OIST internal seminar


Friday, May 17, 2013 - 17:00




Date: 17th May, 2013 (Friday)
Time: 5:00 -6:00pm (refreshments will be served after the seminar)
Venue: B250
Dr. Iain Hepburn (Computational Neuroscience (De Schutter) Unit)
Investigating molecular mechanisms and their importance in neuronal signaling through detailed computational modelling
The brain is a very complex machine consisting of many systems of widely-varying size and structure interacting closely with each other on a vast temporal scale. In the Computational Neuroscience Unit we study brain regions from the millimeter scale of cerebellar networks down to the sub-micron molecular scale by building realistic computational models to study their function. To achieve this we develop software that is capable of simulating the molecular activity that underlies all neuronal function and closely ties this to cellular electrical excitability in complex neuronal morphologies, which brings a realism to our models never achieved before. I will show how our simulations suggest the noisy molecular medium in which a brain operates can produce interesting outcomes in neuronal signaling, focusing on our observations from molecular simulations of Purkinje cell dendritic spikes. I will discuss the importance of our results towards studies of synaptic plasticity as an example of why we expect such approaches to be vital in developing our understanding of neuronal function through computers.
Dr. Sherida Johnson (Chemistry and Chemical Bioengineering (Tanaka) Unit)
Synthesis of Functionalized Molecules and Organocatalysis
The synthesis of organic molecules is a highly active, important area of science. Organic syntheses grow based on basic principles of chemistry with contact with other fields and constitute the foundation of biochemistry, biotechnology and medicinal chemistry, and fields in life sciences. Pharmaceuticals, bioactive molecules, and biofunctional molecules including probes used for biological investigations are often synthetic and semi-synthetic molecules. The development of organic synthetic methods is required to create and to discover molecules used for elucidation of biological mechanisms and for the control of the biological pathways. In recent years, especially, a demand for efficient, environmentally friendly organic synthetic methods has been increased. As the main stream, organocatalytic methods have been developed; chemoselective and/or stereoselective reactions have been achieved under mild conditions using organocatalysts. In the seminar, the demand for organic syntheses and the design of synthetic methods and of functionalized molecules will be overviewed, and advantages of the use of organocatalysis for the access to functional molecules will be discussed. Required future development in organic syntheses will also be addressed.
Alexander Badrutdinov (alexbadr@oist.jp )
Omar Jáidar (ojaidar@oist.jp )
Marco Tsui ( marco.tsui@oist.jp )
Eiji Uchibe (uchibe@oist.jp, supporting, previous organizer)
Mary Ann Price (m.a.price@oist.jp, Faculty Advisor)


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