Seminars

Upcoming Seminars / Seminars This Week

Mon 11/11/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Neurobiology Journal Club
Andrea Stacy (Van Hooser Lab)
Inception of memories that guide vocal learning in the songbird

Mon 11/11/19 3:40 pmGerstenzang 121
Chemistry Department Colloquium
Sean Brady (Rockfeller University )
Watch Your Step, There Is New Chemistry Everywhere
Hosted by Liz Hedstrom

Tue 11/12/19 11 amAbelson 307
String Theory Seminar
Jennie Traschen (UMass Amherst)
The Schottky Anomaly of de Sitter Black Holes
Black holes with Λ > 0 (SdS) have fascinating properties that are distinct from the asymptotically flat or AdS cases, starting with the fact that there are two horizons in the spacetime, one black hole and one cosmological. The two horizons have different temperatures and the total gravitational entropy is the sum of the horizon areas. As a result, both the mass M and entropy S are bounded between minimum and maximum values. Intriguingly, there is an extremum in the specific heat δM/δTb as well as in the curve δS/δTb, which resemble the Schottky anomaly of a two level system in statistical mechanics. In this talk we investigate classical and quantum mechanical features of SdS thermodynamics that make it resemble the physics of a paramagnet. We start by showing that the Schottky behavior is to be expected for classical fluctuations based on the first laws for SdS black holes. Second, we present calculations of black hole and cosmological particle production in SdS and find that the quantum fluctuations share the behavior of classical ones.
Hosted by HEGT Group

Tue 11/12/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 121
M.R. Bauer Colloquium Series
Nenad Sestan (Yale School of Medicine )
Building the Human Neocortex: Molecular Logic of Neural Circuit Formation and Evolution
Hosted by Sacha Nelson

Tue 11/12/19 2 pmGoldsmith 317
Topology Seminar
JungHwan Park ( Georgia Tech )
Isotopy and equivalence of knots in 3-manifolds
It is a well-known and often used fact that the notions of (ambient) isotopy and equivalence coincide for knots in S^3, since any orientation-preserving homeomorphism of S^3 is isotopic to the identity. We compare the notions of equivalence and isotopy for knots in more general 3-manifolds. We show that any orientation-preserving homeomorphism of a prime, oriented 3-manifold which preserves free homotopy classes is isotopic to the identity, except in the single case of the Gluck twist acting on S^1xS^2. We give infinitely many examples of knots in S^1xS^2 whose isotopy classes are changed by a Gluck twist. This is joint work with Paolo Aceto, Corey Bregman, Christopher Davis, and Arunima Ray.
Hosted by Profs. Daniel Ruberman, Ruth Charney and Kiyoshi Igusa

Tue 11/12/19 3:30 pmGoldsmith 226
Combinatorics Seminar
Changxin Ding (Brandeis)
An introduction to Hodge Theory in Combinatorics
In 1968, Read conjectured that for any graph, the sequence of absolute values of coefficients of the chromatic polynomial is unimodal: it goes up, hits a peak, and then goes down. It was then generalized to the conjecture that the coefficients of the characteristic polynomial of any matroid form a log-concave sequence. In 2015, Adiprasito, Huh, and Katz developed the combinatorial analogues of the hard Lefschetz theorem and Hodge-Riemann relations in algebraic geometry and then resolved the general case. In this talk, I will introduce their work.
Hosted by Prof. Olivier Bernardi and Duncan Levear

Tue 11/12/19 4 pmAbelson 131
Physics Department Colloquium
Adam Zlotnick (Indiana University)
Virus biophysics as a basis for developing Hepatitis B Virus-specific antivirals
Many viruses have an icosahedral shell, or capsid, that spontaneously assembles from dozens to hundreds of subunits. We argue that identifying mechanisms for dysregulating assembly may be an effective way to engineer direct-acting antivirals. Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) has an icosahedral capsid constructed from 120 dimeric subunits. We observe that assembly of purified protein follows the characteristics predicted by computational assembly models: weak interaction energy between multivalent subunits and assembly kinetics limited by allosteric regulation lead to accumulation of few intermediates and many capsids. However, assembly can be thrown off track by strengthening association energy, leading to kinetically trapped intermediates and defective particles. We use our understanding of assembly to identify small molecules, putative drugs, to accelerate and misdirect HBV capsid assembly. These molecules lead to over-initiation of assembly, poor geometry between subunits, and failure to form regular capsids in the test tube. They appear to lead to the same defects and suppress virus production in vivo. The path laid out theoretically and in practice with HBV should be applicable to many other viruses.
Hosted by Michael Hagan

Wed 11/13/19 1 pmGerstenzang 124
Special Seminar
Giorgio Gilestro (Imperial College London)
Sleep homeostasis: need or greed?
Hosted by Sebastian Kadener

Wed 11/13/19 2 pmAbelson 131
Thesis Seminar (Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics)
Jason Matos (Oprian Lab)
Mechanistic Insight into Terpene Synthases and Their Useful Applications

Thu 11/14/19 11 amVolen 201
Computational Neuroscience Journal Club
Jonathan Touboul (Brandeis University)
Improving information processing and alleviating symptoms in Parkinson’s disease by stimulation of cortical neurons
Pizza will be served

Thu 11/14/19 11 amGoldsmith 300
Joint Dynamic and Number theory and Everytopic seminar
Claire Burrin (Rutgers University)
Discrete lattice orbits in the plane
Take a lattice in SL(2,R) and let it act linearly on the plane. Its orbits will be either discrete or dense. If we take a discrete lattice orbit; how are its points distributed in the plane? We will see examples, illustrate what makes this question challenging, and what can be said using some ideas from number theory. The latter bit is based on recent work with Amos Nevo, Rene Rühr, and Barak Weiss.

Thu 11/14/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Molecular Genetics Journal Club
Michela Zaffagni (Kadener Lab)
Synaptic proximity enables NMDAR signalling to promote brain metastasis
Thalia Sass (Lovett Lab)
The tardigrade damage suppressor protein binds to nucleosomes and protects DNA from hydroxyl radicals

Thu 11/14/19 4 pmAbelson 229
MRSEC Seminar
Neel Joshi (Wyss Institute at Harvard University)
Biologically fabricated materials from engineered microbes
The intersection between synthetic biology and materials science is an underexplored area with great potential to positively affect our daily lives, with applications ranging from manufacturing to medicine. My group is interested in harnessing the biosynthetic potential of microbes, not only as factories for the production of raw materials, but as fabrication plants that can orchestrate the assembly of complex functional materials. We call this approach "biologically fabricated materials", a process whose goal is to genetically program microbes to assemble materials from biomolecular building blocks without the need for time consuming and expensive purification protocols or specialized equipment. Accordingly, we have developed Biofilm Integrated Nanofiber Display (BIND), which relies on the biologically directed assembly of biofilm matrix proteins of the curli system in E. coli. We demonstrate that bacterial cells can be programmed to synthesize a range of functional materials with straightforward genetic engineering techniques. The resulting materials are highly customizable and easy to fabricate, and we are investigating their use for practical uses ranging from bioremediation to engineered therapeutic probiotics. Another project in the group focuses on interfacing yeast cells with light harvesting nanoparticles to create inorganic-biohybrids with light-driven enhanced metabolic output.
Hosted by John Berezney

Thu 11/14/19 4 pmAbelson 333
Dark Universe Seminar
Wenqin Xu (University of South Dakota)
Understanding the Nature of Neutrinos via Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay
Hosted by Bjoern Penning and Marcelle Soares-Santos

Fri 11/15/19 11:15 amRosenstiel 118
Biochemistry-Biophysics Friday Lunchtime Pizza Talks
Michael T. Laub (MIT)
Specificity and Evolution of Protein-Protein Interactions
Hosted by Douglas Theobald

Fri 11/15/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 123
Molecular and Cell Biology & Neuroscience Student Seminars
Tatevik Sarkissian (Garrity Lab)
Travis Rogers (Sengupta Lab)
Pizza will be served

Sun 11/17/19 1 pmSchwartz Auditorium
Special Seminar (Oscillators: Chemicals, Neurons and People: A celebration of Eve Marder, Irv Epstein and the Volen Center for Complex Systems )
Leslie Griffith (Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Opening Remarks

Sun 11/17/19 1:30 pmSchwartz Auditorium
Special Seminar ("Oscillators: Chemicals, Neurons and People: A celebration of Eve Marder, Irv Epstein and the Volen Center for Complex Systems”)
Gina Turrigiano (Moderator) (Joseph Levitan Professor of Vision Science)
Panel Discussion: Oscillators: Chemicals, Neurons and People
Jorge Golowasch (Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology)
Nancy Kopell (Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University)
Horacio Rotstein (Professor of Mathematical Biology & Computational Neuroscience, Department of Biological Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology)
Frances Skinner (Senior Scientist, Krembil Research Institute and Professor, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine and Department of Physiology, University of Toronto)

Sun 11/17/19 3 pmSchwartz Auditorium
Special Seminar ("Oscillators: Chemicals, Neurons and People: A celebration of Eve Marder, Irv Epstein and the Volen Center for Complex Systems”)
Irving Epstein (Henry F. Fischbach University Professor of Chemistry)
How I Wandered into an Oscillatory State

Sun 11/17/19 4 pmSchwartz Auditorium
Special Seminar ("Oscillators: Chemicals, Neurons and People: A celebration of Eve Marder, Irv Epstein and the Volen Center for Complex Systems”)
Eve Marder (Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield University Professor of Neuroscience)
The Challenges Posed by Neuronal Oscillators that are both Stable and Plastic

Mon 11/18/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Neurobiology Journal Club
Bradly Stone (Katz Lab)
Amygdala ensembles encode behavioral states
Emmanuel Rivera-Rodriguez (Griffith Lab)
A small number of cholinergic neurons mediate hyperaggression in female Drosophila

Mon 11/18/19 3:40 pmGerstenzang 121
Chemistry Department Colloquium
Kurt Zilm
Hosted by Klaus Schmidt-Rohr

Tue 11/19/19 11 amAbelson 307
String Theory Seminar
Juan Pedraza (University of Amsterdam)
TBA
Hosted by HEGT Group

Tue 11/19/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 121
Joint Biology/Neuroscience Colloquium
Elissa Hallem (UCLA)
Host-seeking behaviors of skin-penetrating nematodes
Hosted by Piali Sengupta

Tue 11/19/19 2 pmGoldsmith 317
Topology Seminar
Maggie Miller (Princeton University)
Dehn surgery on links and the Thurston norm
Let $L$ be a multiple-component link in a rational homology sphere $Y$ with nonzero linking numbers. Let $S$ be a surface properly embedded in $Y-N(L)$ which is minimum-genus in its relative homology class. We may obtain a closed surface $\hat{S}$ by Dehn-surgering each component of $L$ according to $\partial S$ and capping off. After some exposition on sutured manifolds, foliations, and some interesting moves one can do on each, I will show that for "most" choices of $[S]$ (this "most" can be stated precisely), $\hat{S}$ is also minimum-genus, and discuss some examples where it is not. The proof is constructive; we find a taut foliation in the surgered manifold achieving $\hat{S}$ as a leaf. This is analogous to Gabai's proof of the property R conjecture, and is inspired by his methods.
Hosted by Profs. Daniel Ruberman, Ruth Charney and Kiyoshi Igusa

Tue 11/19/19 4 pmAbelson 131
Physics Department Colloquium
Phiala Shanahan (MIT)
TBA
Hosted by Matthew Headrick

Thu 11/21/19 11 amVolen 201
Computational Neuroscience Journal Club
Kanaka Rajan (Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai)
TBA
Pizza will be served.
Hosted by Paul Miller

Thu 11/21/19 12 noonLurias, Hassenfeld Conference Center
Psychology Department Colloquium
Dr. Allison Adcock (Duke)
TBD
Hosted by Dr. Anne Berry

Thu 11/21/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Molecular Genetics Journal Club
TBA
TBA

Thu 11/21/19 4 pmAbelson 229
MRSEC Seminar
Prabhu Nott (Indian Institute of Science)
Coherent force transmission in disordered particle media, and its relation to macroscopic mechanics
Static and flowing granular materials are ubiquitous in nature and industry, but our understanding of their mechanics lags far behind that of fluids. In a densely packed state, granular materials (and other athermal particle aggregates) transmit stress in a manner that belies their microstructural disorder -- a subset of the particle contact network is strikingly coherent, wherein contacts are aligned nearly linearly and transmit large forces. The origin of these "force chains" has long been a puzzle. In this talk I will attempt to convey the findings of recent studies in my group, wherein we have used cluster linearity as a network connectivity measure to classify subnetworks of connected contacts. In static granular assemblies and in steady shear, we find a percolation transition at a critical linearity at which the network is sparse, coherent, and contains the force chains. The subnetwork at critical linearity explains some important experimentally observed features of granular materials: the orientation of the clusters strongly reflects the imposed macroscopic stress, and explains distinctive, even anomalous, features of the stress in granular columns. I will end by connecting our findings to some current questions on constitutive models for granular flow, and the statistics of granular packings.
Hosted by John Berezney

Thu 11/21/19 4 pmAbelson 333
Dark Universe Seminar
TBA
Hosted by Bjoern Penning and Marcelle Soares-Santos

Fri 11/22/19 11:15 amRosenstiel 118
Biochemistry-Biophysics Friday Lunchtime Pizza Talks
Christopher Bahl (Institute for Protein Innovation, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School)
de novo design of G protein mimetics: generalizable tools for allosteric control of G protein-coupled receptors
Hosted by Timothy Street

Fri 11/22/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 123
Molecular and Cell Biology & Neuroscience Student Seminars
Hillary Rodgers (Marder Lab)
Benjamin Ballintyn (Miller Lab)
Pizza will be served.

Mon 11/25/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Neurobiology Journal Club
Ryan Young (Jadhav Lab)
Raul Ramos (Turrigiano Lab)

Mon 11/25/19 3:40 pmGerstenzang 121
Chemistry Department Colloquium
Gregory Tew (Umass Amherst)
Macromolecular Mimics of Natural Proteins Enables Antibody Delivery and Novel Networks
Hosted by Klaus Schmidt-Rohr

Tue 11/26/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 121
Joint Biology/Neuroscience Colloquium
David Shore (Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva (iGE3))
Fork Pausing/Protection Complex engages topoisomerases I and II at the replisome
Hosted by Jim Haber

Thu 11/28/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Molecular Genetics Journal Club
NO MGJC - THANKSGIVING

Fri 11/29/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 123
Molecular and Cell Biology & Neuroscience Student Seminars
NO SEMINAR - THANKSGIVING BREAK

Mon 12/2/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Neurobiology Journal Club
Hillary Rodgers (Marder Lab)
Wenbo Tang (Jadhav Lab)

Tue 12/3/19 11 amAbelson 307
String Theory Seminar
Mark Hertzberg (Tufts University)
TBA
Hosted by HEGT Group

Tue 12/3/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 121
Joint Biology/Neuroscience Colloquium (GTG Student Speaker)
Stefani Spranger (Assistant Professor of Biology (MIT) Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT Associate Member Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard )
Impact of tumor-resident DC on anti-tumor immunity
Hosted by GTG Students

Tue 12/3/19 4 pmAbelson 131
Physics Department Colloquium
Alain Karma (Northeastern University)
TBA
Hosted by Guillaume Duclos

Thu 12/5/19 12 noonLurias, Hassenfeld Conference Center
Psychology Department Colloquium
Anne Krendl (Indiana University)
TBD
Hosted by Angela Gutchess

Thu 12/5/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Molecular Genetics Journal Club
TBA
TBA

Thu 12/5/19 4 pmAbelson 333
Dark Universe Seminar
TBA
Hosted by Bjoern Penning and Marcelle Soares-Santos

Thu 12/5/19 4 pmAbelson 229
Joint MRSEC/Math Department Colloquium
Jun Allard (UC Irvine)
TBA
Hosted by Prof. Thomas Fai

Fri 12/6/19 11:15 amRosenstiel 118
Biochemistry-Biophysics Friday Lunchtime Pizza Talks
Alexei Korennykh (Princeton University)
Structural Mechanisms of Innate Immune and Circadian Pathways
Hosted by Niels Bradshaw

Fri 12/6/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 123
Molecular and Cell Biology & Neuroscience Student Seminars
Nikita Alimov (Goode Lab)
Aishwarya Krishnamoorthy (Kadener Lab)
Pizza will be served.

Mon 12/9/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Neurobiology Journal Club
Larry Abbott (Columbia University)

Tue 12/10/19 11 amAbelson 307
String Theory Seminar
Hong Liu (MIT)
TBA
Hosted by HEGT Group

Tue 12/10/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 121
M.R. Bauer Distinguished Guest Lecture Series
Larry Abbott (Columbia University)
TBA
Hosted by Gina Turrigiano and Eve Marder

Tue 12/10/19 4 pmAbelson 131
Physics Department Colloquium
Emanuela Del Gado (Georgetown University)
TBA
Hosted by Bulbul Chakraborty

Thu 12/12/19 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Molecular Genetics Journal Club
NO MGJC - FINALS

Fri 12/13/19 11:15 amRosenstiel 118
Biochemistry-Biophysics Friday Lunchtime Pizza Talks
Aimee Shen (Tufts University)
Waking the Dead: Spore Germination in Clostridioides difficile
Hosted by Niels Bradshaw

Fri 12/13/19 12:30 pmGerstenzang 123
Molecular and Cell Biology & Neuroscience Student Seminars
NO PIZZA TALK - FINALS

Mon 1/13/20 12 noon
Neurobiology Journal Club
TBA (Neuro fac candidate)

Tue 1/14/20 12:30 pmGerstenzang 121
Joint Biology/Neuroscience Colloquium
Steve Liberles (Harvard University)
TBA
Hosted by Paul Garrity

Tue 1/14/20 4 pmAbelson 131
Physics Department Colloquium
TBA

Fri 1/17/20 12:30 pmGerstenzang 123
Molecular and Cell Biology & Neuroscience Student Seminars
Juliet Bottorff (Turrigiano Lab)
Becca Fleming (Lee Lab)
Pizza will be served.

Mon 1/20/20 12 noon
Neurobiology Journal Club
NO NEURO JC - BRANDEIS HOLIDAY

Tue 1/21/20 12:30 pmGerstenzang 121
Joint Biology/Neuroscience Colloquium (Distinguished Life Science Speaker)
Daniel Durocher (University of Toronto )
TBA
Hosted by Jim Haber

Tue 1/21/20 4 pmAbelson 131
Physics Department Colloquium
TBA

 
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