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Departmental Seminars

Spring Semester 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019,
12:00 - 12:50 pm,  in RITA 103
Jennifer Grier, USC School of Medicine, Greenville, SC

Ah… Ah… Achoo! Steps towards understanding the Cellular Response to Respiratory Virus Infection

Symptoms of a respiratory virus infection range from mildly annoying to extremely severe, and for some patients infected with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), the infection can lead hospitalization and life-long complications. While it is not clear what leads to these outcomes, the initial immune response to an infection may be pivotal in shaping the eventual disease progression. The earliest intracellular response to RSV or Sendai Virus (SeV), a mouse pathogen similar to RSV, have been linked to error in viral replication that lead to production of defective viral genomes (DVG). This DVG-associated immune response leads to the up-regulation of hundreds of Interferon Stimulated Genes (ISGs), yet only a handful of ISGs have known functions. Through CRISPR-Cas9 mediated mutation, study of the ISG, IFIT1, demonstrates the impact these genes can have on viral replication, the host response, and lung physiology.  An in-depth understanding of these early response genes may one day be used to minimize RSV symptoms and prevent the development of chronic complications.

Monday February 11, 2019,
12:00 - 12:50 pm,  RITA 103
Ko-Hsaun Chen, University of Florida

Functional Ecology of Plant-Associated Fungi

Fungi are associated with all lineages of plants. While plant-fungal symbiosis is common, many of their interactions, ranging from mutualism, commensalism, to parasitism are yet to be determined. Questions still remain for the scientists: How do plants affect the assemblies of fungal communities? How do plants and their fungal partners communicate and maintain their relationships? With the advancement of technologies that allow scientists to approach these questions, stories of plant-fungal symbiosis have just started to unveil.

Monday, February 4, 2019
12:00 - 1:00 pm in RITA 101 Auditorium
Dr. Joseph Pfaller, Research Director, Caretta Research Project Courtesy Faculty, Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, University of Florida

Sea turtles in the Southeast: What have we learned and achieved?

Monday, January 28, 2019
12:00 - 12:50 pm in RITA 103
Qamar Schuyler, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

Marine life and governance in the Plasticene Era 

Marine debris is among the most pressing environmental concerns of the 21st century. An estimated 4-12 million tons of debris enters the ocean annually, and nearly 700 species of animals are recorded to have interacted with this debris. I will outline what we know about debris and what still remains unknown, and describe my research into the impacts of debris on sea turtles and sea birds at both local and global scales.

Monday, January 14, 2019
12:00 - 12:50 pm in RITA 103
Michael Schmidt, MUSC

Infection Control - Spreading Awareness - Not Germs

How Copper Surfaces continuously foster patient safety by controlling microbial burden within clinical environments

National health-service providers, private health insurers, and healthcare practitioners have each called for increased practices that foster patient safety. Healthcare associated infections (HAI) represent one of the most significant risks to patient safety, occurring at an alarmingly high rate of 1 per 25 hospitalizations in the US. Collectively HAIs add ~150 billion dollars to the annual cost of healthcare.  Here we will introduce data that support components fabricated from solid copper alloys have an ability to continuously control the concentration of microbes in situ at levels recommended subsequent to terminal cleaning (<250 cfu/100cm2). In a number of clinical trials, limited placement of copper surfaces has been shown to mitigate the rate of HAI acquisition through a reduction to environmental burden. In the seminal study, conducted at three hospitals, the HAI rate was significantly reduced in rooms with copper surfaces (11.8 to 4.8 per 1,000 patient days (p= 0.013)). Collectively these data advance a conclusion that an application of copper touch surfaces throughout healthcare can enhance infection control efforts augmenting patient safety.

Monday, March 4, 2019, 12:00 - 12:50 pm, James Spotila, Drexel University
Monday, March 11, 2019, 12:00 - 12:50 pm, Mark Lazzaro, College of Charleston
Monday, March 25, 2019, 12:00 - 12:50 pm, Matt Rutter and Gorka Sancho, College of Charleston
Monday, April 1, 2019, 12:00 - 12:50 pm, Nick Gotelli, University of Vermont
Monday, April 8, 2019, 12:00 - 12:50 pm, Fadi Issa, Eastern Carolina University
Monday, April 15, 2019, 12:00 - 12:50 pm, Andrew Shedlock, Grice Marine Lab, College of Charleston




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