Seminars & Events

Please scroll to the very bottom to see our upcoming seminars!

See also the UMass Consolidated Calendar of Life Sciences Seminars

2021 - 2022

Mon, Sep 13, 2021

Biology Summer Research 2021 Program Poster

Biology Summer Research Presentations

4:00 pm Science Center, Lipton and Science Center Patio

Presentations by SURF and Summer Research Students:

Flash talks in Lipton Lecture Hall at 4 p.m.

Followed by a poster session on the Science Center Patio (Science Center Living Room in event of rain)

All are welcome! Come see the amazing projects your peers have been working on this summer.

Mon, Sep 27, 2021

Biology Monday Seminar with Harriet Washington

4:00 pm Science Center, Lipton Lecture Hall E110

"Medical Apartheid Goes Viral: Coronavirus-19 and Race"

Harriet Washington, celebrated science writer and bioethicist presents a seminar as part of the President’s Colloquium on Race and Racism.
Washington is the author of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, and A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind, among other works. She has written widely for popular publications and been published in journals such as Nature, JAMA, The American Journal of Public Health, The Harvard Public Health Review, and many others.
The Presidential Scholars Program brings some of the most distinguished voices in the area of anti-racist scholarship and policy to Amherst for short-term residencies.

Mon, Oct 18, 2021

Biology Fall Honors Presentations

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall A011

Biology Fall Honors Presentations: Week 1
Biology Honors students will present their research plans in the form of a short research presentation.
There will be three Monday seminar sessions from 4:00 - 5:00 PM with five or six presentations at each seminar.
The dates are as follows:

Monday, October 18th

Monday, October 25th

Monday, November 1st

Mon, Oct 25, 2021

Biology Honors Presentations Week 2

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall A011

Biology honors students will present their research plans in the form of a short research presentations.

There will be three Monday seminar sessions from 4 to 5 p.m., with five or six presentations at each seminar.

The dates are as follows:
Monday, Oct. 18
Monday, Oct. 25
Monday, Nov. 1

Mon, Nov 1, 2021

Biology Fall Honors Presentations Week 3

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall A011

Biology honors students will present their research plans in the form of a short research presentations.

There will be three Monday seminar sessions from 4 to 5 p.m., with five or six presentations at each seminar.

The dates are as follows:
Monday, Oct. 18
Monday, Oct. 25
Monday, Nov. 1

Mon, Nov 15, 2021

Black-and-white photo of a woman crouching behind a little girl, supporting the girl as she walks while holding on to one side of a set of parallel bars

Biology Monday Seminar: "Optimizing Motor Recovery in People with Cerebral Palsy"

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall A011

Kathleen Friel, PhD
Director, Clinical Laboratory for Early Brain Injury Recovery, Burke Neurological Institute
Associate Professor, Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medicine

In this seminar, Dr. Friel will discuss strategies for improving movement in people with cerebral palsy. Her lab’s approach to CP rehabilitation is understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of movement impairments, from which new therapies can be based. Dr. Friel will present novel therapies under study in her lab, and how these therapies were derived; therapies include robotic training, intensive bimanual training, and noninvasive brain stimulation.

Mon, Mar 21, 2022

Closeup photo of green plant parts

Biology Monday Seminar "Plant Form: A Single-Cell Perspective"

4:00 pm Science Center, Lipton Lecture Hall, E110

Magdalena Bezanilla, PhD
E.E. Just Professor of Biology, Dartmouth College

The Bezanilla lab has pioneered the use of the moss Physcomitrium patens as a model system to interrogate how proteins within the cell direct and regulate extracellular matrix deposition, ultimately impacting cell growth and morphogenesis. The lab has particularly focused on the regulation of the cytoskeleton and the intersection between actin and microtubules. In the process, the laboratory has developed such tools as RNA interference (RNAi), quantitative complementation analyses, rapid quantitative growth assays, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing and advanced imaging for use in P. patens to characterize cell growth and development. Using a multidisciplinary approach, recent work has led to detailed models for polarized cell expansion, the influence of calcium and the integration of cytoskeletal systems for directional persistence in growth. Current and future work aims to bring together multiple cell biological fields to determine how the extracellular matrix is patterned culminating in understanding how single cells shape organisms.

Mon, Apr 11, 2022

Biology Monday Seminar: "It Cuts Both Ways: An Annelid Model for the Study of Regeneration"

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall (A011)

Veronica G. Martinez Acosta, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology and Director of the Honors Program at University of the Incarnate Word

My laboratory utilizes a unique invertebrate model, Lumbriculus variegatus, to study wound healing and regeneration within the central nervous system (CNS). Lumbriculus is capable of regenerating an entirely new worm from a fragment that is 1/50th the size of the original animal. Perhaps what sets Lumbriculus apart from other regenerating model systems is the ability to recover neural anatomy, physiology and behavior following injury along any portion of the anterior-posterior body axis. Our overarching laboratory goal is to identify the cellular and molecular events triggered as a result of injury within the CNS which promote regeneration and recovery of function versus deterioration. We have investigated the neuroanatomical and proteomic changes associated with regeneration in Lumbriculus. Current work in the lab focuses on the investigation of regeneration and wound healing using traditional microscopy techniques, including transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy methods; proteomic approaches; and genetic approaches, like hybridization chain reaction. We currently have four major projects underway: the characterization of changes within the nervous system during morphallaxis; stem cell populations utilized during regeneration of epimorphic tissues; changes in myelination associated with the giant fiber axons during regeneration; and photoreception in the posterior most segments of the worm. Overall, we are most interested in determining more precisely the cellular and molecular changes triggered following wound formation in a system that is committed to successful regeneration and recovery of function.

Mon, Apr 25, 2022

Research image relating to neuroimmune responses to space radiation

Biology Monday Seminar: "Neuroimmune Responses to Space Radiation"

4:00 pm Virtual

Dr. Egle Cekanaviciute, Scientist
Space Bioscience Research Branch
NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Egle Cekanaviciute is a principal investigator in the Radiation Biophysics Laboratory in the Space Biosciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center. Her main research interests are understanding and mitigating the neuroimmune and neurovascular impairments caused by deep space radiation, which is a major astronaut health risk in lunar and Mars exploration. Egle develops human organ models to investigate the effects of spaceflight stressors on the brain and the blood-brain barrier, and collaborates with NASA GeneLab on using spatial and single-cell transcriptomics to understand the impact of spaceflight on the brain and other organs in mouse models. In addition, Egle serves as the course director of the NASA STAR program.

Persons from the college community who wish to attend should please register by sending an email request to the biology ADC, Leah Davis.

Registration Required

Mon, May 9, 2022

Biology Honors Thesis Presentations

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall, A011

The Biology Department invites you to come listen and support our Senior Honors Thesis students on Monday, May 9th. Presentations will begin at 4:00 PM in Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall.