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Stone Memorial Lecture set for October 23

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13 October 2017

Michael LaubMichael T. Laub, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present the 2017/2018 Robert W. Stone Memorial Lecture at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, October 23, in 108 Wartik Laboratory on the Penn State University Park campus. The public lecture, titled “Specificity and Evolution of Bacterial Signaling Proteins,” is sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Laub studies how cells regulate their behavior in response to a constantly changing external environment. He uses bacteria to understand how cells process the barrage of external information they receive from their complex environment and how the cells use signaling pathways -- a molecular communication process -- to coordinate a response. By examining how the proteins involved change over time, he also studies the evolution of these signaling pathways. Laub also investigates the molecular responses of cells to toxins, the regulation of a cell’s life cycle, and the evolution of these processes. He is also interested in the origin of bacterial chromosome structure.

Prior to joining the faculty in the Department of Biology at MIT in 2006, Laub was an independent research fellow at the Harvard University Center for System Biology from 2002 to 2006. He completed his doctoral work in developmental biology at Stanford University in 2002 and received a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from the University of California, San Diego, in 1997.

Laub was named a Howard Hughes Early Career Scientist in 2009 and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2015. He was selected to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2010 and a CAREER Award in 2009, both from the National Science Foundation.

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. For 23 years, Professor Stone was head of the former Department of Microbiology, which merged with the biophysics and biochemistry departments in 1979 to form the present department.

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