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Fall 2021-Winter 2022 Seminar Schedule

In-person seminars will be held on Wednesdays from 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm CT in Room 1220 MBR III. They will also be simultaneously broadcast via Zoom.

Zoom meeting information will be sent to VICB and CBAS members one week prior to a seminar date. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Tia Patton at:


Wednesday, September 15 (In-Person & Zoom)
Vanessa Sperandio – University of Texas-Southwestern, “The Highs and Lows of Enteric Infections”

Research Summary Points:
1) gut-brain axis
2) enteric pathogens
3) inter-kingdom chemical signaling

View the Zoom video of Dr. Sperandio’s presentation.

Wednesday, September 22 (In-Person & Zoom)
Paul Baker – Sciex (In-Person & Zoom), “In-Depth Structural Characterization of Lipids by Electron Activated Dissociation: Redefining Global Lipidomics Analysis”

Research Summary Points:
1)  Most current approaches to lipidomics analysis by
mass spectrometry lack structural characterization
of individual lipid molecular species. Rather,
lipids are typically defined with broad
classifications such as sum composition, which
lacks specificity.
2)  Electron Impact Excitation of Ions from Organics
(EIEIO) is a novel fragmentation method that
enables complete structural elucidation of lipids,
including the class, fatty acid composition,
location of fatty acids, and the position and
stereochemistry of double bonds in a single
3)  Using HPLC ESI MS/MS with electron activated
dissociation makes possible the ability to
identify putative lipid biomarkers of human disease
with structural specificity.

View the Zoom video of Dr. Baker’s presentation.

Wednesday, September 29 (Zoom Only)
Mike Waring – Newcastle University
“Approaches to Hit-Finding Using FragLites and Encoded Libraries”

Research Summary Points:
1)  FragLites are small, halogenated molecules, smaller than traditional fragments, that express single pharmacophores and can be used to identify productive binding interactions in proteins and to assess ligandability.
2)  The utility of FragLites has been demonstrated by mapping interactions with the kinase CDK2 and bromodomains BRD4 and ATAD2.
DNA encoded libraries are an incredibly versatile approach to finding hits, but present a challenge for organic synthesis, we have developed highly efficient methods for synthesising DELs using micellar mediated chemistry.
3)  The micellar approach has been used to develop optimised Suzuki and amide couplings to synthesise screening compound on DNA.

View the Zoom video of Dr. Waring’s presentation.

Wednesday, October 6 (In-Person & Zoom)
Milan Mrksich – Northwestern University
“High Throughput Experiments with SAMDI Mass Spectrometry”

Research Summary Points:
1)  MALDI mass spectrometry is well-suited for analysis of self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on gold
2)  Automation and 1,536 spot plates allow for highthroughput experiments
3)  Important applications in drug discovery, identifying enzyme activities and reaction optimization

View the Zoom video of Dr. Mrksich’s presentation.

Wednesday, October 20 (In-Person & Zoom)
Carl Johnson – Vanderbilt University
“What Makes Us Tick? Circadian Adventures From Bacteria to Mammals”

Research Summary Points:
1) What are circadian clocks good for?
2) How does it work in bacteria? Adaptive fitness and mechanism.
3) Drugging the mammalian clock–redox redux.

View the Zoom video of Dr. Johnsons’ presentation.

Wednesday, October 27 (In-Person & Zoom)
Brian Conlon – University of North Carolina, “Overcoming boundaries to improve antibiotic efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus”

Research Summary Points:
1) Biofilms and intracellular S. aureus represent two major antibiotic tolerant niches
during infection
2) Targeting the host cell response can sensitize intracellular S. aureus to antibiotics
3) Anti-persister drugs and novel drug delivery

Wednesday, November 3 (Zoom Only)
Yimon Aye – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
“Within Our Control? Elucidating On-Target Reactive Metabolite Signaling”
12:15 P.M. — 1:15 P.M.

Research Overview:
Dr. Aye studies proteins/pathways involved in mammalian genome maintenance and nucleotide signaling, including the mechanisms of anticancer agents in clinical use.

Wednesday, November 10 (In-Person & Zoom)
Jerod Denton – Vanderbilt University Medical Center
“A SWELL time to develop the pharmacology of LRRC8 volume-regulated anion channels”

Research Summary Points:
1) Volume-regulated anion channels (VRAC) encoded by LRRC8 genes play important physiological roles and may represent novel drug targets, however the molecular pharmacology of VRAC comprises weak and non-specific inhibitors.
2) Recent progress toward developing the molecular pharmacology of VRAC sheds new light on the putative regulation of VRAC by leukotriene signaling and oxidative stress.

View the Zoom video of Dr. Dentons’ presentation.

Wednesday, November 17 (In-Person & Zoom)
Jenn Adams, Mike Schribner, Jeff Elich, & Maria McGresham – August Bioservices, “Accelerating pharmaceutical development through efficient Design of Experiments (DoE)”  Flyer

Program: The goal of pharmaceutical development is to deliver novel therapies that can significantly improve the lives of patients.  Along the drug development pathway there are multiple opportunities to accelerate the development process through thoughtful design of experiments (DoE) and a clear understanding of the regulatory framework.  August Bioservices Scientists will discuss the high level milestones of the pharmaceutical development process, focusing on strategies to optimize discovery and increase speed to clinic of confirmed drug candidates.

View the Zoom video of the August Bioservices presentation.

Wednesday, December 1 (Zoom Only)
Rommie Amaro – University of California-San Diego
“Computational Microscopy of SARS-CoV-2”

Research Overview:
Dr. Amaro’s scientific interests lie at the intersection of computer-aided drug discovery and biophysical simulation. Her scientific vision revolves around expanding the range and complexity of molecular constituents represented in such simulations, the development of novel multi-scale methods for elucidating their time dependent dynamics, and the discovery of novel chemical matter controlling biological function.

View the Zoom video of the Dr. Amaro’s presentation.


Wednesday, January 12
Lynmarie Thompson – University of Massachusetts
“NMR & hydrogen exchange of chemoreceptor complexes suggest signaling occurs via stabilization of a disordered domain”

Research Summary Points:
1) Native-like functional chemoreceptor complexes are used for biophysical studies of structure and mechanism
2) Solid-state NMR and HDX-MS identify disordered regions of component proteins
3) Kinase activation involves stabilization of both receptor and kinase domains

Wednesday, January 19
Jim Shayman – University of Michigan
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, January 26
Jill Pulley – Vanderbilt University
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, February 2
John Albeck – University of California-Davis
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, February 9
Lars Plate – Vanderbilt University
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, February 16
Lars Dietrich – Columbia University
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, February 23
Rudi Fasan – University of Rochester
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, March 16
James Nowick – University of California-Irvine
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, March 23
Derek Pratt – University of Ottawa
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, March 30
Justin Dubois – Stanford University
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, April 6
Sheila David – University of California-Davis
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, April 13
Ryan Potts – Amgen
“Title TBA”

Wednesday, April 20
Wendy Gordon – University of Minnesota
“Title TBA”



Winter-Spring 2021 Seminars

Fall 2020 VICB Seminars