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Speaker History

  • Clemson

    2017

    January 16 
    Moonshine! 
    A discussion about the impact of separation science on one of the more popular local products. 
    Carlos Garcia, Dept. of Chemistry, Clemson University

    February 20
    How Does A Plant “Decide”? 
    Julia Frugoli, Dept. of Genetics and Biochemistry, Clemson University

    March 20 
    Nature’s Machines: Using Physics To Understand How Cells Move 
    Josh Alper, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University

    April 17 
    The Last Glacier: Tracking Glacial Retreat Through Art 
    Todd Anderson, Dept. of Art, Clemson University

    May 15 
    The Bite Counter, Moving Science From The Bench To The Breakfast Table 
    A discussion of tech transfer. 
    Eric Muth, Dept. of Psychology and College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, Clemson University

    June 19 
    Planets: What are they, where are they, and how do they form? 
    Sean Brittain, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University

    July 17 
    Keeping our heads above water in the fight against the brain eating amoeba (and friends) 
    Jim Morris, Dept. of Genetics and Biochemistry, Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center, Clemson University

    August 21 (solar eclipse at 2:30!) 
    The Living Sandstones of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument 
    Harry Kurtz, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Clemson University

    2016

    January 18 
    Forensic Anthropology and What We Can Learn from Human Skeletons
    Katherine Weisensee, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Clemson University  

    February 15
    The Three Faces of Fracking
    A discussion of the fracking process and its various applications from energy extraction to shoreline safety.
    Larry Murdoch, Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Clemson University 

    March 21
    Controversies in Cancer Screening and Prevention
    A discussion of the latest science with respect to reducing or preventing the risk of cancer.
    Rachel Mayo, Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University
     
    April 18
    Sleep on It!
    A discussion of how memories are strengthened and transformed in the sleeping brain.
    Erin Wamsley, Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience, Furman University

    May 23*
    The Three Faces of Fracking  
    A discussion of the fracking process and its various applications from energy extraction to shoreline safety.
    Larry Murdoch, Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University
    *Note that this is the fourth Monday of the month, not the usual third Monday.

    June 20
    A Bloody Problem: Biting Flies versus Endangered Wildlife  
    A discussion of problems that arise when native species are pitted against one another.
    Peter Adler, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University

    July 18, 2016
    DoThese Genes Make Me Look Fat?  
    An introduction to the genomics revolution — from shotguns to designer genes — and how it will impact our lives.
    Vince Richards, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University


    2015

    January 19
    How to mend a broken heart, literally, a discussion of novel approaches that aim to regenerate, rather than replace, tissues—including heart and blood vessels—using approaches collectively named "tissue engineering". Dan will present the current knowledge and challenges as well as several new devices developed exclusively at Clemson; the "Clemson Bioactive Vascular Graft" and the "Clemson Tissue Engineered Heart Valve".
    Dan Simionescu, Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, and Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Greenville Hospital System

    February 16
    The Three Faces of Fracking, a discussion of the fracking process and its various applications from energy extraction to shoreline safety
    Lawrence Murdoch, Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University

    March 16 
    Faking It, all feature films are full of science, in the form of computer graphic models and simulations of many physical phenomena. Sometimes the simulations are highly accurate, and many times not accurate intentionally. We will watch some movie clips and discuss the science content in the computer graphics.
    Jerry Tessendorf, Professor, School of Computing, Clemson University.  
    Dr. Tessendorf also worked in feature film visual effects, for which he received and Academy Award.

    April 20
    You Are What You Eat: How Antioxidants Prevent Oxidative DNA Damage, We are exploring how antioxidants from green teas, fruits, and vegetables can prevent the oxidative damage to DNA and cells that is an underlying cause of aging, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular diseases.  Our results have established that rather than scavenging the radicals that cause this damage, a new iron-binding mechanism is responsible for antioxidant behavior.
    Julia Brumaghim, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Clemson University. 
    Dr. Brumaghim earned her PhD from U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research aims to understand how antioxidants prevent DNA damage and cell death.

    May 18
    Drug Resistance in a Nutshell: How do Pharmaceutical Drugs Work and then Fail to Work?  Many of us rely on pharmaceuticals to support our constant battle against acute and chronic disease. We will begin by discussing how pharmaceutical drugs work at the molecular scale. We will then discuss how these diseases 'fight back', becoming resistant to these drugs.
    Brian Dominy, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Clemson University
    Dr. Dominy earned his PhD from Scripps Research Institute. His research aims to increase our understanding of the physical and chemical properties underlying biomolecular evolution.

    June 15
    Chocolate 101
    Chocolate. Need we say more? New World peoples have been imbibing chocolate since at least 1900 BC. Jon will describe the fascinating history of chocolate as well as the modern processes that give chocolate its ethereal qualities. Bonus feature—tastings!
    Jon Hoskin, Department of Computing and Information Technology, Clemson University.  Dr. Jonathan Hoskin earned his Ph.D. at Penn State University.

    July 20
    Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
    Although our world depends on ever more sophisticated technologies, nature itself tends towards the simplest solution. In this simplicity is not only elegance and beauty, but also important insights that can better inform future technological progress. This discussion will highlight examples from the world of light, called photonics, where we’ve created optical fibers with ground-breaking performance from otherwise conventional, i.e., boring (!!) materials by returning to a belief that simpler is always better.
    John Ballato, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director of COMSET, which is a South Carolina Research Center of Economic Excellence. Previously, Dr. Ballato served as the interim Vice President for Research.  Dr. Ballato earned his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. His research focuses on new optical materials and structures for high-value photonic and optoelectronic applications, including light-emitting nanoparticles for transparent ceramics, lighting, and sensing applications. Additionally, Dr. Ballato’s group develops specialty optical fibers for high-energy laser, biomedical, and industrial uses.

    August 17
    Are We Alone In the Universe? 
    NASA is predicting we will find evidence of extraterrestrial life within 20 years. We’ll discuss the scientific discipline known as astrobiology and its social, ethical, and religious implications.
    Kelly Smith, Dept. of Philosophy and Religion & Dept. of Biological Sciences, Clemson University.  Kelly earned his Masters in Zoology and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Duke University. In addition to his appointments listed above, Kelly is a Lemon Fellow at the Rutland Institute for Ethics at Clemson and on the faculty of USC School of Medicine, Greenville, where he oversees their ethics curriculum. 

    September 21
    Saving Tigers the T4T Way
    An overview of three crises facing tigers today, and landmark efforts by Clemson students and alumni to address them.
    Dave Tonkyn, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Clemson University.  David earned his Ph.D. in Biology from Princeton. He teaches ecology and field courses in India and the Rocky Mountains, and he and his students research ways to protect endangered species.  He is also the founding adviser to the Clemson Tigers for Tigers club, and to the National T4T Coalition.

    October 19
    Medical Devices in Developing Countries: Learning about good design by visiting hospitals in other countries
    Healthcare systems in resource-poor settings often depend heavily on donated medical supplies to offset the costs of medical devices designed for developed markets. Our long-term research goal is to provide Tanzania and similar markets affordable, robust, and sustainable alternatives to complex donated equipment, which is prone to malfunction and disrepair. For the past five years, our engineering design teams have been working with contacts in Tanzania and other countries to design a variety of medical devices, from infant monitors to diabetes glucometers, that can be used and maintained in resource poor regions both abroad and here in the US.
    Delphine Dean, Dept. of Bioengineering, Clemson University.  Delphine earned her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Her lab studies nano- and micromechanics in relation to cell functions.

    November 16
    “Debugging” Humans: Biomedical Research Through the Lens of Computer Science
    A discussion of how biomedical problems, e.g., genetics or neural disorders, can be addressed through an abstract computational vantage point.  
    Brian Dean, School of Computing, Clemson University.  Brian received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science from MIT. His research interests encompass most of algorithmic computer science and its applications. He is also interested in computer science education, particularly at the high-school level.

    December
    No meeting 


    2014

    June 16
    Developing Baby Brains
    David Feliciano, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University

    July 21
    It takes a village to raise an engineer
    Julie Martin, Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering and Science Education, Clemson University

    August 18
    Mathematical magic tricks
    Neil Calkin, Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University

    September 15
    Brain works: choices and intention 
    June Pilcher, Alumni Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, Clemson University

    October 20
    Cold Blood in a Warming World, a discussion on how animal species are adapting to their changing environments in a time of climate change
    Mike Sears, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University

    November 17
    Big Data and Medicine, a discussion of how the human genome project is finding genetic causes for diseases and influencing medical decisions
    Christina Wells, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University 

    December 15
    Insights into Autism, a discussion of how defects in mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, may be linked to autism spectrum disorders
    Susan Chapman, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University

  • Greenville

    2017

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017
    Securing the Carolina Cornucopia
    A discussion of efforts to conserve ancient crop plants.
    Steve Kresovich, Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, Clemson University

    Tuesday, February 28 
    Nano for Your Nose: Functional Nanoparticles for Odor Remediation 
    Dan Whitehead, Dept. of Chemistry, Clemson University

    Tuesday, March 28 
    Stimuli-Responsive Functional Materials 
    Sourav Saha, Dept. of Chemistry, Clemson University

    Tuesday, April 25 
    The Climate It Is A-Changin' 
    Mike Sears, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Clemson University

    Tuesday, May 30 
    Building Resilience in the Southeast
    A discussion of land use and climate change. 
    Maria Whitehead, Senior Project Manager for Open Space Institute Southeast Region
    Maria Whitehead obtained her Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Clemson University in 2003, and her Masters of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Management from the University of Georgia in 1999. From 2007-2016, she served as The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina’s Project Director for the Winyah Bay and Pee Dee River Basin and later Director of Landscape Projects. In a new position as Senior Project Manager for Open Space Institute Southeast Region, she works with OSI’s Capital Conservation and Land Programs to promote the use of climate science in land conservation efforts.  During her professional career, Dr. Whitehead has led local climate adaptation strategy teams, organized coastal community resilience initiatives, and presented at regional and national conferences on down-scaling climate science to promote resilience of natural and human communities. 

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017 
    Science During Crisis: the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Hurricane Sandy, and Preparing for the Future 
    Gary Machlis, Professor of Environmental Sustainability, Clemson University

    Tuesday, July 25 
    Computers & Medicine & You 
    Explore how computer models of our genes, cells, and tissues are being used to help design personalized medical devices and drugs.
    Will Richardson, Dept. of Bioengineering, Clemson University 

    Tuesday, August 29
    I Need a Drink! 
    There are many motivating factors that govern our desire to drink alcohol. Some of us drink responsibly while others struggle to regulate their alcohol consumption. For instance, those who have experienced traumatic events and develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often choose to self-medicate with alcohol. Dr. Rice will discuss alcohol’s neurobiological impact on the brain and its relationship to PTSD suffers. Additionally, he will present some encouraging findings from his research laboratory that may lead to new treatments for those who 1) abuse alcohol; 2) have PTSD; and 3) self-medicate with alcohol because of their PTSD.
    Onarae Rice, Dept. of Psychology, Neuroscience Program, Furman University

    Tuesday, September 26 
    Sticky Business: How Cells Attach to Each Other and Why It Matters 
    Adi Dubash, Dept. of Biology, Furman University

    2016

    January 25
    GIS and Drones Working for the Community
    A discussion of the role of mapping, spatial analysis technology, and drones in community development, e.g., in Greenville.
    Suresh Muthukrishnan and Mike Winiski - Suresh is an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science and director of the GIS and Remote Sensing Center, while Mike is the associate director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Furman University

    February 29
    Drug Resistance in a Nutshell
    A discussion of how pharmaceuticals work at a molecular scale and how diseases become resistant.
    Brian Dominy - assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Clemson University

    March 28
    Killers in the Mist
    discussion of Legionnaires Disease and your water.
    Tamara McNealy - associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Clemson University

    Monday, April 25
    Genomic Sequencing is Changing Medicine
    MikeFriez - director of the Diagnostic Laboratories at Greenwood Genetics Center

    Tuesday, May 31
    Zika in America
    Kenneth Trofatter, M.D., Ph.D., Greenville Health System.
     
    Tuesday, June 28  
    Sound Sleep: Tips for Healthy Sleep— Healthy Life
    June Pilcher, Department of Psychology, Clemson University
     
    Tuesday, July 26
    DoThese Genes Make Me Look Fat?  
    An introduction to the genomics revolution — from shotguns to designer genes — and how it will impact our lives.
    Vince Richards, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University


    2015

    March 30
    Big Data and Medicine, a discussion of how the human genome project is finding genetic causes for diseases and influencing medical decisions.
    Christina Wells, Department Biological Sciences at Clemson University.   Dr. Wells earned her Ph.D. at Penn State University and is an associate professor at Clemson studying plant genomics and computational biology.

    April 27
    Being a Dog’s Best Friend, a discussion of how we are using new genetic technologies to improve the health of our canine companions. 
    Leigh Anne Clark, Department of Genetics & Biochemistry at Clemson University.  Dr. Clark earned her PhD from Texas A&M University. Her laboratory studies inherited diseases in dogs to improve the health and quality of life for dogs and to use the dog as a model to better understand the genetics underlying human hereditary diseases.

    TUESDAY, May 26
    Waging Peace Through the Combat of Infectious Diseases.  It comes as no surprise that poverty contributes to political instability and that infectious diseases exacerbate poverty. This discussion will focus on the relationship between global security and world health.
    Lesly Temesvari, Department of Biological Sciences at Clemson University.  Dr. Temesvari earned her Ph.D. from the University of Windsor. Her research goal is to is to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern vesicle trafficking and cell-cell interactions and the role of lipids in the pathogenesis of the human protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica.

    June 29
    Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
    Although our world depends on ever more sophisticated technologies, nature itself tends towards the simplest solution. In this simplicity is not only elegance and beauty, but also important insights that can better inform future technological progress. This discussion will highlight examples from the world of light, called photonics, where we've created optical fibers with ground-breaking performance from otherwise conventional, i.e., boring (!!) materials by returning to a belief that simpler is always better.
    John Ballato, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director of COMSET, a South Carolina Research Center of Economic Excellence.  Dr. Ballato earned his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. His research focuses on new optical materials and structures for high-value photonic and optoelectronic applications, including light-emitting nanoparticles for transparent ceramics, lighting, and sensing applications. Additionally, Dr. Ballato’s group develops specialty optical fibers for high energy laser, biomedical, and industrial uses.

    July 27 
    You Are Not Alone 
    A discussion of how the trillions of microbes in your body impact your health and disease.
    Kristi Whitehead, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University.
    Dr. Whitehead earned her BS in Biology from Furman University and her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Michigan State University. She is a lecturer in the Dept. of Biological Sciences at Clemson.

    August 31
    Faking It
    All feature films are full of science, in the form of computer graphic models and simulations of many physical phenomena. Sometimes the simulations are highly accurate, and many times not accurate intentionally. We watch some movie clips and discuss the science content in the computer graphics.
    Jerry Tessendorf, Professor of Visual Computing in the School of Computing at Clemson University. He also worked in feature film visual effects, for which he received an Academy Award

    September 28
    The Undiscovered Country; Chemistry at the Edge of Life
    A discussion of how chemistry becomes biology, and the nature and meaning of life (from a chemical perspective).
    Greg Springsteen - Dr. Greg Springsteen is a professor of chemistry at Furman University and a member of The Center for Chemical Evolution, an NSF/NASA supported research center.

    October 26
    Sleep on It!  
    A discussion of how memories are strengthened and transformed in the sleeping brain.
    Erin J. Wamsley, Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience, Furman University

    November 30
    Protection and Valuation of Natural Capital in the Upstate
    A discussion about opportunities to conserve environmental capital in the region by identifying and mapping its economic and ecological value and prioritizing land use planning and protection.
    John Quinn, Dept. of Biology, Furman University.  John earned his PhD at the Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln. His research focus concerns biodiversity conservation and sustainability. He is especially interested in how landscapes and soundscapes in Upstate South Carolina can be managed to conserve biodiversity and enhance ecosystem services.

    December
    No meeting - see you in 2016!