Dr. Leeann Thornton, Department of Biology
“Conserved patterns in cytochrome P450 enzymes”
Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) facilitate biochemical reactions in almost every known organism. The group is defined by a conserved folding pattern that gives each enzyme a similar shape, but the specific atoms that line the internal pocket for substrate binding vary tremendously. My research is interested in the similarities and differences within the substrate binding pocket of CYPs that are important in plant growth. Some CYPs help plants maintain optimal growth under variable environmental conditions. We combine computational analysis, genetic mutations, and biochemical measurements to determine how plant CYPs function.
Dr. Andrea Salgian, Department of Computer Science
“Finding and Recognizing Pattern in Data”
Pattern recognition is a subfield of artificial intelligence that studies the design of systems that recognize patterns in data and use them to assign labels to given input values. Application areas are diverse, ranging from image analysis to computational biology and computational music, to name a few. In this talk I will present some of my recent research projects that use pattern recognition techniques to a variety of problems: substrate conformation analysis in cytochrome P450 enzymes, human gesture recognition and analysis, and automatic orchestra conducting.
Dr. Stephanie Sen, Department of Chemistry
“Finding subtle pattern differences in insect biosynthetic enzymes”
Whether it is through divergent or convergent evolution, proteins display common patterns in structure and function. While recognizing patterns is an essential part of contemporary proteomics, it is equally useful to understand what differences in pattern exist for related proteins. This talk will focus on the identification and targeting of unique insect proteins, including cytochrome P-450s, for the development of selective insecticidal agents.
Lunch will be provided, please come a few minutes early.