All seminars are held on Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. in the Baldwin Auditorium of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Building unless otherwise noted. This listing captures event information for the next 90 days. Check back often for more events.

Mar

28

Using Synthetic Communities to Identify Mechanisms of Microbiome Assembly: Benjamin Wolfe, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

Advances in DNA sequencing technologies have allowed us to rapidly discover patterns of microbiome diversity. But the mechanisms that determine how microbiomes assemble are largely unknown. The Wolfe lab uses synthetic microbial communities to determine the mechanisms that control the ecology and evolution of microbiomes.

Benjamin Wolfe, PhD

Tufts University

Host: Bacteriology Graduate Students / Coordinator: Hannah Gavin, Graduate Student

 

 

Apr

04

Subversion of Inflammatory Responses by the Pneumococcus: Jeffrey N. Weiser, MD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

Streptococcus pneumoniae colonizes the mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract. Its success as a leading respiratory tract pathogen is due to its ability to take advantage of the inflammatory responses it induces for its growth and transmission. A medically important example of these events is seen during co-infection with influenza virus. This seminar will discuss the mechanisms allowing the pneumococcus to subvert inflammatory responses during influenza A co-infection.

 Jeffrey N. Weiser, MD

New York University School of Medicine

Host: Mark Mandel, PhD, Department of Microbiology-Immunology

 

Apr

11

The Pyromaniac Inside You: Salmonella Metabolism in the Host Gut: Andreas J. Baumler, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

Salmonella serovars sidestep the competition with resident microbes by using their virulence factors to coerce the host into creating a novel nutrient-niche. Inflammation-derived nutrients available in this new niche support a bloom of Salmonella serovars in the gut lumen, thereby ensuring transmission of the pathogen to the next susceptible host by the fecal oral route. This presentation will review the ‘winning metabolic strategy’ Salmonella serovars use to edge out competing microbes in the inflamed intestine.

 

Andreas J. Baumler, PhD

University of California Davis, School of Medicine

Host: Hank Seifert, PhD

 

Apr

18

Properties and Functions of KSHV microRNAs: Kylee Morrison

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a human tumor virus that causes cancer in immunocompromised individuals, and is the causative agent of the AIDS-associated malignancy Kaposi’s sarcoma. As AIDS remains a global health problem, it is vital to understand the pathogenesis of KSHV and its associated cancers. Like all herpesviruses, KSHV has two infectious cycle phases: lytic replication and latency. Latency is associated with limited viral gene expression, and evasion of host immune responses. Most KSHV-related cancers consist of cells latently infected with KSHV. Thus, it is thought that viral latent products contribute significantly to viral oncogenesis. Latent products include a viral homolog of cyclin D (vCyc) and several virally encoded microRNAs. Our lab has reported a large database of experimentally identified binding sites of KSHV microRNAs. It is now crucial to validate these targets and link them to phenotypes relevant to viral infection. I will present my work validating a KSHV microRNA target involved in oncogene-induced senescence, and determining the role of this targeting during infection.

Kylee Morrison, Graduate Student, Lab of Eva Gottwein, PhD

Northwestern University

Host: Eva Gottwein, PhD

 

Apr

24

Pyroptosis in Antibacterial Immunity: Sensing and Execution: Feng Shao, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

Inflammatory caspases including caspase-1, 4, 5 and 11 are critical for cytosolic defenses against microbial infections. Caspase-1 is activated by canonical inflammasomes that sense diverse bacterial signals or virulence activity; human caspase-4/5 and mouse caspase-11 are cytosolic receptors for bacterial LPS, determining Gram-negative bacteria-induced septic shock. Common to inflammatory caspases activation is pyroptosis, a form of cell death whose nature and mechanism of action were mysterious for more than 20 years. Using genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screens, we identify gasdermin D (GSDMD) that is essential for all inflammatory caspases-induced pyroptosis. The caspases cleave GSDMD to release its Gasdermin-N domain for pyroptotic induction. The Gasdermin-N domain binds membrane lipids and exhibits membrane-disrupting cytotoxicity in mammalian cells. Purified Gasdermin-N efficiently lysed the liposomes by forming membrane pores of an inner diameter of 10~14 nm. GSDMD represents a large Gasdermin family (GSDMA-E), many of which are genetically associated with various diseases. While GSDMD is cleaved by inflammatory caspases, other Gasdermins appear to adopt different activation mechanisms and have important functions in other pathophysiological processes. We now redefine pyroptosis as Gasdermin-mediated programmed necrotic cell death.

 

Feng Shao, PhD

Investigator and Deputy Director
National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing

Host: Karla Satchell, PhD

 

 

Apr

25

Cell-Shape Coordinates Type VI Secretion System Assembly and Contraction: Christopher S. Hayes, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

Gram-negative bacteria commonly deploy type VI secretion systems (T6SS) to intoxicate neighboring competitors. The T6SS apparatus forms a contractile sheath that ejects complex payloads composed of many distinct protein toxins. Here, I outline a forward genetic screen to identify interesting mutations that influence T6SS dynamics. Collectively, these mutations suggest that cell size and shape are fundamental for the control of T6SS.

Christopher S.  Hayes, PhD

University of California, Santa Barbara

Host: Alan Hauser, MD, PhD

 

May

02

TBA: Michael Diamond, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

 

TBA

May

09

Mechanisms and Inhibition of HIV-1 Integration: Alan N. Engelman, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

AIDS is incurable due to the stable integration of HIV DNA into cellular chromatin. Integrase, the responsible enzyme, is a high value antiviral target. Dr. Engelman`s research has helped uncover the structural basis of HIV DNA integration, as well as the mechanism of action of the clinical integrase inhibitors. He has additionally characterized a new class of integrase inhibitor that unexpectedly inhibits HIV particle maturation.

 

Alan Engelman, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Host: Mojgan Naghavi, PhD

May

16

Discovering and Engineering Antibodies to Treat Viral and Bacterial Infections: Man-Wah Tan, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

The seminar will discuss the discovery of broadly neutralizing antibodies for the treatment of severe influenza infections and the engineering of a antibody-antibotic conjugate to treat severe S. aureus bacteremia.

Man-Wah Tan, PhD

Director, Infectious Diseases Department, Genentech Inc.

Host; Alan Hauser MD, PhD

 

May

30

TBA: Patrick Seed, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

 

(TOPIC TBA)

Jun

06

TBA: Matthew Krummel, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

 

TBA

Jun

13

TBA: Theodora Hatziioannou, PhD

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

 

TBA

Jun

20

TBA: Anne Arvin, PhD

Patricia A Spear Colloquium

Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

 

TBA