Science at Breakfast
Science at Breakfast introduces leading faculty and research topics in the College of Science to business, community and government leaders. Check this page often for event details, including lecture topics, speaker information, and topic summaries!
Note: This is an invitation only event.
Call (801) 587-8098 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Title: Epigenetic Readers: Potential Targets for Novel Cancer Therapeutics
Featuring: Assistant Professor Bethany Buck-Koehntop (Chemistry)
DNA is the long-term storage unit for genetic information and the encoder of instructions for cellular function. However, access to this information is regulated in part by surface chemical changes to DNA, termed epigenetic modifications. In mammals, methylation of specific DNA bases is a prevalent epigenetic modification found in normal cells that is required for genomic stability and control of gene expression. When these DNA methylation patterns are misregulated they can lead to the onset of a number of diseases, including cancer. This direct correlation between DNA methylation status and disease states has prompted the need to understand the mechanisms by which DNA methylation dictates gene transcription. The ZBTB family consists of three members and represents a set of specialized proteins, termed methyl-CpG binding proteins, that specifically recognize methylated DNA sites and mediate further processes that lead to changes in cellular function. These proteins are known to have a high cellular presence and mediate processes that maintain the disease state in the most aggressive forms of several cancers. This talk will discuss efforts to discern the functions of this unique family of proteins in the cancerous state and determine their potential as targets for novel cancer therapeutics.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Title: Branching Processes
Featuring: Assistant Professor Tom Alberts (Mathematics)
A branching process models the changes in a population level in which each individual produces a random number of offspring. They are a very simple but important part of probability theory and can be used to model reproduction within a bacteria colony, the spread of surnames in genealogy, or the propagation of neutron collisions in an atomic bomb. This talk will go over the basic models of branching processes and some interesting variants and then describe the beautiful mathematics behind one of the most important questions in the subject: what is the probability that the population ultimately goes extinct?