QSB Seminar Series

Fall 2017

The Quantitative and Systems Biology Seminar Series will be held Fridays 1:30-2:45 in COB2 170. Jessica Blois is the seminar series coordinator for the semester.

8/25/17 — Fitness landscapes and the predictability of evolution. Claudia Bank, Gulbenkian Institute. Emily Jane McTavish hosting 

9/1/17 — Faculty lightning talks

9/8/17 — Faculty lightning talks

9/15/17 — Seeing the grass through the trees: Effects of Neogene vegetation change on mammalian evolution in eastern Africa. Kevin Uno, CUNY. Justin Yeakel hosting 

9/22/17 — Peter Schuerman, UC Merced Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Cancelled!

9/29/17 — Simple model systems provide insight into mechanisms of human neurodegenerative diseases. Aaron Gitler, Stanford University. Xuecai (Susan) Ge hosting

10/6/17 — The American Gut Project: Utilizing Citizen Science to Advance Our Understanding of the Role of the Human Microbiome in Health and Disease. Embriette Hyde, UCSD.  Student Hosted!

10/13/17 — Linking molecules with morphology in the -Omics age: computational taxonomy pipelines for microbial metazoa. Holly Bik, UC Riverside. Emily Jane McTavish hosting

10/20/17 — Plant–Soil Microbe Interactions in Semi-Arid Systems: Who’s Driving the Bus? John Stark, Utah St.  Steve Hart hosting

10/27/17 — Mechanical control of tissue morphogenesis. Otger Campas, UC Santa Barbara.  Stephanie Woo hosting

11/3/17 — Marie-Claire Chelini, UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Merced. 

11/10/17 — No seminar: Veteran's Day

11/17/17 — Joanna Chiu, UC Davis.  Andy LiWang hosting

11/24/17 — No seminar: Thanksgiving

12/1/17 — Quantifying the evolution of drug resistance and fitness costs in HIV. Pleuni Pennings, San Francisco State U.  Emilia Huerta-Sanchez hosting.

12/8/17 — Heinrich Jasper, Buck Institute.  Fred Wolf hosting


Upcoming seminar series


Spring 2018

To be posted



Previous seminar series


Spring 2017

The Quantitative and Systems Biology Seminar Series will be held Fridays 12-1:20 in COB2 170. Fred Wolf is the seminar series coordinator for the semester.

1/27/17 — Surveying the Bioenergetic Landscape for New Therapeutic Targets. Nathan Lanning, CSU Los Angeles. Fabian Filipp hosting

2/3/17 — Mercedes Rincon, University of Vermont. Katrina Hoyer hosting

2/10/17 — Adaptation to changing climate in Arabidopsis thaliana. Johanna Schmitt, UC Davis. Emily Moran hosting 

2/17/17 — Blind fish provide big insights. Suzanne McGaugh, University of Minnesota. Emily Jane McTavish hosting

2/24/17 — Identification of biological novelty using comparative genomics: Looking for the good stuff in genomes. Chris Amemiya, University of Washington. Nestor Oviedo hosting

3/3/17 — Chemo-Transcriptomic Methods to Measure RNA Structure Inside Living Cells. Rob Spitale, UC Irvine.  Mike Cleary hosting 

3/10/17 — Lizards as Model Organisms in Evolutionary and Ecological Studies. Jack Sites, Brigham Young University.  Dan Edwards hosting

3/17/17 — Daniel Weinreich, Brown University.  Suzanne Sindi hosting

3/24/17 — Pheromone Perception: Structure and Function of Pheromone-Binding Protein. Smita Mohanty, Oklahoma State University.  Patti LiWang hosting

3/31/17 — No seminar

4/7/17 — Paul Ashwood, UC Davis. Student Hosted!

4/14/17 — Alex Nord, UC Davis.  Neuro/Ramen Saha hosting

4/21/17 — Todd McDevitt, Gladstone Institute @ UCSF.  Kara McCloskey hosting

4/28/17 — Multilayered B cell immunity to influenza virus infection. Nicole Baumgarth, UC Davis.  Anna Beaudin hosting

5/5/17 — Artificial Cells from Paper. Anand Bala Subramaniam, UC Merced


Fall 2016

The Quantitative and Systems Biology Seminar Series is held Fridays from 1:30 - 2:45 pm in CLSSRM (COB) 267.

8/26/16 — No seminar. Students enrolled in the class should still attend for a brief organizational meeting. 

9/2/16 — James Hurley, UC Berkeley. Structural snapshots of the HIV replication cycle. Patti LiWang hosting 

9/9/16 — Hana El-Samad, UCSF. Anticipators and Procrastinators, Synthetic Biology and Big Data. Aaron Hernday hosting

9/16/16 — Rachel S. Friedman, University of Colorado Medical School. Modulating the dynamics of the autoimmune response in the pancreatic islets in type 1 diabetes. Katrina Hoyer hosting 

9/23/16 — Yonggang Chang, UC Merced. A dynamic day of a three-protein circadian clock. Jessica Blois hosting

9/30/16 — Steve Finkel, USC. Mechanisms of Long-Term Survival & Evolution of Bacteria. Dave Ardell hosting

10/7/16 — Matthias Hess, UC Davis. Systems Microbiology Techniques for Enhanced Ecosystem Health. Clarissa Nobile hosting

10/14/16 — Elsa Cleland, UC San Diego. Plant invasions alter community and ecosystem responses to climate change. Jay Sexton hosting 

10/21/16 — Rebecca Yang, Duke University. Optogenetics-assisted reinforcement learning in Drosophila. Fred Wolf hosting 

10/28/16 — Sergei Nachaev, University of North Dakota. Beyond the promoter: regulating gene activation through transcriptional pausing. Ramen Saha hosting 

11/4/16 — Kara Juneau, Roche Sequencing division. Morgan Quail and QSB Graduate Students hosting 

11/18/16 — Marjorie Matocq, U. Nevada-Reno. Genetic and ecological interactions across woodrat hybrid zones. Jessica Blois hosting 

12/2/16 — Steven Brown, UCSD. Cell Death and Division Site Maintenance in E. coli. Jing Xu hosting 

12/9/16 — Alan Hastings, UC Davis. Justin Yeakel hosting


Spring 2016

*Non-standard dates and times are indicated

1/22/16 —  Roger Tseng, UC Merced (PhD Dissertation Defense). Structural Basis of Day/Night transition in the Cyanobacterial Circadian Clock. Andy LiWang hosting

1/29/16 —  No seminar scheduled

2/5/16 —  Amro Hamdoun, UC San Diego. How the bad guys distract the bouncers: Persistent organic pollutants in yellowfin tuna from the Gulf of Mexico inhibit mammalian P-gp. QSB Graduate Students hosting

2/12/16 —  Norman Ellstrand, UC Riverside. Is gene flow the most important evolutionary force in plants? Emily Moran hosting

2/19/16 —  Michael Greenfield, University of Kansas. Chorusing emerges from receiver psychoacoustics: on the origin of elaborate forms of synchrony and alternation in acoustic animal species. Marilyn Fogel hosting

2/24/16, 3:30-4:30pm* —  Laura Burrus & Carmen Domingo, SFSU. Connecting the dots: Linking the biochemistry and cell biology of Wnt lipid modifications to embryonic development. Laura Beaster-Jones hosting (KL360)

3/4/16 —  Uma Ramakrishnan, NCBS, Bangalore. Understanding tiger conservation through a genetic lens. Jessica Blois hosting

3/11/16 —  Tom Whitham, Northern Arizona University. Common garden arrays and community genetics approaches enable adaption to global change. Stephen Hart hosting

3/18/16 —  Jean-Philippe Pellois, Texas A&M University. Cellular Trojan horses and trapdoors: transport of macromolecules into a cell by escaping the endocytic pathway. Ramen Saha hosting

4/1/16 —  Ian Wang, UC Berkeley. The evolution of intraspecific color and toxin diversity in poison frogs. Danielle Edwards hosting

4/8/16 —  Julie Simpson, UC Santa Barbara. The circuit logic of motor program selection in fly grooming behavior. Fred Wolf hosting

4/15/16 —  Ben Chan, Yale. Mark Sistrom hosting

4/22/16 —  Jon Zehr, UC Santa Cruz. Unusual marine nitrogen-fixing symbiosis: implications for evolution and global nitrogen fixation. Carolin Frank hosting

4/29/16 —  Paul Straight, Texas A&M University. Battling Bacteria: Enzymatic and Chemical Interfaces. Andy LiWang hosting

5/6/16 —  David Low, UC Santa Barbara. Mechanisms of contact-dependent communication between bacteria. Clarissa Nobile hosting


Fall 2015*

*This list will be updated as we receive more information about seminars. For students enrolled in QSB 291, there is no need to show up for class/seminar until the first talk on Sept. 11

**Non-standard dates and times are indicated

Sept. 11 —  Dr. Sunil Gandhi, Opening a new critical period using inhibitory neuron transplantation. Ramendra Saha hosting

Oct. 16 — Dr. Susannah Tringe, Impact of salinity and restoration status on microbial greenhouse gas cycling in coastal wetlands. Carolin Frank hosting

Oct. 23 — Dr. Rakefet Schwarz, To be or not to be planktonic? Regulation of Biofilm Development in the Cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus. AndyLiWang hosting

Nov. 6 — Dr. Hana El-Samad. Aaron Hernday hosting [cancelled, to be rescheduled]

Nov. 13 — Dr. Tanya Woyke, The ABC of Single Cell Genomics. Carolin Frank hosting

Nov. 17** — 3pm, SE1 270. Stuart Gallagher, Centenary Institute, Tumor immunology of malignant melanoma. Fabian Filipp hosting  

Nov. 20 — Dr. Denise M. Monack, Mechanisms of persistent Salmonella infection and transmission. Kirk Jensen hosting

Dec. 4 — Dr. Jonathan Maltzman, Regulatory T cells need more foxes than FOXP3. Katrina Hoyer hosting


Spring 2015

Jan 23 — Ivo Grosse Dave Ardell hosting

Feb 13 — Todd Lowe, UCSC Dave Ardell hosting

Feb 20 — Ulrike Luderer, UC Irvine Masashi Kitazawa hosting

Mar 20 — Elva Diaz, UC Davis Fred Wolf hosting

Apr 10 — Taekyung Kim, University of Texes Southwestern Ramendra Saha hosting

Apr 17 — Rob Gunsalus, UCLA. Miriam Barlow hosting

Apr 24 — Sarah Brown, UC Merced Jessica Blois hosting

May 1 — Yongjie Yang, Tufts University Masashi Kitazawa hosting

May 8 — Marcelo Wood, UC Irvine Ramendra Saha hosting


Fall 2014

Sep. 15 —   Hillary Young (UCSB) "Cascading effects of biodiversity loss across spatial scales." Host: Jessica Blois

Oct. 10 —   Jeff Coller (Case Reserve Western University) Hosts: Michael Cleary and David Ardell

Oct. 24 —   Joel Rothman (UCSB) Host: Nestor Oviedo

Oct. 31 —   Jing Wang (UCSD) Host: Fred Wolf

Nov. 7  —   Diana Laird (UCSF) "Dynamic microenvironments in the development of the germ line." Host: David Ardell

Nov. 14 —  Paul Knoephler (UC Davis) "A variant path to plasticity: histone H3.3 function in stem cells." Host: Ramen Saha

Nov. 21 —  Isaac Pessah (UC Davis) Host: Masashi Kitazawa

Dec. 5   —  Robert Tinoco (UCSD) Host: Katrina Hoyer

Dec. 12 —  Kelley Tseng (UNLV) Host: Nestor Oviedo

Contact Us

Graduate Admissions:
Phone: (209) 228-4723
Graduate Funding:
Phone: (209) 228-4622
General Inquiries:
Phone: (209) 228-4723
Fax: (209) 228-6906
Mailing Address:
University of California, Merced
ATTN: Graduate Division
5200 N. Lake Road, Ste KL 227
Merced, CA 95343
University of California, Merced
The first new American research
university in the 21st century, with a
mission of research, teaching and service.
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
T: (209) 228-4400
University of California
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