Visiting Speaker Program
The Visiting Speaker Program (VSP) brings acclaimed speakers from across the world to Australia.
For more information or to send through your suggestions for future speakers, please contact Peter Traynor, VSP Coordinator at peter.traynor[at]thermofisher.com.
Visiting Speaker Program 2012
Jill Banfield is a geomicrobiologist whose work focuses on the relationship between microorganisms and their chemical environments, most notably minerals. Her work has helped us understand how microorganisms alter their chemical and physical environments, such as during bioremediation. As an Australian native, Banfield’s career began at the Australian National University where she completed her bachelors and masters degrees (1985). She graduated with a PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1990. Throughout her career, Banfield has been a professor at universities worldwide, including the University of Wisconsin, Madison and The University of Tokyo. Since 2001, she has been a professor at the University of California Berkeley, where she heads their geomicrobiology program and works under the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her research spans from field sites in California to Australia and from subjects of astrobiology, extremophiles, how microorganisms impact mineralogy, and genomics/geosciences. She is a pioneer in the new scientific field called "nanogeoscience" which investigates geological processes that involve particles no larger than 100 nanometers. She also leads a NASA-funded study to determine whether life ever existed on the planet Mars. Her work has appeared in the world’s top scientific publications including Science and Nature, and she is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2010, Jill was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science, and The L'Oreal.-UNESCO Award for exceptional women in science.
Friday 6th and Monday 9th in Sydney
Tuesday 10th Canberra
Thursday 12th and Friday 13th in Melbourne.
Topics of talks:
Titles of talks:
For further information, please contact your local (state) VSP representative:
- Sue Cornish (VIC) http://www.asmvic.org
- Ruiting Lan (NSW) http://www.asmnsw.com.au
- Mohammad Katouli (QLD) http://asmq.org
- Peter Traynor (SA) http://asmsa.org.au
- Tom Riley (WA) http://www.asmwa.com.au
- Louise Roddam (TAS) Louise.Roddam@utas.edu.au
Dr. Rubin received his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and his MD from Columbia University in 1976. He was a House Officer in Medicine at The Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and did his fellowship in infectious diseases at Harvard and the Brigham. Dr. Rubin joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and became Professor of Medicine in 1998. Dr. Rubin holds secondary appointments as Professor in the Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine and as Professor of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. At the present time Dr. Rubin serves as a member of the School of Medicine Curriculum Committee. He won the Donald B Martin, MD Teaching Service Award in 1996. He also serves as the course director for the Wilderness Medicine elective. He is the Director of the Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response (ISTAR) at the University of Pennsylvania .
The Rubin laboratory is involved in several projects.
- Pathogenesis of dormancy in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: It is widely and believed that oxygen limitation, amino acid starvation and carbon source restriction are involved in establishing and maintaining Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a dormant state. Correspondingly, emergence from dormancy is related to a partial or complete amelioration of these conditions. The lab identified three genetic and enzyme systems that comprise regulatory networks in M.TB that may be involved in pathogenesis.
- Enzymology and cell biology of serine proteases and serine protease inhibitors: Serine proteases and serine protease inhibitors (serpins) play critical roles in inflammation, coagulation, growth and development. The lab has proposed a general model for the mechanism of inhibition of serine proteases by serine protease inhibitors based on site directed mutagenesis, atomic resolution crystal structures and NMR spectroscopic analyses, and is exploring the consequences and extensions of this model.
- Biomolecular Computation: A new area of investigation is known as biomolecular computation where complex computational operations are carried out using biomolecules, in particular using DNA. The lab showed how macromolecules can be manipulated to carry out fundamental logical operations and can be wired together as reversible logic gates. The lab is collaborating with members of the School of Engineering on modeling complex biological behavior using a hybrid systems approach that combines continuous and stochastic modalities.
Thur 5th July
Visit Mycobacteria reference Lab, VIDRL (Melbourne)
Presentation to ASM Vic Branch in evening
Fri 6th July
Visit Mycobacteria Reference Lab, SA Pathology (IMVS) (Adelaide);
Presentation to SA Branch in evening.
Mon 9th July
Visit Mycobacteria Reference Lab, PathWest (Perth)
Presentation to WA Branch in evening.
Tues 10th July
Presentation to SA/NT Branch in evening. (Darwin)
Wed 11th July
Visit to CDC NT, Menzies School of Health (Darwin)
Topics / titles of talks:
- Molecular Mechanisms of Dormancy in Mycobacteria
- Energy Production in Mtb--the Oxidative Phosphorylation Pathway, and can combine the two and talk on Molecular Mechanisms for New Anti-TB Drug Discovery
- Forbidden Knowledge--Is Some Scientific Inquiry Just Too Dangerous?
- Biosecurity and Biosafety- The Balance Between New Knowledge and Dangerous Research
For further information, please contact your local (state) VSP representative.