Archive for the ‘Seminars’ Category

I went to a most useful talk this morning by Stephen Carlton (@LivUniOA) on the Univeristy repository. I had whinged about this as being nearly unusable, but then I jumped in on an early version.

The repository is now useable, though it is quirky. A few lessons from my efforts to update my entries.


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Keeping time

Today, with two days left of the 4th FEBS Advanced Lecture Course on Matrix Pathobiology, Signaling and Molecular Targets, we had a speaker go over time in a big way. This was despite excellent and firm chairing by Renato Iozzo – he had even brought a referee’s whistle, as we didn’t have a bell. I sympathise with Renato, this happened to me a year ago, when I chaired a session at the proteoglycan Gordon conference. (more…)

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LT1 at 1 pm
Prof Dave Allsop from Lancaster University will give a seminar entitled “Protein oligomers as toxins, biomarkers and molecular targets for neurodegenerative disease”

Buffet lunch will be available in the Committee Room from 12 noon.

The formation of fibrillar aggregates from a range of different proteins is a common feature of numerous different ‘protein conformational’ diseases. In these diseases, normally soluble proteins are deposited in the form of insoluble fibrils inside and/or outside of cells. In the systemic amyloidoses, extracellular fibrillar deposits (often called amyloid) can be found in many different tissues and organs throughout the body. Localised deposits are found in some other diseases, such as late-onset diabetes, where they are restricted to the pancreas, and some important neurodegenerative diseases, where they are often found only in the brain. Examples of the latter include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, the prion diseases (e.g. CJD in humans), Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease. David’s  research is concerned with the pathological role of these misfolded proteins, and is focussed mainly on neurodegenerative disease and late-onset (type 2) diabetes.

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Dr Marco Guerrini, Ronzoni Institute, Milan, will deliver a seminar entitled “NMR methods for characterisation of carbohydrate ligand binding” on Monday 12 November, 1 pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Life Sciences Building.

Dr Guerrini’s work, stretching over 25 years, has been concerned with investigating structure and function relationships in glycosaminoglycans. There are a biologically important family of structurally complex polysaccharides, which lie at the heart of many intercellular signalling processes, including those targeted in regenerative medicine and those disrupted in major diseases such as cancers and inflammatory conditions. His work also underpins our understanding of one of the lynchpins of modern medicine, the anticoagulant heparin. Highlights of Marco’s work have included the identification (in 2007-8) of toxic contaminants in pharmaceutical heparin, which had escaped the notice of regulatory authorities and lead to many deaths, and evidence exploding the myth of exquisite specificity in heparin-antithrombin interactions. Dr Guerrini ‘s talk will provide an introduction to this important class of polysaccharides, the principle methods that he uses currently, which are mainly NMR-based, but augmented by other complementary techniques, and will describe detailed structural studies of several interactions in solution. The talk will offer a rare opportunity to hear about interaction studies largely from the perspective of the saccharide ligand, which is often neglected, and will describe approaches that are highly complementary to the structural, functional and systems level studies currently being undertaken in IIB.

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Professor Alan Waggoner, Director, Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center, Carnegie Mellon University
will deliver the autumn Leica seminar on Wednesday 14th November at 5pm
Lecture Theatre 3, Life Sciences Building, with a post lecture reception at 6.15pm in the foyer outside the lecture theatre.

The lecture is free, but if you wish to attend can you let Kate Goodheart (kategf@liverpool.ac.uk) know for catering purposes.

Background information
Dr. Waggoner’s research group creates fluorescence-based detection systems for biology and biotechnology. The cyanine dye fluorescent labelling reagents developed in the laboratory have become widely used in industry and academic research for multicolour analysis of proteins, nucleic acids, cells and tissues by imaging and flow cytometry. The laboratory has participated in a wide range of research projects. As part of a NASA funded project his group produced a panel of fluorescent reagents and an imaging system, which detected sparse microbial life in the extreme environment of the Atacama desert. They are also developing new fluorescent reagents to monitor cellular electrical potential and ion fluxes to study the cardiac function of living mammalian hearts.
Dr. Waggoner is currently leading the Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center into creating a novel sensor unit technology for a broad class of biosensors. He envisions this technology will provide a very powerful, and almost generic, tool for detecting protein interactions on and inside living cells. The sensor units are generated by combining engineered, cell-expressed target-binding proteins and environmentally sensitive fluorescent dyes that report target binding. Multiple sensors can be expressed simultaneously to sensitively and rapidly detect several targets within individual cells.
These sensor units are being incorporated into intracellular sensors, sensor particles and optical fibre sensors for interstitial spaces in tissues, sensors on chips for in vitro assays, and sensors for high throughput automated homogeneous assays in pharmaceutical drug discovery.

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Professor Quentin Pankhurst, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University College London, will present the upcoming Fröhlich lecture on

“Biomedical Applications of Magnetic Nanoparticles”

16.00 Wednesday 24th October 2012
Rotblat Lecture Theatre, Chadwick Building

Refreshments will be served at 15.45 outside the lecture theatres

The Fröhlich Lectures are presentations by research leaders which are intended to be accessible to a general audience at the advanced undergraduate level.

‘Healthcare Biomagnetics’ – the sensing, moving and heating of magnetic nanoparticles in vitro or in the human body – is a rapidly changing field that is attracting interest worldwide. It offers the potential to develop safe and convenient alternatives for a diverse range of therapeutic and diagnostic healthcare applications, using injectable materials of proven safety and reliability. In doing so, it makes use of the three fundamental ‘action-at-a-distance’ properties of magnetic materials – their ability to act as remote sensors, mechanical actuators, and heat sources.

The versatility of the field is leading to the emergence of multi-modal applications, combining two or more of the sensing-moving-heating properties in the same product. Similarly, certain applications are now entering or are close to beginning Phase I/II clinical trials, or in the case of in vitro products, are already in the marketplace. Pertinent examples of work in the fields of targeted delivery of drugs and other therapeutic agents, and others, will be presented and discussed.

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Autumn lab meetings start up soon

The Autumn-Winter lab meetings will start up soon, October 9. The only proviso is that the Orbit booking system allows us to book a room.

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Prof Uwe Straehle from the Karslruhe Institute of Technology will deliver a seminar entitled “The zebrafish as a model for development and maintenance of the nervous system and the musculature”at 2 pm on Thursday August 30 in LT3, Life Sciences Building.

Uwe Straehle works on the regeneration of the muscular and nervous systems in zebrafish. A major focus of his work is the elucidation of the genetic networks controlling the differentiation, function and responses to environmental insults of these tissues.

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Leica Scientific Forum

Dr. Kees Jalink, Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI-AVL), Amsterdam, NL will be giving a seminar entitled

“Zooming in on signal transduction by FRET – How to optimize a FRET sensor… and how to use it” on

Tuesday 10th July at 5pm

Lecture Theatre 1, Sherrington Building, with a post lecture reception at 6.15pm in the foyer outside the lecture theatre.

This is particularly relevant to those interested in signaling and measuring how the interactions of molecules impacts on signallling.  More details on Dr. Kees Jalink’s website.

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Prof. Guy Benian from Emory University will be giving a seminar on Tuesday 19 June, 12.30 in LT2, Life Sciences Building on “Using C. elegans to study the structure and function of giant cytoskeletal proteins in muscle”.
This promises to be a great mix of structure and function.

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