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Monday, October 28, 2019

Mon, Oct 28, 2019

Deby Katz '04 of Carnegie Mellon University: “Ensuring Software Quality in Complex Settings”

Abstract: Software runs many things in our lives and our society. It’s important that software running vital systems works as intended, but ensuring that software works as intended can be a surprisingly difficult task. In this talk, Katz will introduce some of the techniques that software researchers and professionals use to ensure software quality. She will also examine some well-known software failures: why they happened and how they were missed. She will discuss some of her work, including work with finding bugs in robotics and autonomous vehicle software.

Headshot of Omar Quintero wearing a white collared shirt and smiling

Biology Monday Seminar: “More Than a Meme: How Studying Mitochondrial Motility with Undergraduates Has Been the Powerhouse of My Career”

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall A011

Omar Quintero, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Richmond, will deliver a seminar titled “More Than a Meme: How Studying Mitochondrial Motility with Undergraduates Has Been the Powerhouse of My Career.”

The goal of Quintero lab (Q-lab) is to investigate the functional, enzymatic and biochemical properties of myosin-XIX (MYO19), an uncharacterized class of myosin motor involved in mitochondrial dynamics. Specifically, we are currently using cell-based quantitative microscopy assays to determine the roles that MYO19 plays in normal cellular function. Using transient siRNA interference, we recently demonstrated that loss of MYO19 results in cell division defects including cytokinesis failure and asymmetric distribution of mitochondria in the two daughter cells. Using lentiviral approaches, we have generated cell lines stably expressing shRNA against MYO19 and are currently assaying these different cell types for changes in mitochondrial activity, motile behavior and differentiation when levels of MYO19 are decreased. We are also currently using in vitro biochemistry approaches, including transient kinetics assays and motility assays, to determine the rate and equilibrium constants and motility properties of the MYO19 motor domain (collaboration with Eva Forgacs at Eastern Virginia Medical School). By focusing specifically on the role of “conserved sequence differences” specific to class XIX myosins, our goal is to better understand MYO19 function specifically, and better understand myosin mechanochemistry in general. As MYO19 interacts with mitochondria via a novel, uncharacterized MYO19/mitochondrial outer membrane association domain (MyMOMA), we have used bioinformatics analysis and mutational analysis to identify specific sequences within the MyMOMA domain required for mitochondrial binding. Our most recent publication ( used proteomics approaches to identify proteins that interact with MYO19. The proteomics work is with the support of Ben Major at UNC-Chapel Hill. As University of Richmond is a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI) with no graduate programs, nearly all of this work was completed by undergraduates. One of the driving principles of the Q-lab is the idea that fundamental research practice is excellent training for future researchers and future doctors, as well as for a well-informed citizenry.

"The Cancer Journals: Revisited": A Screening and Conversation with Filmmaker Lana Lin

A poetic, experimental rumination on Audre Lorde’s memoir The Cancer Journals read aloud and responded to by a chorus of people, including current and former breast cancer patients. The stories they share are candid, cathartic messages about what it means to be a Person of Color Living with illness in American society.
This event is free and open to the public.
Keefe 008 is located in the basement of Keefe Campus Center and is wheelchair-accessible. Volunteers will be present to guide visitors to the venue via elevator or stairs. Seating is auditorium-style; space will be cleared for wheelchairs.
Sponsored by the Language and Literary Fund of Amherst College.
Please contact to request captions or live audio description by a student volunteer or to discuss any other accessibility concerns. For more accessibility information, please visit