Upcoming Seminars

All seminars are held at 3:30 PM in the Mechanical Engineering Building (MEC) Room 205 unless otherwise noted.

Spring 2019

Feb
22

Quantifying Oxygen’s Role in Promoting Aggressive Cancer Phenotypes With a Paper-Based 3D Culture Platform

Quantifying Oxygen’s Role in Promoting Aggressive Cancer Phenotypes With a Paper-Based 3D Culture Platform

Professor Matt Lockett | UNC Chapel Hill

Professor Rebecca Pompano

Abstract:

Oxygen is a master regulator of many cellular processes. In tissues, gradients of oxygen and nutrients extend radially from blood vessels. The gradients in these diffusion-dominated environments increase greatly when a blood vessel is occluded, or in the case of the tumors when the rate of proliferation outpaces the rate of vascularization. The extent of hypoxia in tumors has been correlated with cancer aggressiveness, drug resistance, and invasiveness. Gradients of oxygen are also believed to direct cellular invasion from the solid tumor mass to neighboring healthy tissue.

Despite the pivotal role that oxygen plays in tumor biology, there are a limited number of in vitro assays able to quantify cellular morphology, gene- and protein-expression, or drug sensitivities in well-defined oxygen gradients. Due to the lack of experimental tools, many studies compare cellular differences at a single normoxic (21% O2) and hypoxic (~0.2% O2) condition. Monolayer cultures are also commonly used in these normoxia-hypoxia comparisons. These experiments provide a simplified view of oxygen-mediated regulation, overlooking the importance of gradients by exposing cells to a single oxygen and nutrient concentration. Evaluating a limited number of oxygen tensions has led to the inadequate interpretation that cellular responses to oxygen are a binary phenomenon, eliciting a particular hypoxic phenotype or not.

We are developing a 3D culture platform utilizing paper-based scaffolds to prepare tissue- or organ-like structures. We are able to engineer extracellular environments with specific oxygen or nutrient gradients and to tease apart the nuanced responses of cells in gradients of different steepness and shape. In this talk, I will highlight the paper-based culture platform as well as other technologies we are developing to address three long-standing questions in tumor biology. First is the role that oxygen gradients play in directing cellular movement. We have recently shown that oxygen is a chemo-attractant in diffusion-dominated environments, and are exploring what additional extracellular conditions (e.g., gradient steepness, the presence of overlapping nutrient gradients) promote this directed invasion. Second is the oxygen-mediated mechanisms through which hypoxic cells become drug resistant. In particular, we use invasion assays and tumor-like structures to evaluate the relationship between oxygen tension, active resistance (upregulation of drug efflux pumps), and passive resistance (altered metabolism or halted proliferation). Third is the relationship between hypoxia and hormone responsiveness in estrogen receptor alpha-positive (ER+) breast cancers.

Professor Matt Lockett | UNC Chapel Hill
Hosted by Professor Rebecca Pompano
Mar
01

Leveraging Chemistry for Biology and Therapy: New Amination Strategies to Access Biologically Important Molecules

Leveraging Chemistry for Biology and Therapy: New Amination Strategies to Access Biologically Important Molecules

Dr. Qui Wang | Duke University

Professor Jill Venton

Abstract:

Research in the Wang group aims to answer fundamental questions that lie at the interface of chemistry and biology. This talk will present her group’s recent efforts in developing new amination chemistry and strategies toward design and discovery of novel nitrogen-containing molecules for molecular labeling, imaging tools, and new antipsychotics. 

Dr. Qui Wang | Duke University
Hosted by Professor Jill Venton
Mar
22

GRADUATE RECRUITMENT WEEK: NO SEMINAR

GRADUATE RECRUITMENT WEEK: NO SEMINAR

Mar
29

Hecht Lecture - TBD

Hecht Lecture - TBD

Professor Dale Boger | Scripps Research Institute; San Diego, CA

Professor Sid Hecht
Professor Dale Boger | Scripps Research Institute; San Diego, CA
Hosted by Professor Sid Hecht
Apr
05

TBD

TBD

Professor Peter Kekenes-Huskey | University of Kentucky

Professor Kateri DuBay
Professor Peter Kekenes-Huskey | University of Kentucky
Hosted by Professor Kateri DuBay
Apr
12

ACS Poster Session

ACS Poster Session

Apr
19

TBA

TBA

Professor Héctor D. Abruña | Cornell University

Professor Sen Zhang
Professor Héctor D. Abruña | Cornell University
Hosted by Professor Sen Zhang
Apr
26

TBA

TBA

Professor Jill Millstone | University of Pittsburgh

Professor Charlie Machan
Professor Jill Millstone | University of Pittsburgh
Hosted by Professor Charlie Machan

Fall 2019

Aug
30

Kickoff Seminar: Professor Mike Hilinski

Kickoff Seminar: Professor Mike Hilinski

TBA |

TBA |
Sep
06

TBA

TBA

Dr. Samy El Shall | Virginia Commonwealth University

Professor Eric Herbst
Dr. Samy El Shall | Virginia Commonwealth University
Hosted by Professor Eric Herbst
Sep
13

TBA

TBA

Dr. Nancy Allbritton | University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University

Professor Rebecca Pompano
Dr. Nancy Allbritton | University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University
Hosted by Professor Rebecca Pompano
Sep
20

TBD

TBD

Professor Glen Alliger | ExxonMobil

Professor Charlie Machan
Professor Glen Alliger | ExxonMobil
Hosted by Professor Charlie Machan
Sep
27

TBD

TBD

Professor Suzanne Walker | Harvard University

Professor Ken Hsu
Professor Suzanne Walker | Harvard University
Hosted by Professor Ken Hsu
Oct
04

TBA

TBA

Professor Lucy Ziurys | University of Arizona

Professor Robin Garrod
Professor Lucy Ziurys | University of Arizona
Hosted by Professor Robin Garrod
Oct
10

Graham Lecture: Increasing Access to Global Healthcare: The Medicines for All Institute

Graham Lecture: Increasing Access to Global Healthcare: The Medicines for All Institute

Dr. Frank Gupton | Virginia Commonwealth University

Professor Brooks Pate

Abstract: Access to global public healthcare is impacted by many technical, economic, and social factors. It is widely recognized that the resources required to deliver and improve global public health are currently constrained.  A powerful way to increase access is to lower the cost of products and services that have already proven to be effective.  Currently, the cost of producing a wide range of pharmaceutical products is higher than it needs to be. The mission of Medicines for All (M4All) is to transform the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) processes in order to reduce medication cost and improve patient access.  To fulfill this objective, M4ALL has developed a set of core principles for API process development, which is derived from fundamental elements of process intensification that are commonly known but often neglected. These principles have been applied to several global health drugs yielding dramatic improvements in chemical efficiency. The development of novel heterogeneous cross-coupling that support this effort will also be presented.

Dr. Frank Gupton | Virginia Commonwealth University
Hosted by Professor Brooks Pate
Oct
18

Jefferson Lecture (title TBA)

Jefferson Lecture (title TBA)

Oct
25

Professor Ken Hsu

Professor Ken Hsu

Nov
01

TBA

TBA

Professor William Tolman | Washington University in St. Louis

Professor Charlie Machan
Professor William Tolman | Washington University in St. Louis
Hosted by Professor Charlie Machan
Nov
08

TBA

TBA

Professor François Gabbaï | Texas A & M University

Professor Robert Gilliard
Professor François Gabbaï | Texas A & M University
Hosted by Professor Robert Gilliard
Nov
15

TBA

TBA

Professor Richard Olson | Bristol-Myers Squibb

Professor Ken Hsu
Professor Richard Olson | Bristol-Myers Squibb
Hosted by Professor Ken Hsu
Nov
22

TBA

TBA

Professor Piotr Zelenay | Los Alamos National Laboratory

Professor Sen Zhang
Professor Piotr Zelenay | Los Alamos National Laboratory
Hosted by Professor Sen Zhang

Spring 2020

Jan
17

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Jan
24

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Jan
31

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Feb
14

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Feb
21

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Feb
28

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Mar
06

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Mar
20

TBD

TBD

Dr. Jin Zhang | University of California, San Diego

Professor Andreas Gahlmann
Dr. Jin Zhang | University of California, San Diego
Hosted by Professor Andreas Gahlmann
Mar
27

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

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