The Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program – April 10 and April 11

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The Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program welcomes Dr. Sarah Keller, Professor Of Chemistry, and biophysicist at University of Washington-Seattle, who will give two presentations, first one on “Membranes of Hungry Yeast are Tiny Living Thermostats” and the second one on “Stabilizing fragile membranes on the early Earth , as part of the ongoing Sverdrup lecture series. In her 2023 Sverdrup Visiting Scientist lectures, Sarah Keller will discuss how the dynamicism of membranes can be both a bane and a boon for cells. Very soft and dynamic membranes can rip or disintegrate. This would have been a problem for the most ancient cells on the Earth.

Monday April 10 and Tuesday, April 11, 11:00 – 12:00pm Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

In her Convocation Lecture on Monday, April 10, titled “Membranes of Hungry Yeast are Tiny, Living Thermostats,” Keller will discuss how yeast membranes acquire the polka-dots, how the transition can be reversed, and how yeast controls the transition. During the process of making bread and beer, yeast cells eventually run out of sugar to eat. They react by segregating certain lipids and proteins in one of their membranes.

In her Convocation Lecture on Tuesday, April 11, titled “Stabilizing Fragile Membranes on the Early Earth”, Keller will explain that small building blocks of DNA and proteins can interact with membranes, stabilizing them. These interactions have the potential to concentrate the building blocks on the surface of the membrane, helping them link up into larger molecules capable of other important jobs.

Please note the Convocation Schedule for adjusted class times on this day.

Dr. Keller will also attend, mingle, and talk to students about the Zyzzogeton Research Symposium and other events.

Convocation Schedule