News and Events

2014-2015 SEMINARS & EVENTS:

Oct. 3, 2014:  Dr. Laura Vandenberg
Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA 
"From hormones to endocrine disruptors: lessons learned (and not learned)" 
Friday October 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm, MBH 216

 "We live in a chemical stew. With tens of thousands of chemicals on the market, human exposures to many compounds are widespread. In fact, scientists have measured hundreds in the human body  - including the bodies of newborns. Some of these chemicals, so-called endocrine disruptors, interfere with the actions of hormones in the body. Research from epidemiology, behavioral sciences, cell biology, environmental health sciences, toxicology, molecular biology and many other fields has contributed to our knowledge about endocrine disruptors. This talk will review some of the latest science - and discuss why public health professionals have struggled to deal with how these chemicals should be tested and regulated. We will also delve into the political arena that surrounds discussions of endocrine disruptors, and whether much of the ongoing controversy is an example of 'manufactured doubt'."  Co-Sponsored by the Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Program in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, and Program in Environmental Studies

Oct. 10, 2014: Julius Lucks,

Biophysics, Cornell University

Oct. 16 & 17, 2014: Dr. Martin Chalfie, Nobel Laureate,
University Professor, Biological Sciences, Columbia University

Public Talk: "GFP: Lighting Up Life"
Thurs Oct 16 at 7:30pm in Dana Auditorium
GFP and other fluorescent proteins have revolutionized biology because they allow scientists to look at the inner workings of living cells. The story of the discovery and development of GFP provides a very nice example of  the importance of basic research on non-traditional organisms and of how scientific progress is often made: through accidental discoveries, the willingness to ignore previous assumptions and take chances, and the combined efforts of many people. 

Science Talk:
"Mechanosensory Transduction and its Modification in C. elegans"
Friday Oct 17 at 12:30pm in MBH 216

Although biologists have known the molecules that allow us to see and smell, they have been much less successful discovering the molecules that sense mechanical signals.  Using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we have identified channel proteins that sense gentle touch and additional mechanisms that change the sensitivity of these mechanosensory channels.  These changes allow the animals to respond differentially to touch under various environmental conditions and to change the priority of sensory signals

SPRING 2015:

Feb. 13, 2015:  Karen Hinkle
Biology Dept, Norwich University 
"Phosphorylation of the SH2 domain of the Src Family Kinase, Fyn: Impacts on Activity and Neuronal Patterning"
12:30pm, Location TBD
The research in my laboratory is focused on investigating cellular and molecular alterations resulting from exposure to environmental toxins.

March 9-10, 2015:  Dr. Carol Greider, Nobel Laureate
Winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine along with Drs. Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak for their discovery of chromosome end protection in the form of telomeres via the enzyme telomerase.  She is currently the Daniel Nathans Professor and Director of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University.

Apr. 24, 2015:  Guy Caldwell
Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama