Scientific Seminars

Below is a list of upcoming seminars at the LMB aimed at a general scientific audience and open to individuals throughout Cambridge. If you are not at the LMB and wish to attend a seminar, please contact Nikki Dominguez.

The LMB hosts ‘The LMB Seminar Series’, where 1-2 leading scientists per month are invited to speak throughout the year. Four of these lectures are named in honour of LMB Nobel Laureates Max Perutz, Francis Crick, César Milstein and John Kendrew, given by eminent scientists from around the world. The LMB Seminar talks and LMB Named Seminar talks are advertised widely throughout the local area and are open to all.

2017 LMB Seminar Series speakers (click to expand)

  • John McCutcheon – 11am, 3rd November
  • Franck Perez – 4pm, 28th November
  • Christine Holt – 11am, 4th December


A full list of LMB Named Lectures to date can be found here.

Details of other local seminars can be found here

  • Functional circuit architecture underlying parental behaviour

    Speaker: Johannes Kohl, HHMI, Harvard University/Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, London
    Host: Greg Jefferis, MRC LMB
    Date: 23/11/2017 at 10:00am in the Sanger Seminar Room, Level 3, LMB.

    Further information

    Parental behaviour is essential for the survival and wellbeing of mammalian offspring. Although lesion studies and pharmacological manipulations have identified individual brain regions involved in the control of parenting, we lack a circuit-level understanding of how distinct components of parental care, or indeed, of any social behaviour, are orchestrated. Here we investigate how a population of genetically specified hypothalamic neurons coordinates the motor, motivational, hormonal and social components of parenting. Using viral tracing and brain-wide activity mapping, we show that Galanin-expressing neurons in the murine medial preoptic area (MPOAGal) integrate inputs from a large number of brain areas, whose activation depends on the animal’s sex and reproductive state. Subsets of MPOAGal neurons project to non-overlapping target areas, hence forming discrete neuronal pools defined by their projection sites. While the population as a whole is active during all episodes of parental behaviour, individual MPOAGal pools are tuned to characteristic aspects of parenting. Remarkably, optogenetic stimulation of individual MPOAGal projections mirrors this specificity: while activation of MPOAGal projections to the periaqueductal grey (PAG) elicits motor aspects of parental behaviour, activation of ventral tegmental area (VTA)-projecting MPOAGal neurons increases the motivation to interact with pups. In contrast, stimulation of medial amygdala (MeA)-projections does not directly affect parenting but rather inhibits competing social interactions. This functional organization, reminiscent of the control of motor sequences by pools of spinal cord neurons, provides a new model of how discrete elements of a social behaviour are generated at the circuit level.

  • Lecture series: Introduction to molecular biology techniques: 4. Protein interactions

    Speaker: Mark van Breugel
    Host: Niek Wit
    Date: 23/11/2017 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    Methods for detection and analysis of protein-protein interactions, e.g.
    Bio-ID, Apex, IP

  • LMB Seminar Series- Exploring and Exploiting the Diversity of Secretory Routes in Mammalian Cells

    Speaker: Franck Perez, Institut Curie, CNRS, Paris, France
    Host: Emanuel Derivery and Sean Munro
    Date: 28/11/2017 at 2:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    It is now clear that multiple routes exist in cells to transport proteins and lipids toward various compartments. To analyse these routes, there is a strong a need for a versatile, highly synchronized assay, usable at physiological temperature in living cells. We developed the RUSH system (Retention Using Selective Hooks), a two-state assay based on the reversible interaction of a Reporter protein with a Hook protein stably localized in a donor compartment. This system can be used to study and quantify the trafficking of very diverse proteins of different size, shape and destined to various compartments. The RUSH system can be used for real time monitoring of transport in living cells as well as for for High Throughput screening using automated imaging.

    We are using the RUSH assay at multiple scales to monitor the transport of proteins in cells and analyse their intracellular signatures, to map the diversity of trafficking routes in terms of biochemical composition, to integrate these routes with other cellular machineries, like cellular adhesion and polarization, and to screen diverse chemical libraries and identify potential therapeutic molecules.

  • Lecture series: Introduction to molecular biology techniques. 5. Working with proteins.

    Speaker: Jonathan Pruneda
    Host: Niek Wit
    Date: 30/11/2017 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    How to express and purify proteins, e.g. use of different expression
    systems and optimisation

  • LMB Seminar Series- Title to follow

    Speaker: Christine Holt
    Host: Mo Moffatteh and Bill Schafer
    Date: 04/12/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Immunity service – molecular symbiosis of membrane translocation, chaperone network, and ER quality control

    Speaker: Professor Robert Tampe, Institute of Biochemistry, Biocenter, Goethe University, Frankfurt
    Host: Chris Tate, MRC LMB
    Date: 05/12/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    Identifying and eliminating infected or malignantly transformed cells are fundamental tasks of the adaptive immune system. For immune surveillance, the metastable cellular proteome is displayed as broken bits(peptides) on MHC class I molecules to cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. Our
    knowledge about the track from the proteome to the presentation of peptides has greatly expanded, leading to a quite comprehensive understanding of the MHC I antigen processing pathway. I will report on the mechanism of antigen translocation, editing and proofreading. Based on an integrative approach, the contribution of individual proteins as well as the architecture of the MHC I peptide-loading complex (PLC) and other MHC I editing complexes also in the context of viral immune evasion will be addressed.The work provides the framework for understanding the quality control of antigen selection and unveils the molecular details underlying the onset of an adaptive immune response.

    1) Blees A, Januliene D, Hofmann T, Koller N, Schmidt C, Trowitzsch S, Moeller A, Tampé R (2017) Structure of the human MHC-I peptide-loading complex. Nature, Nov 6, 2017, doi: 10.1038/nature24627.

    2) Thomas C, Tampé R (2017) Structure of the TAPBPR-MHC I complex defines the mechanism of peptide loading and editing. Science, Oct 12, 2017, doi: 10.1126/science.aao6001.

    3) Nöll et al. (2017) Structure and mechanistic basis of a functional homolog of the antigen transporter TAP. PNAS 114, 438.

    4) Kim et al. (2015) Subnanometer cryo-EM structure of a nucleotide free heterodimeric ABC exporter. Nature 517, 396.

  • Neural Mechanisms for Dynamic Acoustic Communication in Flies

    Speaker: Mala Murthy, Associate Professor, Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University
    Host: Greg Jefferis
    Date: 07/12/2017 at 10:30am in the Sanger Seminar Room, Level 3, LMB.

    Further information

    Social interactions require continually adjusting behavior in response to sensory feedback. For example, when having a conversation, sensory cues from our partner (e.g., sounds or facial expressions) affect our speech patterns in real time. Our speech signals, in turn, are the sensory cues that modify our partner’s actions. What are the underlying computations and neural mechanisms that govern these interactions? To address these questions, my lab studies the acoustic communication system of Drosophila. To our advantage, the fly nervous system is relatively simple, with a wealth of genetic tools to interrogate it. Importantly, Drosophila acoustic behaviors are highly quantifiable and robust. During courtship, males produce time-varying songs via wing vibration, while females arbitrate mating decisions. We discovered that, rather than being a stereotyped fixed action sequence, male song structure and intensity are continually sculpted by interactions with the female, over timescales ranging from tens of milliseconds to minutes – and we are mapping the underlying circuits and computations. We have also developed methods to relate song representations in the female brain to changes in her behavior, across multiple timescales. Our focus on natural acoustic signals, either as the output of the male nervous system or as the input to the female nervous system, provides a powerful, quantitative handle for studying the basic building blocks of communication.

  • Using Biology, Chemistry and Physics to Understand and Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

    Speaker: Professor Frank Gunn-Moore, University of St Andrews
    Host: Chris Tate
    Date: 08/12/2017 at 2:00pm in the Klug Seminar Room, Level 2, LMB.

    Further information

    It is now thought that there are potentially 70 different neurodegenerative diseases that cause dementia. To understand and treat these diseases, we need to revaluate much of the central dogma and our approaches. In this talk, I will explain how my group is utilising all three of the sciences to understand the molecular changes that occur in Alzheimer’s, the development of a potential new drug and also the development of novel optic approaches to interrogate the nervous system.

  • Kendrew Lecture- Title to follow

    Speaker: Xiaowei Zhuang
    Host: Chris Russo
    Date: 15/01/2018 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • The 6th Annual Sir John Walker Lecture

    Speaker: Professor Vamsi Mootha
    Host: MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit
    Date: 22/02/2018 at 4:30pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series- Title to follow

    Speaker: Lukas Kapitein
    Host: Simon Bullock and Andrew Carter
    Date: 15/03/2018 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series- Title to follow

    Speaker: Titia De Lange Rockefeller
    Host: KJ Patel
    Date: 23/05/2018 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series- Title to follow

    Speaker: Steve Harrison
    Host: Yorgo Modis
    Date: 28/06/2018 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Perutz Lecture- Title to follow

    Speaker: Eric Gouaux
    Host: Chris Tate
    Date: 29/11/2018 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.