Colloquium Schedule


All colloquia are in TBL 112 at 1:10pm on the dates below (except where noted).

September 9, 2016 – Norm Bell, Safety talk for all students working in labs.  This is mandatory!!

NEW DATE AND TIME!!!  September 15, 2016 @ 6:00 PM – “Strategies for designing and delivering a scientific presentation” (by Luana Maroja, Associate Professor of Biology and Tim Lebestky, Assistant Professor of Biology)
It takes time, effort and skill to design and deliver an engaging scientific talk that audiences understand and remember.  In this one-hour presentation, we will discuss three aspects of designing an outstanding scientific talk: (1) organizing complex scientific information into a clear narrative; (2) using PowerPoint or Keynote software to visually communicate scientific concepts; and (3) improving verbal and nonverbal delivery during a presentation. This seminar is open to anyone and is especially applicable to senior thesis students.

September 16, 2016 – Bruce Beehler, ’74
“North with the Songbirds: The Future of Neotropical Migration in North America”
Bruce Beehler followed the northward spring migration of songbirds from the coast of Texas up the Mississippi valley and then into the vast boreal forests of northern Ontario – the heartland of the breeding ranges of many of these small and colorful species.  The talk, illustrated by many of Beehler’s images, will focus on stories about the people and institutions working to better understand and to effectively conserve this globally important migration system. It will highlight the history and culture of the many little-known rural places that he visited along the way, as well as the special places, dedicated government and non-government workers, and insightful university researchers working on songbird migration and on the conservation of these birds and the places they need to prosper.

Beehler has spent much of his scientific career studying and working to conserve birds and their forest habitats. After conducting doctoral fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Beehler worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, followed by stints at the Wildlife Conservation Society, U.S. Department of State, Counterpart International, Conservation International, and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

September 23, 2016 (BIMO 60s Scholar) – Bradley Maron, M.D., Brigham & Women’s Hospital
“Redox switches in health and human disease”
Dr. Maron is a cardiologist and vascular biologist whose research emphasis involves understanding the contribution of protein cysteinly thiol oxidation to pulmonary vascular disease pathobiology. His recent work demonstrated that aldosterone, which is present at elevated concentrations in the pulmonary arterial circulation of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), increases pulmonary vascular oxidant stress to promote pulmonary vascular dysfunction that is due, in part, to decreased levels of bioavailable nitric oxide. Dr. Maron demonstrated in pulmonary endothelial cells that aldosterone-induced oxidant stress oxidatively modifies three functionally essential endothelin type-B (ETB) receptor cysteines to impair ETB-dependent nitric oxide synthesis in cells in vitro, which was associated with pathological pulmonary vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension in animals in vivo. The identification of an ETB redox “switch” is supported by preliminary clinical data suggesting that pharmacological inhibition of aldosterone may be an under recognized therapy for patients with PAH, and has stimulated several additional on-going avenues of scientific investigation that aim to leverage small molecule inhibitor technology to prevent the adverse of effects of aldosterone-(in)dependent oxidant stress on the redox status of key ETB cysteinyl thiols in order to prevent/attenuate pulmonary vascular dysfunction in PAH by maintaining normal ETB signal transduction.

September 30, 2016 – Elinor Karlsson, UMass Medical, Broad, MIT
“Natural selection, disease, and genome function in humans and dogs”
Ancient natural selection can give new insights into the function – and dysfunction – of human biology, with important implications for medical genomics. We combine evolutionary history with trait association and functional tests to study a range of diseases, from pathogen susceptibility to psychiatric diseases, in diverse species. In humans, infectious diseases are among the strongest selective forces driving recent evolution. One such disease is cholera, which is ancient and endemic in the Ganges River Delta. Using signals of natural selection, we identified genes and pathways implicated in cholera susceptibility in Bangladesh, and developed a model of the innate immune signaling pathways that respond to this infection. We are using the same approach to study psychiatric diseases in dogs, which have been strongly selected for behavioral traits, through our new citizen science dog genetics project Darwin’s Dogs.

October 7, 14, 21, 2016 – Thesis talks (on two of these dates depending on Mt. Day)

November 4, 2016 (BIOL 60s Scholar) – Josh Obar, Dartmouth Medical School

February 10, 2017 – TBA

February 24, 2017 – TBA

March 3, 2017  (BIMO 60s Scholar) – Jennifer Doudna, Berkeley

March 10, 2017 – Elena Vazey, UMass Amherst

April 7, 2017 – Paul Yancey, Whitman College

April 14, 2017Jeremy Fox, University of Calgary

April 21, 2017 – TBA

April 28, 2017 – David Seward ’98,

May 5, 2017 – Thesis Poster Presentations

Previous Years Schedule