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 the seminar secretary.

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.

2019 LMB Seminar Series speakers (click to expand)

  • Jorge Galan – 11am, 5th April
  • Gia Voeltz – 11am, 10th April
  • John Rubinstein – 11am, 19th April
  • David Rudner – time tbc, 3rd May
  • Tony Kouzarides – time tbc, 16th May
  • Tim Hubbard – 4pm, 23rd May
  • Gaia Pigino – time tbc, 28th May
  • Xiaodong Zhang – time tbc, 18th June
  • Perutz Lecture: Lily Jan – 4pm, 19th September


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

Details of other local seminars can be found here

  • Introduction to Biophysical Techniques: Light scattering techniques

    Speaker: Chris Johnson
    Host: Chris Johnson
    Date: 26/03/2019 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Introduction to Biophysical Techniques: Flow Cytometry

    Speaker: Maria Daly
    Host: Chris Johnson
    Date: 28/03/2019 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Introduction to Biophysical Techniques: Analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC)

    Speaker: Stephen McLaughlin
    Host: Chris Johnson
    Date: 04/04/2019 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series - Pathogen restriction and host specificity: insights from the human pathogen Salmonella Typhi

    Speaker: Jorge Galan, PhD, DVM, Lucille P. Markey Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Professor of Cell Biology; Chair, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis
    Host: Lalita Ramakrishnan
    Date: 05/04/2019 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    Salmonella Typhi continues to be a serious global health concern, resulting in more than 200,000 annual deaths. A distinguishing feature of S. Typhi is that it only infects humans, causing a life-threatening systemic infection known as "typhoid fever". This is in sharp contrast to most other Salmonellae, which can infect a variety of hosts and are usually associated with self-limiting gastroenteritis (i. e. “food poisoning”). The molecular bases for Salmonella Typhi's unique pathogenesis and host specificity will be discussed.

  • Introduction to Biophysical Techniques: Curve fitting, errors and analysis of binding data

    Speaker: Chris Johnson and Stephen McLaughlin
    Host: Chris Johnson
    Date: 09/04/2019 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series - Factors and Functions of ER Membrane Contact Sites

    Speaker: Gia Voeltz PhD, HHMI Investigator and Professor University of Colorado at Boulder
    Host: Liz Miller
    Date: 10/04/2019 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    Abstract: The Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) spreads as an elaborate and dynamic network throughout the cytoplasm. Recent years have revealed that this ER network directly regulates the biogenesis and trafficking of other organelles at membrane contact sites (MCSs). I will discuss new factors and functions for ER MCSs with other organelles.

  • Introduction to Biophysical Techniques: Bioinformatics

    Speaker: Balaji Santhanam
    Host: Chris Johnson
    Date: 11/04/2019 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Introduction to Biophysical Techniques: Mass spectrometry

    Speaker: Mark Skehel
    Host: Chris Johnson
    Date: 16/04/2019 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Introduction to Biophysical Techniques: Hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry

    Speaker: Glenn Masson
    Host: Chris Johnson
    Date: 18/04/2019 at 10:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series - CryoEM of proton pumping macromolecular machines

    Speaker: John Rubinstein
    Host: John Briggs
    Date: 29/04/2019 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    Electrochemical proton gradients across energized membranes play central roles in numerous cellular processes. These gradients are established by large membrane-embedded protein complexes.V-type ATPasesare responsible for acidification of intracellular compartments including endosomes, lysosomes, the Golgi, and exocytic vesicles. Electron transport chain complexes energize the inner membranes of mitochondria and the plasma membranes of bacteria to drive production of cellular ATP during oxidative phosphorylation. Many of these protein complexes are highly dynamic, complicating their structural analysis. We have isolated a number of these assemblies from bacterial, yeast, and mammalian sources, and examined them by electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) to understand their function and regulation. In order to facilitate this process, we also develop new biochemical, specimen preparation, and computational approaches for cryoEM.

  • LMB Seminar Series - Synthesis and hydrolysis of the gram-positive cell wall: revisiting old models with new data

    Speaker: David Rudner, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School
    Host: Jan Lowe
    Date: 03/05/2019 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    Expansion of the bacterial cell wall is essential for growth but the mechanisms underlying the synthesis and hydrolysis of this three-dimensional meshwork remain poorly understood. A deeper understanding of these processes have the potential to define new vulnerabilities for therapeutic interventation. In my seminar, I will describe our discovery of a new and broadly conserved family of cell wall polymerases and our studies of two key cell wall hydrolases. With this information in hand, I will revisit and attempt to refine models championed by Koch and Doyle in the 1980s for how gram-positive bacteria remodel their cell wall during growth. Along the way, I will describe a novel signaling pathway that functions to maintain cell wall hydrolysis activity during growth.

  • Innate immunity to cystolic bacteria: Pyroptosis & beyond.

    Speaker: Feng Shao, National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing
    Host: Felix Randow
    Date: 08/05/2019 at 3:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series - Modifications of RNA: their function and role in cancer

    Speaker: Tony Kouzarides, PhD FRS FMedSci, Professor of Cancer Biology, Cancer Research UK Gibb Fellow, Director of the Milner Therapeutics Institute, Member of the Department of Pathology
    Host: Katja Roeper
    Date: 16/05/2019 in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    Many modifications are known to exist on tRNA and rRNA but very few have been detected on mRNA and ncRNA. We assume that this imbalance is due to the lower abundance and complexity of the latter and therefore an issue of detection. We have therefore developed sensitive tools for the detection of modifications on mRNA and ncRNA including, mass –spec technology, antibodies and chemical reactivity assays. We have also defined an atlas of RNA modifying enzymes required for the viability of AML-leukaemia cells using CRISPR approaches.

    Using these tools we are now investigating the biological function, mechanism of action and cancer connection of several RNA modifications. We have shown that the METTL3 enzyme, that modifies m6A, is necessary for AML-leukaemia, and that it functions via a chromatin based pathway controlling mRNA translation. We have also defined a new RNA modification, internal m7G methylation of miRNAs, mediated by the METTL1 enzyme. We show that this modification affects miRNA processing by disrupting the formation a G-quadrulpex structure. Biologically, m7G methylation by METTL1 regulates cell migration via. The broader function of these and other RNA modifications will be discussed.

  • LMB Seminar Series - The 100,000 genomes project and beyond

    Speaker: Tim Hubbard, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, King’s College London; Health Data Research UK London Site; Genomics England
    Host: Richard Henderson
    Date: 23/05/2019 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    The 100,000 genomes project set out to mainstream whole genome sequencing for treatment into the NHS. Genomics England, set up in 2013 to deliver the project, established sequencing and interpretation pipelines to enable whole genome sequences to be analysed for rare diseases and cancer patients with individual reports returned to clinicians. In parallel, NHS England set up a national network of NHS Genome Medicine Centres involving more than 80 hospitals to identify and consent eligible patients with unmet clinical need and delivering samples for sequencing with associated clinical data. Partnerships with the Scottish Genomes Partnership, NHS Wales and Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland have ensured patient access across the whole UK. The target of 100,000 genomes sequenced was reached in December 2018 at which point individual interpretation reports had been returned to the NHS for half of those genomes. Whole genome sequencing is now part of standard commissioned health care through the creation of the NHS Genome Medicine Service which is targeted to generate another 500,000 whole genomes for clinical care over the next 5 years. This is in addition to the 500,000 whole genomes of UK biobank participants planned over the same period.

    The secure, scalable high performance-computing environment where all data processing takes place is located within the NHS firewall, but is also configured to support research. It is currently accessible by more than 1,500 researchers who are members of the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP). Researchers are organised into domains around disease or computational area. The environment contains a rich set of clinical data (more than 1 billion data points) including the longitudinal electronic health record of each participant, along side genome sequence and variant files with a full set of tools to enable research.

    The construction of a dual use data environment within a health system provides a model for future translational human research. It allows researchers to move beyond analysis of cohorts of research subjects of limited size to analysis of patient data from whole health systems while respecting data privacy, allowing comorbidities and longitudinal health data to be better taken into account. It also provides a model for initiatives around other health data types, such as the newly announced InnovateUK Imaging, Pathology and AI centres and Health Data Research UK. I will discuss the progress of these projects and their impact on health research and personalised medicine in the UK.

  • LMB Seminar Series: Title to be confirmed

    Speaker: Gaia Pigino, Research Group Leader at the MPI-CBG
    Host: Wanda Kukulski
    Date: 28/05/2019 in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Cambridge 3Rs meeting

    Speaker: Professor Keith Caldecott (with Student and Postdoc speakers to be confirmed
    Date: 29/05/2019 at 5:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series: Title to be confirmed

    Speaker: Xiaodong Zhang’s, Imperial College, London
    Host: David Barford
    Date: 18/06/2019 in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series Perutz Lecture: The enigmatic TMEM16 family

    Speaker: Lily Jan
    Host: Bill Schafer
    Date: 19/09/2019 in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    The mammalian TMEM16 (TransMEMbrane proteins with unknown function 16) family has ten members with diverse functions, including calcium-activated chloride channels (TMEM16A/B), an auxiliary subunit of sodium-activated potassium channel (TMEM16C), and a calcium-activated cation channel and lipid scramblase (TMEM16F). I will present our recent studies of these TMEM16 family members.

    Lily Jan went to California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for graduate school, after finishing her college study at National Taiwan University in 1968. She and her husband Yuh Nung Jan began their long-term collaboration when they were postdoctoral fellows, first with Seymour Benzer at Caltech and then with Steve Kuffler at Harvard Medical School. After joining the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) faculty in 1979, Lily and Yuh Nung Jan began their ion channel studies with molecular identification of voltage-gated potassium channels, inward rectifier potassium channels, and calcium-activated chloride channels, in order to study these channels one at a time, to learn how they work and what they do in neurons and other cell types.