ARRTI Speaker Series - 2016

November 28, 2016

Dr. Trushar Patel

University of Lethbridge
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

"Moving to the other side: from Postdoc to PI, from project to program"

For more information: http://trpatel.com/


November 21, 2016

Dr. Joseph Ross

University of Lethbridge
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

"Host-imposed regulation of bacterial transposition"


June 28, 2016

Dr. Eugene Mueller

University of Louisville
Department of Chemistry
Louisville, Kentucky, USA

"Transforming U: The Modification of Uridine in RNA to Pseudouridine and 4-Thiouridine"

Dr. Mueller's research group works on the ways proteins called enzymes alter the standard components of ribonucleic acid (RNA), the large molecule essential to the life of every cell because it allows the conversion of gene information into the proteins that do a cell’s work. Mueller is looking at the conversion of an RNA component into two products: pseudouridine, the lack of which can lead to human disease; and 4-thiouridine, which bacteria use to sense exposure to near-ultraviolet light. The study of this system sheds light on how sulfur is put into a cell’s many other molecules, including vitamins and other essential molecules.

For more information: https://louisville.edu/chemistry/faculty/eugene-g.-mueller


June 13, 2016

Dr. Joerg Stetefeld

University of Manitoba
Department of Chemistry
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

"A Hybrid Method Approach to Unravel Higher-Order Signaling Complexes"

 Multicomponent Ligand-Receptor complexes are higher-order signaling assemblies for transmission of receptor activation information to cellular responses. A molecular understanding of these highly complex signaling pathways will shed light into essential key processes such as proximity driven cascade activation, signal-to-noise behavior, signal amplification as well as temporal and spatial control of signal transduction. The Stetefeld Laboratory performs a Hybrid-Method approach – combining biophysical techniques in combination with integrated structural biology techniques – to unravel complex formation. In this presentation, key examples, including netrin-1 driven dependence receptor activation will be discussed.

For more information: https://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~stetefel/


May 16, 2016

Dr. Brian Ingalls

University of Waterloo
Department of Applied Mathematics
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

"Displacement of  Bacterial Plasmids by Engineered Unilateral Incompatibility"

 Bacterial plasmids employ copy number control systems to ensure they do not overburden their hosts. Plasmid incompatibility is caused by shared components of copy number control systems, resulting in mutual inhibition of replication. Unilateral incompatibility, in which the plasmid replicons are compatible but one plasmid codes for the replication inhibitor of the other, leads to rapid displacement of the inhibited plasmid. We are investigating the use of engineered unilateral incompatibility to eradicate an undesirable “target” plasmid from a population, with a long term goal of displacing plasmid-borne antibiotic resistance genes from pathogen populations. This talk will describe our proof-of-principle experiments demonstrating plasmid delivery and displacement, and our characterizations of the corresponding plasmid dynamics through predictive mathematical modelling.

For more information: https://math.uwaterloo.ca/~bingalls/


May 6, 2016

Dr. Darren Derksen

University of Calgary
Department of Chemistry
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

"Natural Products as Inspiration for Novel Therapeutics – Opportunities and Challenges"

Natural products are secondary metabolites produced by microbes, plants, and fungi. These compounds from nature form the basis of many drugs already used in the clinic, particularly against cancer. This presentation will describe ongoing efforts in the Derksen group to identify novel compounds that are active in cancer and inflammation assays, develop practical scale syntheses of novel structures and related analogs, and to establish practical methods of drug delivery. Using expertise in synthesis and natural product chemistry, the Derksen group is involved developing lead compounds for a number of unmet medical needs including chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and novel treatments for multiple myeloma.

For more information: http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dderksen/dr-darren-derksen.html


April 5, 2016

Dr. Douglas Mahoney

University of Calgary (Cumming School of Medicine)
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Disease
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

"Smac-mimetic and oncolytic virus co-therapy for treating cancer"

Second mitochondrial activator of caspase (Smac)-mimetic compounds (SMC) synergize with oncolytic rhabdoviruses (ORV) in treating tumours grown in mice through an unknown mechanism. We have found that SMC and ORV therapies cooperate in treating cancer by enhancing CD8+ T cell responses toward immunogenic tumours through distinct yet overlapping activities. Data supporting this conclusion will be presented and insight into the molecular mechanisms of action shown. Our results provide further support for the clinical evaluation of SMC and ORV combination therapy for human cancer.

For more information: http://www.ucalgary.ca/microinfect/mahoneydj