Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, launched in 2013, brings eminent scientists, thought leaders and innovators from around the world to the Biodesign Institute to share their research expertise.  Discovery Series lectures and interactive discussions which follow exposes our faculty, staff and students to the latest developments in science, technology and medicine with myriad applications, keeping Biodesign researchers abreast of current trends and breakthroughs.  Discovery Series events also provide networking and collaborative research opportunities – please join us!
 
Lectures are open to the community. Seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.
 

Past Speakers

A Broad and Inclusive Cybersecurity Community

Lecture by

Zachary Staples

Commander, U.S. Navy; Director, Naval Postgraduate School Center for Cyber Warfare

 


Wednesday, April 12, 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

The U.S. Navy’s mission is to win wars, deter aggression and maintain freedom of the seas. During an all-out cyberattack, these defenses must be performed by machines. We will be asked by our country to make good decisions on vast amounts of data that can only be fully analyzed by autonomous systems.
We need to prototype and test such decisions to quickly adapt our way of fighting. Creating and adopting such innovative, diverse and fast practices in cybersecurity will help us reach the creative potential needed to defend our digital shores.


Rick MorimotoProtecting the Proteome in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease

Lecture by

Richard Morimoto, Ph.D.

Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology, Director of the Rice Institute for Biomedical Research, Northwestern University


Wednesday, March 1, • 10 a.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

A common feature of disease and aging is the accumulation of damaged proteins that accumulate in aggregates and amyloid species. The appearance of this molecular clutter is a consequence of protein metastability and the direct result of failure of the quality-control machinery that leads to the accumulation of these damaged proteins, which over time interferes with cellular function.

 View Video Lecture


Susan RosenbergGetting More out of the Sunlight:
Overcoming Constraints on Photosynthetic Energy Conversion Efficiency

Lecture by

Andreas Weber, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Biology, Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Heinrich Heine University


Tuesday, Feb. 28, • 10 a.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Life on earth depends on the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis. Typical crops convert light energy to biomass with efficiencies of approximately 2 to 3 percent, which is less than half of the theoretically achievable maximum. In his seminar, Andreas Weber will discuss constraints on photosynthetic energy conversion efficiency and synthetic biology approaches to overcome these constraints.


Susan RosenbergRegulated Mutation and Evolution and Deep Translational
Discovery of Cancer Gene Functions in Bacteria

Lecture by

Susan Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Ben F. Love Chair in Cancer Research and Professor, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine


Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Susan Rosenberg will describe her work with the molecular mechanism of stress-induced mutation in E. coli and the parallels in other organisms, including human cancer; discuss anti-evolvability drugs that could be aimed at targeting mutagenesis and delaying the evolution of cancer progression; and share engineered proteins that trap, label, quantify and map in genome-specific DNA intermediates in genome instability.


Amy PrudenAntibiotic resistance genes in recycled water:
Harmonizing challenges in sustainable water infrastructure and public health

Lecture by

Amy Pruden, Ph.D.

W. Thomas Rice Professor of Engineering, Virginia Tech


Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 • 11 a.m
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Water reuse is a key strategy for water sustainability. To support continued advancement, research into potential health concerns needs to keep pace. In particular, antibiotic resistance is a growing global health concern and water reuse is one potential avenue that could contribute to its spread. Hear Pruden discuss implications of the growing body of research on antibiotic resistance genes in the water cycle and how it can inform best practices in the future direction of water infrastructure to advance sustainability and protect public health.


Alison GoateLate Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Implicates Microglial Function?

Lecture by

Alison Goate, Ph.D.

Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Center on Alzheimer’s Disease, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 • 11 a.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Until recently the genetics of late onset Alzheimer’s disease was poorly understood. Apolipoprotein E genotype was the only replicated genetic risk factor. High-throughput technologies such as genomewide association studies and next-generation sequencing approaches are transforming our understanding with more than 30 loci identified in the last few years. The challenge for the field is to translate this knowledge into an improved understanding of the biology of disease.

 View Video Lecture


Michael LynchMutation, Drift and the Origin of Subcellular Features

Lecture by

Michael Lynch, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Biology, Indiana University – Bloomington

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 • 11 a.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Information on spontaneous mutations, obtained from whole-genome sequencing of mutation-accumulation lines, implies an inverse scaling of the mutation rate (per nucleotide site) with the effective population size of a species. This pattern is thought to arise naturally as natural selection pushes the mutation rate down to a lower limit set by the power of random genetic drift.

 View Video Lecture


Li-Huei TsaiUsing Epigenomic Approaches to Identify Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets for Alzheimer’s Disease

Lecture by

Li-Huei Tsai, Ph.D.

Director, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory; Picower Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Hear about how Li-Huei Tsai and her team use cutting-edge transcriptomic and epigenomic approaches to study Alzheimer’s disease mouse models and human brain samples. These analyses reveal dysregulation of novel pathways that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention.

 View Video Lecture


Stephanie ForrestThe Complex Science of Cybersecurity

Lecture by

Stephanie Forrest, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, University of New Mexico

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

See how ideas from biological defense systems can be applied to solve cybersecurity problems. Learn how tools of complexity science can be used to understand today's technological networks and their linkages to human behavior, social norms and economic incentives, which can help us address global scale cybersecurity problems.
 


Tony HuWritten in Blood: Nanopore-enabled Peptidomic Analysis and its Application in Disease Detection

Lecture by

Tony Hu, Ph.D.

Core Director, Peptidomics Nanoengineering Core and Assistant Professor of Nanomedicine, Institute for Academic Medicine, Houston Methodist Research Institute

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 • 1:30 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Hear about developing and validating the integrated nanotechnique-based strategies to perform marker discovery and molecular diagnostics from peripheral blood and to provide a translatable solution for personalized medicine.

 View Video Lecture


Dipak PanigrahyResolvin’ Tumor Growth with Resolvins

Lecture by

Dipak Panigrahy, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Instructor in Surgery, Vascular Biology Program, Boston Children’s Hospital; Member of Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center

 

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Panigrahy’s studies show that enhancing endogenous clearance of tumor cell debris represents a new biological target to complement current cancer therapy.


Jewel SamadderColorectal Cancer: Familial Risk, Screening and Prevention

Lecture by

N. Jewel Samadder, M.D.

Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine

Thursday, October 8, 2015 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Learn about colon cancer syndromes, their genetic basis and clinical management and the unique resources available in Utah to study familial clustering of cancer and health care resource utilization.

 View Video Lecture


shibata_sm.pngEpigenetic Mechanisms in Memory Formation

Lecture by

J. David Sweatt, Ph.D.

Evelyn F. McKnight Chair, Department of Neurobiology and Director of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

 

Monday, June 8, 2015 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Conservation of epigenetic mechanisms for information storage represents a unifying model in biology, with epigenetic mechanisms being utilized for cellular memory at levels from behavioral memory to development to cellular differentiation.

 


shibata_sm.pngReconstructing the First Few Human Tumor Cell Divisions (Big Bang Tumorigenesis)

Lecture by

Darryl Shibata, M.D.

Professor of Pathology, Keck School of Medicine of USC

 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Darryl Shibata is interested in cancer evolution with a focus on using genomic data to infer human somatic cell ancestral trees.

 View Video Lecture

 


alexandra_lucas_sm.pngAtherosclerosis, Cancer and Wound Healing: A Systems Biology Connection

Lecture by

Alexandra Lucas, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, Ethel Smith Chair in Vasculitis Research, and Director of Vascular Research Division of Cardiocascular Medicine, University of Florida

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Alexandra Lucas’s research has examined the roles of serine protease inhibitors (serpins) as well as the glyocalyx and chemokines in transplant vasculopathy. She is a practicing interventional cardiologist in addition to running an active basic research lab in vascular inflammatory research.
 


jorg_enderlein_sm.pngSuper-resolution Fluorescence
Microscopy

Lecture by

Jörg Enderlein, Ph.D.

Professor of Biophysics and Complex Systems, Third Institute of Physics at the Georg-August University Göttingen


 

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Although Jörg Enderlein has a wide scope of interests, his research explores single molecule spectroscopy and imaging, from fundamental aspects to biophysical applications. Come to hear about the latest super-resolution microscopy techniques from someone who uses them.

 View Video Lecture

 


seth_borgenstein.pngDecoding Omics Data:
Disease Pathway and Drug Target Discovery

Lecture by

John Quackenbush, PhD

Director, Center for Cancer Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Professor, Biostatistics and Computational Biology, and Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Harvard School of Public Health

 

Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 • 9:30 a.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Dr. John Quackenbush provides broad-based bioinformatics support to the local research community using a collaborative consulting model. His research is focused on developing new methods for integrative genomic data analysis and inference of gene networks as well as understanding the role that variation plays in the defining phenotype.

 View Video Lecture
 


seth_borgenstein.pngAnimal Microbiomes and the Origin of Species

Lecture by

Seth R. Bordenstein, PhD

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University

 

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 • 1 p.m.
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

 

Seth Bordenstein is a biologist who probes the rules of symbiosis and evolution, and
their inseparable connections. Key questions guiding his science include

• What is the role of the microbiome in the origin of species?
• How do viruses subsist in obligate intracellular bacteria?
• What interactions shape maternal microbial transmission?

Bordenstein’s research is inspired by the Carl Sagan quote that "Life looks for life.” He is the founding director of the international citizen science program Discover the Microbes Within! The Wolbachia Project.

 View Video Lecture

 


sturgis_sm.pngThe HPV-associated Cancer Epidemic
and Our Path Forward

Lecture by

Erich Sturgis, MD

Professor, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Epidemiology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

 

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 • 10am
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

 

Erich Sturgis is the program director of the MD Anderson Oropharynx Program, an eight-year clinical and translational research effort supported by a $10-million gift by Charles and Daneen Stiefel to the MD Anderson Head and Neck Program. He is also the administrative leader of the MD Anderson Pilot Moon Shot for HPV-associated Malignancies. His research interests include HPV and molecular epidemiology of carcinomas of the head and neck region, while his clinical focus is sarcomas of the head and neck region as well as thyroid cancer.

 View Video Lecture

 


Ryan WattsCrossing Barriers in Alzheimer’s
Drug Development 

Lecture by

Ryan Watts, PhD

Director and Senior Scientist, Department of Neuroscience, Genentech

 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 • 10am
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

 

Ryan Watts leads 10 Genentech laboratories focused on developing therapies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, ALS, pain and other neurological disorders. His research on the blood-brain barrier focuses on the ability of large molecules to transverse it. This effort has led to a new Alzheimer’s therapy and a pipeline of large molecule drugs focused on diseases affecting the central nervous system.

 


joegarcia_sm.pngPrecision Medicine for the Critically Ill
is Feasible and Necessary

Lecture by

Joe “Skip” Garcia, MD

Senior Vice President, Health Services; Interim Dean, College of Medicine; Endowed Professor of Medicine at University of Arizona

 

Friday, June 13, 2014 • 3pm
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

Skip Garcia is internationally recognized for his genetic-based research on lung disease and for development of novel therapies for critically ill patients with acute inflammatory lung disease.

A key member of the University of Arizona’s senior executive team, Garcia provides academic leadership for the Arizona Health Sciences Center colleges: the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, the UA College of Pharmacy, the UA College of Nursing and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He also has direct leadership oversight of the UA Cancer Center.

 View Video Lecture


 


meni_wanunu.pngQuantifying Biomolecular Interactions Using Nanopores: Not Seeing and Believing

Lecture by

Meni Wanunu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Departments of Physics and Chemistry/Chemical Biology. Northeastern University/p>

 

Thursday, April 3, 2014 • 10am
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

 

Meni Wanunu researches subtle changes in the chemical structure of biomolecules. These changes, called mutations, are sufficient to cause disease by producing a malfunctioning protein. Many of the ways miniscule chemical changes affect biomolecular function are still unknown.

To address these questions, the Wanunu Lab is developing novel techniques that probe how small molecular changes affect the global properties of macromolecules and biomolecules. Using various tools enabled by nanotechnology, the team investigates biomolecular structure and dynamics at their corresponding size scale./p>

 Download PDF flyer

 


keith_yamamoto.pngGlucocorticoid Receptor: 
Regulatory Selectivity, Logic and Allostery

Lecture by

Keith Yamamoto, PhD

Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California-San Francisco, Executive Vice Dean of the School of Medicine, and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology

 

Thursday, March 27, 2014 • 10am
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

 

Keith Yamamoto's research is focused on signaling and transcriptional regulation by intracellular receptors, which mediate the actions of several classes of essential hormones and cellular signals. He uses both mechanistic and systems approaches to pursue these problems in pure molecules, cells and whole organisms.

 View Video Lecture
 


story_musgrave.pngDesign a Life for Yourself:
One Little Step at a Time

Lecture by

Story Musgrave, PhD

Landscape architect, businessman and former astronaut

 

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 • 2pm
ASU Biodesign Institute, Auditorium B105
727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, AZ 85287

 

Story Musgrave was an NASA astronaut for more than 30 years and flew on six spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger's first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified Department of Defense missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission, and on his last flight, he operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

 Click to View Video Lecture
 


robb_knight.pngGut Microbes and Their Role
in Obesity and Malnutrition

Lecture by

Rob Knight, PhD

Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Colorado Boulder

 

Monday, Dec 9, 2013 • 1pm
ASU Biodesign Institute Auditorium
727 E. Tyler St.

 

Rob Knight's research is focused on understanding biological evolution at scales ranging from individual molecules to whole ecosystems. He uses a combination of techniques drawn from fields ranging from computer science to molecular biology to understand the evolution, structure and function of the human microbiome (the microbes that inhabit each of our bodies) and, at a more fundamental level, the evolution of biochemical functions in random-sequence pools of RNA molecules.