March 17, 2021

3pm - 4pm
Please contact Stacey at for zoom information.

Speaker: Richard Sportsman, PhD and Lauren Goins, PhD
UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry; UCLA Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology

"MCDB Post-Doc Seminar Series"

Presenter: Richard Sportsman
UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Title: RNA dynamics of viral capsids

Understanding the dynamics of biomolecules in solution is challenging, and to do so in the cellular environment is even more difficult. To get a grasp on how dynamic long RNAs are in cells, cell-free/in vitro systems currently offer ideal systems which can reveal biophysical properties of RNA that may contribute to their biological function.

To study such dynamics, I will discuss studies conducted with an RNA plant virus, brome mosaic virus, which is a model system for understanding dynamic processes like viral capsid self-assembly and disassembly. We characterize the structure and dynamics of the RNA inside and outside the symmetric protein capsid shell and how they may lead to a novel mechanism for viral RNA release and delivery to the host cellular machinery. I will discuss some biophysical approaches we have taken to capture the dynamics of these capsids and how these dynamics play a role in optimizing RNA genome release from viruses.

Presenter: Lauren Goins
Postdoctoral Fellow
(Banerjee Lab)

Title: Unraveling Notch signaling mechanisms controlling crystal cell development.

Crystal cells play important roles in antimicrobial immune response and clot formation in Drosophila. Using a combination of transcriptomics and genetic dissection, we have revealed new molecular and cellular mechanisms that control Notch signaling during crystal cell development. These include regulation at the level of RNA, protein, and intracellular localization that ultimately results in a switch between canonical and non-canonical Notch signaling.

MCDB Post-Doc Seminar Series
Sponsor: MCDB