COMPONENT 6: Participation in Seminars

Chem 454L: Biomedical Science Research Seminars and Presentations


Winter Quarter 2006           Call Number: 11138

Fridays 1:00 – 2:30 PM                   Biological Sciences 144

California State University, Los Angeles



Course Instructors

Dr Anthony Fratiello                Physical Sciences 620             (; 343-2326)

Dr Scott Grover                        Physical Sciences 530             (; 343-2339)

Dr. Raymond Garcia                 Physical Sciences 516             (; 343-2144)

Dr. Carlos G. Gutierrez            Physical Sciences 603             (; 343-2356)

Prof. Vicki Kubo-Anderson     Physical Sciences 622             (; 343-2324)

Dr. Robert Vellanoweth            Physical Sciences 517             (; 343-2148)


Course Goals

The goal of this course is to develop students√ï listening and critical skills so they become active participants in dialogues with seminar presenters.  Research seminars are an important medium for presentation of new scientific results, frequently before they have been published.  The intent here is that the student will learn to critically evaluate new information presented in the seminar format, and participate in the give-and-take of scientific discourse.

This weekly seminar series is by design multidisciplinary, and provides opportunities to broaden students√ï scientific perspectives.  These seminars cover the work of academic and industrial biomedical, behavioral, and mathematical scientists.  There are also opportunities for students to develop their own communication skills through presentation in poster sessions and oral talks.  The course is a developmental activity that requires the students√ï active participation. 


Winter Quarter Seminars

The seminar series schedule is listed at /sites/default/files/centers/moreprograms/biomed_sem.htm, the MORE_Programs√ï website.  Clicking on a seminar title links you to an abstract provided by the speaker, and bibliographic reference to pertinent publications.  Clicking on the speaker√ïs name connects you to the speaker√ïs website.  Clicking on the presenter√ïs department links you to the speaker√ïs departmental webpage.  Plan to come to each seminar prepared to participate.  Please check this website throughout the quarter. It will be updated as missing information (such as seminar abstracts, titles) is received.


January 6                √íSensing Chemical Signals at Cell Membrane Surfaces During the Immune Response√ì

Dr. Joseph J. Falke, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Colorado


January 13              √íThe exciting life of free radicals: Imaging chemical reactions√ì

                                 Dr. Hanna Reisler, Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California


January 20              √íNutrient Control of Gastrointestinal Transit-a Bench-to-Bedside Story√ì

                                 Dr. Henry Lin, Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California


 January 27                √íProtein-Polymer Conjugates in Solution and on Surfaces√ì

                                 Dr. Heather Maynard, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles

February 3              √íStudent Poster Session√ì    



*February 10          Lloyd N. Ferguson Symposium (Golden Eagle Ballroom 12:00 PM)

ÒIt's a Wonderful LifeÓ

Dr. Donald Darensbourg, Department of Chemistry, Texas A & M University


February 17            Student Presentations

ÒRole of Mus81-Eme1 During Homologous Recombination in Schizosaccharomyces pombeÓ

Sandra Alvarez, MARC U*STAR Scholar


                                 √íExamining the processes occurring in thunderstorms that affect soluble, reactive species (chemical reservoir species)√ì

Marco Orozco, MARC U*STAR Scholar



*February 24          CSULA Research Symposium



March 3                   Student Presentations

ÒRegulation of Telomerase Activity by Epstein-BarrVirus in Burkitt LymphomaÓ

Marjannie Eloi, MBRS-RISE MS to PhD Fellow


ÒCharacterizing the Mechanism by which Human Neutrophil a-Defensin 4 (HNP4) Inhibits HIV-1 ReplicationÓ

Mark Rivera, Beckman Scholar



March 10                 Student Presentations

                                 √íLipogenesis in mice containing a targeted disruption in SREBP-1a gene√ì

                                 Rayshonda Williams, MARC U*STAR Scholar


ÒX-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopic Studies of Crystalline Silicon Surfaces: Toward Acetylation with FerroceniumÓ

Ana Gamboa, MBRS-RISE MS to PhD Fellow


*Change in Time and Location      



Administrative Notes

These seminars are opportunities for you to interact with a broad range of academic and industrial biomedical scientists, and their work.  Some speakers also serve as graduate school recruiters, and can provide an initial contact between you and prospective graduate programs.  The University provides some funds for students to join seminar speakers for lunch just before the seminar.  Please contact Lisa Bautista, MORE Programs Grant Project Administration Coordinator (; 343-2395) a week in advance if you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity to further interact with a particular speaker.

Every seminar is critiqued as a developmental activity.  Each session, you will receive a form (a sample is attached to this syllabus).  The completed critique form, including your signature, is the official attendance document, and record of your development as an active listener.  Please be sure to turn it in at the conclusion of the seminar to get credit for your participation in that seminar (it will not be accepted at any other time).  If there are multiple speakers, a critique form will be provided for each.

The seminars start at 1 PM.  Please plan to be there on time, particularly as a courtesy to the speaker.

Cell Phones: Please put your cell phones on √ívibrate√ì mode or turn them off during seminar.  If you receive a call during seminar that you must take, discreetly exit the lecture hall.


Your Role as Active Participant

Your role in the Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series is not as part of a passive audience but rather as an

active participant.  Indeed in its best result, the seminar is a dialog between the presenter and the participants.  You are expected to be actively involved extracting information from the seminar and contributing to the dialog.  Look at seminars as occasions to explore (hopefully) interesting topics in a more active and satisfying way than either reading or listening to lectures. Research on learning shows that we remember far more of what is orally discussed than what is passively listened to or read.

To get something out of a seminar, be prepared to put something in:

a)   Do prior reading. Background information on the seminar - an abstract provided by the seminar speaker, and bibliographic references to pertinent publications - is available to you in advance by clicking on the seminar title on the MORE Programs Biomedical Sciences Seminar web page (/sites/default/files/centers/moreprograms/biomed_sem.htm).  If you have no background at the time you come to the seminar, you will be unprepared to be part of the discussion that is the essence and purpose of the seminar.

b)   Listen carefully.  An important, and obvious, requisite for success in getting a lot out of a seminar is active listening.  Stay focused on the topic.

c)   Take notes - particularly with a view to points on which you would like to get further clarification or support. An article on taking effective seminar note is attached to this syllabus: Walker, J.H. √íTaking notes in seminars - a new improved method√ì Biochemical Education 1999, 27, 211-213.  You may wish to start keeping a journal of your seminar notes.

d)    Ask questions. Be prepared to make your views known. You may feel ill-informed or not entirely comfortable with the topic, but what you ask may prompt someone else to speak, and then someone else.  Through this process, you and your colleagues, will begin to become better-informed.

e)     Present a Poster. Each quarter one third of program participants will present a poster at the MORE programs Poster Session. This is detailed later in this syllabus.

f)     Present a Seminar.  If you are a graduating senior or second year MS/MA student, plan on presenting your work in the Spring Quarter.  Students that spent the summer off-campus present in the Winter or Spring Quarters.

g)    Suggest.  We welcome suggestions for speakers or topics for future seminars.   Please send these to Dr. Donald Paulson at  We also welcome suggestions for improvement of the series.  Contact any of the course instructors, or alternatively use the √íComments or Suggestions√ì box on the seminar webpage /sites/default/files/centers/moreprograms/biomed_sem.htm to send your_suggestions.


Lunch With the Seminar Speaker

The University provides a small fund for interested students to go to lunch with the seminar speaker.  The intent here is to give students who are particularly interested in the seminar speaker√ïs research topic, or the speaker√ïs institution for PhD study, the opportunity to meet and interact with the speaker in an informal setting.  If you are interested in going to lunch with a particular speaker, please let Lisa Bautista know ( not later than one week prior to the seminar.


Hosting the Seminar Speaker

Participating students manage the seminars.  A student will be asked to be the official host for the speaker.  We will try to match the student host√ïs interest with the seminar speaker√ïs research area. The student host will organize the group of interested students that take the seminar speaker to lunch (the MORE Programs Office will provide the funds for lunch).  The student host introduces the speaker before the seminar, and manages the question and answer session.  The student host gives preference to student questions, allowing faculty members to ask questions after student questions are exhausted.  If you are interested in serving as host to a particular off-campus speaker, let Lisa Bautista know ( as soon as possible, but not later than one two weeks prior to the presentation of the seminar.  Student hosts for on-campus speakers will be selected from the presenter√ïs research group.


Poster Session

To give students an opportunity to develop skills presenting their research results in a poster format, and to give all participants in the broad MORE programs a sense of the breadth of research conducted by their colleagues, we will devote one seminar period each quarter to a poster session. All students will participate in this activity each quarter, either as a poster presenter, or as a critic of the presentations.

If you are scheduled to present this quarter on February 3.  You were notified by your Coordinator last quarter if you are to present this term. All students will present a poster on their research results on a schedule where the most experienced third of students present in the Fall, the next more experienced in the Winter quarter, and the newest students in the Spring. Only those individuals who have just joined their research group as a freshman, and other individuals who have been in the MORE Programs less than two quarters, will have their presentations delayed until next academic year.  Plan to have your poster printed on our large-format printer well in advance, as there will surely be a rush (by 20-25 of your colleagues) on its use close to the October 21 poster session date.  Please contact Iris Cruz ( or Berna Lepe ( as soon as possible to arrange for printing, since they also have other responsibilities and are not always available.  The cost for printing these posters (Fred√ïs/Iris√ï/Berna√ïs time and materials) will be covered by the MORE Programs.  We are unable to pay for printing by other parties.

Be sure your poster is up in its assigned space in the lobby of the Physical Sciences Building by 12:30PM and that you are there ready to discuss your work and answer questions at 1PM.

You may want to visit the following URLs that have tips on preparing effective research posters.

Advise for Constructing Scientific Posters   Dr. Colin Purrington, Swarthmore University

Creating a Poster Using MS PowerPoint   University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Creating Effective Poster Presentations   George R. Hess (NC State University) and Leon H. Liegel (Oregon State University). Includes several examples incorporating various design features along with additional presentation and design resources.

Creating Posters for Humanities & Social Sciences  Lewis-Clark State College. Suggestions on poster design and presentation.

Creating Large Format Posters Using PowerPoint, Department of Biomedical Communications, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Guidelines for Preparing Scientific Posters in the Digital Age, SciFor Inc. -- some good design ideas from an online service that offers poster preparation and printing services. Their Poster Gallery offers some good design examples

Creating a Large-Format Poster in PowerPoint, Social Science Research Lab, Brown University


If you ARE NOT scheduled to present this quarter, you are required to do on-the-spot brief critiques of two posters, and a more detailed analysis of a third poster. Instructions for the brief critiques, and for the more detailed analysis of posters are available on the Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series webpage < /sites/default/files/centers/moreprograms/biomed_sem.htm >.  The two critiques are due immediately after the poster session on February 3.  The Analysis of the third is due a week later, after the seminar on February 10.


Course Grading

The course is graded Credit/No Credit (Cr/NC) based on your participation, which is evaluated by:

1)    The degree of your involvement as gauged by the quality of your answers to the seminar critique form (sample attached to this syllabus).  This is a developmental activity: graduate students are expected to provide more sophisticated answers than undergrads; those that have been in the MORE Programs a while are expected to write better answers than newer student participants.

2)    Attendance.  To participate, you must be present. Please schedule your other commitments, including conducting research so that it does not conflict with your participation in the seminar course.  Attendance is measured only by your turning in a completed critique form.  Missing more than one seminar unexcused will result in a NC grade.  There are, of course, several situations that are reasonable for missing a seminar, such as medical emergencies, and travel to professional meetings. If you plan to be absent and seek to be excused, please contact your coordinator (listed below) before the seminar. Only these individuals are authorized to excuse an absence. 


MARC U*STAR Scholars                       Prof. Vicki- Kubo-Anderson (; 343-2324)

Beckman Scholars                                     Prof. Vicki- Kubo-Anderson (; 343-2324)

Junior/Senior MBRS RISE Scholars        Dr. Scott Grover  (; 343-2339)

Frosh/Soph MBRS RISE Scholars           Prof. Vicki- Kubo-Anderson (; 343-2324)

MBRS RISE MS-to-PhD Scholars          Dr. Raymond Garcia (; 343-2144)

Bridges to the PhD Scholars                     Dr. Robert Vellanoweth (; 343-2148)

Biomed PREP Scholars                            Dr. Raymond Garcia (; 343-2144)

Other Students                                          Dr. Anthony Fratiello (; 343-2326)


Please do not make your request to the MORE Programs Office Staff; they are not authorized for this.

3)   Interaction with the speaker: asking questions at the seminar, going to lunch; meeting with him/her before or after the seminar.


Other Seminar Series

We encourage you to attend the weekly departmental seminar series of your major department at Cal State LA.  The website for these series is presented below:

Chemistry & Biochemistry                         /dept/chem/seminar.htm

Biological Sciences                                     /academic/biol/bio510.htm


In addition, major research institutions in Southern California offer outstanding seminars in a broad range of biomedically-related disciplines.  Below are webpages to many of these.  If you are aware of other seminar

series that should be listed, please inform your coordinator with the URL, and we will add it to the list.


UC Irvine


School of Biological Sciences         

Developmental and Cell Biology     

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Cognitive Sciences                         

Psychology and Social Behavior     



Biological Chemistry                        

Biomathematics/Computational Biology



Chemistry & Biochemistry               

Human Genetics                               

Microbiology Immunology, and Molecular genetics

Molecular Biology                             


U of Southern California


Pharmaceutical Sciences                   

Neuroscience Graduate Program      



UC San Diego

Chemistry and Biochemistry             

Biological Sciences                           




Caltech lists all of its seminars on its Calendar at


UC Riverside




Cell Biology and Neuroscience


UC Santa Barbara

Biomolecular Science and Engineering

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Chemistry and Biochemistry             



Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology