April 2 Brandt Eichman, (Vanderlbilt University)
“New insights into base excision repair of DNA alkylation damage.”
Brandt Eichman is a professor at Vanderbilt University, working in the Biological Sciences Department. His work revolves around DNA damage arising from exposure to environmental toxins and cellular metabolites that thwart DNA replication and leads to genome instability, cell death, and diseases including cancer. Brandt's laboratory uses the tools of structural biology and biochemistry to investigate molecular mechanisms of proteins involved in repairing DNA damage and maintaining replication fork progression. They primarily use X-ray crystallography as a starting point to understand how these proteins recognize and manipulate DNA structure to carry out their particular functions. Current work focuses on base excision repair of DNA alkylation damage by DNA glycosylases, repair of stalled replication forks by structure-specific DNA translocases, and the coordination of DNA unwinding and synthesis during eukaryotic replication. Their long-term goals are to understand the fundamental processes underlying genome maintenance and to develop new therapeutic strategies that target genetic diseases.
April 16 Andres Vazquez - Torres, (University of Colorado)
“Post-translational regulation of SsrB in Salmonella pathogenesis”
Information provided soon.
April 23 David Bernick, (University of California: Santa Cruz)
David Bernick is a project scientist in the Nanopore lab, headed by Mark Akeson, at UC Santa Cruz. He studies life at the extremes of temperature and salt concentration, including both cellular and viral forms. His interest lies in novel proteins encoded by these organisms as well as the many molecular systems that involve small RNA. He make use of high-throughput sequencing for assembling finished genomes, understanding the populations of small RNA - the small-transcriptome, and recently has been using meta-genomic methods to examine the cellular and viral communities present in extreme environmental sites. His laboratory is currently investigating use of comparative meta-genomics and meta-transcriptomic methods to examine hypersaline, hyperthermal and gut communities.May 28 Winifred Frick, (University of California: Santa Cruz)
“Conservation biology of bats in North America - Impacts of disease and pollution”
Winifred Frick is an Assistant Adjunct Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz who studies population ecology and conservation biology. Her work spans a number of broad research topics from pollination ecology to disease ecology as well as an emerging field called aeroecology. Much of her research focuses on bats, but she is broadly interested in species interactions as well as the interface between basic ecology and applied conservation biology. She currently works on an emerging infectious disease of bats, known as White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), that is causing mass mortality of hibernating bats in eastern North America. Her work focuses on understanding the transmission ecology, spatial spread, and population impacts of WNS on hibernating bat populations in North America. In addition, her students are working on microbial interactions on bat skin that may lead to a probiotic treatment of bats affected by WNS.
June 18 Dan Crooks (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
Novel Roles for Iron-Sulfur Clusters in Red Cell Development and Human Disease.
Dan Crooks is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He completed a B.A. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, and an M.S. in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he developed an interest in the roles of metals in cellular processes and in human diseases. Dan completed a doctorate in Biochemistry from Georgetown University, where he studied the molecular mechanisms of cellular iron homeostasis in developing red blood cells and in human mitochondrial myopathy. He is currently pursuing research questions on the tissue specificity and mechanisms of human mitochondrial diseases, and is interested in elucidating common themes in the pathogenesis of diseases caused by defects in intermediary metabolism.