Physiology and Biophysics


PBIO Seminar Series: Andrei Smertenko @ HSB G-328
Sep 21 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

How plants conquer the space: the cell’s flying plates

Plant cytokinesis is orchestrated by a specialized structure, the phragmoplast. The phragmoplast first occurred in representatives of Charophyte algae and then became the main division apparatus in land plants.  Major cellular activities, including cytoskeletal dynamics, vesicle trafficking, membrane assembly, and cell wall biosynthesis, cooperate in the phragmoplast under the guidance of a complex signaling network. My research focuses on the self-organization processes that govern phragmoplast functions. I will give a general overview of plant cytokinesis, and present our recent data on the gamma-tubulin independent microtubule nucleation by the plant-specific protein MACERATOR and a conserved member of TPX2 protein family.

Andrei Smertenko, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Molecular Plant Sciences
Washington State University

host: Linda Wordeman

PBIO Seminar Series: Liangyi Chen @ HSB G-328
Oct 12 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

High spatiotemporal resolution, three-dimension fluorescence imaging of biological samples in vivo

Dr. Liangyi Chen
Laboratory of Cell Secretion and Metabolism
Institute of Molecular Medicine,
Peking University, Beijing, China

Host: Bertil Hille

Abstract: I will give two stories. (i) One story describes unpublished ultrasensitive Hessian structured illumination microscopy that enables ultrafast and long-term super-resolution (SR) live-cell imaging. At a photon dose one order less than point-scanning microscopy, Hessian-SIM has achieved 88-nm and 188-Hz spatial-temporal resolution for live cells imaging and lasted thousands of images without artifacts. Operating at 1 Hz, Hessian-SIM enables hour-long, time-lapse SR imaging with mitigatable photobleaching, highlighting the possibility of achieving SR imaging with commonly used fluorophores for an unlimited period of time. (ii) The second story is our recent Nature Methods paper, our invention of the fast high-resolution miniature two-photon microscope for brain imaging in freely-behaving mice at the single-spine level. With a headpiece weighing 2.15 g and a new type of hollow-core photonic crystal
fiber to deliver 920-nm femtosecond laser pulses, the mini-microscope is capable of imaging commonly used biosensors at high spatiotemporal resolution (0.64 μm laterally and 3.35 μm axially, 40 Hz at 256 × 256 pixels). It compares favorably with benchtop two-photon microscopy and miniature wide-field fluorescence microscopy in the structural and functional imaging of Thy1-GFP- or GCaMP6f-labeled neurons. Further, we demonstrate its unique application and robustness with hour-long recording of neuronal activities down to the level of spines in mice experiencing vigorous body and head movements or engaging in social interaction.

PBIO Seminar Series: Brian Kalmbach @ HSB G-328
Oct 26 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

“Of Mice and Men: Intrinsic Membrane Properties of Human Cortical Pyramidal Neurons”

Brian Kalmbach, Ph.D.

Allen Institute for Brain Science

host: Nikolai Dembrow

2017 Lamport Lecture – Gilles Laurent @ T-739 HSB
Nov 2 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Evolution and brain computation

I will introduce our work towards identifying principles of brain function and computation, focused on using comparative approaches and exploiting unusual model systems (reptiles, cephalopods) to study sleep, texture perception and cerebral cortex evolution.

Gilles Laurent, PhD, DVM


Max Planck Institute for Brain Research


4:00 PM

Location: T-739, HSB


host: Stan Froehner

PBIO Seminar Series: Nikolai Dembrow @ HSB G-328
Dec 7 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Title: TBA

Nikolai Dembrow, PhD

host: Stan Froehner

PBIO Seminar: Rishidev Chaudhuri @ HSB G-328
Jan 9 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

“Cognitive manifolds and their dynamics across states and areas”

Rishidev Chaudhuri, PhD.
Center for Learning & Memory
The University of Texas at Austin

Host: Stanley C. Froehner

PBIO Seminar: Ashok Litwin-Kumar, PhD @ HSB G-328
Jan 16 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

“Randomness and structure in neural representations for learning”

Ashok Litwin-Kumar, PhD
Center for Theoretical Neuroscience
Columbia University

Host: Stanley C. Froehner

Canceled – Seminar: Amy Bastian, PhD @ HSB G-328
Jan 25 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am


Dr. Bastian’s seminar will be rescheduled for a later date.



Learning and Relearning Movement

Human motor learning depends on a suite of brain mechanisms that are driven by different signals and operate on timescales ranging from minutes to years. Understanding these processes requires identifying how new movement patterns are normally acquired, retained, and generalized, as well as the effects of distinct brain lesions. The lecture focuses on normal and abnormal motor learning and how we can use this information to improve rehabilitation for individuals with neurological damage

Amy Bastian, Ph.D.
Professor of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University


Host: John Tuthill


PBIO Seminar: Julijana Gjorgieva, PhD @ HSB G-328
Feb 1 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Organizing principles in developing networks and sensory populations

Julijana Gjorgieva, PhD
Research Group Leader,
Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
Assistant Professor for Computational Neuroscience,
Technical University of Munich

Host: Stanley C. Froehner

Science in Medicine – Linda Wordeman @ D-209, HSB
Feb 1 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

“Curious Intersection Between DNA Repair and Microtubule Dynamics”

Linda Wordeman, Ph.D
Physiology & Biophysics, UW

Dr. Linda Wordeman, Ph.D. uses high resolution live imaging to discover how changes in microtubule dynamics influence chromosome segregation and Chromosome INstability (CIN) in cancer cells. Dr. Wordeman will describe, mechanistically, how small changes in microtubule assembly dynamics promote CIN and reveal evidence for unexpected pathways, such as DNA damage repair, that may directly impact cellular mictrotubule dynamics.

PBIO Seminar: Scott Linderman, PhD @ HSB G-328
Feb 5 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Discovering Structure in Neural and Behavioral Data

Scott Linderman, PhD
Department of Statistics
Columbia University



New recording technologies are transforming neuroscience, allowing us to precisely quantify neural activity, sensory stimuli, and natural behavior.  How can we discover simplifying structure in these high-dimensional data and relate these domains to one another? I will present my work on developing statistical tools and machine learning methods to answer this question.  With two examples, I will show how we can leverage prior knowledge and theories to build models that are flexible enough to capture complex data yet interpretable enough to provide new insight. Alongside these examples, I will discuss the Bayesian inference algorithms I have developed to fit such models at the scales required by modern neuroscience.  First, I will develop models to study global brain states and recurrent dynamics in the neural activity of C. elegans.  Then, I will show how similar ideas apply to data that, on the surface, seem very different: movies of freely behaving larval zebrafish.  In both cases, these models reveal how complex patterns may arise by switching between simple states, and how state changes may be influenced by internal and external factors.  These examples illustrate a framework for harnessing recent advances in machine learning, statistics, and neuroscience.  Prior knowledge and theory serve as the main ingredients for interpretable models, machine learning methods lend additional flexibility for complex data, and new statistical inference algorithms provide the means to fit these models and discover structure in neural and behavioral data.

Host: Stanley C. Froehner


PBIO Seminar Series: Bernhard Flucher @ HSB G-328
Feb 15 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

How and why are the currents of CaV1.1 calicum channels curtailied in skeletal muscle?

The presentation will include structure-function studies on CaV1 channels and analyses of the role of the calcium current in muscle fiber type specification and neuro-muscular junction formation using various mouse models.

Bernhard Flucher, PhD

Department of Physiology and Medical Physics
Medizinische Universität Innsbruck

host: Stan Froehner

Bertil Hille – Distinguished Science in Medicine @ Hogness Auditorium
Apr 26 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Distinguished Science in Medicine Lecture

Bertil Hille

Thurs., April 26, 2018


Hogness Auditorium.

2018 Hille Lecture – Doris Tsao @ HSB T-747
May 3 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Faces: a neural Rosetta stone

Objects constitute the fundamental currency of the brain: they are things that we perceive, remember, and think about.  One of the most important objects for a primate is a face. Research on the macaque face patch system in recent years has given us a remarkable window into the detailed processes underlying object recognition. I will discuss recent findings from our lab elucidating the code for facial identity used by cells in face patches. I will then discuss how this code is used by downstream areas, as well as how the brain computes what constitutes an object in the first place.

Doris Tsao

Professor of Biology
HHMI Investigator
California Institute of Technology

time: 4:00pm
location: T-747, HSB

host: Stan Froehner