Seminars

October 11, 2021: CBNP Seminar – Lee-Yuan Liu Chen, Ph.D., Temple University
Title: "Role of agonist-promoted KOR phosphorylation in KOR-mediated behaviors and 3-D KOR distribution in mouse brain"
Host: Ying-Xian Pan, Ph.D.

 

October 25, 2021: CBNP Seminar (Student Host Seminar) - Ben Emery, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University
Title: "From a regulator of oligodendrocyte differentiation to a genetic tool to study axoglial interactions"
Host: Divyangi Kantak, Ph.D.

The evolution of myelin is a striking example of neuroglial interactions, with myelin both enabling the process of rapid saltatory conduction and metabolically supporting axons. Within the CNS, disruption of the oligodendrocyte-axon unit (as occurs in diseases such as multiple sclerosis) results in axonal dysfunction and can culminate in neurodegeneration. This highlights the need for strategies to both improve remyelination and protect demyelinated neurons. In this talk I will outline our characterization of Myelin Regulatory Factor (Myrf) as a critical regulator of oligodendrocyte differentiation and some of the ongoing mysteries regarding the biogenesis of the MYRF protein. I will also discuss our ongoing work using conditional ablation of Myrf as a genetic tool to investigate the consequences of remyelination failure on neuronal health and to identify candidate pathways for neuroprotection in demyelinating disease.

 

November 8, 2021: CBNP Seminar PPN–Jennifer Gladys Mulle, Ph.D., Rutgers University Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine
Title: “Investigating schizophrenia through a genetic lens: The story of the 3q29 deletion”
Host: Ozlem Gunal, Ph.D.

 

November 15, 2021: PPN Department Seminar– Cynthia S. Dowd, Ph.D., George Washington University
Title: "Hitting Malaria and Tuberculosis with the Same Bullet: MEPicides as Antimicrobials"
Host: Joel Freundlich, Ph.D.

 

November 22, 2021: CBNP Seminar CBMM–Christopher Baines, Ph.D., University of Missouri
Title: “The role of FASTKD1 in Cardiac Pathophysiology: the eternal search for mechanism continues”
Host: Dominic Del Re, Ph.D.

 

November 29, 2021: PPN Department Seminar– Jonathan Lederer, M.D., Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine
Title: "Regulation of ATP production by Mitochondria in Heart"
Host: Joshua R. Berlin, Ph.D.

ATP production by mitochondria is crucial for multicellular life but remains poorly understood. We have investigated the molecular controls of this process in the heart and provide a new framework for its Ca2+-dependent regulation under physiological conditions. Specifically, we have identified three aspects of the process that are at odds with widely held beliefs. First, while we agree that the entry of Ca2+ into the matrix is through the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) channels that reside in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM), the amount of Ca2+that moves across the IMM is small. Furthermore, the MCU gating properties do not depend on extramitochondrial [Ca2+] and the number of MCU channels that are open is constant over the full physiological range of cytosolic [Ca2+]i. Second, matrix [Ca2+]m only acts at two regulatory sites in the matrix under simple physiological conditions and these sites are outside of the direct Krebs cycle pathway. However, the action of [Ca2+]m serves to regulate the Krebs cycle production of NADH by regulating entry of substrate into the Krebs cycle. It is the [NADH] that regulates the voltage across the IMM, DYM, through its action on the electron transport chain (ETC). Importantly, no direct action of [Ca2+]m on the ETC complexes II, III, IV and V contributes to the process. Third, DYM regulates ATP production due to the dependence of ATP synthase on voltage across the IMM. We show for the first time what the voltage-dependence of the ATP synthase is and show that it is dramatically different from the earlier "gold standard". In sum, we provide a new understanding of voltage-energized calcium-sensitive ATP production by mitochondria. See Wescott et al. Nature Metabolism 2019

 

December 6, 2021: CBNP Seminar Anesthesiology– Zhonghui Guan, M.D., University of California, San Francisco
Title: TBA
Host: Yuan-Xiang Tao, Ph.D.

 

January 10, 2022: CBNP Seminar (Student Host Seminar) – John Elrod, Ph.D., Temple University
Title: "Discoveries in calcium control of mitochondrial biology"
Host: Satvik Mareedu, Ph.D.

 

Janary 24, 2022: PPN Department Seminar– Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., Gladstone Institutes, University of California San Francisco
Title: Neurovascular Interactions: Mechanisms, Imaging, Therapeutics
Host: Hyung Jin Ahn, Ph.D.

The communication between the brain, immune and vascular systems is a key contributor to the onset and progression of neurological diseases. We identified the coagulation factor fibrinogen as a blood-derived driver for neuroinflammation in a wide range of neurologic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and brain trauma. We showed that fibrinogen is necessary and sufficient for neurodegeneration and a new culprit for microglia-mediated oxidative stressdependent spine elimination and cognitive impairment. By developing Tox-Seq, we reported the oxidative stress innate immune cell atlas in neuroinflammation. We developed cutting-edge imaging tools to study brain network synchronization and the neurovascular interface. We discovered a first-in-class fibrin-targeting immunotherapy to selectively target inflammatory functions of fibrin without interference with clotting with efficacy in autoimmune- and amyloiddriven neurotoxicity. These findings could be a common thread for the understanding of the etiology, progression, and development of new treatments for neurologic diseases with neuroimmune and cerebrovascular dysfunction.

 

January 31, 2022: CBNP Seminar PPN– Cagla Eroglu, Ph.D., Duke University School of Medicine
Title: HOW DO ASTROCYTES SCULPT SYNAPTIC CIRCUITS?
Host: Ozlem Gunal, Ph.D.

How are synaptic networks formed during development and remodelled during learning and disease? This is the main question that drives our research. In particular, we investigate the roles ofglial cells called astrocytes in the development, remodelling and function of synaptic circuits.In my talk, I will share findings from my lab on two distinct molecular mechanisms through which astrocytes control synapse formation and discuss how synaptogenic astrocyte signals are critical for proper development and function of the nervous system.

 

February 14, 2022: CBNP Seminar CBMM – Marcello Rota, Ph.D., New York Medical College
Title: “Electrophysiological Remodeling of Myocytes of the Diseased Heart”
Host: Diego Fraidenraich, Ph.D.

 

March 7, 2022: PPN Department Seminar – R. Daniel Peluffo, Ph.D., Universidad de la Republica
Title: GUANINE NITRATION BY PEROXYNITRITE: KINETIC, THERMODYNAMIC, AND MECHANISTIC ASPECTS
Host: Walter Duran, Ph.D.

 Purines are nitration targets for Reactive Nitrogen Species such as peroxynitrite (ONOO-), a harmful oxidant produced in vivo by the diffusion-limited combination between nitric oxide and the free radical superoxide. ONOO- is responsible for several types of biological damage, including membrane lipid peroxidation, modification of sulfhydryl groups in proteins, hydroxylation/nitration of aromatic rings, and DNA damage. We studied the in vitro kinetics of guanine (Gua) nitration by ONOO- as a function of reactant concentrations and temperature (10-40°C), using a SX20 stopped-flow rapid-mixing apparatus with dead-times of ~1 ms. Time courses for the formation of 8-nitro guanine (8-NO2Gua) in 100 mM phosphate buffer (pH 7.40) showed two clearly distinguishable fast and slow kinetic components. Interestingly, the 8-NO2Gua product was found to be stable for at least 4 hrs. in vitro, an indication that ONOO- can cause permanent damage to DNA bases. These results show that nitration of Gua by peroxynitrite reaches significant levels in a few hundred milliseconds at physiologic pH, suggesting that the process might be kinetically relevant in vivo.

March 14, 2022: CBNP Seminar (Student Host Seminar) – Michael Beckstead, Ph.D., Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Title: “Early somatodendritic deficits in dopaminergic neurons in a progressive mouse model of Parkinson’s disease”
Host: Azadeh Nasuhidehnavi, Ph.D.

 

March 21, 2022: PPN Department Seminar – Peng Jiang, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Title: MODELING DOWN SYNDROME AND ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE USING HUMAN iPSCs
Host: Steven Levison, Ph.D.

My lab focuses on studying the cellular and molecular basis of human neural development and pathogenesis of neurological disorders by using human patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Down syndrome (DS), caused by triplication of human chromosome 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and the single most common risk factor for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We have generated human iPSCs from DS individuals and developed cerebral organoid and human-mouse chimeric brainmodels.I will introduce our recent work on using these in vitro and in vivo modelsto investigate the mechanisms underlying abnormal brain development and early-onset AD in DS.

 

March 28, 2022: "Canceled"

 

April 4, 2022: PPN Department Seminar– Markus Covert, Ph.D., Stanford University
Title: EpiCode: A multiplexed epitope barcoding strategy that enables dynamic cellular phenotypic screens
Host: Joel Freundlich, Ph.D.

 

April 11, 2022: "Canceled"

 

April 18, 2022: "Canceled"

 

April 25, 2022: "Canceled"

 

May 2, 2022: PPN Department Seminar – Amanda Fakira, Ph.D., Cooper Medical School at Rowan University
Title: Targeting the neuropeptide receptor GPR83 in the opiate system and pain
Host: Tibor Rohacs, Ph.D.

 

May 9, 2022: CBNP Seminar (Student Host Seminar) – Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D., The University of Texas
Title: TBA
Host: Alex Martian Ille, Ph.D.