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Rise of the Micromachines: Biology on the Small Scale
by Andrew deMello
(ETH Zürich, Switzerland)
When
16th September 2021
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Andrew deMello (born March 30, 1970) is an British chemist and currently Professor of  Biochemical Engineering at ETH Zürich. He obtained a 1st Class Degree in Chemistry and PhD in Molecular Photophysics from Imperial College London in 1995 and subsequently held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to his arrival in Zürich he was Professor of Chemical Nanosciences and Head of the Nanostructured Materials and Devices Section in the Chemistry Department at Imperial College London.

His group is engaged in a wide range of activities in the general area of microfluidics and nanoscale science. Primary specialisations include the development of microfluidic devices for high-throughput biological experimentation, ultra-sensitive optical detection techniques and point-of-care diagnostics. A key focus of recent research efforts has been the development of droplet-based microfluidic systems for high-throughput biology and the introduction of stroboscopic imaging flow cytometry for high resolution imaging of biological cells at throughputs approaching half a million cells per second.

Science originating from the deMello group has been recognized through a number of international awards, including  the Clifford Paterson Medal from The Royal Society of Great Britain, the Corday Morgan Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Pioneers of Miniaturization Award and the Advances in Measurement Science Lectureship from the American Chemical Society.

Wnt/Frizzled Planar Cell Polarity Signaling in Development and Disease
by Marek Mlodzik
(Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA)
When
18th November 2021
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Marek Mlodzik, PhD is the Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professor and Chairman of the Dept of Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also Professor in the Depts of Oncological Sciences and Ophthalmology, and Full Member of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, Mindich Child Health and Development Institute, Tisch Cancer Institute, and Friedman Brain Institute

Career Development

Marek Mlodzik is a native of Prague, Czech Republic.  After completing his undergraduate and PhD work at the University of Basel, he has been interested in the molecular basis of intercellular communication and signaling since his postdoctoral studies at the University of California at Berkeley.  He initiated his independent research when appointed Group Leader at the EMBL in 1991. Using the Drosophila model system, he has made seminal contributions to several signaling pathways, including EGFR-Ras, Notch, BMP/TGFb and the Wnt signaling pathways.  In 2000, he moved to a Professor position at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and became in 2007 the Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology. He has served as Chairman of the department since its beginning and built it into a diverse assembly of >20 independent and productive research groups (and about 200 persons in total). His work is also closely associated with the Black Family Stem Cell Institute and the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai.

Current Research Focus

In the past 20 years his work focused on the molecular mechanisms of Wnt/PCP (Planar Cell Polarity)-signaling and how this regulates cell polarity and cell migration in development and disease. Most recently the research focus also addresses the role of ciliary proteins in non-ciliated contexts, and the role of the ciliary transport complex (IFT-A) in the cytoplasm and in nuclear translocation of b-catenin.  His research studies also the mechanisms of how the Wnt and Notch signaling pathways interact in normal organogenesis and patterning and disease contexts, including cancer, neural tube closure defects, and ciliopathies.  The Wnt/PCP pathway and Wnt signaling in general are also critical in many stem cell niche interactions and stem cell maintenance.  The Notch signaling pathway shares many of these functions during tissue regeneration and homeostasis.  The lab uses primarily the Drosophila model for in vivo studies and mammalian cell based work for functional biochemical assays. The Mlodzik lab is the leader in Wnt-PCP signaling.

Ongoing research interests include:

  • Investigating the regulatory interactions among the core Wnt/PCP factors and associated cell adhesion behavior
  • Dissecting the process of nuclear translocation of b-catenin in canonical Wnt-signaling
  • Modeling the complex functional behavior of neural tube closure defect patients in PCP establishment in Drosophila
  • Understanding novel regulatory inputs to Notch signaling and associated transcriptional and cytoskeletal read-outs
Role of the antigen receptor in normal and malignant B cell development
by Klaus Rajewsky
(Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine)
When
25th November 2021
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Klaus Rajewsky and collaborators developed a general method of targeted mutagenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells by introducing bacteriophage- and yeast-derived recombination systems, which opened the way for conditional gene targeting. Using this and other methods in their immunological work, they developed, together with N. A. Mitchison and N. K. Jerne, the antigen-bridge model of T-B cell cooperation, identified germinal centers as the sites of antibody somatic hypermutation, the B cell antigen receptor as a survival determinant of B cells, and the germinal center as a major site of human B cell lymphomagenesis, including Hodgkin lymphoma. Over the last years the work of his group has focused on mechanisms of microRNA control, targeted mutagenesis and gene repair in hematopoietic cells including mouse and human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, differentiation and subset determination in B lymphocytes, and the development of mouse models of human B cell lymphomas.

Klaus Rajewsky obtained his medical degree at the University of Frankfurt. After postdoctoral work at the Institut Pasteur in Paris he built an immunology department at the Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, where he stayed for 38 years, was the founding Program Coordinator of the EMBL Mouse Biology Program at Monterotondo near Rome, worked for 10 years at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and is since 2012 Senior Group Leader at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany. He won numerous scientific awards and is a member of several learned societies including the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Art of Building Small
by Ben Feringa
(University of Groningen, Netherlands)
When
17th March 2022
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands under the guidance of Professor Hans Wynberg. After working as a research scientist at Shell in the Netherlands and the UK, he was appointed lecturer and in 1988 full professor at the University of Groningen and named the Jacobus H. van 't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004. He was elected Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. Feringa’s research has been recognized with numerous awards including the Körber European Science Award (2003), the Spinoza Award (2004), the Prelog gold medal (2005), the Norrish Award of the ACS (2007), the Paracelsus medal (2008), the Chirality medal (2009), the RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award (2011), the Humboldt award (2012), the Nagoya gold medal (2013), the ACS Cope Scholar Award (2015), the Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize (2015), the August-Wilhelm-von-Hoffman Medal (2016), The 2016 Nobel prize in Chemistry, the Tetrahedron Prize (2017) and the European Chemistry Gold Medal (2018). In 2019 he was elected as a member of the European Research Council.
Feringa’s research interest includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly, molecular nanosystems and photopharmacology.

Genomic Evolution and Adaptation in Africa
by Sarah Tishkoff
(University of Pennsylvania)
When
14th April 2022
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Sarah Tishkoff is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in Genetics and Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, holding appointments in the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences. She is also the Director of the Penn Center for Global Genomics & Health Equity in the Department of Genetics. 

Dr. Tishkoff studies genomic and phenotypic variation in ethnically diverse Africans. Her research combines field work, laboratory research, and computational methods to examine African population history, the genetic basis of anthropometric, cardiovascular, and immune related traits, and how humans have adapted to diverse environments and diets. 

Dr. Tishkoff is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a recipient of an NIH Pioneer Award, a David and Lucile Packard Career Award, a Burroughs/Wellcome Fund Career Award, the ASHG Curt Stern award, and a Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) endowed chair. She is on the NAS Board of Global Health and the scientific advisory board for the Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering, and is on the editorial boards at Cell, PLOS Genetics, Genome Research and G3 (Genes, Genomes, and Genetics).

Her research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Chan Zuckerberg Institute, and the American Diabetes Association.

 

The Internet of Animals
by Martin Wikelski
(Max Planck Institute for Ornithology; Department of migration and Immuno-Ecology, Germany)
When
28th April 2022
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Martin Wikelski - Director at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Radolfzell; Professor in Biology at the University of Konstanz, Germany

Study of Zoology at the LMU in Munich (1985-1991). PhD at the University of Bielefeld (1994). Postdoc at the University of Washington, Seattle (1995-1998) and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (1996-1998). Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1998-2000) and at Princeton University (2000-2005); then Associate Professor (2005-2008) in Princeton. Since December 2007 Wikelski is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell (which became the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour in 2019). He was Full Professor at the University of Konstanz (2007-2016) and is Honorary Professor since 2016. 

Martin Wikelski is Niko-Tinbergen Laureate of the German Ethological Society (1998) and Bartholomew Laureate of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (2000). In 2008 the National Geographic Society honored him as “Emerging Explorer”, and in 2010 he was designated “Adventurer of the Year” for his leading contribution to the research of global animal migration. He became elected member of the Leopoldina - German national science academy in 2014 and was awarded with the Max Planck Research Award in 2016.

Supramolecular Latch: a New Chemical Tool for Chemistry, Biology and Materials Science
by Kimoon Kim
(Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea)
When
26th May 2022
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Kimoon Kim studied chemistry at Seoul National University (BS, 1976), KAIST (MS, 1978), and Stanford University (PhD, 1986). After two year postdoctoral work at Northwestern University he started his own academic career at Department of Chemistry, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in 1988 where he is now Distinguished University Professor. Since 2012, he has also been director of the Center for Self-assembly and Complexity (CSC), Institute for Basic Science (IBS). His current research focuses on developing novel functional materials and devices based on supramolecular chemistry. In particular, his group has been working on a wide variety of functional materials based on cucurbiturils, a family of pumpkin-shaped macrocyclic molecules, organic or metal-organic porous materials, and self-assembled  nanostructured polymer materials. His work has been recognized by a number of awards including Izatt-Christensen Award (2012).