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Events > Illuminating Diseases: A Talk by Dr. Marc Zimmer

Illuminating Diseases: A Talk by Dr. Marc Zimmer

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, January 26

Location: Genspace HQ

A Talk by Dr. Marc Zimmer

When: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm

Where: Genspace, The MEx Building
33 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn NY 11217

Join us early for drinks and nibbles 
Please RSVP!

You are probably most familiar with the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) but there are many more fluorescent proteins to explore. From biosensors to reporter genes, fluorescent proteins enable us to visualize cells through selected markers.

Join us at Genspace for a talk about fluorescent proteins, a tool that allows scientists to tag, isolate and follow individual cells in real time! 

Page through any modern scientific journal and it’s impossible to miss the vibrant images of fluorescent proteins. Bright, colorful photographs, as shown here, not only liven-up scholarly journals, but they are also invaluable tools to track HIV, design chickens that are resistant to bird flu and confirm the existence of cancerous stem cells. 

Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are ubiquitous in modern medical research. They are the microscope of the 21st century. In technicolor, they allow us to see things we have never been able to see thereby completely changing the way we approach science and medicine.

This talk uses fluorescent proteins as the thread to tie together a narrative of the scientific efforts made to conquer the world’s most dangerous diseases. It details the history of genetically modified fluorescent parasites and viruses as they provide us with new information about the spread of diseases like malaria, AIDS, and dengue fever. It describes how genetically modified mosquitoes with glowing gonads may curb the spread of malaria and how red fluorescent proteins in bug poop can prevent Chagas disease.

Dr. Marc Zimmer
 was born in a small town in South Africa. He wanted to be a game warden when he grew-up, but his mother wanted him to be a medical doctor. Although his handwriting is worthy of prescription pads he went to university with the intent of becoming game ranger. However, his dreams of looking after herds of elephants were terminated by an introductory botany course, which he failed. Fortunately he discovered the joy and fascination of playing with molecules. This resulted in a change in majors from biology to chemistry. Partly out of interest and partly out of a need to avoid the South African (apartheid) military service he came to the United States, where he got his Ph.D. in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and did his post-doc at Yale University. He has been at Connecticut College for the last 20 years where he teaches chemistry and studies the proteins involved in producing light in jellyfish and fireflies. He has written a book about Green Fluorescent Protein. Marc has published research papers about cow flatulence, computational chemistry and bioluminescence in fireflies and jellyfish.

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