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.
Thu, Sep 15, 2016
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: “Mass Spectrometry-Enabled Drug Development in Cancer and Neurodegenerative Disease.”
Links to Professor Wilson's Research:
Biological Physics Seminar: Professor Alex Mogilner; Professor Mathematics and Biology at the Courant Institute and Department of Biology, New York University.
UMass @ Amherst; "Spontaneous and Induced Cell Polarization and Collective Migration"
Fish keratocyte cells served as the model system to understand biophysics of cell motility for decades. Recently, we combined experiment and modeling to understand the mechanism of polarization of these cells. We found that two essential feedbacks - positive one between myosin density and actin flow, and negative one between stick-slip adhesions and actin flow - underlie the motility initiation. Interestingly, keratocytes polarize in electric fields much faster but not stably, through different mechanism. I will also describe preliminary results on collective keratocyte migration in electric fields.
Wed, Sep 21, 2016
UMass @ Amherst VASCI Seminar: “Cytokines and lymphoid cells as critical players in tumor elicited inflammation.”
UMass @ Amherst: "An Ionic-Chemical-Mechanical Model of Muscle Contraction."
Muscle contraction occurs when myosin cross-bridges, powered by ATP hydrolysis, cause parallel arrays of actin filaments to slide toward each other. The cross bridge attachments to actin are at least partially electrostatic in nature, while the actin filament itself has some of the properties of an anionic polyelectrolyte. We will discuss the possible role of ionic interactions during the actin-myosin cycle.
Thu, Sep 22, 2016
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: "Elements of Health and Disease: Inorganic Fluxes and Metal Receptors That Control of Cell Fate Decisions."
Links to Professor O'Halloran's Research:
Tue, Sep 27, 2016
Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Mei Hong; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry.
UMass @ Amherst: "Structure and Dynamics of Plant Cell Walls & the Influenza M2 Protein from Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy"
Wed, Sep 28, 2016
UMass @ Amherst VASCI Seminar: "Cell envelope biosynthesis in mycobacteria."
Links to Professor Morita's Research:
Thu, Sep 29, 2016
Chemistry Seminar: Professor Floyd Romesberg; The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Chemistry.
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: “A Semi-Synthetic Organism with an Expanded Genetic Alphabet.”
Links to Professor Romesberg's Research:
Plant Biology Seminar: Professor Manajit Hayer-Hartl; Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Seminar Title: "Molecular chaperone machineries for the biogenesis of RuBisCO, the most abundant protein."
Mon, Oct 3, 2016
Tue, Oct 4, 2016
Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Michael Overholtzer; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
UMass @ Amherst: "Starving to Death."
Wed, Oct 5, 2016
UMass @ Amherst VASCI Seminar: "Epigenetic regulation of genomic imprinting during early mammalian development."
Link to Professor Mager's Research:
Thu, Oct 6, 2016
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: “Imaging Protease Activity with Small Molecule Probes: Applications to Cancer and Infectious Diseases.”
Wed, Oct 12, 2016
Veterinary & Animal Science Seminar: Professor Laura Dada; Northwestern University, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
UMass @ Amherst VASCI Seminar: “Role of the linear ubiquitination assembly complex in the regulation of lung injury and inflammation."
Links to Professor Dada's Research:
Thu, Oct 13, 2016
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: “MS-Based Approaches for Investigating Nucleic Acid Structure and Dynamics.”
Seminar Title: "Invasion in a changing world: Impacts of garlic mustard in northeastern temperate forests."
Tue, Oct 18, 2016
Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Angelika Amon; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Biology.
UMass @ Amherst: "Aneuploidy and cancer - a complex relationship."
Wed, Oct 19, 2016
Veterinary & Animal Science Seminar: Professor Alice Chung, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
UMass @ Amherst VASCI Seminar: “The mating game in flowering plants; How do non motile sperm get to the egg cell for fertilization?”
Link to Professor Chung's Research:
Thu, Oct 20, 2016
UMass - Chemistry Seminar: Professor Mark Akeson; UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute & Biomolecular Engineering Department.
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: "Three Decades of Nanopore Sequencing."
UMass - Plant Biology Seminar: Dr. Devin O'Connor; Career Development Fellow, Sainsbury Lab, University of Cambridge, UK.
Seminar Title: "Microscopy, computer models, and missing genes: PIN-mediated pattern formation in plants."
Mon, Oct 24, 2016
Smith College; Life Sciences Colloquium: Collective Behavior of Molecular Motors in the Active Materials that Drive Cell Division
Maria Kilfoil University of Massachusetts, Amherst Hosted by Nathan Derr Part 2 of the series: Structure, Dynamics and Modeling of the Cytoskeleton - A Current Overview Monday at 4:30pm in Ford Hall 240 Refreshments starting at 4:00pm
Tue, Oct 25, 2016
Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Michael Gottesman; National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
UMass @ Amherst: "Analyzing the complexity of multidrug resistance in cancer."
Wed, Oct 26, 2016
UMass - Veterinary & Animal Science Seminar: Professor Diego Krapf; Colorado State University, School of Biomedical Engineering.
UMass @ Amherst VASCI Seminar: "Dynamic Organization of the Plasma Membrane in Mammalian Cells."
Link to Professor Krapf's Research:
Thu, Oct 27, 2016
UMass - Chemistry Seminar: Professor Tom Mallouk; Pennsylvania State University, Department of Chemistry.
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: “Assembly and Disassembly of Layered Materials.”
Seminar Title: "Chasing stutters: Connecting the lines between cytosolic calcium and growth in the moss, Physcomitrella patens."
Mon, Oct 31, 2016
Thomas Pollard Yale University Hosted by Stylianos Scordilis Part 3 of the series: Structure, Dynamics and Modeling of the Cytoskeleton - A Current Overview Monday at 4:30pm in Ford Hall 240 Refreshments starting at 4:00pm
Tue, Nov 1, 2016
UMass - Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Robert Sauer; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Biology.
UMass @ Amherst: "Protein degradation machines."
Thu, Nov 3, 2016
UMass - Chemistry Seminar: Professor Carrie Partch; University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: “Dynamic Protein Interactions Establish the 24-Hour Circadian Clock.”
Links to Professor Partch's Research:
Seminar Title: "Using molecular markers to investigate plant interactions below ground."
Amherst College - Math & Statistics Seminar: Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher; Director, Center for Quantitative Medicine - UConn Health. Seminar Title: "Quantitative Medicine."
Abstract: Medicine is undergoing a dramatic transformation, driven by a convergence of changes in society, as well as science and technology. From the development of new treatments for diseases to the implementation of interventions at the population level, new approaches increasingly use methods from the mathematical and computational sciences. This talk will provide an overview, as well as concrete examples of quantitative medicine, and will briefly touch on career opportunities in this field.
Fri, Nov 4, 2016
UMass - Models to Medicine Sponsored Seminar. Professor Josh Levitz from Cornell Weill Medical Unviersity; Department of Biochemitsry.
Seminar Title: "Optical Dissection of G Protein-Coupled Receptors."
Abstract: In order for the sophisticated choreography of physiological functions ranging from metabolism to cognition to occur, cells need to produce and sense environmental stimuli. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) form the largest class of membrane receptors which provide a bridge between the extracellular and intracellular spaces by sensing stimuli, such as light, hormones, or neurotransmitters, and converting them into intracellular signals that alter processes such as enzyme function, excitability, and gene expression. The extraordinarily diverse GPCR family plays roles in nearly every disease and accounts for >60% of all current drug targets. The class C GPCR family includes the metabotropic glutamate (mGluRs) and GABA (GABABRs) receptors, which modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic strength and serve as drug targets for schizophrenia, depression, addiction, fragile X syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease despite a limited mechanistic understanding of their role in disease pathophysiology. The limitations of pharmacology and genetic knockout in terms of spatiotemporal precision and subtype specificity, has made it difficult to gain a picture of how specific receptors modulate neuronal function and, ultimately, behavior. Furthermore, the activation mechanism of class C GPCRs remains elusive because, unlike class A rhodopsin-like GPCRs, they contain large, extracellular ligand binding domains (LBDs) that couple, via a poorly understood mechanism, to a transmembrane domain (TMD). Our lab uses optical methods to develop a complete biophysical mechanism of how class C GPCRs activate and signal, and to determine how these receptors modulate neural activity in physiology and disease. We have recently developed a family of chemical optogenetic tools for the manipulation of specific mGluRs in native systems, including in vivo, to study the physiological roles of mGluRs and other related signaling proteins with high precision. As a complement to neurophysiological studies, we are also using a combination of ensemble and single molecule fluorescence assays to gain biophysical insight into the cooperative activation process of homomeric and heteromeric mGluR2-containing receptors.
Mon, Nov 7, 2016
John A. Hammer, III Cell Biology and Physiology Center National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, NIH Hosted by Stylianos Scordilis Part 4 of the series: Structure, Dynamics and Modeling of the Cytoskeleton - A Current Overview Monday at 4:30pm in Ford Hall 240 Refreshments starting at 4:00pm
Tue, Nov 8, 2016
UMass - Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Hyunjoon Kong; University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
UMass @ Amherst: "Microenvironmental Control of Transport and Three-Dimensional Assembly of "Living" Cells."
Wed, Nov 9, 2016
UMass @ Amherst VASCI Seminar: "Genetically engineered animal models: our recent successes in applying the CRISPR/Cas9, TALEN, and piggyBac systems to non-murine species."
Link to Professor Wang's Research:
Thu, Nov 10, 2016
UMass - Chemistry Seminar: Professor Stuart Schreiber; Harvard University, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
UMass @ Amherst - William E. Mahoney Annual Lecture in Chemistry: “Chemistry Towards Novel Mechanism-of-Action (nMoA) Compounds in Therapeutics Discovery.”
Links to Professor Schreiber's Research:
Mon, Nov 14, 2016
Eva Nogales University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Hosted by Stylianos Scordilis Part 5 of the series: Structure, Dynamics and Modeling of the Cytoskeleton - A Current Overview Monday at 4:30pm in Ford Hall 240 Refreshments starting at 4:00pm
Tue, Nov 15, 2016
UMass - Chemistry Seminar: Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski; J. C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Chemistry..
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar - Richard Stein-Covestro Honorary Seminar in Polymer Chemistry. “Macromolecular Engineering by Taming Free Radicals”
UMass - Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Stephen Lory; Harvard Medical School, Microbiology and Immunobiology.
UMass @ Amherst: "Genome-wide Detection of Virulence and Host Recognition Determinants in Pseudomonas aeruginosa."
Thu, Nov 17, 2016
UMass - Chemistry Seminar: Professor David Vanden Bout; University of Texas at Austin, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: “From Single Polymer Chains to Bulk Films: Structure-Photophysics Correlations in Single Conjugated Polymers.”
Links to Professor Vanden Bout's Research:
Tue, Nov 22, 2016
UMass - Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Christopher Yengo; Pennsylvania State University, Huck Institutes of Life Sciences.
UMass @ Amherst: "Allosteric modulators of cardiac myosin structure-function."
Thu, Dec 1, 2016
UMass @ Amherst Chemistry Seminar: "Interrogating the Membrane Protein-Detergent Interfacial Dynamics"
Links to Professor Movileanu's Research:
Tue, Dec 6, 2016
UMass - Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Judith Kassis; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, Developmental Biology.
UMass @ Amherst: "Transcriptional repression by Polycomb group proteins in Drosophila."
Wed, Dec 7, 2016
UMass @ Amherst VASCI Seminar: "Fluid Dynamic Implications in Vascular Disease and Development.”
Links to Professor Jimenez's Research:
Tue, Dec 13, 2016
UMass - Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar: Professor Steven Glynn; Stony Brook University, Biochemistry & Cell Biology.
UMass @ Amherst: "Proteolytic control of the mitochondrial intermembrane space."