SUNY Upstate Visiting Lecture Series

Contact: Melissa Jones
Address: College of Graduate Studies
SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: 315 464-4542

Upstate Medical University is pleased to offer its visiting lecture series to bring undergraduates a lively and informative lecture with one of our faculty members. The professors in our series are published, funded investigators conducting groundbreaking research in their individual fields. Each professor's lecture will include a brief presentation on the biomedical graduate degree programs and student research offerings at SUNY Upstate.

This free, innovative program is designed to spark interest in the biomedical sciences and to further awareness among students and faculty of opportunities at SUNY Upstate. To schedule one of our lecturers to come to your campus, please complete the visiting scholar request form.

Visiting Lecture Series
Please see our brochure for
full lecture descriptions.

SUNY Upstate Visiting Lecturers 2014–2015

Jeffrey Amack, PhD Jeffrey Amack, PhD
Cell & Developmental Biology
Heart Development in the Zebrafish Embryo
Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect. My lab uses the zebrafish embryo as a model system to find genes that control heart development and disease.
Stewart Loh, PhD Stewart Loh, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Design of Biomolecular Switches; p53 Folding, Misfolding, and Cancer
Our lab uses the tools of protein folding, engineering, and design to develop mechanisms by which ordinary proteins can be converted into switches, and for understanding how p53 mutations contribute to cancer and how mutant p53 can be reactivated by small molecules.
David Amberg, PhD David Amberg, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Understanding the Complexities of Actin Function
A presentation on my laboratories research will focus on our multidisciplinary approaches to identifying and understanding the functions of actin and the cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells. In addition, Dr. Amberg will discuss the process for obtaining a PhD in biomedical research.
Eric C. Olson, PhD Eric C. Olson, PhD
Neuroscience & Physiology
Putting Dendrites In Their Place: The Role of the Reelin-Signaling Pathway In Organizing Brain Structure
Covers the basic cellular processes underlying mammalian brain development. Then focuses on our efforts to understand Reelin-signaling and the early differentiation and positioning of cortical neurons through the use of multiphoton microscopy and time-lapse imaging.
Peter Calvert, PhD Peter Calvert, PhD
Ophthalmology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Watching cell signaling live: what we are learning about biochemistry by imaging active cells.
Work in my lab is aimed at understanding signaling and behavior at the molecular level in living cells. Protein dynamics, measured with multiphoton and confocal microscopy, is changing our understanding how cell sensitivity to environmental stimuli is controlled.
Francesca Pignoni, PhD Francesca Pignoni, PhD
Developmental Biology
Stem Cell self-renewal in the Drosophila germline
The Drosophila female germline is among the best-studied Stem Cell models in any organism, permitting analysis at single cell resolution through clonal techniques. This presentation will illustrate the discovery of a novel signaling component that regulates stem cell self-renewal.
Xin Jie Chen, PhD Xin Jie Chen, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Mechanism of Mitochondrial Genome Maintenance
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell and the maintenance of mitochondrial DNA is critical for energy homeostasis. We are interested in studying how damaged mitochondrial DNA is repaired and how mitochondrial damage contributes to cell aging.
David W. Pruyne, PhD David W. Pruyne, PhD
Cell & Developmental Biology
From Yeast to Muscles — Using Model Systems to Understand How Cells Build Their Cytoskeleton
A cytoskeleton of actin filaments provides a framework for the body's cells. We have developed a model for how the highly ordered actin arrays in muscle cells are assembled through study of successively more complicated systems, from in vitro biochemistry to budding yeast and finally, the simple animal C. elegans.
Thomas Duncan, PhD Thomas Duncan, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Jamming the Gears of ATP Synthase Nanomotors for Antibacterial Drug Discovery
ATP synthases are rotary motor enzymes critical for cellular energy metabolism. Understanding bacteria-specific regulatory mechanisms may lead to new antibiotics.
Mark E. Schmitt, PhD Mark E. Schmitt, PhD
Dean, College of Graduate Studies; Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
All Ribosomes are Not Created Equal
Ribosomes are extremely ancient RNA-based enzymes that catalyze protein synthesis in all organisms. Ribosomes differ in their RNA and protein composition and these subtle differences confer different functions that control and regulate the translation process.
Wenyi Feng, PhD Wenyi Feng, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Chromosome fragility: When Replication Goes Awry
We are interested in the mechanisms of how replication defects lead to DNA strand breakage, chromosomal rearrangements and genome instability, which are the underlying cause of many human diseases including cancer. We also develop novel methods using NextGen sequencing to identify chromosome fragile sites in the human genome.
Vladimir Sirotkin, PhD Vladimir Sirotkin, PhD
Cell & Developmental Biology
Endocytosis by the Numbers: Investigation of the Mechanisms of Endocytosis by Quantitative Live Cell Imaging
The actin cytoskeleton dynamics are responsible for changes in cell shape. By counting the numbers of molecules in live cells, we investigate how cells control the actin filament assembly driving membrane deformation during endocytosis.
Stephen J. Glatt, PhD Stephen J. Glatt, PhD
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Neuroscience & Physiology
Biomarkers for Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Unlike many other medical conditions, neuropsychiatric disorders are currently diagnosed based only on behavioral reports and clinical observation rather than biomarkers. The presentation will summarize the latest efforts to identify valid biomarkers for these disorders, which should facilitate earlier identification and intervention and better outcomes.
Dan Tso, PhD Dan Tso, PhD
Plasticity and the Dynamic Brain: Wiring, Injury and Re-wiring
Recent evidence has forced a greater appreciation of the extent to which the adult brain is capable of remarkable rewiring and plasticity, particularly in order to adapt to changes in the environment or in response to brain injury. We will explore the fixed versus plastic nature of the adult brain and some of the underlying neural mechanisms.
Steven Goodman, PhD Steven Goodman, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Pediatrics
Developing Personalized Medicine for Sickle Cell Disease
Protein profiling studies utilizing proteomic technologies has allowed my laboratory to identify bio-markers of sickle cell severity. Changes in these proteins early in life will allow pediatric hematologists, in the future, to tailor therapeutic choices to predicted levels of sickle severity.
Andrea Viczian, PhD Andrea Viczian, PhD
What the frog can teach us: Pluripotent stem cells to eyes
Pluripotent stem cells have the capacity to form any cell in our body, but directing them to specific cell types has been a challenge. We have discovered the seven genes necessary to drive them to form functional retinal cells in frog and are using that technology to drive mouse pluripotent stem cells to retina.
Steven Hanes, Phd Steven Hanes, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Using Model Organisms to Study Development & Disease
This introduction to model organisms in biomedical research includes how we study how information is decoded from the DNA to switch genes on and off during embryonic development.
Steven Youngentob, PhD Steven Youngentob, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Does Mother Nature Always Know Best? Fetal Ethanol Experience and Chemosensory Plasticity: Its Contribution to Adolescent Alcohol Abuse
Human studies point to a relationship between fetal alcohol exposure and adolescent abuse. Our studies reveal that fetal exposure alters development of smell and taste so the aversive odor and flavor of alcohol become more acceptable, thereby enhancing intake.
Mira Krendel, PhD Mira Krendel, PhD
Cell & Developmental Biology
Lessons from four-legged patients: mouse studies and human genetic diseases
Mouse models can be used to find genes responsible for inherited diseases in humans. Our studies in mice helped identify a link between myosin mutations and kidney disease.