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Current Lecture Season

Viral Noncoding RNAs: Approaching Answers

September 23, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Joan A. Steitz, Ph.D., Yale University

Noncoding (nc)RNAs play pivotal roles in the regulation of gene expression, but exhibit a diversity of functions whether encoded by cellular or viral genomes. One such ncRNA expressed in cells infected by the oncogenic gamma herpesvirus KSHV is the highly abundant polyadenylated nuclear (PAN) RNA, which is required for production and release of new virus particles.

DaNGeRous Indigestion and Immunity to Cancer

September 30, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Caetano Reis e Sousa, D.Phil., The Francis Crick Institute

The Reis e Sousa lab studies mechanisms involved in sensing infection, cancer, and tissue injury. Work from the lab has helped to define the cells and pathways involved in innate immune detection of RNA viruses, fungi and dead cells.

Human antibody responses to SARS-CoViD-2

October 7, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Michel C. Nussenzweig, M.D., Ph.D. , The Rockefeller University

Dr. Nussenzweig’s laboratory studies the molecular aspects of the immune system’s innate and adaptive responses using a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics. For work on adaptive immunity, he focuses on B lymphocytes and antibodies to HIV-1, while his studies of innate immunity focus on dendritic cells. His work is leading to new antibody-based therapies for infections by HIV and the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, among other viruses.

Translating Thought into Blood Flow in the Brain: Capillaries as Sensors of Neural Activity

October 14, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Mark T. Nelson, Ph.D., University of Vermont

The Nelson laboratory’s research interests include elucidating the mechanisms by which cerebral blood flow is controlled to meet the diverse and ever-changing demands of active neurons and how these mechanisms are disrupted in small vessel disease (SVD)—a major cause of stroke and dementia. Dr.

Therapeutic Opportunities in Glycoscience

October 21, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Ph.D., Stanford University

Cell surface glycans constitute a rich biomolecular dataset that drives both normal and pathological processes. Their “readers” are glycan-binding receptors that can engage in cell-cell interactions and cell signaling. Our research focuses on mechanistic studies of glycan/receptor biology and applications of this knowledge to new therapeutic strategies. Our recent efforts center on pathogenic glycans in the tumor microenvironment and new therapeutic modalities based on the concept of targeted degradation.

Deep and Wide: The Voyage to Discover Local and Global Health Equity

October 28, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Lisa A. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Cooper’s research program examines the effectiveness of multilevel strategies for advancing health equity in the United States and Sub Saharan Africa. She has conducted observational studies to describe attitudinal barriers to equitable health status and health care among patients from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and to elucidate mechanisms, such as the quality of social relationships, for racial and socioeconomic disparities in health status and healthcare.

Gaucher Disease: How a Rare Disease Provides a Window into Common Neurodegenerative Disorders

November 4, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Ellen Sidransky, M.D., National Human Genome Research Institute

Dr. Ellen Sidransky is the Branch Chief of the Medical Genetics Branch and is a pediatrician and geneticist in the National Human Genome Research Institute at National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her research interests include both clinical and basic aspects of Gaucher disease and Parkinson disease, studies of genotype/phenotype correlation and genetic modifiers, insights from mouse models, and novel treatment strategies. She played a lead role in establishing the association between glucocerebrosidase and parkinsonism.

Rethinking General Anesthesia

November 18, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Emery N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

We have established a systems neuroscience (conceptual, experimental, data analysis and modeling) paradigm for studying the mechanisms of general anesthesia-induced loss of consciousness.

Black Spot, Black Death, Black Pearl: the Tales of Bacterial Effectors

January 27, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Kim Orth, Ph.D., UT Southwestern Medical Center

The Orth lab is interested in elucidation the activity of virulence factors from pathogenic bacteria so that we can gain novel molecular insight into eukaryotic signaling systems.

Many virulence factors are secreted by bacteria using a type III secretion system (T3SS) resembling a needle-like structure that efficiently translocates effector proteins from bacteria into the cytosol of a host cell. Effectors have evolved in a manner similar to many of the viral oncogenes; a eukaryotic activity is usurped and modified by the pathogen for its own advantage.

RNA antics in viral drug resistance and host immunosuppression

March 3, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Karla Kirkegaard, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine

The Kirkegaard laboratory deciphers the genetics of RNA viruses and their mammalian hosts, with the goal of suppressing drug resistance and excessive inflammation during viral infections.

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