Professor Juan Jimenez, UMass Amherst. Seminar Title: "Fluid Dynamic Implications in Vascular Disease and Development."
Professor Jimenez's Research: http://juanmjimenez.weebly.com/ and https://www.vasci.umass.edu/graduate/departmental-seminars/spring-2016/fluid-dynamic-implications-in-vascular-disease-and
Thu, Mar 31, 2016
UMass Chemistry Seminar: Professor Daniel Nocera. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University. Seminar Title: "Authentic Artificial Photosynthesis: Solar + Water + CO2 to Liquid Fuels at High Efficiency."
Mon, Apr 4, 2016
Professor Rustom Antia, Emory University, Department of Biology. Seminar Title: "Can we make a “universal” influenza vaccine?"
We use mathematical models to address a broad range of study a number of questions on pathogen-host interactions. How do how immune systems provide robust defenses against rapidly evolving pathogens? What determines whether an infection is short lived or chronic, and if it generates long-lasting immunity? What are the roles of ecological changes and evolutionary factors in the emergence of new infectious diseases. When possible we bring our models into risky confrontation both with experimental data. The answers to these questions could help us design vaccines against antigenically variable pathogens such as influenza, malaria and HIV.
Wed, Apr 6, 2016
UMass Animal Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences Seminar: Professor Kenneth Korach, NIEHS, Reproductive and Developmental Biology. Seminar Title: "Evaluating the Physiological Roles of Era Functional Domains."
Professor Korach's Research: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/rdbl/pi/receptor/index.cfm and https://www.vasci.umass.edu/graduate/departmental-seminars/spring-2016/evaluating-the-physiological-roles-of-era-functional
Mon, Apr 18, 2016
Biology Seminar with Professor Kenneth Colodner. Mount Holyoke College, Program in Neuroscience and Behavior.
Seminar Title: "Neuronal-Glial Interactions in a Drosophila Model of Tauopathy"
Research in the Colodner Lab is directed towards understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of tau toxicity in the context of tauopathies. Tauopathies, which include Alzheimer's disease, are a class of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the abnormal accumulation of tau protein in neuronal and glial cells. Our lab overexpresses the human tau protein in the brain of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to interrogate pathways that promote tau toxicity in a genetically pliable model. This talk will highlight our current studies utilizing genetic, pharmacological and behavioral assays to understand how tau disrupts neuronal-glial cell signaling in the fly brain.