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Monday, September 17, 2018

Mon, Sep 17, 2018

Holda Anagho ’14 wearing a black shirt, standing in front of green foliage and smiling

Biology Monday Seminar: "Uukuniemi Virus Entry and Fusion in Mammalian Cells" with Holda Anagho '14

Holda Anagho ’14 is a doctoral student in infection biology at Hannover Medical School in Germany, where she studies interactions between Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) and host cells in the lab of Professor Thomas von Hahn, M.D. At Amherst, she majored in biology, where she first became excited about research after a summer internship in Professor Caroline Goutte’s lab. While at Amherst, she also took several German language courses and served as president of the German theme house. After graduation, she spent a year as a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, where she conducted research on the effects of immunomodulatory drugs in primary effusion lymphoma, caused by Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) in the lab of Dr. Robert Yarchoan '71, M.D. There she first became interested in viruses. With generous support from Amherst College through the Kellogg Fellowship, she enrolled in the master's program in molecular biosciences at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, where she majored in infectious diseases. She did her master's thesis research in the lab of Dr. Pierre-Yves Lozach on entry and fusion of the Uukuniemi phlebovirus (UUKV) in mammalian cells. UUKV is an arthropod-borne virus closely related to emerging viruses that are highly pathogenic to humans, including Rift Valley fever virus, Heartland virus and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. UUKV, which is nonpathogenic to humans, is therefore used as a model system to study its more pathogenic counterparts.

UUKV is closely related to emerging pathogenic viruses in the Phenuiviridae family that cause severe and sometimes fatal disease in humans, animals and plants. To release its viral genome into a cell, Uukuniemi virus must fuse its viral membrane with the host cell membrane. Fusion of the UUKV membrane is mediated by the viral Glycoprotein C (GC), which is thought to be a class II fusion protein. We aimed to characterize mechanisms of UUKV fusion in mammalian cells. To this end, we analyzed the effect of low pH on virus binding and entry, conducted functional studies of UUKV GC mutants to analyze effects on viral fusion, and tested peptides corresponding to regions of the GC ectodomain for their ability to inhibit viral entry.

Poster featuring lecture information on stripes of orange over a background sketch of a Chinese scholar

"Trying Not to Try: Ancient China, Modern Science and the Power of Spontaneity"

Edward Slingerland is Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, with associate appointments in philosophy and psychology. His research specialties and teaching interests include early Chinese thought, religious studies, cognitive linguistics, ethics, and the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences. His publications include several academic monographs and edited volumes and approximately 30 refereed articles in top journals in a wide variety of fields.

Many early Chinese thinkers had as their spiritual ideal the state of wu-wei, or effortless action. By advocating spontaneity as an explicit moral and religious goal, they inevitably involved themselves in the paradox of wu-wei—the problem of how one can try not to try—which later became one of the central tensions in East Asian religious thought. In this talk, Slingerland will look at the paradox from both an early Chinese and a contemporary perspective, drawing upon work in economics, social psychology, cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary theory to argue that this paradox is a real one, and is moreover intimately tied up with cooperation dilemmas in large-scale societies and concerns about trust and moral hypocrisy.

The public is welcome. Refreshments and meet-and-greet will follow the lecture.

Ongoing Events

Dave Gloman painting

Re-presenting Nonotuck: The Landscape Paintings of Hitchcock and Gloman

until Oct 29 Frost Library, Mezzanine Gallery

Professor David Gloman has partnered with Kurt Heidinger, director of the Biocitizen School, to create an art event that inspires the public to imagine the unique biocultural character of the Nonotuck biome (also known as the central Connecticut River Valley) by “re-presenting” the landscapes that Orra Hitchcock depicted in the mid 19th century. Professor Gloman has located the sites where they were painted and created his own painted landscape portraits of those sites. View Gloman and Hitchcock's illustrations together in Frost Library's Mezzanine Gallery from September 4 - October 29.

The opening reception will be on September 27 from 4:30 - 6 p.m. in the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (2nd Floor, Frost Library).

Lisa McCarty, Louisa May Alcott’s Desk, Orchard House, 2015. Image courtesy of the artist.

Transcendental Concord: Photographs by Lisa McCarty, on view in the Eli Marsh Gallery Sept. 10–Oct. 12

until Oct 12 Fayerweather Hall, 105: Eli Marsh Gallery

Transcendental Concord: Photographs by Lisa McCarty documents the spirit of Transcendentalism, the 19th-century philosophical movement that embraced idealism, communal living and reverence for the natural world in the face of growing industrialization and inhumanity.