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Today's date is Saturday, July 04, 2020
School of Molecular Sciences
 June 2012
Tuesday 12
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : Discoveries in Catalysis using Nucleophilic N-heterocyclic carbenes More Information
N-Heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are powerful organocatalysts for a range of chemical transformations. Our studies have been underpinned by new approaches to acyl azolium intermediates and have allowed a number of novel catalytic reactions to be developed. In this presentation studies on the use of NHCs to catalyse sigmatropic rearrangements, (4 + 2) annulations, and cascade Brønsted/Lewis base mediated reactions, will be presented. The application of these reactions to the total synthesis of 7 deoxyloganin will be presented.
Thursday 21
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - New horizons in plant mitochondria group-II intron splicing : In plants, transcription of mitochondrial genes is catalyzed by single subunit phage-type RNA-polymerases in conjunction with accessory factors which aid promoter recognition. More Information
The primary transcripts must then undergo extensive processing, including the maturation of 5’ and 3’ termini, RNA-editing and the splicing of many group-II-type introns (the precise number varying by species), which lie mainly within complex I subunits but also disrupt the coding-regions of several genes encoding ribosomal proteins. The splicing of these introns is therefore essential for the expression of the coding sequences they interrupt, and thus for respiratory activity. Yet, despite the importance of proteins that influence mitochondrial gene-expression, functions have been established for only a handful of such proteins in plants. In non-plant systems, the splicing of group-II introns is facilitated by proteins encoded within the introns themselves (Maturases, Mat’s). Yet, the plant mitochondrial introns are degenerated and also lost their intron-encoded ORF. It is thus anticipated that their splicing in the organelles requires the participation of nuclear gene products. In addition, the roles of nuclear-encoded factors in mitochondrial RNA-metabolism may provide means to link organellar gene expression and function to other cellular responses to energy state, environmental stimuli, and/or developmental cues. However, the precise functions still remain largely unknown for many of these proteins in plant mitochondria. By using biochemical and genetic approaches we established the roles of different proteins in the splicing of many of the mitochondrial introns in plants. These are diverse in origin and presumably in mechanism. Defects in interactions between this class of proteins and their RNA partners have been linked to growth and developmental defects, which include reduced germination, retarded growth phenotypes and cytoplasmic male sterility.
Monday 25
12:00 - SEMINAR - LIWA Medical Research Seminar Series : Prof Jennifer Harrison presents "eResearch and the opportunities of applying digital technology in healthcare research" Website | More Information
LIWA invites you to a free seminar on: "eResearch and the opportunities of applying digital technology in healthcare research" by Professor Jennifer Harrison from [email protected] Time: 12 noon for light lunch with 12.30pm – 1.30pm presentation
Tuesday 26
14:00 - SEMINAR - " MINDING YOUR MASSES " : Seminars on Advanced Mass Spectrometry More Information
Come and hear prominent UWA, national and international speakers give varied and fascinating insights into Innovative Discoveries in Science through Advanced Mass Spectrometry. A full list of speakers and seminar titles is available on request to [email protected]
Friday 29
9:30 - Demonstration - Hirox New Generation 3D Digital Microscope : The CMCA will be hosting a demonstration of a new 3D microscope (from Hirox) More Information
You are invited to attend this live demonstration of the new Hirox KH-8700. This will be an overview of the system and demonstration including the 3D rotary lenses, multifocal functions and a variety of unique lenses and adaptors. All are welcome to attend.

 July 2012
Thursday 05
16:00 - SEMINAR - CMCA Seminar Series - 5 [email protected] 4PM: Unlocking the secrets of archaeological materials from shipwrecks. Dr Ian Godfrey : Analyses of shipwreck artefacts using NMR spectroscopy Website | More Information
Analyses of shipwreck artefacts are essential in order to gain information about the chemical nature of materials, provenance, state of deterioration and even technological information about formation processes. For more than 20 years, conservation scientists from the WA Museum and UWA staff have collaborated to resolve many such issues, particularly those associated with organic archaeological materials. Solution NMR spectroscopy, for example, has been used to identify pitches, resins and tars, to gain information about the precursors to these materials and to reveal information about the heating regimes that they were subjected to in their preparation while solid state NMR spectroscopy has been used to determine the deterioration of waterlogged wood and ivory and to identify chemical processes that have occurred after their conservation treatment. Dr Godfrey’s illustrated presentation will highlight archaeological, conservation and analytical aspects of work undertaken on a variety of objects from local and international shipwrecks
Monday 09
13:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - Towards a blueprint of leaf development in C3 and C4 plants : The establishment of the C4 syndrome requires alterations in leaf anatomy, biochemistry and leaf development. More Information
We hypothesize that the massive changes in C4/C3 related gene expression are controlled by a subset of transcriptional regulators, which are essential for C4 photosynthesis establishment and/or maintenance. We analyze the Cleome genus, which includes closely related C4 (Cleome gynandra) and C3 (Cleome hassleriana) species and exhibits phylogenetic proximity to the model species Arabidopsis thaliana.In order to elucidate the regulatory network behind the C4 syndrome in Cleome we are employing two strategies: (i) A single candidate gene approach derived from a global comparative analysis of transcriptome data sets of C4/C3 species (including Cleome hassleriana and gynandra) generated by 454 and Solexa sequencing, which targets will be further described biochemically and genetically (e.g. via over-expressor and knock-out lines in Arabidopsis thaliana) and (ii) co-expression analysis for the identification of the regulatory modules which will include a developmental gradient of photosynthetic and a subset of non-photosynthetic tissues.
Tuesday 10
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : From Molecular Motors To Fungal Intelligence More Information
Protein molecular motors are natural nano-machines that convert the chemical energy obtained from the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into mechanical work which is central to cellular motion, muscle contraction, cell division and a multitude of other critical biological processes. Remarkably, protein molecular motors differ fundamentally from artificial devices in that the conversion from chemical energy to mechanical energy is done directly, rather than via an intermediary state as in e.g., heat for thermal engines. This fundamental difference results in a far better efficiency (close to 100%, for both linear and rotary motors) of these natural mechanical devices compared to artificial ones. This exceptional efficiency, together with the small scale of protein molecular motors, has prompted an increasing number of studies focused on their integration in hybrid micro- and nanodevices. However, and despite tremendous progress in the engineering of molecular motors, much needs to be learnt from Nature, in particular regarding the cooperative behaviour of molecular motors in vivo, before coming even close to efficiency in in vitro devices.

Filamentous fungi are very successful in colonizing micro-confined maze-like networks (e.g., soil, wood, leaf litter, plant and animal tissues), suggesting that they may be efficient solving agents of geometrical problems. The growth behaviour and optimality of space-searching algorithms of several fungal species has been tested in microfluidic mazes and networks. First, it was found that the growth behaviour of all species was strongly modulated by the geometry of micro-confinement. Second, the fungi used a complex growth and space-searching strategy comprising two algorithmic subsets: (i) long-range directional memory of individual hyphae and (ii) inducement of branching by physical obstruction. Third, stochastic simulations using experimentally measured parameters showed that this strategy maximizes both survival and biomass homogeneity in micro-confined networks, producing optimal results only when both algorithms are synergistically
Wednesday 11
12:00 - EVENT - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : The Chemistry and Physics of Charge-Resonance More Information
Organic dyes with a charge-resonant electronic structure (for example, Michler’s Hydrol Blue, below) are venerable molecules, having played a critical role in the development of the synthetic chemical industry. More recently, they have attracted attention because the environmental sensitivity of their optical response makes the useful as molecular sensors and markers. The fluorescence quantum yield of dyes can be modulated over six orders of magnitude in different environments. Large variations in the nonlinear optical response are also observed. In my talk, I will discuss the chemical and physical concepts underlying the notion of charge-resonance, and describe its mathematical formulation. I will show explicitly that relatively simple 2- and 3- state models based on these concepts can be used to understand and even predict the results of quite complicated and high-level computational quantum chemistry calculations. I will show that models based on the concept of resonating charge forms, which were originally designed to model the color of dye molecules, can also be applied to understand apparently unrelated properties e.g. their nonlinear optical response and also their nonradiative decay behavior. These properties are important to understanding the use of these dyes in several very recent applications, which I will also discuss.

Thursday 12
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : Macrocycles: conformation that dictates biological activity More Information
Urukthaplestatin A (Ustat A) is a novel natural product, consisting of oxazoles and thiazoles inbedded in a macrocycle. It has extraordinary cytotoxicity against cancer cells in the desirable low nanomolar range (average GI50 = 5.6nM). It does not share structural homology with other classes of marketed cancer therapeutics, and it has a different activity profile to compounds with structural similarities indicating a possible novel and unique mechanism of action. We use novel, modular oxazole methodology that generates numerous Ustat A analogs, and specifically we have designed compounds that will explore its structure-activity relationship and mechanism of action. Given the cytotoxicity and the novelty of these molecules, they are ideal starting points for developing new cancer therapies.

Molinski and co-workers discovered Sanguinamide B (San B) from a single species of nudibranch. The San B natural product contains two thiazoles and one oxazole, and is a modified octapeptide macrocycle; unlike other natural products isolated from this sponge, San B contains two proline residues, where these two residues are control the conformation of the macrocycle. The potent cytotoxic and antibiotic properties of other macrolides isolated from this nudibranch species, and the small microgram quantities of the compound that are available from the natural source, make this natural product a very attractive compound to synthesize. We have synthesized and tested San B and numerous analogues against gram +ve, gram –ve bacteria as well as against mammalian cancer cell lines. Not surprisingly, the conformation of these compounds dictates their biological activity.

Wednesday 18
10:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - The Transition from Health to Sickness - the role of plant hormones in underpinning plant pathogen virulence strategies : Speaker will also present at CSIRO Floreat on previous day. More Information
"Our research focuses upon how the virulent bacterial phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae establishes disease in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. P. syringae delivers a suite of ~ 30 effector proteins into the plant cell." Detailed abstract available [email protected]

12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : Towards Enzyme Enhancement Therapies for Gaucher Disease More Information
Gaucher disease (GD) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by the accumulation of β-D-glucosylceramide within the lysosomes of the cell. This occurs because of insufficient lysosomal glucocerebrosidase (GBA) activity, which is a direct result of mutations in the encoding gene. Some common GD-causing mutations do not significantly diminish GBA’s catalytic competence in a direct manner, but instead deleteriously affect folding and trafficking of the enzyme. These mutant enzymes have difficulty obtaining and retaining their native fold within the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and so most of the enzyme undergoes ER-associated degradation rather than reaching maturity and being trafficked to the lysosome. Small molecules that bind to and stabilize correctly folded mutant enzyme within the ER may elevate the steady-state concentration of folded enzyme within this organelle and increase the amount of enzyme trafficked to lysosomes, potentially ameliorating the disease. This emerging approach to treating GD is known as enzyme enhancement therapy and requires the development of small molecule ‘pharmacological chaperones’. Efforts to develop such compounds will be detailed in this seminar.
Tuesday 24
9:00 - COURSE - Linear Regression and ANOVA : A Short Course using IBM SPSS Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with knowledge of basic statistics who want to learn more about regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA).

The course is hosted by the Centre for Applied Statistics and we offer discounted rate fees to UWA Graduate Research Students.

Fee information is available on our website cas.maths.uwa.edu.au. Please register online.
Wednesday 25
12:00 - Competition - Three Minute Thesis Final : 10 PhD students will explain their research and its significance in just 3 minutes each. Website | More Information
The 3MT competition challenges research students to give a dynamic and engaging presentation about their research and its significance in a way that can be understood by everybody. The audience will select the "People's Choice" winner.
Thursday 26
9:00 - COURSE - Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis : A Short Course using IBM SPSS Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with knowledge of basic statistics who want to learn more about how to analyse binary or survival data.

The course is hosted by the Centre for Applied Statistics and we offer discounted rate fees to UWA Graduate Research Students.

Fee information is available on our website https://www.cas.maths.uwa.edu.au/courses. Please register online.
Monday 30
12:00 - SEMINAR - LIWA Medical Research Seminar Series : Prof Geoff Laurent presents "Stem cells and lung regeneration" Website | More Information
LIWA invites you to a free seminar on: "Stem cells and lung regeneration" by Professor Geoff Laurent, Director, Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, UWA. Time: 12 noon for light lunch with 12.30pm – 1.30pm presentation.
Tuesday 31
17:00 - EVENT - Mother's eating habits affect her daughters' milk production : Public lecture on the effects of fetal programming and their transmission to offspring Website | More Information
What makes a healthy start to life? This is the single overarching question and focus of the NRCD, a New Zealand government-funded Centre of Research Excellence, bringing together leading scientists from six organisations across New Zealand to answer this question. Acting Director, Prof Hugh Blair, is leading several projects investigating the effects of fetal programming on later life productivity in sheep and cattle and the possibility that these programming effects may be transmitted between generations. His public lecture examines how this applies to sheep, focusing on how a mother's eating habits affect her daughters' milk production.

 August 2012
Wednesday 01
14:00 - SEMINAR - In Vivo Pre-Clinical imaging using Optical Light More Information
With the recently acquired IVIS Lumina and Maestro instruments at UWA, researchers now have the ability to longitudinally and non-invasively monitor cancer (and other disease states) in small animal models using optical light. This seminar is intended to provide a high-level overview of the capabilities on the instruments, as well as answer any user specific questions. Focus areas will include: Monitoring tumour growth, Stem Cell research and Atherosclerosis, Tracking gene expression
Tuesday 07
13:00 - SEMINAR - Prenatal glucocorticoids, placental development and neurological function : School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Fetal glucocorticoid exposure is a key mechanism proposed to underlie prenatal "programming" of adult cardiometabolic and neuropsychiatric disorders. Regulation of fetal glucocorticoid exposure is achieved by the placental and fetal glucocorticoid "barrier," which involves glucocorticoid inactivation by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11beta-HSD2). Mice null for 11beta-HSD2 exhibit altered placental development and function, decreased birth weight, delayed neurodevelopment and increased anxiety and depressive-like behaviour as adults. This raises the question as to whether it is placental or fetal brain 11b-HSD2 that underpins programmed outcomes? Preliminary data suggest that fetal brain 11beta-HSD2 impacts specifically on depressive-like behaviours, but that broader anxiety-related and neurodevelopmental effects are likely to relate to indirect effects of 11-HSD2 in the placenta.

The Speaker: Caitlin completed her PhD at UWA under the supervision of Prof Brendan Waddell and Dr Peter Mark, where she focused on developmental programming and the significance of omega-3 intake in attenuating adverse health outcomes. Caitlin moved to Edinburgh in 2006 to take up a postdoctoral position at The Queen's Medical Research Institute. Here she continued her research interest in developmental programming in the lab of Prof Jonathan Seckl and Prof Megan Holmes. Caitlin then returned to Perth in late 2011 to commence an Assistant Professor position at The School of Anatomy , Phsiology and Human Biology at UWA.
Sunday 12
10:00 - EVENT - 2012 Open Day : Experience what's on offer at UWA Website | More Information
UWA opens up the whole campus to the public.

Come and find out about the courses on offer, career options, scholarship opportunities, our valuable research, community programs and facilities.

There's also residential college tours, hands-on activities, live music and entertainment, and plenty of fun activities for the whole family.

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