Biophysics Seminar

semester, 2019


Thursday, January 24th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
There will be no seminar this week.

Thursday, January 31st 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
There will be no seminar this week.

Thursday, February 7th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker:  Karunya Kandimalla, Associate Professor at Department of Pharmaceutics of the University of Minnesota
Subject: Nanovehicles for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Blood-Brain Barrier Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases

The blood brain barrier (BBB) performs dual functions of restricting the entry of xenobiotics into brain while serving as the major signaling and material trafficking portal between plasma and brain. Moreover, the BBB modulates cerebral blood flow to sustain neuronal activity; handles glucose as well as insulin delivery to brain; and maintains immune and inflammatory communication between periphery and brain. These critical BBB functions are disrupted in neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. We developed therapeutic nanoparticles to detect and treat BBB dysfunction in these diseases.
For successful brain delivery, a nanoparticle must withstand dominant clearance pressure from the peripheral reticuloendothelial system, marginate from the bulk blood flow to the vascular endothelium, permeate the blood-brain-barrier, and accumulate at the target site. In addition to these common challenges, the nanoparticles intended for cerebrovascular targeting must incorporate appropriate design elements to ensure their retention in the cerebral vasculature. Furthermore, a functionally optimized nanoparticle design demands synergistic amalgamation of the physicochemical properties of various components and their intended physiological effects. Strategies developed in our laboratory to surmount these barriers will be discussed in the talk.


Thursday, February 14th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Jiali Gao, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota
Subject: Allosteric Regulation of Biological Function of Photoreceptor proteins

Major light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII) is a photoreceptor protein that regulates energy transfer and dissipation in response to rapid fluctuations of light intensity, directly affecting the efficiency of photosynthesis. In this presentation, I will describe an investigation combining molecular dynamics simulation and temperature-jump time-resolved IR spectroscopy to understand the mechanism of energy dissipation in LHCII. I will illustrate an allosteric regulation of the global protein conformational changes induced by a local conformational transition of random coils into α-helices due to changes of external temperature and acidity. The dynamic motions induce close contacts between the associated luteins (Lut) and photoactivated chlorophyll (Chl) chromophores to facilitate fluorescence quenching. In addition, I will discuss a multistate density functional theory designed to model photochemical and charge transfer processes.


Thursday, February 21st 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Gordon Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, UMN
Subject: Development of large-scale networks in visual cortex.

Sensory perception requires the coordinated activity of tens of thousands of neurons, working together in large-scale networks. As developmental events define and constrain the ultimate capabilities of these networks, it is therefore essential to understand the mechanisms underlying their formation. This talk will present recent work showing that in the developing visual cortex, correlations in spontaneous neural activity define large-scale functional networks with precise local and long-range organization that span millimeters of cortical area. These early networks predict future stimulus-evoked activity well before it can be visually driven, suggesting they form a substrate for building a mature large-scale functional architecture.


Thursday, February 28th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Paul Jardine, Associate Professor, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, UMN
Subject: Using Model Systems to Drive Methods Development – The Tale of a Viral RNA

Model systems serve a critical role in the development of new research methodologies. By their nature, model systems are well defined and therefore present excellent opportunities to extend the resolution, range of application, and rigour of advanced biochemical and biophysical experimental techniques. Given that they are, by definition, some of the simplest living systems, viral model systems have been used to advance all areas of molecular biology and biophysics. Here, I will summarise the experimental history of one small component of a viral force generator nanomotor – the prohead RNA (pRNA) component of the bacteriophage phi29 DNA packaging machine – and illustrate how the study of this molecule has revealed fundamental insight into biological macromolecules. The study of pRNA has contributed to the development of experimental approaches that can be adapted to more complex systems in order to address more complex questions in biological systems.


Thursday, March 7th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
No speaker this week.

Thursday, March 14th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Alexander Grosberg, Department of Physics, NYU
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Vincent Noireaux

Thursday, March 21st 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Spring Break - No speaker this week.

Thursday, March 28th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Jerome C. Mertz, College of Engineering, Boston University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Jochen Mueller

Thursday, April 4th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Sara Walker, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU
Faculty Host: J. Woods Halley

Thursday, April 11th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Mark Sanders, Program Director, University of Minnesota Imaging Centers
Subject: TBD

Thursday, April 18th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Erin Sheets, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Elias Puchner

Thursday, April 25th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Angel Mancebo, School of Physics and Astronomy, UMN (Elias Puchner Lab)
Subject: TBD

Thursday, May 2nd 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: TBD

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