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”
Brad’s research focuses on understanding novel molecular mechanisms involved in the pathobiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension

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 14, 21, 28, 2016 – Thesis talks

November 4, 2016 (BIOL 60s Scholar) – Josh Obar, Dartmouth Medical School
“Aspergillus fumigatus strain-specific virulence and inflammation in the respiratory tract”
Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous environmental mold, and even though most individuals are regularly exposed to fungal spores, clinical invasive disease is a rare manifestation. However, in the growing population of individuals with weakened immune systems, for example due to prolonged corticosteroid treatment or chemotherapeutic interventions, A. fumigatus exposure can cause severe invasive disease. It is critical to better understand the host-pathogen interactions after A. fumigatus exposure in order to develop novel treatment options which harness the power of the host’s immune response. We have recently found that different environmental and clinical strains of A. fumigatus lead to different inflammatory profiles as well as different disease pathology. Specifically, strains that are able to germinate more readily within the lung environment are more virulent, and lead to enhanced lung damage, vascular leakage and inflammation. These finding will allow researchers to better understand what fungal component(s) are important in virulence determination, which immune pathways are contributing to the different disease pathologies observed, as well as understand the mechanism through which a healthy immune system can resist A. fumigatus exposure on a daily basis.

February 10, 2017 – TBA

February 24, 2017 (BIOL 60s Scholar) – Alumni Retreat

March 3, 2017 – Jennifer Doudna, Berkeley

March 10, 2017 – Elena Vazey, UMass Amherst

April 7, 2017 – Paul Yancey, Whitman College

April 14, 2017 – Jeremy Fox, University of Calgary

April 21, 2017 – TBA

April 28, 2017 – David Seward ’98,

May 5, 2017 – Thesis Poster Presentations

Previous Years Schedule