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Current Lecture Season

Microbiome: friend and foe

April 3, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Julie Segre, Ph.D., National Human Genome Research Institute

Dr. Segre’s research at NHGRI explores human skin bacterial, fungal and viral communities, enabling studies of alterations associated with pediatric atopic dermatitis, primary immunodeficiency and emerging pathogens. Dr. Segre’s research also focuses on integrating whole genome sequencing of hospital pathogens to track possible nosocomial transmissions. These studies integrate DNA sequence technology, algorithm development and clinical studies to explore the diversity of microbes in and on humans in health and disease.

RNA degradation controls inflammation

April 10, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Shizuo Akira, M.D., Ph.D., Osaka University

Dr. Akira is a director and special appointed professor of Immunology Frontier Research Center. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Osaka University. After two years of postdoctoral working in Department of Immunology, University of California at Berkeley, he started to study on IL-6 gene regulation and signaling in the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University, and cloned transcription factors, NF-IL6(C/EBP beta) and STAT3.

The secret lives of cells

April 24, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Eric Betzig, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

From the 17th through the 19th century, beautifully artistic micrographs of living specimens were inextricably linked to biological discovery. However, for much of the 20th century, optical microscopy took a back seat to the powerful new fields of genetics and biochemistry. Starting in the 1980s, the tables started to turn again, thanks to the widespread availability of computers, lasers, sensitive detectors, and fluorescence labeling techniques.

The biosynthesis of lipoic acid: a saga of death, destruction, and rebirth

May 1, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Squire J. Booker, Ph.D. , The Pennsylvania State University

Research in the Booker Lab focuses on understanding how Nature harnesses the power of radicals to effect kinetically challenging enzymatic reactions, many of which are critical to proper cellular functioning. Much of the lab’s work has centered around the enzymatic use of S-adenosylmethionine and iron-sulfur clusters to generate a 5’-deoxyadenosyl 5’-radical, used as a key intermediate by members of the radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) superfamily to catalyze over 60 different reaction types.

The fast and the furious: mechanisms underlying rapid cell motility

May 7, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Julie Theriot, Ph.D. , University of Washington

Directed crawling motility of animal cell types ranging from neurons to macrophages requires the coordinated force-generating activity of multiple mechanical elements. Much molecular detail is now known about the constituents of some mechanical submachines such as the polymerizing actin network and the adhesion complexes, but it is not yet clear how these elements all work together to generate coherent, directed motion at the level of the whole cell. In order to understand cellular mechanisms of large-scale coordination, the Theriot laboratory works focuses on two extremely fast-moving cell

Getting by with a little help from their friends: how bacteria aid virus infection

May 8, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Julie Pfeiffer, Ph.D. , UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Pfeiffer studies RNA virus evolution, dissemination, pathogenesis, and transmission. Her recent interests include examining the impact of intestinal microbiota on enteric virus infections. Her lab has determined that intestinal bacteria promote replication of several enteric viruses and ongoing work is examining mechanisms and consequences of bacteria-virus interactions. 

Music and the Mind

May 13, 2019
Renée Fleming , Artistic Advisor-at-Large, Kennedy Center

Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, President Obama awarded her America's highest honor for an artist, the National Medal of Arts. She brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014, as the only classical artist ever to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Winner of the 2013 Grammy Award (her fourth) for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Ms. Fleming has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2008 Ms.

A community approach to breast cancer prevention: addressing health disparities

May 15, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Lucile Adams-Campbell, Ph.D., Georgetown University

Dr. Adams-Campbell's areas of research focus on addressing health disparities with particular emphasis on cancers that disproportionately impact African-Americans. Dr. Adams-Campbell's research focuses on lifestyle interventions including physical activity, energy balance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and oral health among minority and underserved populations.

Genes, lifestyle, and risk for heart attack

May 22, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Sekar Kathiresan, M.D. , Harvard Medical School

Dr. Kathiresan leverages human genetics to understand the root causes of heart attack and to improve preventive cardiac care. Among his scientific contributions, Dr. Kathiresan has helped highlight new biological mechanisms underlying heart attack, discovered mutations that protect against heart attack risk, and developed a genetic test for personalized heart attack prevention.

Opioid receptors and brain function

May 29, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Brigitte Kieffer, Ph.D. , Douglas Hospital Research Center

Opiates have been used since thousand years for their remarkable pain-relieving and rewarding properties. Opiates produce their potent effects by activating opioid receptors in the brain, highjacking an endogenous opioid system, which is central to hedonic and mood homeostasis. Recently, revolutions in G protein-coupled receptor research, fascinating developments in basic neuroscience and the rising opioid crisis have propelled opioid receptors back on stage.

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The page was last updated on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 4:07pm