»Science Forum Series

The Science Forum Series is an opportunity for faculty and special guests to present their latest research to the campus community. Each presentation is approximately 45 minutes to one hour in length. Feel free to drop in and leave as your schedule permits. 

+-February 11, 2015

Zeynep Akyol Ataman, Ph.D.

Zeynep Akyol Ataman, Ph.D.
Adjunct faculty at Schmid College of Science and Technology
Biological Sciences

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Understanding Nipah Virus:The Deadliest Virus You’ve Never Heard Of

Summary
While Ebola has been the poster child for deadly viruses it is not alone in this category. There are other emerging zoonic viruses that can cause human mortality rates of up to 70% and the Nipah Virus (NIV) is one them. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) classify NiV as a Category C priority pathogen due to its potential as an agent of bioterrorism. The natural reservoir host of the NiV is the fruit bats of the genus Pteropus. It is believed that the massive deforestation practices in Southeast Asia force these bats to live closer to human habitats spreading the virus to domestic animal and human populations.

This talk will focus on the structural studies that are being done using Electron Microscopy to understand how NiV works. Enveloped viruses like NiV bud from the cellular membrane with attachment (G) and fusion (F) glycoproteins. NiV-G goes through a conformational change upon receptor binding which in turn triggers NiV-F to bring the viral and cellular membranes together. It is important to study membrane proteins in the context of an actual lipid bilayer because protein insertion into the membrane is a requisite for their biochemical and structural integrity. The studies described in this talk will help shed light on attachment and fusion of one of the deadliest viruses you have never heard of.

+-February 25, 2015

David Halpern, Ph.D.

David Halpern, Ph.D.
NASA/California Institute of Technology
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Observing El Niño/La Niña: Past, Present, and Future 

Summary
For centuries, the El Niño observing network was confined to the coastal region off Chile, Peru and Ecuador. A half century ago, when the theoretical foundation for the El Niño radically changed, the geographical domain for observing El Niño expanded to include the entire equatorial Pacific.

Observing El Niño requires knowledge of the mean and La Niña conditions, creating technical and resource challenges for data acquisition relevant for the multi-month El Niño phenomenon occurring at multi-year intervals in an ocean rich with large amplitude sub-monthly variability. The El Niño ocean environment represents a severe challenge to sustain in-situ surface wind and near-surface current measurements. Ocean modeling and satellite technology enabled new observing opportunities to improve understanding of the El Niño.

Sustaining an improved El Niño observing network with appropriate infusion of new scientific ideas and innovative technology for worldwide societal benefit requires the dedication of new explorers.

+-March 18, 2015

Anne Egger, Ph.D.

Anne Egger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor at Central Washington University
Geological Sciences and Science Education

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Earth in Context: Why Should We Learn Earth Science?

Summary
Our global society faces a number of challenges including adapting to climate change, assuring the availability of freshwater, and managing our energy resources wisely, all of which require a robust understanding of the intersection between Earth science and society. Developing a workforce that is adept at working with the uncertainties and scales of time and space that are inherent to the study of the Earth is critical to addressing these socioscientific issues. 

This talk will address the need for Earth literacy, how the NSF-funded InTeGrate project is working to develop Earth literacy among all undergraduates, and the role of EarthScope and other freely available data resources in developing students’ abilities to address interdisciplinary problems and improve their geoscientific thinking skills in order to be prepared to tackle these grand challenges.

+-April 15, 2015

Colleen Hansel, Ph.D.

Ron Broide, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist at Allergan, Inc.

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Botulinum Neurotoxin: From Food Poison to Medicinal Therapeutic and Beyond

Summary
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are some of the most potent proteins known to man and at high doses, can cause symptoms of botulism. However, BoNTs have also proven to be valuable research tools and have been utilized for nearly 30 years to treat a growing number of medicinal indications, most recently, chronic migraine and overactive bladder. In addition, BoNT serotype-A (BoNT/A) is widely used for cosmetic purposes.

This presentation will explore the history of BoNT/A, it’s growing use for both aesthetic and therapeutic applications, the proposed mechanism of action, potential concerns and future prospects.”

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