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Seminars & Events

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department hosts various events scheduled throughout the year, including a weekly seminar series. See the calendar below for information on these events and details about our seminar speakers.


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Location:
Join Zoom Meeting
txstate.zoom.us…

Meeting ID: 967 3236 3386
Passcode: 130432
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Host: Dr. Karen Lewis, karen.lewis@txstate.edu
Campus Sponsor:
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Dr. William Brittain
Seminar Abstract: While the human genome project revealed an unexpectedly small fraction of the genome dedicated to protein-coding genes, the ENCODE and related projects revealed that at least 70% of the genome is actively transcribed. This led to the discovery of a new class of RNAs known as long non-coding RNAs or lncRNAs. Rapidly accumulating evidence strongly suggests that these lncRNAs have important autonomous activities as RNAs. The emerging functions are predominantly in development, differentiation and pluripotency, processes with critical links to human health. Thus, establishing an understanding of the mechanism of action of lncRNAs is a high priority frontier in biology. Towards the long term-goal of producing a molecular understanding of lncRNA function, we are using a set of biochemical and structural approaches to elucidate how lncRNAs organize aspects of the nucleus to regulate and coordinate chromatin expression.


Speaker Biography:
Dr. Deborah Wuttke is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder. Research in the Wuttke lab is poised at the interface of biochemistry, biophysics and biology. Our lab aims to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms behind important biological processes. Recently, we have focused our efforts on telomere biology, attempting to understand the structural and biochemical basis for the maintenance of the ends of chromosomes. Disruption of telomere maintenance is catastrophic for the cell, and telomere processes are linked to both cancer and aging. We are also studying viral replication in the picornavirus family and the ligand binding properties of the estrogen receptor. A common theme is bringing sophisticated structural and biochemical tools to complex biological systems.

https://www.colorado.edu/lab/wuttkegroup/research

In addition to being a research advisor in the Ph.D. program in Biochemistry, Dr. Wuttke participates in the Biofrontiers Institutes' Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology (IQ Biology) PhD certificate program, the Molecular Biophysics certificate program, and the Signaling and Cellular Regulation training program. Dr. Wuttke has also been very active in diversity and inclusion efforts at both the student and faculty levels within the University of Colorado.

more about event
Location:
Join Zoom Meeting
txstate.zoom.us…

Meeting ID: 967 3236 3386
Passcode: 130432
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Host: Dr. Karen Lewis, karen.lewis@txstate.edu
Campus Sponsor:
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Dr. William Brittain
Seminar Abstract: Photomedicine is an interdisciplinary field where chemistry and light meet to fight disease. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a special branch of photomedicine that employs a sensitizer molecule, light, and oxygen to destroy target cells with spatiotemporal selectivity. Despite its enormous potential for treating certain diseases, including cancer and infection, PDT has yet to become mainstream. Over the past 10 years, my group has addressed key issues that have hampered bench-to-bedside progress in the field of PDT. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we have introduced both synthetic compounds and natural products (both have successfully completed Phase 1 clinical trials and are currently in Phase 2 clinical trials) as alternatives to existing porphyrin-based PDT agents for specific indications. This seminar will share some of our past experiences in developing metallodrug photosensitizers for treating bladder cancer and photoactive plant extracts for improving oral health. If time permits, some new directions toward the design of immunomodulating theranostic photosensitizers for melanoma PDT will be highlighted.



Speaker Biography:
Dr. Sherri McFarland obtained her PhD in Chemistry at the University of California San Diego (2003) where she focused on the control of excited state dynamics for luminescent chemosensing. Building on this work, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University (2005) in ultrafast spectroscopy and inorganic photophysics, using femtosecond laser techniques.
Dr. McFarland continues to expand these core areas of expertise through a multidisciplinary research program aimed at developing new photoactive drugs (in combination with light sources and protocols) as anticancer agents and as antibiotics. Some of the most promising compounds have been licensed to a Toronto company and are undergoing clinical trials to treat non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
Sherri also co-founded a company that develops natural product-based photoactives, with particular focus on improving oral health. She has raised over $2M in research and development funding and has co-authored more than 80 scientific works.
more about event