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Department of Physics
Department of Physics


Colloquium Abstracts / Author Information

Dr. Maher Quraan, Krembil Neuroscience Center and Toronto Western Research Institute, Understanding Brain Function & Dysfunction, April 18, 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm, DSC 164.

Abstract: Neuroimaging of the human brain has lead to tremendous insight into the function of the healthy brain and the different kinds of impairments that can lead to brain dysfunction in various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Electroencephalography (EEG) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG), in particular, allow direct observation of neural currents with temporal resolution of the order of 1 millisecond. The high temporal resolution allows probing frequencies that range from a fraction of Hz to hundreds of Hz. In this talk, I will show how these modalities help us understand brain function and dysfunction, and present examples of neuroelectrophysiological measures that can serve as biomarkers of neurological and psychiatric disorders. I will focus on one neurological disorder, namely, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) and one psychiatric disorder, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). I will also discuss Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) as a surgical intervention technique for the treatment of MDD. Finally, I will discuss synchronization measures and their use in characterizing functional connectivity impairments associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders, and the use of Graph Theory to understand brain function and dysfunction at the network level.

Dr Shan Yang, Case Western Reserve University, Applications of Raman Scattering in Medicine, April 20, 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm, DSC 164.

Abstract: Raman spectroscopy has long been a powerful tool for chemical analysis in the areas of biology and medicine. In this talk, I will present recent progress on the development of several Raman related instruments and their potential applications in medicine. Firstly, a portable Raman device in combination with an efficient sample preparation method is used for chemically selective diagnosis of MSU and CPPD crystals (these two crystals cause gout and pseudogout disease) in an automated fashion. This device is feasible for point-and-shoot Raman diagnosis of arthritic crystals in synovial fluid. Secondly, a wide-field Raman imaging system was assembled for imaging the mineralization status of teeth with lesions. Successful discrimination of sound enamel from lesions indicated that wide-field Raman imaging is a potentially useful tool for visualization of dental lesions in the clinic. Thirdly, a time-resolved coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering system was integrated into a non-linear optical microspectroscopy system; the combination of the multiple imaging modalities enabled unique imaging capability that was not available for individual non-linear imaging technology. Video rate images with submicron resolution can be acquired with this system from biological tissues without any staining or contaminating of the samples. Although the applications of these instruments were primarily focused on the area of life sciences, they can potentially be used of characterization of chemical compounds for materials science, pharmaceutical drug, biochemistry, and so on by providing both spectral and spatial information of the specimen.

Dr. Luis Marky, Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNMC.Romancing DNA Molecules: Unfolding Thermodynamics of DNA Lesions and Mimicking the Targeting of mRNA April 25, 12 noon - 1 pm, DSC 170.

Abstract: DNA is an ensemble of nucleic acids, water, and ions, and can adopt a wide variety of conformations based on its environment. When DNA is covalently damaged by endogenous or exogenous reactive species, including those produced by some anticancer drugs, the ensemble undergoes localized changes that affect nucleic acid structure, thermodynamic stability, and the qualitative and quantitative arrangement of associated cations and water molecules. In this lecture, we will discuss: a) the thermodynamic impact of DNA modifications on its stability, uptake of ions and water; and b) the thermodynamics of DNA targeting reactions, which can be used in the control of gene expression.