University of California, Merced
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Inflammasome Activation by the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus Fumigatus
Friday, April 18 | 1-3 p.m. | 317 (Half Dome Conference Room) Social Sciences and Management Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Join Professor David Ojcius in a discussion entitled "Inflamasome Activation by the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus Fumigatus" as part of the Valley Fever Seminar Series.
Ojcius will discuss inflammation in Coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever.
An effective immune response against pathogens such as viruses, intracellular bacteria or protozoan parasites relies on the recognition of microbial products called pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs).
Ligation of the PRRs leads to synthesis and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Infected cells and other stressed cells also release host-cell derived molecules, called damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs, danger signals or alarmins), which are generic markers for damage.
We will discuss the role PAMPs and DAMPs play in stimulation of inflammation during infection by intracellular bacteria and the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.
We plan to apply techniques developed for characterization of these infections to a study of inflammation during valley fever.
Ojcius obtained his bachelor's and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, and was a researcher at the Pasteur Institute and professor at the University of Paris before moving to UC Merced in 2004. He conducts research on interactions between pathogens and host cells, focusing on the role played by receptors of the innate immune system.
Art and Visual Culture in History, Literature and Society
April 18 – 19, 2014 every day | TBA Kolligian Library, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Graduate students are welcome at this conference entitled "Art and Visual Culture in History, Literature and Society."
Bobcat Art Show
April 7 – May 7, 2014 every day | UC Merced Art Gallery and Kolligian Library Social Sciences and Management Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Arts UC Merced Presents, the UC Merced Art Gallery and the UC Merced Library are proud to present the ninth annual Bobcat Art Show, from April 7 to May 7.
Professor ShiPu Wang's curatorial studies class is assisting with the show's installation, judging and marketing. Join us for an artists' reception from 4-5:30 p.m. April 24 at the UC Merced Art Gallery.
See website for more details.
Chess Club open meetings
January 24 – May 9, 2014 every Friday | 3-6 p.m. | In front of The Lantern Cafe Kolligian Library, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Beginner? Intermediate? Advanced? Come play chess with the Chess Club at UC Merced! We meet in front of The Lantern Cafe at Kolligian Library from 3 to 6 p.m. every Friday. Please find us on Facebook and CatLife.edu for more updates. Email us any time with questions or comments at email@example.com.
The Metropolitan Museum on Trial
Saturday, April 19 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Art Kamangar Center/Merced Theater, 301 W Main St, Merced
The World Cultures graduate students conference culminates with a talk by Professor Rachel Klein at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, entitled "The Metropolitan Museum on Trial: Cypriot Antiquities and the Transformation of Culture in the Late 19th Century United States."
Re-Interpreting (Virtual) Things
Wednesday, April 23 | 3 p.m. | 117 Social Sciences and Management Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Attend this humanities seminar entitled "Re-Interpreting (Virtual) Things: When Research and Museums Turn Upside Down."
Public and Medical Misinformation on Valley Fever
Wednesday, April 23 | 1-3 p.m. | 366 (Yosemite Falls Conference Room) Social Sciences and Management Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
David Filip, co-founder of ValleyFeverSurvivor.com, presents the next lecture in the Valley Fever Seminar Series, entitled "Public and Medical Misinformation on Valley Fever."
Anyone who treats patients with valley fever or shares public health information should have a singular goal: To provide accurate information the listener will benefit from and act on.
But, Filip says, some of the "conventional wisdom" frequently reported in the study of coccidioidomycosis is based on flimsy evidence, or sometimes no evidence at all. He says authoritative, peer-reviewed studies have corrected some misleading and erroneous statements, but many government agencies, medical professionals and reporters unknowingly perpetuate falsehoods that hurt the people we want to protect.
A discussion of research from medical journals and shocking statements made by professionals to the media will enlighten and inform valley fever researchers and advocates. Studying mistakes can help health professionals avoid them and lead to a better understanding of the facts.
This discussion will uncover a side to the valley fever problem that many professionals intimately familiar with the topic have never seen before.
Filip's opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of researchers at UC Merced.
Filip is the author of "Valley Fever Epidemic," a book endorsed by leading valley fever doctors and vaccine research professionals. He has been interviewed by the Voice of America, BBC, the New York Times, PBS, Animal Planet and other television and radio broadcasts. As a co-founder of ValleyFeverSurvivor.com, he has organized petitions, fundraising programs, awareness campaigns and support groups.
His extensive research makes his website one of the most comprehensive available for the general public. Filip has a bachelor's in communications from the University of Washington and is the author of several non-fiction books.
The Future of Bees
Tuesday, April 29 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Merced Theater, 301 W. Main St., Merced
Join researcher Robbin Thorp, beekeeper John Miller and others for a special Sigma Xi/Sierra Nevada Research Institute event, "What is to be the Future of Bees?"
Pollinators are an integral part of our environment and our agricultural systems; they are important in 35 percent of global crop production. Native bees, of which there are approximately 4,000 species in temperate North America, are the most important. Thorp has spent his life trying to understand their roles in wilderness and agricultural settings.
The honey bee is a willing conscript, a working wonder, an unseen and crucial link in America's agricultural industry. But never before has its survival been so unclear — and the future of our food supply so acutely challenged. Beekeeper Miller is helping stem the collapse.
Information Session: Environmental Planning with CalTrans
Tuesday, April 29 | 3-4 p.m. | SSB 250 (Student Services Building) Various, 5200 North Lake Rd., Merced
Learn more about a career as an environmental planner for the California Department of Transportation. Seniors majoring in anthropology, biological sciences (with concentrations in animal biology, plant biology, ecology, fisheries management or wildlife management; Earth systems science; or environmental engineering encouraged to attend.
The Ebb and Flow of Coccidioidomycosis in Kern County
Wednesday, April 30 | 1-3 p.m. | 322 (Willow Conference Room) Classroom Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Join Kirt Emery, manager of Health Assessment and Programs at the Kern County Public Health Services Department, for a discussion of the epidemiology of Valley Fever in Kern County.
Since its first Coccidioidomycosis case in 1901, Kern County has reported more than 37,000 cases with 558 estimated deaths. The county has often been thought of as the epicenter for this disease in California and has made major contributions to the understanding and treatment of this disease for more than 90 years. This presentation spans the history of Coccidioidomycosis in Kern County from its beginnings through the current epidemic.
Emery received his Master's of Public Health in epidemiology from Loma Linda University. He has worked as an epidemiologist in Kern and San Bernardino counties for more than 20 years and has published extensively on Coccidioidomycosis in the Central Valley.
A Great Divide
Wednesday, April 30 | 2 p.m. | California Room, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Author Andrew Hoffman, whose work has been widely cited and has been mentioned in the N.Y. Times, Scientific American, Wall Street Journal and on NPR, to name a few, is the inaugural speaker for the Center for Climate Communication talk series.
His lecture, entitled “A Great Divide: The Cultural Schism Over Climate Change,” takes place at 2 p.m. April 30 in the California Room on the UC Merced campus.
The social debate around climate change is no longer about carbon dioxide and climate models. It is about values, culture, worldviews and ideology. As physical scientists explore the mechanics and implications of anthropogenic climate change, social scientists explore the cultural reasons why people support or reject their scientific conclusions. What we find is that scientists do not hold the definitive final word in the public debate on this issue. Instead, the public develops positions that are consistent with the values held by others within the referent groups of which they are part. In this context, efforts to present ever increasing amounts of data, without attending to the deeper values that are threatened by the conclusions they lead to, will only yield greater resistance and make a social consensus even more elusive.
Hoffman has written many books on environmental policy and corporate environmental strategies and climate change. He does some research on network analyses of environmental issues. Hoffman is the Holcim professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, a position that holds joint appointments at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources & Environment. Within this role, he also serves as director of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Hoffman's research uses a sociological perspective to understand the cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations.
For more information about Hoffman, see his website.
For more information about the event, email Professor Teenie Matlock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engineering the Sounds of Sisterhood
Wednesday, April 30 | 3 p.m. | 117 Social Sciences and Management Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Attend this humanities seminar entitled "Engineering the Sounds of Sisterhood: Sandy Stone, Race, Gender and Olivia Records."
Valley Fever Seminar Series: Molecular Natural History of the San Joaquin Valley Fever Fungus
Thursday, May 1 | 1-3 p.m. | 317 (Half Dome Conference Room) Social Sciences and Management Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Studies of nucleic acid variation among strains of the human pathogenic fungus, Coccidioides, revealed that these fungi can be sorted into two species and several populations. This DNA variation has also been used to show that Coccidioides species are recombining in nature, despite the inability of mycologists to induce them to mate in cultivation. Phylogenomic comparison of Coccidioides species and related Ascomycota fungi showed that Coccidioides species have lost genes that other Ascomycota need to digest plant cell wall, and duplicated genes used to digest animal protein. Population genomic studies show that there is hybridization between the species and introgression of selected genes. These results, combined with historical studies of Coccidioides species in nature, support a life cycle closely tied to populations of small, native mammals and provide a tool to identify pathogenicity genes in the fungi.
John W. Taylor is a Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology and a Curator of the University Herbarium at the University of California, Berkeley. Research in his laboratory focuses on the evolution of fungi, including fungal phylogenetic relationships, the timing of deep fungal divergences, species recognition, and the origin and maintenance of species.
Regulation of Cell Shape and Virulence in Thermally Dimorphic Fungi
Thursday, May 1 | 1-3 p.m. | 317 (Half Dome Conference Room) Social Sciences and Management Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Join Dr. Anita Sil, a medical doctor and professor with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UCSF for a discussion of thermally dimorphic fungi and its applications in understanding the Valley Fever epidemic.
Thermally dimorphic fungi that are endemic in the U.S. include Coccidioides, Blastomyces and Histoplasma species. Sil's lab studies the basic biology and virulence of the thermally dimorphic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum and intends to extend genetic and genomic analyses to Coccidioides.
Sil will present work on environmental signals and fungal genes that promote the transition between the soil and host forms of Histoplasma. Sil is an Early Career Scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, as well as working at UCSF. She has been studying thermally dimorphic fungi for 15 years. Sil's efforts are internationally recognized, resulting in her role as co-chair or chair of six international conferences on fungal pathogenesis.
She continues to study the unique biology of thermally dimorphic fungi in an effort to challenge existing paradigms, and shed light on how a eukaryotic intracellular pathogen has evolved to sense temperature and cause disease in healthy individuals.
The Tale of Three Cuckolds
Tuesday, May 6 | 12 p.m. | 117 Social Sciences and Management Building, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced
Attend this brown-bag talk entitled "The Tale of Three Cuckolds: Masculinity in Early Modern English Society."
University of California, Merced | 5200 North Lake Rd. Merced, CA 95343
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