Seminars

Studying Cell Signaling in Complex Environments Using Open Microfluidics

Studying Cell Signaling in Complex Environments Using Open Microfluidics

Dr. Ashleigh Theberge | University of Washington

Hosted by Professor Rebecca Pompano

Studying Cell Signaling in Complex Environments Using Open Microfluidics

Small molecule and protein signals provide a rich vocabulary for cellular communication. To better understand signaling processes in both normal and disease states, we have developed new open microfluidic platforms that accommodate the culture of multiple cell types in microfabricated compartments while allowing soluble factor signaling between cell types. Our microscale culture systems allow a 10- to 500-fold reduction in volume compared to conventional assays, enabling experiments with limited cells from patient samples. Furthermore, our devices are open, pipette accessible, interface with high resolution microscopy, and can be manufactured at scale by injection molding, increasing translation to collaborators in biological and clinical labs without chemistry and engineering expertise. Finally, this talk will highlight recent results using open microfluidic principles to develop novel strategies to 3D print hydrogels for biological and materials science applications.

Friday, January 22, 2021
No Seminar: Candidacy Exams

No Seminar: Candidacy Exams

Friday, February 5, 2021
Prebiotic Astrochemistry in the "THz-Gap"

Prebiotic Astrochemistry in the "THz-Gap"

Dr. Susanna L. Widicus Weaver | University of Wisconsin-Madison

Hosted by Professor Eric Herbst

Prebiotic Astrochemistry in the "THz-Gap"

Small reactive organic molecules are key intermediates in interstellar chemistry, leading to the formation of biologically-relevant species as stars and planets form.   These molecules are identified in space via their pure rotational spectral fingerprints in the far-IR or terahertz (THz) regime.  Despite their fundamental roles in the formation of life, many of these molecules have not been spectroscopically characterized in the laboratory, and therefore cannot be studied via observational astronomy.  The reason for this lack of fundamental laboratory information is the challenge of spectroscopy in the THz regime combined with the challenge of studying unstable molecules.  Our laboratory research involves characterization of astrophysically-relevant unstable species, including small radicals that are the products of photolysis reactions, organic ions formed via plasma discharges, and small reactive organics that form via O(1D) insertion reactions.  Our observational astronomy research seeks to examine the chemical mechanisms at play in a range of interstellar environments and to identify chemical tracers that can be used as clocks for the star-formation process.  In this seminar, I will present recent results from our laboratory and observational studies that examine prebiotic chemistry in the interstellar medium.  I will discuss these results in the broader context of my integrative research program that encompasses laboratory spectroscopy, observational astronomy, and astrochemical modeling.

Friday, February 12, 2021

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