Oct. 19: LAS Signature Themes Workshop

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LAS Signature Themes Workshop Travel in Time and Scale: Literature, Earth’s Climate, Evolution, Molecules, and Molecular Animation

Five “Signature Themes” define the scholarly vision of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University. This semester, a faculty committee has planned a workshop on the "Biological Structures and Systems” theme. Faculty, staff and students are invited to participate.

The workshop will be held Monday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Reiman Ballroom at the Alumni Center.

This workshop intends to bring the wealth of interesting topics across biology to a broader audience so that participants leave with a greater appreciation for biological complexity — from molecular structures to whole organisms to our past and future. The workshop will connect the importance of evolutionary processes to the beauty and functions of molecules. We would like to foster connections between art and science, and demonstrate the power of visualizing molecular processes in advancing and communicating our understanding of biology.

Schedule 10 a.m. — Welcome from Dean Schmittmann 10:10-11:10 a.m. — Keynote, Joseph Thornton 11:10-11:40 a.m. — Anne Bronikowski, Associate Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology 11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m. — Beth Caissie, Assistant Professor, Department of Geologic and Atmospheric Sciences

12:10-12:50 p.m. — Lunch break

12:50-1:20 p.m. — Barbara Haas, Associate Professor, Department of English 1:20-1:50 p.m. — Adam Barb, Assistant Professor, Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 1:50-2:50 p.m. — Keynote, Janet Iwasa 2:50-3:30 p.m. — Discussion panel with Michael Dahlstrom, Associate Professor, Greenlee School Journalism/Communication 3:30-4 p.m. — Reception

Keynote Speakers

Joseph W. Thornton Joseph W. Thornton is a professor in the Departments of Human Genetics and Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. Thornton is a world leader in studying the molecular mechanisms of evolution. His laboratory has played a key role in establishing a ‘functional synthesis’ of molecular and evolutionary biology and has pioneered ancient protein reconstruction as a strategy for experimentally dissecting the mechanisms of historical evolution. His work has focused primarily on the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily of transcription factors, a model system for molecular evolution that he began to develop as a graduate student and postdoc at the American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University. Before that, he was research coordinator for Greenpeace’s campaigns on toxic chemicals and studied English literature as an undergraduate. He has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award, the Hans Falk Award from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Janet Iwasa Janet Iwasa is a research assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah. Iwasa has pioneered the use of 3D animation to bring molecular processes to life. Her work provides compelling insight into the complex and intricate world of the molecular machines that inhabit our cells and creates a unique framework for developing novel research hypotheses. The animations and illustrations are also instrumental in promoting broad scientific communication between scientists and the public. Janet is a TED Fellow, winner of the FASEB BioArt competition in 2014, and has been named to the ‘100 Most Creative People’ list by Fast Company Magazine in 2012 and a Leading Global Thinker of 2014 by Foreign Policy Magazine. Dr. Iwasa’s career began with a double major in Biology and Asian Studies at Williams College followed by a PhD in Cell Biology at UCSF and Postdoctoral work with Jack Szostak at Harvard Medical School. During her postdoctoral training period, Janet’s work was displayed in a multimedia exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston. You can visit onemicron.com today to enjoy Janet’s impressive portfolio.

Biological Structures and Systems The signature theme of Biological Structures and Systems builds on ISU’s significant strengths in the life sciences. Spanning the biological, physical and computational sciences, research activities within the College have significant impact on basic biology, structural biology, molecular mechanisms of disease, drug development and delivery, food production and safety, as well as human, plant and animal evolution and health. Moreover, the theme is rich with environmental, psychological, and philosophical implications, from biosafety to ethics, from communication of the life sciences to science policy, science writing, and education, all of which invite a close integration with scholars in the social sciences and humanities and artists across the university.

Please RSVP by October 12, 2015 to mhamil@iastate.edu. RSVPs should include your name, department, rank and email address.