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Current Lecture Season

SMART Biosensors: A New Modality to Objectively Quantify Pain

January 6, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Omowunmi “Wunmi” Sadik, Ph.D., New Jersey Institute of Technology

Dr. Sadik is a Distinguished Professor and Chair in the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at the New Jersey Institutes of Technology (NJIT). Until recently, Sadik was a Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Research in Advanced Sensing Technologies & Environmental Sustainability at SUNY-Binghamton. She has held appointments at Harvard University, Cornell University, and the Naval Research Laboratory.

Fueling the Next Genomic Revolution: Maximizing the Impact of Bacterial, Human, and Human Metagenome Genomic Knowledge and Technology (Panel Discussion)

January 13, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Francis Collins (moderator), Claire M. Fraser, Eric S. Lander, & Charles Rotimi, Multiple affiliations

This lecture and panel discussion will be led by Dr. Francis Collins and will feature Dr. Eric Lander, President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dr. Claire Fraser, Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland, and Dr. Charles Rotimi, Chief of the Metabolic, Cardiovascular and Inflammatory Disease Genomics Branch at NHGRI. Dr.

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.

Design for Inference: from Cells to Circuits in Biology

February 3, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Aviv Regev, Ph.D. , Broad Institute

Aviv Regev, a computational and systems biologist, is a professor of biology at MIT, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Chair of the Faculty and the director of the Klarman Cell Observatory and Cell Circuits Program at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and co-chair of the organizing committee for the international Human Cell Atlas project. She studies the molecular circuitry that governs the function of mammalian cells in health and disease and has pioneered many leading experimental and computational methods for the reconstruction of circuits, including in single-cel

Epidemiology of Cognitive Aging: Why Observational Studies Still Matter

February 10, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Kristine Yaffe, M.D., University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Yaffe's research focuses on the epidemiology of dementia and cognitive aging. As the principal investigator of multiple grants from the NIH, Department of Defense, and several foundations, she is a leading expert in the modifiable risk factors of dementia, and she has published over 500 peer-reviewed articles (H-index=130; recognized by Clarivate Analytics as one of the most highly cited researchers in her field). Dr.

Peering Beyond the Blindspot Seeking Authentic Risk Factors: A Case Study

February 17, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Eve Higginbotham, S.M., M.D., M.L., University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Eve Higginbotham is the inaugural Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, a position she assumed on August 1, 2013. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the immediate past president of the AΩA Medical Honor Society and currently serves on the National Academy of Medicine Council and the National Research Council Board. Dr.

Colliding Ribosomes Function as a Sentinel for Cellular Distress

February 24, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Rachel Green, Ph.D., John Hopkins School of Medicine

Rachel Green began her scientific career majoring in chemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Her doctoral work was performed at Harvard in the laboratory of Jack Szostak where she studied RNA enzymes and developed methodologies for evolving RNAs in vitro. She came to the JHU School of Medicine in 1998 following post-doctoral work in Harry Noller’s lab at UC Santa Cruz where she began her work on ribosomes. Her laboratory is interested in deciphering the molecular mechanisms that are at the heart of protein synthesis and its regulation across biology.

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.

Phage Therapy to Combat Infections by Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

March 10, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Paul E. Turner, Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine

Increasing prevalence and severity of multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections require novel management strategies. One possible strategy is a renewed approach to ‘phage therapy,’ where these administered viruses not only kill the target bacteria, but also predictably select for phage resistance that reduces virulence and/or increases antibiotic sensitivity (evolutionary trade-offs).

These Viruses Are Forever: Consequences of Retroviral DNA Integration to Aids and Evolution

March 16, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
John Coffin, PhD, Tufts University

Our research interests revolve around obtaining a better understanding of the interaction of retroviruses with their host cells and organisms. We use simple retroviruses (avian and murine viruses) as well as HIV to elucidate the nature of the retrovirus-receptor interaction; control of viral gene expression; mechanism of retroviral genetic variation; and evolution of the host-virus relationship, as revealed by the fossil record provided by endogenous proviruses found in the normal DNA of all vertebrates and many other species.

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