Invited Speakers

Virginijus Barzda
University of Toronto

Virginijus Barzda obtained his Ph.D. in Physics and Biophysics from Szeged University, Hungary. He conducted graduate studies on biophysical processes of photosynthesis at the Biological Research Center, Szeged, Hungary. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Barzda moved to Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands and continued his research on primary processes of photosynthesis. During the postdoctoral studies Dr. Barzda got interested in applying nonlinear optical microscopy to study photosynthetic organisms. He joined Dr. Wilson and Dr. Squier group at the University of California San Diego, where several novel nonlinear microscopy techniques had been developed. In 2002 Dr. Barzda joined the Physics Department at the University of Toronto, where he established nonlinear optical microscopy research group. His research focuses on the development of new microscopic imaging modalities and applications of nonlinear microscopy in biomedical imaging.

Nano-Microscopic Biological and Medical Physics at U. of Toronto

Kalina Hristova
Johns Hopkins University

Kalina Hristova received her B.S. degree from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and her Ph.D. degree from Duke University, USA. She did post-doctoral work at the University of California, Irvine. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University as an Assistant Professor in 2001. Now she is a Professor and the Marlin U. Zimmerman Faculty Scholar in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins. Kalina is a recipient of the Margaret Oakley Dayhoff award from the American Biophysical Society. The main focus of the research in her laboratory is the thermodynamic and structural principles that underlie membrane protein folding and signal transduction across biological membranes. More information about Kalina’s research is available at the BMMB Laboratory website.

Anne Kenworthy
Vanderbilt University

A major goal of my research program has been to elucidate the fundamental structural and dynamic properties of membrane domains such as caveolae and lipid rafts. While caveolae and their associated coat protein caveolin can be studies using traditional live cell imaging approaches, lipid rafts are too small to resolve by conventional fluorescence microscopy techniques, requiring the application of approaches with high spatial and temporal resolution that are capable to being applied to whole cells. To this end, my group has worked to develop quantitative approaches to study membrane domains and protein and lipid dynamics in cells using fluorescence microscopy and live cell imaging. More recently, we have expanded our efforts to develop tools that can be broadly applied to study protein dynamics and complex formation in cells. More information about my research is found on my website, Anne Kenworthy Lab.

Henry Lester
California Institute of Technology

Henry Lester is Bren Professor at the California Institute of Technology, where he has spent his entire faculty career. He has written almost 300 papers and holds seven patents at the intersection of biophysics, neuroscience, and pharmacology. He will discuss the use of optical microscopy, including FRET and zero-mode waveguides, to understand “inside-out” drug action: ligands bind to their receptors within the endoplasmic reticulum. When nicotine is the ligand, this process leads to pharmacological chaperoning and to altered endoplasmic reticulum stress responses. The results influence nicotine addiction and Parkinson’s disease. Lester recently taught “Drugs and the Brain” to 67,800 online students on Coursera. Lester Lab at Caltech

David Mead
Lucigen Corporation, Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Mead has 25 years of industrial experience in R&D at leading biotechnology companies, with 39 professional articles and 8 patents published . He has developed numerous commercially successful products, including the TA cloning vectors and kits which are now manufactured by Invitrogen Corporation and comprise the world’s largest selling cloning system. He founded Lucigen in 1998 to develop tools for simplifying genomics. A major new effort at Lucigen centers on the development of new fluorescent tools for GPCR structural biology and improved FRET partners for protein-protein interactions. Lucigen Corporation

Graeme Milligan
University of Glasgow

I am currently Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Gardiner Professor of Biochemistry at University of Glasgow in Scotland, where I have been based since 1986. I also currently act as Dean of Research of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, the largest of the 4 Colleges that comprise the University. The major focus of my research centers on the pharmacology and function of G protein-coupled receptors, an area in which I have published some 450 articles. Please visit my webpage for more information about my research.

Liviu Movileanu
Syracuse University

Liviu Movileanu studied physics (1985-1990) and received a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Bucharest (1997). He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Missouri (Kansas City, Missouri, 1997-1998) and the Texas A&M University Health Science Center (College Station, Texas, 1999-2004). He is currently an Associate Professor of Physics at Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York). His research areas include single-molecule and membrane biophysics, chemical and synthetic biology, bionanotechnology and nanomedicine, biosensors and functional nanobiomaterials. Liviu Movileanu’s group is primarily funded by the US National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. Please visit Movileanu Laboratory for additional information.

Paul Park
Case Western Reserve University

Paul Park is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. He received his Ph.D. degree in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Dr. Park utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to understand the mechanism of action of G protein-coupled receptors. His current research focus is on the structure and function of rhodopsin in photoreceptor cells of the retina and in understanding the mechanism by which mutations in rhodopsin lead to retinal degenerative disorders. More information may be found at the Park Lab website.

Arnold Ruoho
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Prof. Ruoho received his B.S. in Pharmacy/Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 1964 and his Ph.D. in Physiological Chemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970. He held a postdoctoral position at the University of California, San Diego from 1971-1974. Since 1974, Professor Ruoho has held positions in the Department of Phamacology at University of Wisconsin Medical School and the UW Eye Research Institute. His research area is focused on understanding the biochemistry and biological functions of membrane bound receptors and cellular signaling pathways. He develops unique chemical synthetic methodologies for small molecule drugs and applies chemical biology approaches to interrogate biological systems. Together with collaborators, prior to reports of the crystal structure, he had identified the binding site of the B2AR using an array of specific and unique radioiodinated photoprobes. He determined the first atomic structure of the catalytic core of adenylyl cyclase. His laboratory has also successfully applied a selective chemical biology strategy for photolabel transfer profiling to determine protein-protein interactions that occur in various cellular signaling pathways. In addition he has synthesized many small molecules for probing the binding sites for agonists and antagonists on sigma-1 and sigma-2 receptors. Please visit the UW Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology Program website for further information.

James W. Wells
University of Toronto

James W. Wells is a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto. He received his undergraduate degree in pharmacy and his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, both from the University of Toronto. Following postdoctoral training in the Division of Molecular Pharmacology at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, he returned to the University of Toronto to join the staff of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. His interest is in the mechanism of signaling via G protein-coupled receptors, with the M2 muscarinic cholinergic receptor taken as the case in point. His approach is based on the development of explicit mechanistic models, which are used to decode the data and to inform the design of pharmacological, biochemical and biophysical studies of preparations that range from single molecules to live cells. Of particular current interest is the status of the receptor as a monomer or an oligomer, which is studied in part by means of Förster resonance energy transfer. Please visit Dr. Wells’ webpage for more information.

Ruben Zadoyan
Newport Corporation

Dr. Ruben Zadoyan received his PhD in Physics from Moscow State University in 1985. He joined chemistry Department at UC Irvine in 1991 where he studied dynamics of chemical reactions in matrix isolated molecules. In 2000 Dr. Zadoyan joined Intralase Corp where he conducted research on laser-tissue interaction and played leading rolein developing femtosecond laser based medical device for vision correction surgery. In 2006 Dr. Zadoyan joined Newport Corporation to lead the Advanced R&D team with main focus in the area of Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Multiphoton Microscopy. Dr. Zadoyan has more than 50 publications and holds 15 patents. The Newport Corporation website contains more information about Dr. Zadoyan’s research.