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List of Events

All seminars take place at 2 pm on Thursdays in Abelson 333, unless otherwise indicated.

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Fall 2017 IGERT Seminars


Thursday, September 28
Arjun Narayanan, MIT
Title:  A First Order Phase Transition Underlies the Formation of Sub-Diffractive Protein Aggregates in Mammalian Cells
Abstract: Failure in protein quality control can often lead to protein aggregation, yet in neuro-degenerative diseases, by the time aggregates can be seen, the cells have advanced well into the disease pathology. We develop a quantitative imaging approach to study the protein aggregation process in living mammalian cells. We find that sub-diffractive precursor aggregates may form even in untreated cells, and their size distribution is exactly as predicted for a system undergoing a first order phase transition. Practically, this implies that as soon as aggregates reach a critical size (Rc = 162 ± 4 nm in untreated cells), they will spontaneously grow into large inclusions. Our data suggest that a previously uncharacterized, RuvBL1 dependent mechanism clears aggregates above the critical size. Our study unveils the existence of sub-diffractive aggregates in living cells; and the strong agreement between cellular data and a nucleation theory, based on first order phase transition, provides insight into regulatory steps in the early stages of aggregate formation in vivo.
Abelson 333
2:00pm

Thursday, October 19
Eric Lowet, Boston University
Title: TBA
Abelson 333
2:00pm

Thursday, November 9
Ken Kamrin, MIT
Title: TBA
Abelson 333
2:00pm


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