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Upcoming Seminars

Ron Weiss, PhD - "Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Foundation and Therapeutic Applications"

Department of Biological Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Director of the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT, USA
When Jul 24, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where Tigem, Auditorium "Vesuvius"
Contact Name
Contact Phone 08119230659
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Abstract
Synthetic biology is revolutionizing how we conceptualize and approach the engineering of biological systems. Recent advances in the field are allowing us to expand beyond the construction and analysis of small gene networks towards the implementation of complex multicellular systems with a variety of applications. In this talk I will describe our integrated computational / experimental approach to engineering complex behavior in a variety of cells, with a focus on mammalian cells. In our research, we appropriate design principles from electrical engineering and other established fields. These principles include abstraction, standardization, modularity, and computer aided design. But we also spend considerable effort towards understanding what makes synthetic biology different from all other existing engineering disciplines and discovering new design and construction rules that are effective for this unique discipline. We will briefly describe the implementation of genetic circuits and modules with finely-tuned digital and analog behavior and the use of artificial cell-cell communication to coordinate the behavior of cell populations. The first system to be presented is a multi-input genetic circuit that can detect and destroy specific cancer cells based on the presence or absence of specific biomarkers in the cell. We will also discuss preliminary experimental results for obtaining precise spatiotemporal control over stem cell differentiation for tissue engineering applications. We present a novel approach for generating and then co-differentiating hiPSC-derived progenitors with a genetically engineered pulse of GATA-binding protein 6 (GATA6) expression. We initiate rapid emergence of all three germ layers as a combined function of GATA6 expression levels and tissue context. We ultimately obtain a complex tissue that recapitulates early developmental processes and exhibits a liver bud-like phenotype that includes haematopoietic and stromal cells, as well as a neuronal niche. This complex organoid can be used for drug development and potentially for tissue transplantation.

Sara Sigismund, Ph.D. - "Organelle communication regulates EGFR endocytosis and signaling output"

Dipartimento di Oncologia ed Emato-oncologia, Università degli Studi di Milano and IEO, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milano, Italy
When Oct 02, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where Tigem, Auditorium "Vesuvius"
Contact Name
Contact Phone 08119230659
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Abstract
The integration of distinct endocytic routes is critical to regulate receptor signaling. At high dose of ligand, Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is internalized through non-clathrin endocytosis (NCE), in addition to clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). Importantly, while CME mainly results in EGFR recycling and signaling, NCE targets the majority of the receptors to degradation. Mechanistically, NCE relies on the formation of ER-PM contact sites induced by EGFR activation and dependent on the ER-shaping factor reticulon 3 (RTN3), which serve as anchor sites for PM invagination, as well as spots of localized Ca2+ signaling. Triggering of NCE correlates with the activation of phospholipase enzymes, PLCg1 and PLCg2, suggesting that these signaling enzymes are key determinants in NCE. Indeed, the local Ca2+ release at PM-ER contact sites is mediated by inositol trisphophate receptor (IP3R) and is affected by PLC-inhibitors. EGF-induced Ca2+ isin turnneeded for EGFR-NCE to proceed, finally destining receptors to lysosomal degradation. Thus, NCE is critical to restrict EGFR signaling in condition of high ligand availability; in this view, NCE might work as a tumor suppressor pathway whose subversion could contribute to aberrant EGFR signaling and tumor development. However, this modality of internalization integrates numerous cellular functions and compartments - including PM, ER and mitochondria - with possible impact on Ca2+ signaling propagation, mitochondria dynamics and cell metabolism. 

Volker Haucke Ph.D. - "Lipid regulation of endocytosis and endolysosmal membrane dynamics"

Full Professor of Molecular Pharmacology, Director, Leibniz Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), Berlin, Germany
When Nov 20, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where Tigem, Auditorium "Vesuvius"
Contact Name
Contact Phone 08119230659
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