Max F. Perutz Laboratories
University of Vienna
Host: Oliver Hobert
Title: Biological timers set by sun and moon
Abstract: The moon is an important timing cue for numerous marine species, ranging from brown and green algae to corals, worms, fishes and turtles. Such lunar timing typically controls the gonadal maturation and behavioral changes associated with reproductive rhythms. Despite the fundamental nature and widespread occurrence of these lunar-controlled rhythms and oscillators, little is known about their principle molecular mechanisms, their interplay with rhythms and oscillators of different period lengths, or their modulation in changing environments. The marine bristle worm Platynereis dumerilii and the midge Clunio marinus possess light-entrained circadian, as well as a monthly (circalunar) clocks and also exhibit seasonal behaviors. Our work in Platynereis suggests that the circalunar clock persists even when circadian clock oscillations are disrupted. In order to study the molecular and cellular nature of the circalunar clock, as well as its interactions with other timing system, Platynereis and Clunio can be used for complementary experimental approaches. Using reverse genetic techniques, such as targeted genome mutagenesis and transgenesis, on candidate light receptors provides us with insight into the genes required for solar vs. lunar light detection.
Kristen Tessmar-Raible, Speaker
Kristin Tessmar-Raible studied biology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany with research stays at the MGH, Boston and the University of Cambridge, UK, obtained her Masters from the EMBL, Heidelberg and her PhD from University of Marburg, Germany. During her studies she was fellow of the German National Scholarship Foundation, held a scholarship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation and a Young Investigator Stipend of the German Neuroscience Society. She pursued her post-doctoral work at the EMBL, Heidelberg under the supervision of Dr. Detlev Arndt, won a FastTrack Fellowship of the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Marine Genomics Europe Outstanding Woman in Marine Biological Sciences Award. In 2008 she joined the Max F. Perutz Laboratories/ University of Vienna as junior group leader, won the START-Award of the Austrian FWF, received an ERC-Starting grant and HFSP grant, the Otto Loewi Award of the Austrian Neuroscience Association, EMBO Young Investigator Award and became Scholar of the FENS/Kavli Network of Excellence, as well as member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. From 2015-2017 she was awarded the special Berta Karlik full professorship of the Univeristy of Vienna. In 2017 she became a full professor for chronobiology at the University of Vienna and was awarded an ERC-Consolidator grant in 2018.
Stephen M. Schuetze 1952-1987
Steve Schuetze joined the faculty at Columbia in 1981. He was promoted to an Associate Professor with tenure in 1987. Steve was an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, where he graduated summa cum laude with dual degrees in electrical engineering and physiological psychology. He obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1978 working with Gerry Fischbach and went on to work with Dan Goodenough at Harvard for his postdoctoral studies.
Steve's scientific career reflected his dual training as an electrical engineer and a biologist. His primary concern was the central problem of how a pre-synaptic nerve influences its post-synaptic target, using the ion channel kinetics of the acetylcholine receptor as a well-defined signpost.
The Stephen Schuetze Memorial Lecture was established in 1987, and is an endowed lecture made possible by a generous gift from his widow, Roberta Pollock. The Lectureship seeks to bring young neurobiologists to the Columbia community to present their work.