Seminars

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Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology Seminar Series 

Please click on the seminar schedule link below to see the current semester schedule.  This seminar series is jointly sponsored by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Center for Immunology. 

Seminar schedule

Winford P. Larson Lectureship

Winfred P LarsonWinford P. Larson was appointed as the first head of the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology in 1919 and served in that capacity for 29 years. During his long tenure, Larson built a distinguished department that ranked nationally just behind the departments at Harvard and Johns Hopkins. In 1996, through a generous gift from Dr. Larson's daughter, Lorna Larson Ordal, the Department of Microbiology and Immunolgy was able to establish the Winford P. Larson Lectureship Series.

2016: Max D. Cooper, MD

2016: Max D. Cooper, MD

 

Department of Microbiology & Immunology - Winford P. Larson Lecturer

Monday, October 10, 2016, 12:00 noon, 1-125 CCRB

“A Minnesota-Based Search for the Origin of Adaptive Immunity "

Dr Max Cooper 

 Max D. Cooper, M.D.

Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Member, Emory Vaccine Center
Emory University School of Medicine 

Dr. Cooper obtained his medical degree and pediatric residency training at Tulane University Medical School.  While at the University of Minnesota from 1963-1967 he made the fundamental discovery with Robert Good that there are two kinds of lymphocytes, B cells that make antibodies and T cells that mediate cellular immunity. Subsequently, at the University of Alabama he discovered, with graduate student Paul Kincade, antibody class switching by B cells.  Dale Bockman and Cooper described the lymphoid follicle-associated epithelial “M” cells in the intestine and their transcytotic function.  While on sabbatical at University College London in 1974, he worked with Martin Raff and John Owen to define the fetal liver and bone marrow origin of B cells and pre-B cells.  Dr. Cooper's laboratory currently studies the evolution of adaptive immunity and explores the use of lamprey monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis and therapy of infectious diseases and lymphoid malignancies.  Cooper is a former president of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI), the Clinical Immunology Society and the Kunkel Society. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and foreign associate member of the French Academy of Sciences.  Honors include the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine Founder’s Award (1966), Sandoz Prize in Immunology (1990), American College of Physicians Science Award (1994), AAI Lifetime Achievement Award (2000), AAI-Dana Foundation Award in Human Immunology Research (2006), Avery-Landsteiner Prize (2008), the Robert Koch Prize (2010) and the AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award (2012).

2014: Beatrice H. Hahn, MD

2014: Beatrice H. Hahn, MD

Ape Reservoirs of AIDS and Malaria

Presented on Monday, September 22, 2014 by: 

Beatrice HahnBeatrice H. Hahn, MD

Professor of Medicine and Microbiology
Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania

The fourteenth Larson Lecture will be given by Dr. Beatrice Hahn. By tracing the evolutionary relationships of HIV’s simian relatives, the simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV) infecting different non-human primate species in sub-Saharan Africa, she discovered that Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) – one of the most devastating infectious diseases to have emerged in recent history – was the result of cross-species infections of humans by the SIVs naturally infecting chimpanzees (SIVcpz) and gorillas (SIVgor). In her natural history study of SIVcpz in Gombe National Park, she also showed that SIVcpz, like HIV-1, causes significantly increased mortality and AIDS-like immunopathology in wild chimpanzees. More recently, Dr. Hahn’s studies of the human malaria parasitePlasmodium falciparum revealed that P. falciparum is of gorilla origin, and that pandemic P. falciparumresulted from a single cross-species transmission event.

2011: Claire M Fraser-Liggett, PhD

2011: Claire M Fraser-Liggett, PhD

The role of the gut microbiota in obesity and Crohn’s Disease

Presented on Monday, October 24, 2011 by:

Claire Fraser-LiggettClaire F. Fraser-Liggett, PhD

Professor of Medicine
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, Ph.D. is Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. She has joint faculty appointments at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the department of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology.

Until 2007, she was President and Director of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, MD, and led the teams that sequenced the genomes of several microbial organisms, including important human and animal pathogens. She helped launch the new field of microbial genomics and revolutionized the way microbiology has been studied. In a 1995 landmark publication, a group of TIGR investigators reported on the first complete genome sequence of a free-living organism, Haemophilus influenzae. This new approach has, to date, produced DNA sequence data from nearly 1000 different species across the phylogenetic tree.

Her work on the Amerithrax investigation led to the identification of four genetic mutations in the anthrax spores that allowed the FBI to trace the material back to its original source. She is one of the world’s experts in microbial forensics and the growing concern about dual uses – research that can provide knowledge and technologies that could be misapplied.

Dr. Fraser-Liggett has authored more than 200 publications, edited three books, and served on the editorial boards of nine scientific journals. For the past 10 years, she has been the most highly cited investigator in the field of microbiology. Her list of awards include the E.O. Lawrence Award, the highest honor bestowed on research scientists by the Department of Energy, the Promega Biotechnology Award from the American Society of Microbiology, and the Charles Thom Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology. She has been selected as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence, and in 2010, was named to Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.

She has served on many advisory panels for all of the major Federal funding agencies, the National Research Council, the Department of Defense, and the intelligence community. In addition, she has contributed her time as a Board member for universities, research institutes, and other non-profit groups because of her commitment to the education of our next generation of scientists. 

2010: J. Michael Bishop, MD

2010: J. Michael Bishop, MD

The Cancer Genome and Therapeutics

Presented on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 by:

J. Michael BishopJ. Michael Bishop, MD

Chancellor Emeritus, University Professor, and Director of the 
G.W. Hooper Research Foundation at the University of California, San Francisco

The twelfth Larson Lecture will be given by J. Michael Bishop, MD. Dr. Bishop is a recognized authority on the molecular mechanisms of cancer and has shared numerous awards with his colleague Harold Varmus, including the 1982 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the 1984 Alfred P. Sloan Jr. Prize from the GM Cancer Research Foundation, the 1984 Gairdner Foundation International Award, and the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Bishop was also awarded the 2003 National Medal of Science and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Society of London; he holds honorary degrees from Gettysburg College, Miami University, Rochester University, Peking University, the University of Helsinki, Gustavus Adolphus College, Harvard University and King’s College London. He is the author of more than 350 research publications and reviews, and of the book How to Win the Nobel Prize: An Unexpected Life in Science.

Dr. Bishop has served as a Non-Resident Fellow and Member of the Board of Trustees at the Salk Institute, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund; as member and chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board; as member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH, the Medical Advisory Board for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Board of Overseers for Harvard University; as scientific advisor to the Leukemia Society of America, the American Cancer Society, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, St. Jude's Hospital, the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, the European Institute of Oncology, the DNAX Research Institute, the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, the Basel Institute for Immunology, the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, the Cancer Research Institute of Spain, the Sass Foundation, the San Francisco Exploratorium, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms; and as President of the American Society for Cell Biology.

2009: Rita R. Colwell, PhD

2009: Rita R. Colwell, PhD

Climate, Oceans, Infectious Diseases, and Human Health: The Cholera Paradigm

Presented on Monday, May 11, 2009 by:

Rita ColwellRita R. Colwell, PhD

Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland College Park and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health 
Senior Advisor and Chairman Emeritus, Canon U.S. Life Sciences
President and Chief Executive Officer, CosmosID, Inc.

The eleventh Larson Lecture will be given by Rita R. Colwell, PhD. Dr. Colwell’s work is focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health, and she is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world.

Dr. Colwell was Director of the National Science Foundation (1988-2004) and has held many advisory positions in the U.S. Government, nonprofit science policy organizations, and private foundations, as well as in the international scientific research community.  She produced the award-winning film, Invisible Seas, and has served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology and as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology, the Sigma Xi National Science Honorary Society, and the International Union of Microbiological Societies. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and is currently President of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. 

2006: Michael B.A. Oldstone, MD

2006: Michael B.A. Oldstone, MD

Discovery of New Horizons for Infectious Protein Folding (Prion) Diseases


Presented on Friday, October 13, 2006 by:

Michael OldstoneMichael B.A. Oldstone, MD

Professor 

Head, Viral-Immunobiology Laboratory

Departments of Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences and Infectology 

The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

Dr. Oldstone is the recipient of numerous awards including the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine (1997) for his work on virus-host interactions and viral pathogenesis, the Biomedical Sciences Award of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden (1994) for contributions in autoimmunity (concept of molecular mimicry), the Rous-Whipple Award for Research Excellence in Investigative Pathology, American Association of Pathologists (1993), the Abraham Flexner Award for Excellence and Contributions in Biomedical Research, Flexner Foundation, Vanderbilt University (1988), and the Cotzias Award for Research Excellence in Nervous System Disease, American Academy of Neurology (1986). In 1996, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine. He is the author of the book Viruses, Plagues, & History that speaks to the notion that viruses can shape global events and to the work of those who risked their lives so others may be spared.

2006: Stanley B. Prusiner, MD

2006: Stanley B. Prusiner, MD

Synthetic Prions, Mad Cows and Scientific Heresy

Presented on Monday, April 17, 2006 by:

Stanley B. Prusiner, MD

Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry,
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Prusiner discovered an entirely new class of agents called prions that, unlike all other infectious agents, lack a nucleic acid genome. Rather, prions are infectious proteins that propagate by converting a normal cellular protein into an amyloid form that gradually causes neurodegenerative diseases ranging from scrapie and mad cow disease in animals to kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Dr. Prusiner's revolutionary studies have been recognized by every major award in biomedical research, culminating in the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997.

2005: Norman R. Pace, PhD

2005: Norman R. Pace, PhD

New Perspective on the Natural Microbial World

Presented by:

Norman R. Pace, PhD

Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
University of Colorado, Boulder CO

Dr. Pace's research spans the fields of molecular biology and microbial ecology. Recent work has included elucidating the structure and catalytic mechanisms of the RNA moiety of ribonuclease P, an enzyme composed of RNA instead of the usual protein. His laboratory has also led the field in the development and use of molecular tools to study microbial ecosystems. This work has led to the discovery of many novel organisms, an undertanding of some unusual symbioses, and expanded the known diversity of microbial life in the environment. Current work ranges from high-temperature environments to human disease.

Dr. Pace is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. His awards include the highest award in microbiology--the National Academy of Sciences' Selman A. Waksman Award for Distinguished Contributions in Microbiology.

2003: Thomas Shenk, PhD

2003: Thomas Shenk, PhD

Human Cytomegalovirus Triggers and Then Blocks an Innate Antiviral Response

Presented on Monday, September 29, 2003 by:

Thomas Shenk, PhD

James A. Elkins, Jr. Professor in the Life Sciences
and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology
Princeton University

Dr. Thomas Shenk, who is also the current president of the American Society for Microbiology, is a recipient of the American Society for Microbiology's Eli Lilly Award, the NIH Rowe Award, an American Cancer Society Professorship and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigatorship. He is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Institute of Medicine, and was a past president of the American Society for Virology, chair of the NIH Virology Study Section, a member of the Board of Trustees at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and editor and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Virology. Dr. Shenk's laboratory is interested in defining the functions of viral genes in human cytomegalovirus replication and pathogenesis.

2001: Moselio Schaechter, PhD

2001: Moselio Schaechter, PhD

From the Andes to Bacterial Cell Biology A Trip Through Time and Space

Presented on Monday, October 22, 2001 by:

Moselio Schaechter, PhD

Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Tufts University School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, San Diego State University
Visiting Scholar, University of California at San Diego

Dr. Moselio Schaechter emigrated from Europe to Ecuador in 1940 and came to the U.S. in 1950 for graduate and post-graduate studies. In his long and distinguished career, Dr. Schaechter chaired the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University for 23 years, was president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the Association of Medical School Microbiology Chairmen, and currently is Chair of the Editorial Board of ASM News. His talk ranged widely from his upbringing in Ecuador to the bacterial chromosome and, perhaps, even to wild mushrooms about which he has written a book, In the Company of Mushrooms. In his writings, lectures, and career, Dr. Schaechter captures the fascination, excitement and enjoyment of studying biology in general and microbes in particular.

2000: Richard Losick, PhD

2000: Richard Losick, PhD

Fifth Winford P. Larson Lecturer

Richard Losick, PhD
Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology
Harvard University

Asymmetric Division and Cell Fate
Monday, May 15, 2000, Noon
Mayo Auditorium

Dr. Richard Losick is a Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Losick is internationally acclaimed for his research on microbial development.

Dr. Losick joined the faculty at Harvard University in 1971, was chair of the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology from 1984-1987, and was from 1995-1998 chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Among other honors, Dr. Losick has been recognized for his work by election as a Fellow to the American Academy of Microbiology in 1994, Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998.

1999: Julian E. Davies, PhD

1999: Julian E. Davies, PhD

Fourth Winford P. Larson Lecturer

Julian E. Davies, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
University of British Columbia
Development of Resistance to Antibiotics
Monday, October 11, 1999, 12:15 p.m.
Room 2-650 Moos Tower

Dr. Julian E. Davies is an Emeritus Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Chief Scientific Officer of TerraGen Diversity, Inc., Vancouver, B.C. Before joining UBC as head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in 1992, Dr. Davies held academic positions at the University of Wisconsin, University of Geneva, and Institut Pasteur. Dr. Davies is internationally acclaimed for his research on aspects of microbial ecology related to disease, particularly the origins and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, with special reference to gene capture and horizontal gene transfer. Current President of the American Society for Microbiology and Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and of Canada, Dr. Davies will be additionally honored in December with the 1999 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research.

1998: Stanley Falkow, PhD

1998: Stanley Falkow, PhD

Third Winford P. Larson Lecturer

Stanley Falkow, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Stanford University

The Intracellular Lifestyle of Salmonella
Tuesday, November 17, 1998, 11:00 a.m.
Coffman Memorial Union Theater/Lecture Hall

Dr. Stanley Falkow, former chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology at Stanford University School of Medicine and currently Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University, is internationally acclaimed for his outstanding contributions to our understanding of bacterial pathogenesis both through his own research and through the many exceptional individuals whom he has mentored. Dr. Falkow served as President of the American Society for Microbiology in 1997Ð1998 and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. His many awards include the Surgical Infectious Diseases Society of America's Altemeier Medal, the Infectious Diseases Society of America's Squibb Award, the Howard Taylor Ricketts Award, the Paul Ehrlich-Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research, and honorary doctorates in Europe and the U.S.

1997: John J. Mekalanos, PhD

1997: John J. Mekalanos, PhD

Second Winford P. Larson Lecturer

John J. Mekalanos, Ph.D.
Adele Lehman Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Harvard Medical School

Bacterial Virulence and Horizontal Gene Transfer

October 6, 1997, 1:30 p.m.

Coffman Memorial Union Theater/Lecture Hall

Dr. John J. Mekalanos, currently Adele Lehman Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, has been at the forefront of cholera research from his graduate studies on the purification and characterization of cholera toxin to the recent identification of a filamentous bacteriophage that carries the genes for the toxin and co-regulated production of pili required for intestinal colonization. Live attenuated vaccines effective against cholera are one of the important practical benefits of this research. In addition to research on cholera, Dr. Mekalanos has pioneered molecular approaches, such as in vivo expression technology, to understanding the virulence of bacteria and pathogenesis of infection. He has received amongst other honors the Eli Lilly Award and American Association for the Advancement of Science Newcomb Cleveland Prize for the Outstanding Paper of 1993 Published in Science (259:686-688, 1993).

1996: Barry R. Bloom, PhD

1996: Barry R. Bloom, PhD

 

First Winford P. Larson Lecturer

Barry R. Bloom, Ph.D.
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Weinstock Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Pathogenesis and Protection in Tuberculosis

October 2, 1996, 2:30 p.m.

Room 2-650 Moos Tower

Barry Bloom is currently an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Weinstock Professor and previous chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He received his B.A. degree, and an honorary Sc.D. from Amherst College, and his Ph.D. from the Rockefeller University. Professor Bloom is a past president of the American Association of Immunologists and of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, served on the National Advisory Council of the NIAID, and is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Member and Councillor of the Institute of Medicine, and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Bloom received the first Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Research in Infectious Diseases and is an internationally recognized authority in immunology, vaccines, and leprosy and tuberculosis. The latter "white plague" was the topic of his lecture.