Physiology and Biophysics

Seminars

Apr
6
Thu
2017
2017 Hille Lecture – Thomas Schwarz @ Foege Auditorium
Apr 6 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Moving and Removing Axonal Mitochondria

Thomas L. Schwarz, PhD
Professor Neurology
F.M. Kirby Center for Neurobiology
Children’s Hospital, Boston
and Dept. of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

Time: 4:00PM

Location: Foege Auditorium, GNOM S060

seminar abstract: Mitochondria are dynamic organelles.  In every cell they move and undergo fission and fusion.  Their distribution and associations with the cytoskeleton change in response to many signals, including the mitotic cell cycle.  In addition, because neurons look like no other cell in the organism, with axons of up to a meter in humans, mitochondrial motility is particularly crucial to the survival of the neuron. The neuron also needs to clear away damaged mitochondria efficiently wherever in the cell they may arise.  Not surprisingly then, defects in the transport machinery of neurons and in their mechanisms for removing damaged mitochondria have been linked to several neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS and Parkinson’s disease.  This talk will present the evidence for a motor/adaptor complex that is responsible for and regulates the movement of mitochondria and will discuss how that movement is regulated by the cell cycle, Ca++, and glucose.  We will look at the operation of two proteins PINK1 and Parkin that are mutated in forms of Parkinson’s disease and examine how these proteins operate in axons to clear away damaged mitochondria that might otherwise compromise the health of the cell.  Particularly in the case of mitophagy, we will consider the special challenges posed for neurons by their extended geometry and the difficulty of having a PINK1-dependent pathway operating far from the soma.

 

Apr
13
Thu
2017
PBIO seminar – Rui Chang @ HSB G-328
Apr 13 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

From body to brain: control of autonomic physiology by the sensory vagus nerve

Rui Chang, Ph.D.
Department of Cell Biology
Harvard Medical School

Seminar abstract:

Cardiac, respiratory, and other autonomic functions are precisely controlled by the nervous system, yet many autonomic reflexes remain poorly characterized at a molecular and cellular level. The sensory vagus nerve is a major conduit between body and brain, and is critical for many autonomic physiology. Using a genetic approach, we molecularly deconstructed the vagus nerve, and successfully identified neuron populations that are critically involved in respiratory physiology and digestive functions. We further elucidated the molecular mechanism for lung inflation-mediated apnea. Together, these findings lay the groundwork for a molecular dissection of respiratory and gastrointestinal physiology.

Apr
20
Thu
2017
PBIO seminar – Claudia Moreno @ HSB G-328
Apr 20 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Claudia Moreno, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology
School of Medicine
University of California, Davis

host: Stan Froehner

Apr
27
Thu
2017
PBIO Seminar Series: Chris Liu @ HSB G-328
Apr 27 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Chris Liu

University of Washington
Dept of Physiology & Biophysics

 

host: Stan Froehner

May
4
Thu
2017
PBIO Seminar Series: Dr. Felix Viana @ HSB G-328
May 4 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

title: TBD

Dr. Félix Viana

Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante

Universidad Miguel Hernandez / CSIC

 

host: Bertil Hille

May
11
Thu
2017
PBIO Seminar Series: Daniel Polly @ HSB G-328
May 11 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Daniel Polley, PhD

Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology

Harvard Medical School

 

host: Ed Rubel