»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. 

+-Feb. 12, 2014

Hirneisen

Kirsten Hirneisen, Ph.D. 
Commissioner’s Fellow
US Food and Drug Administration

William Lyons Conference Center, Arygros Forum 209A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Developing a Universal Enrichment Broth for Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens

Summary: 
Foodborne bacterial pathogens have been the cause of high profile outbreaks in the last several years that have resulted in serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. For successful prevention of foodborne pathogens, rapid and reliable detection methods need to be developed for testing of foods. Depending on the food matrix and target pathogen, different pre-enrichment broths are used when following the FDA’s Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) directions for sample preparation prior to conventional culturing for the detection of foodborne bacterial pathogens. In addition to the preparation of multiple pre-enrichment broths being labor intensive, time consuming and costly, the use for multiple enrichment broths is a major roadblock when trying to develop methods designed for multi-target pathogen detection such as multiplex qPCR. This presentation will focus on efforts to develop a universal enrichment broth to ultimately allow for mulit-target pathogen detection in food matrices. 

+-Mar. 5, 2014

Michelle Digman

Michelle Digman, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of California Irvine

Chapman University, Argyros Forum 119B
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title:  Imaging the Molecular Dynamics of Focal Adhesion Proteins in Live Cells

Summary: 
Molecular interactions and mobility can be studied in live cells as well as the map the interactions of key focal adhesion proteins in real time and space. Confocal microscopy can be used to map these interactions in living biological systems. We have developed a tool used based on the fluorescence correlation spectroscopy method to measure protein diffusion, kinetics and quantitatively calculate concentrations. To gain information in space and time at broader scale with fast temporal resolution, raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) is the best method for this type of analysis. RICS significantly enhances the capability to measure many points while obtaining information at a larger scale. Binding rates at fix positions such as protein scaffolds can be accurately calculated as well as binding interactions with other partners can be implemented with dual color labeling. In this lecture we will discuss the principle of the RICS method, mathematical framework and applications. In addition we will demonstrate how data acquired from RICS can be used to calculate molecular brightness to determine protein aggregation sizes. The Number and Brightness (N&B) method uses a simple mathematical calculation based on variance of intensity from the fluctuating species to calculate the brightness (B) and the ratio of the total intensity to brightness to determine the number of molecules (N). The advantage of RICS is that it can be performed on most commercial microscopes available in research core facilities or individual labs. Overall the RICS and N&B methods are powerful tools in determining molecular dynamics in live cellular systems and can easily be implemented in any microscopy setup.

Watch a presentation by Dr. Digman »

+-Mar. 19, 2014

Cassandra Medvedeff

Katrine Whiteson, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Research Professor
Chapman University

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

Title: Metabolites, Germs and People: Human-associated Microbial Communities in Health and Disease

Summary:
I am interested in understanding how individual and persistent human-associated microbial and viral communities affect health. Infection with a bacterial pathogen, vaccination,  immune development and even taking a Tylenol does not occur in a vacuum. Dynamic microbial and viral communities constantly inhabit our bodies, encoding the majority of the unique genes that alter these processes. I use metagenomics, metabolomics, microbiology and ecological statistics to answer questions about how microbes and viruses affect human health. The hypothesis underlying my work is that human-associated microbial communities are powerful indicators of health and disease. I will introduce recent discoveries about human-associated microbial communities enabled by access to high-throughput sequencing in the last 5-10 years, and present three research projects examining the composition and activity of microbial communities using metagenomic sequence data from 1) healthy humans, 2) malnourished children who develop a devastating facial gangrene with no clear infectious cause, and 3) Cystic Fibrosis patients. More information can be found here: http://www.whiteson.org/katrine.

Watch a presentation by Dr. Whiteson »

+-Apr. 9, 2014

Julia Boehm

Julia Boehm, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of Psychology 
Crean School of Health & Life Sciences
Chapman University

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

Title: The Heart’s Content: Positive Psychological Well-Being and Cardiovascular Health

Summary: Associations between psychological health and physical health have long been recognized. However, most research to date has investigated the association between poor psychological functioning (e.g., depression, anxiety, and hostility) and physical health. Increasing research suggests that positive psychological well-being (e.g., optimism, purpose in life, and happiness) may also be related to health independently of the effects of psychological ill-being. This talk reviews the evidence linking positive psychological well-being with cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death worldwide. The behavioral and biological pathways underlying the association between positive psychological well-being and cardiovascular disease are also explored. If positive psychological well-being can be established as an antecedent of cardiovascular disease, as well as an antecedent of underlying behavioral and biological processes, then it may provide a novel approach to fostering health promotion.

+-May 7, 2014

Marco Bisoffi

Marco Bisoffi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Health and Life Sciences
Chapman University

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

Title: Using Analogs of the Natural Product Curcumin to Combat Prostate Cancer Cells

Summary: 
Prostate cancer cells rely on several molecular pathways for their growth and survival. These pathways have been identified as points of “oncogenic addiction.” One such pathway is androgen signaling through the androgen receptor triggered by testosterone. Inhibition of this pathway has been shown to efficiently inhibit prostate cancer cell growth. This presentation will explore the possibility of using analogs of the natural product curcumin (from turmeric) to inhibit androgen signaling and prostate cancer. The potential for the (pre)clinical development of novel curcuminoid compounds will be discussed. 

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