Please note that there is no registration for these online events. You can join each session using the links below.
Tuesday 25 January - 18:15 GMT
Title: A Geochemist’s Perspective on Planetary Formation and Evolution
Speaker: Dr Anat Shahar
Synopsis: One of the main goals in earth and planetary science research is to understand the formation and evolution of a planet. While each planetary body has a unique history, there are some aspects of planetary formation that are ubiquitous and which we can learn a lot about through a geochemical lens. In particular, isotopes are powerful tracers of the history of a planetesimal from its formation through its separation into different layers, and finally its evolution into a dynamic planet. In this talk, I will present a series of isotope geochemistry experiments that have allowed us to understand more about the conditions attending the early solar system through the dynamic processes occurring on Earth today.
Thursday 3 February - 18:15 GMT
Title: Sebum based metabolomics: a quest for my tricorder
Speaker: Dr Drupad Trivedi
Synopsis: Fascination with a StarTrek tricorder has led to a curious quest for building one. To build one for each one of us molecules closest to the phenotype are our best hope. Metabolome consists of such small molecules (metabolites) present in a particular system, representing its phenotype. Out of many biofluids that contain these molecules, sebum is a rarely studied biofluid. Sebum acts as a sink to many small molecules that are either endogenously produced or result from changing skin microbiota that interacts with wax, lipids and esters – the key components of sebum. In Parkinson’s disease and tuberculosis, these small molecules often produce a distinct smell that can diagnose the disease. In recent studies, we have linked sebum metabolome to odorous volatile compounds and lipid dysregulation that can occur due to disease-related perturbations in Parkinson’s disease and also in COVID.
Tuesday 1 March - 18:15 GMT
Title: Bioelectronics in Tissue Engineering and Disease Modeling
Speaker: Prof. Brian Timko
Synopsis: Hybrid bioelectronic systems offer a unique route toward achieving two-way electronic communication with living cells and tissues. Recent advances in bioelectronics and bioactive materials have enabled multiplexed, stable and seamless interfaces with surrounding cells and tissues, representing a distinct advantage over conventional systems such as patch clamp and optical dyes. We will first present an overview of our recent hearton-a-chip platform which integrated both extra- and intracellular devices for monitoring cardiac electrophysiology during episodes of acute hypoxia. This system allowed us to monitor not only cell-cell communication (e.g., wavefront propagation) but also action potentials at several spatially-distinct regions simultaneously. Our platform provided a unique route toward understanding the role of hypoxia on ion channel dynamics. For example, we found that APs narrowed during hypoxia, consistent with proposed mechanisms by which oxygen deficits activate ATP-dependent K+ channels that promote membrane repolarization. We will next discuss routes toward extending our bioelectronic platform to 3D, enabling new classes of hybrid, devices-embedded tissues. We developed a Photo-crosslinkable Silk Fibroin (PSF) derivative which was compatible with conventional photolithography processes and enabled flexible scaffolds with well-defined geometries and cm-scale uniformity. Our freestanding PSF-based scaffolds supported bioelectronic devices, provided excellent electrical passivation, and adhered both cardiac and neuron model cells, opening new avenues toward engineered brain hybrids. We will also present recent work to develop electromagnetic stimulation elements for spatially-selective cellular activation. Taken together, these research directions open new avenues for engineered, bioelectronicsinnervated cardiac and brain systems. We will discuss prospects for merging our bioelectronic devices with state-of-the-art tissue engineering techniques.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561