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Coming to Campus

- September 18, 2006

Coming to Campus is a section announcing visiting speakers of note.

Those who wish to submit items for this section should send a brief description (maximum 300 words) of the event, including the date, time, and place, and giving the name, title, outstanding accomplishments and, if available, a color photo of the speaker to: Visiting Speaker, Advance, 1266 Storrs Road, Storrs, CT 06269-4144 or by e-mail: advance@uconn.edu, with Visiting Speaker in the subject line.

The information must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, a minimum of two weeks prior to the event.

Publication will depend on space available, and preference will be given to events of interest to a cross-section of the University community.

UConn to host structural biology symposium Sept. 30

by Cindy Weiss

The third annual North Eastern Structure Symposium (NESS) on Saturday, Sept. 30, will bring scientists from around the country to UConn, and will highlight the University's own work in structural biology.

Biologists from Storrs and the UConn Health Center have hosted the symposium for three years, as part of their structural biology partnership, with a grant from the Provost's Grant Competition to encourage interdisciplinary research.

"I don't think there's another forum quite like this in the Northeast," said this year's co-organizer, Carolyn Teschke, an associate professor of molecular and cell biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Glenn King, a professor of molecular, microbial, and structural biology at the Health Center, is also a co-organizer.

The topic of this year's NESS is "Structural Investigations into Macromolecular Assemblies."

This year's symposium will include three prominent scientists in the field as keynote speakers:

  • Brian Chait from The Rockefeller University,
  • Stephen Harrison from Harvard Medical School and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and
  • Michael Rossman from Purdue University; along with invited speakers from Notre Dame and UMass, and from UConn, Yale, Cornell, and Boston University medical schools.

The symposium will bring together 100 to 150 senior scientists, undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows from New England and the Northeast who have a common research interest - the structure of biological macromolecules, or, as Teschke explains, the components that make up cells - proteins, nucleic acids, membranes, and carbohydrates.

While structural biologists may take a variety of approaches, their basic research leads to understanding the way a molecule looks; how it functions; and how looks and function interrelate.

The Storrs-Health Center partnership in structural biology involves "a great collegial group," says Teschke, many of whom collaborate on their own campus and get together several times a year to learn what others in their field at UConn are doing.

At Storrs, the partnership draws faculty members from molecular & cell biology and chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Pharmacy, and the Department of Chemical Engineering.

At the Health Center, members are from the departments of Molecular, Microbial, and Structural Biology, and Neuroscience.

In all, 27 faculty members belong to the partnership.

The symposium will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 30 in Room 130 of the Biology Physics Building. The public is welcome; registration is required.

Registration information is available online at www.sb.uconn.edu/ness06.html.

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