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Two science symposia scheduled for Oct. 8

by Cindy Weiss - October 3, 2005

More than 200 scientists from throughout New England will attend two symposia at UConn on Oct. 8, organized by biologists and geoscientists in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The New England Structure Symposium will feature 10 speakers presenting papers on “Structural Perspectives on Membrane Proteins.”

Along with UConn’s Robert Birge, the Harold S. Schwenk Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, speakers include scientists from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The plenary speakers are Richard Cogdell from the University of Glasgow and Charles Sanders from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The symposium, in its second year, highlights a structural biology partnership between biologists at Storrs and the UConn Health Center.

This year’s event is organized by Debra Kendall, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in Molecular and Cell Biology, and Arlene Albert, professor of molecular and cell biology.

More than 200 people have registered to attend.

The symposium will include a poster session for graduate students, and is an opportunity for biology graduate students throughout the region to meet and share interests that may lead to research collaborations, according to Kendall.

An all-day symposium on “Dimensions in Geosciences” will be presented by the Center for Integrative Geosciences, highlighting the trans-disciplinary approach to research that distinguishes the new center.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dave Des Marais, principal investigator with NASA’s Astrobiology Institute who is based at the Ames Research Center in California. Des Marais’s group is investigating the chemistry and environments conducive to life’s origin.

Among the other five speakers are scientists from MIT, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and new geosciences faculty member Andrew Bush, an invertebrate paleontologist who joined the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology this fall after receiving his Ph.D. at Harvard.

Some 30 researchers have registered for the symposium. Student posters will be displayed from areas related to the geosciences, including geology and environmental science.

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