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Visiting Lecture Series

Contact: College of Graduate Studies
Address: SUNY Upstate Medical University
Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: (315) 464-4538

Upstate Medical University is pleased to offer its visiting lecture series online 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, online program is designed to spark interest in the biomedical sciences and to further awareness among students and faculty of opportunities at SUNY Upstate. To register for one or all lectures sign up below.

Participation is open to prospective students, undergraduate course leaders, and others interested in learning more about the innovative research at Upstate Medical University. 

SUNY Upstate Visiting Lecturers 2020-2021

September 9, 2020

Mark E. Schmitt, PhDMark E. Schmitt, PhD
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.


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September 23, 2020

Alaji Bah, PhDAlaji Bah, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Regulation of Binding, Folding and Phase Separation of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins by Post Translational Modifications
Intrinsically Disordered Proteins are a class of proteins that do not fold into a stable conformation under physiological conditions, yet they play critical biological roles. In this introduction, I will discuss how the functions of these proteins are regulated by post-translational modifications.


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October 7, 2020

Peter Calvert, PhDPeter Calvert, PhD
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, are changing our understanding of how cell sensitivity to environmental stimuli is controlled.


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October 21, 2020

Stephen J. Glatt, PhDStephen J. Glatt, PhD
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
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.


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November 4, 2020

Mira Krendel, PhDMira Krendel, PhD
Cell & Developmental Biology
Lessons from Four-Legged Patients: Mouse Models, Human Genetic Diseases, and Cells on the Move
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, and we continue to collaborate with physicians to determine how mutations in myosin motors found in patients affect kidney functions. Using live cell imaging and other approaches, we are learning how myosin motors help cells move and change shape


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November 18, 2020

David W. Pruyne, PhDDavid W. Pruyne, PhD
Cell & Developmental Biology
Building the Cell's Internal Skeleton - How Does It Happen, and Why Does It Matter?
The cytoskeleton is a network of protein filaments inside the cell that control the cell's shape and movements. Formins are one of the primary proteins that control the assembly of cytoskeletal filaments. We are learning how formins work using a combination of biochemical studies of pure proteins, microscopic analysis of cytoskeletal organization in cells, and observation of the effects of formin gene mutations on the simple model animal Caenorhabditis elegans. 


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January 27, 2021

Wenyi Feng, PhDWenyi 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.


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February 10, 2021

Daniel Tso, PhDDaniel 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.


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February 24, 2021

Thomas Duncan, PhDThomas 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.


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March 10, 2021

Jeffrey AmackJeffrey Amack, PhD
Cell & Developmental Biology
Mechanobiology in the Zebrafish
Mechanobiology describes how physical forces influence cell behaviors. We use the zebrafish embryo to investigate mechanical properties that drive formation of tissues and organs.


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March 24, 2021

Steven Hanes, PhDSteven Hanes, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Using Model Organisms to Study Development & Disease
This introduction to how and why model organisms are used in biomedical research will focus on gene regulation and will include discussion about careers in the biological sciences.


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April 7, 2021

Jessica Henty-Ridilla, PhDJessica Henty-Ridilla, PhD
Cell & Developmental Biology
New Twist in Actin-Microtubule Interactions
An introduction and overview investigating cellular and biochemical mechanisms of cytoskeletal crosstalk between actin filaments and microtubules.


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