Stone Memorial Lecture set for April 27
Eduardo A. Groisman, Howard Hughes Investigator and professor of microbial pathogenesis at the Yale School of Medicine, will present the 2014/2015 Stone Memorial Lecture at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015, in 101 Althouse Laboratory on the Penn State University Park campus. This free public lecture, titled “Gene Control in a Bacterial Pathogen,” is sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
In his research, Groisman seeks answers to the fundamental biological question of how does an organism know when, where, and for how long to turn a gene on or off? He addresses this question by investigating bacterial species that establish intimate interactions with animal hosts. Research conducted in the Groisman laboratory resulted in the identification of the first cellular signaling systems that respond to magnesium and iron ions outside of the cell. His group also identified portions of RNAs -- the molecules that translate information from DNA into proteins -- that respond to magnesium ions in the cell and to ATP -- a carrier of energy within the cell. In addition, the Groisman group uncovered novel gene-regulatory circuits controlling bacterial physiology and virulence, and revealed novel mechanisms by which foreign DNA impact the properties of a bacterial species. The Groisman laboratory is now exploring how bacteria integrate information about metabolism and the properties of a cell's surface into the decision to express specific genes.
Groisman was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008 and as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2003. He was honored with a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health in 1995, and an American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award in 1994.
Groisman earned a master's degree in biochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires in 1980 and a doctoral degree in molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Chicago in 1986. In his dissertation research, Groisman developed a technique to clone bacterial genes without the use of restriction enzymes. He then pursued postdoctoral training in bacterial pathogenesis at the Institut Pasteur, the Scripps Research Institute, and at the University of California San Diego.
Groisman became a faculty member in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in 1990. After 20 years in St. Louis, he moved to New Haven to join the Yale Microbial Sciences Institute and the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at the Yale School of Medicine. He has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1997 and a Fellow of Davenport College since 2013.
Each year the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology identifies a preeminent microbiologist to present her or his work, to enrich the microbiological research community at Penn State, and to honor Robert W. Stone. Professor Stone was Head for 23 years of the former Department of Microbiology, which merged with the biophysics and biochemistry departments in 1979 to form the present Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. For more information about the lecture, contact Tamara Housel at (814) 865-3072.
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