CBG Seminar Series

Most CBCB seminars are now held jointly with the Computational Biology, Bioinformatics and Genomics Concentration Area within the Biological Sciences Graduate Program. The seminars are held from 2 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. on Thursdays in the seminar room of the Biosciences Research Building (room 1103). Other seminars are held in CBCB, and some external seminars of interest to CBCB are held here.

2:00 pm Thursday, September 2, 2010

Title: "DNA sequence properties of human promoters: CpG methylation is needed for some tissue specific gene expression"

By: Charles Vinson

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Charles Vinson is head of the Gene Regulation Section in the Laboratory of Metabolism
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

Abstract: DNA methylation of the cytosine in the CpG dinucleotide is typically associated with gene silencing. Genomic analyses have identified low CpG promoters that are both methylated and transcriptionally active but the mechanism underlying the activation of methylated promoters remains unclear. Here we show that CpG methylation of the CRE sequence (TGACGTCA) enhances the DNA binding of the C/EBP* transcription factor, a protein critical for activation of differentiation in various cell types. Transfection assays also show that C/EBP* activates the CRE sequence only when it is methylated. The biological significance of this observation was seen in differentiating primary keratinocyte cultures from new-born mice where certain methylated promoters are both bound by C/EBP* and activated upon differentiation. Experimental demethylation by either 5-azacytidine treatment or DNMT1 depletion diminished both C/EBP* binding and activation of the same methylated promoters upon differentiation suggesting that CpG methylation can localize C/EBP* to some methylated promoters in the genome. Transfection studies in cell culture using methylated tissue specific proximal promoters identified half-CRE sequences (CGTCA) that need to be methylated for C/EBP* mediated activation. C/EBP* activation of a different set of methylated tissue specific promoters was observed when primary dermal fibroblasts from new-born mice were differentiated into adipocytes. These data identify a new function for methyl CpGs: producing DNA binding sites at half-CRE sequences for C/EBP* that are needed to activate tissue-specific genes.

2:00 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

(This seminar was originally scheduled for September 30)

Title: "Stochastic gene expression variation across individuals and disease"

By: Hector Corrada Bravo

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Hector Corrada Bravo is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Computer Science and the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.

2:00 pm Thursday, October 21, 2010

Title: "Characterization of the human vaginal microbiome in reproductive age women"

By: Jacques Ravel

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Jacques Ravel is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

2:00 pm Thursday, October 28, 2010

Title: "Experimental and computational strategies for discovery of novel regulatory elements in the human genome"

By: Laura Elnitski

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Laura Elnitski is head of the Genomic Functional Analysis Section in the Genome Technology Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

2:00 pm Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010

Title: "Microscopic Physico-Chemical Modeling of Eukaryotic Cell Motility"

Garyk Papoian

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Garegin Papoian is the Monroe Martin Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, jointly appointed in the Department of Chemistry and Institute for Physical Science and Technology. His group is striving to understand complex biological phenomena based on fundamental physical and chemical principles. His current research interests include DNA packing in cells of higher organisms and cellular cytoskeleton and motility.

2:00 pm Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010

Title: "Dietary Modulation of Gut Microbiota for Preventive Management of Metabolic Diseases"

By: Liping Zhao

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Liping Zhao is Director of Laboratory of Molecular Microbial Ecology and Ecogenomics, and Associate Dean of School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Dr. Zhao is a world-renowned expert on human gut microbiota.

2:00 pm Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010

Title: "Palaeogenomics - challenges faced, progress made and future prospects"

By: Thomas P. Gilbert

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Thomas P. Gilbert heads a research group in Pathogen Paleogenomics in the Centre for Geogenetics at the University of Copenhagen.

2:00 pm Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

Title: "Genome-wide Profiling of Translation Initiation and Protein Synthesis"

By: Nicolas Ingolia

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Nicolas Ingolia is a Staff Member in the Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore.

Host: Hector Corrada Bravo.

2:00 pm Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010

Title: "Challenges of assembling genomes from Next Generation Sequencing data"

By: Aleksey Zimin

Venue: 1103 Biosciences Research Bldg.

Speaker information: Aleksey Zimin is a Research Associate in the Genome Assembly Group within the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. (pubs) Host:

Host: James Yorke.

Scheduled Events

  • Nov. 11, 2010: Liping Zhao, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Nov. 18, 2010 M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Centre for Ancient Genetics, University of Copenhagen
  • Dec. 2, 2010 Nicolas Ingolia, Staff Member, Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore
  • Jan. 27, 2011 Dave Thirumalai, University of Maryland Institute for Physical Sciences and Technology
  • March 17, 2011 Mathias Conrad, Emory University
  • Apr. 14, 2011 Joel Bader, Johns Hopkins University
  • Sept. 8, 2011: Sean Eddy, Janelia Farm, HHMI
  • Sept. 15, 2011: Shirley Liu, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard School of Public Health

Past Events

Other Events


More detailed transportation options to CBCB can be found here.

From the Capital Beltway to Parking Lot:
  • take Capital Beltway (I-495) Exit 25 and turn onto Baltimore Avenue (US Route 1) South
  • go two miles south on Baltimore Ave and enter the main gate at Campus Drive
  • take the right lane into campus and make first right turn onto Paint Branch Drive
  • stop at the first stop sign then pass Stadium Drive on the left
  • stop at the second stop sign then pass Parking Lot XX2 on the right
  • look for the Paint Branch Drive Visitor Lot on the left
  • turn left onto Technology Drive and park in the Paint Branch Drive Visitor Lot

From Parking Lot to CBCB:
  • the back of the Biomolecular Sciences Building #296 faces this parking lot
  • walk around to the front of the building and using the keypad near the front door
  • dial the number of one of the CBCB staff members in order to gain entrance to the building
  • CBCB is located on the third floor of the Biomolecular Sciences Building #296