Parkin: The Difference Between Success and Heart Failure

The Wet Lab is hosting a lecture by UCSD Biomedical Sciences PhD student Sarah Shires on the connection between Parkinson’s and heart disease. The lecture will be at the La Jolla Riford Library on Tuesday, July 11th, from 6:30pm – 7:30pm.  human-heart-1700453_960_720

What do your brain and your heart have in common? One cause of both neurodegenerative disease and heart disease is the accumulation of “cellular trash”. Parkin is one of several proteins mutated in patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Parkin is important in taking out and recycling cellular trash. While Parkin is found at higher levels in patients with heart disease, we still don’t know if this is helpful or harmful. I study how changes in Parkin affect the heart, and hope to eventually target Parkin to treat heart disease.


The Iron Hypothesis: How algae growing around Antarctica can affect the climate in La Jolla

Jeff McQuaid from the J. Craig Venter Institute will give our next lecture at the La Jolla Riford library on Tuesday May 3rd, 2016 at 6pm.

The Iron Hypothesis How algae growing around Antarctica can affect the climate in La Jolla

Algae absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than any other organism and play an important role in both the carbon cycle and climate dynamics.  This week’s lecture explains how some species of algae have evolved to develop an extraordinary mechanism to harvest iron from the ocean despite the low concentrations of iron found there, resulting in faster growth rates and possibly increased biological carbon sequestration.

After the lecture, there will be a Q+A session with the speaker to address any questions you may have.  Hope to see you there!


In defense of basic research: the case of cell division, Dr. Aaron Groen

Citizen Science - Spring 2016

Don’t miss our next lecture downtown at 6pm, Thursday 4/21 at the Central Library!  Cell division is a fundamental biological process underlying the growth and proliferation of all life on earth. Dr. Aaron Groen will use his research into the basic mechanisms of cytokinesis as an example for the enduring value and general interest of basic biological research.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease Using Human Stem Cells with Dr. Jessica Young, UCSD/Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease Using Human Stem Cells

The molecular basis of late-onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (SAD), the most common form of the disorder, is still poorly understood. We hypothesize that each individual harbors genetic factors that either predispose to or protect from disease. Dr. Jessica Young will discuss her research using human pluripotent stem cells and genome-editing technology to analyze SAD phenotypes in the laboratory where her research is uncovering pathways that can be targeted with novel therapies.  Join us Tuesday April 5 at 6pm at the La Jolla Riford Library to learn more!

I sleep, therefore I am with Dr. Indrani Ganguly-Fitzgerald, USD


There is little argument that without sleep, we are functional basket cases. However, scientists are still hard at work at trying to uncover the mystery of why we NEED to sleep at all. In this lecture, Dr. Indrani Ganguly-Fitzgerald will attempt to shed light on the function of sleep, by diving into the neuro-genetic investigations that reveal a surprising connection between sleep, waking experience, and aging brain health.  Join us on Tuesday March 1 at 6pm in the La Jolla Riford Library!

Human genetics and genomics; what can we do now? Dr. Tristan Carland, Illumina

Citizen Science - Winter 2015

We can sequence the entire genetic code of a human being (their genome) in a matter of days now, what does this mean for our understanding of human biology, evolution, and diseases? In particular, cancer, a disease of the genome, has come into focus with immediate applications of cutting edge science.  Join us this Thursday, February 18th at 6pm at the Central Library to learn more.

Simple Life: What the tiniest animals can tell us about regeneration, stem cells, and immortality with Dr. Callan Hyland


Citizen Science - Winter 2015

Humans have a lot to learn from the simplest animals on the planet- the masters of regeneration that can regrow whole body parts, reconstruct their bodies from small fragments of tissue, and even (maybe) live forever.  Join us at the Central Library, Thursday, 1/21/2016 at 6pm, to learn more about these fascinating animals!

Probiotics for Crops? How microbes offer sustainable solutions for agriculture with Dr. James Pearce, Monsanto

Citizen Science Jan

Learn how Monsanto is leveraging symbiotic relationships between plants and microorganisms that live in the soil to bring a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. Many of these microbes have distinctive properties that can help the plant control disease, insect pests and weeds. They can also stimulate plant growth and yield by improving access to nutrients. Join us Tuesday, 1/5/2016, 6pm at the La Jolla Riford Library!