»Science Forum Series

The Science Forum Series is an opportunity for faculty and special guests to present their latest research to the campus community. Each presentation is approximately 45 minutes to one hour in length. Feel free to drop in and leave as your schedule permits. 

+-September 25, 2014

Lisette de Pillis, Ph.D. Lisette de Pillis, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Mathematics
Norman F. Sprague Jr. Professor of Life Sciences
Professor of Mathematics


Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Modeling Cancer-Immune System Dynamics

Summary
Dr. de Pillis will present a variety of mathematical models of tumor-immune interactions that have resulted from interdisciplinary collaborations with practicing oncologists and experimentalists.  She will also discuss certain approaches to modeling cancer growth and immune system interactions, and treatment approaches that harness the power of the immune system to slow and sometimes stop cancer progression.

+-October 1, 2014

Ramendra K. Singh, Ph.D.

Ramendra K. Singh, Ph.D.
Fulbright Fellow, School of Pharmacy
Chapman University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Curcumin in Human Life: Social, Cultural and Medicinal Aspects

Summary
Studies have revealed that curcumin has very low bioavailability due to its poor absorption and rapid metabilism in the liver and intestinal wall. Curcumin is highly hydrophobic and cannot be administered systemically. On intravenous administration, it disappears rapidly from the blood and quickly appears as metabolites in the bile.

The present talk focuses on development of bioconjugates of curcumin, which can enhance its bioavailability, ensure its slow release and maintain thereby a reasonable level of curcumin inside the cells and reduce its metabolic degradation. These bioconjugates have biodegradable ester linkages. The biocompatible molecules used for preparing curcumin conjugates were amino acids, fatty acids and folic acid, which enhanced its lipophilicity. The curcumin bioconjugates showed much better antibacterial activity against several Gram +ve and Gram -ve bacteria and appreciable activity against Vesicular stomatitis virus, Feline corona virus and Feline herpes virus, however, no anti-HIV activity was observed. The conjugates exhibited significant anticancer properties in the case of cervical cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus.

+-October 13, 2014

Mahesh Rao, Ph.D.

Mahesh Rao, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Forestry and Wildland Resources
Humboldt State University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Resource Management Using Geospatial Technologies

Summary
Food, fiber, energy, clean water, air,biodiversity are some of the ecosystem services that benefit people at local, regional,and global scales. The past few decades has seen a disruption of the balance in the ecosystem due to various factors including increased population pressures, GHG emissions, and related climate change. For example, in its third year now, California's drought condition has seriously impacted not just the agricultural sector, but also the natural resources sector including forestry, wildlife, and fisheries. There is a critical need to apply innovative approaches that not only help us understand the problem but also help prioritize efficient and effective management practices.

+-November 10, 2014 - cancelled

Colleen Hansel, Ph.D.

Colleen Hansel, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)
Distinguished Lecturer, Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

This talk has been cancelled.

Title: Making and Breaking Minerals: Microbes as Single-Celled Geochemists

Summary
Microbes possess an awe-inspiring metabolic diversity that includes eating or breathing metals, toxins, and even minerals. In fact, the formation and dissolution of minerals within the environment is oftentimes a consequence of either the direct or indirect actions of these organisms. In this way, the activity of microorganisms, whether intentional or not, largely controls mineral and metal cycling in natural environments. A vital synergy thereby exists between biology and geochemistry that encompasses all domains of life (eukaryotes and prokaryotes alike), influences the cycling of nearly all elements (including nutrients, metals and radionuclides), and touches every possible ecological niche (spanning from the Earth surface to the depths of the ocean and even miles below). This seminar will review the spectrum of microbial actions involved in biomineralization and mineral dissolution, and also specifically highlight our research defining the role of microbial metabolites in these processes.

+-December 3, 2014

Jasper Kok, Ph.D.

Jasper Kok, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department
University of California, Los Angeles

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119B
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Dust Shatters Like Glass: Clues to the Climate Impact of Dust Storms

Summary
Climate change is one of the main long-term threats to worldwide security and prosperity. Accurate projections of future climate changes are therefore critical to help societies effectively mitigate and adapt to these changes. But an important factor limiting the accuracy of climate change projections is the uncertain effect of particulate matter on climate. After reviewing the basic science behind climate change, this talk will discuss how the emission of particles in dust storms, which constitutes one of the main sources of particulate matter, is similar to the shattering of glass. I will then use this insight to quantify the impact of dust storms on climate.

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