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The Institute for NanoBioTechnology Seminar Series will present Vipul Periwal from the National Institutes of Health and his discussion on “Quantitatively predicting the effects of therapeutic intervention in human disease.”
Periwal is a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health in the Intramural Research Program. His focus is on computational medicine and biological modeling with a goal to use biological modeling to predict systemic responses to perturbations. His current research includes data-driven large-scale biological modeling of disease, model of reactive oxygen species in mitochondria, and adipocyte development and insulin resistance.
Light refreshments will be provided.
The Institute for NanoBioTechnology Summer Seminar Series will present Jay Baraban from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his discussion on “Understanding How a MicroRNA System Affects Synapse Plasticity.”
Baraban, a professor of neuroscience and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, focuses his research on the neuronal signaling pathways that mediate neuronal morphology and synaptic efficacy, particularly neuronal plasticity induced by environmental stimuli, including drugs. Baraban and his colleagues have identified a protein that changes the strength of a message sent from one nerve to another and which may play a role in addictive behaviors.
The Institute for NanoBioTechnology Summer Seminar Series will present Justin Taraska, from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, for a discussion on “Understanding the Molecular Topology of the Plasma Membrane.”
Taraska, PI at NHLBI, is a 2012 PECASE recipient, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. Taraska studies how vesicles fuse with and are recaptured from the cell surface in excitable cells. He seeks to identify the proteins that control these processes and determine their impact on human health and disease. Focusing on techniques that utilize fluorescence to image the molecular behavior of proteins in parallel with using evanescent field, spectral, and confocal microscopy to image the behavior of individual vesicles in real time.
The Institute for NanoBioTechnology hosts Jerry S.H. Lee for a seminar on “The Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives: Perspectives on its History, Development and Continuing Mission.”
Lee, Health Sciences Director at NCI’s Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives (CSSI) provides leadership and input in planning, developing, and implementing rapid strategic scientific and technology initiatives. This includes direct development and application of advanced technologies, creation of new trans-disciplinary teams, and use of available federal funding mechanisms to forge novel partnerships that emphasize innovation and convergence of scientific disciplines. In 2016, Dr. Lee was assigned to the Office of the Vice President to serve as the Deputy Director for Cancer Research and Technology for the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force.
The Institute for NanoBioTechnology hosts Steven M. Jay, assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, for a seminar on “Uncovering New Insights into Vascular Pharmaceutical Biology and the Design of New Biotherapeutics.”
Steven M. Jay is involved in projects at the interface of vascular and cancer biology, and bioengineering, with the objective of generating new therapies that can be translated to clinical use. His research aims to uncover new biological insights towards the design and development of novel biopharmaceuticals, including proteins and extracellular vesicles (exosomes) through protein engineering for therapeutic vascularization, engineering exosomal nanotechnology for translational therapeutic delivery, and enhancing tissue engineering through drug delivery.
Desmond Lawler, PhD
Nassir I. Al-Rashid Chair in Civil Engineering
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Abstract: The philosophy of municipal wastewater treatment has changed only slowly in the past 100 years. From approximately 1920 to 1970, a wastewater discharge was considered acceptable if the dissolved oxygen level in the receiving stream did not dip below 5 mg/L downstream of the discharge. Protecting aquatic life, particularly fish, from immediate death due to low oxygen levels was the primary motivation and the goal. The passage of the Clean Water Act in 1970 reflected a broader view to include concerns about eutrophication by nutrients and ecological and human health concerns with the naming of “priority pollutants.” Nevertheless, the central concept was that discharge concentrations would be acceptable if they took advantage of the assimilative capacity of receiving waters; that is, if they limited the harm to acceptable values. Now we are embarking on a new philosophy, captured by the phrase “One Water” by the Water Environment Federation, in which we think of wastewater not as a problem for disposal but as a resource.
Why is this shift in philosophy happening? At least two major changes have occurred since the old philosophies were developed. First, a dramatically increased population has led to a substantial increase in “indirect potable reuse” of wastewater, whereby the effluent discharge from one city is a part of the drinking water source for a downstream city. In many areas of the arid Southwest, that “part” can often be nearly 100%. An extension of this trend, due to water shortages, is the drive toward direct potable reuse of wastewater. Second, not only do the chemical and pharmaceutical industries now produce tens of thousands of synthetic chemicals that were not dreamed of when the “priority pollutant” list associated with the Clean Water Act was developed, we now understand that some of these products are endocrine disruptors and others lead to microbial antibiotic resistance.
In this talk, I will try to make the case that wastewater treatment needs to be changed, perhaps radically, to reflect the new philosophy and to meet the needs of the 21st century. The thrust of the presentation will be to explore some possibilities for these radical changes and try to back them up with preliminary engineering calculations.