*Seminar Series: IMB Seminar Series
*Location: QBP Auditorium, Bld 80
*Date: 15/09/2017
*Time: 12:30

Speaker #1 details
*Title of talk: Dynamic Cell Rearrangements Guiding Vascular Growth and Stability
*Speaker's name: Dr Emma Gordon
*Speaker's organisation: Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ
Speaker's city/state/country:
Talk Abstract: During blood vessel sprout formation, endothelial cells behave in a collective manner and display heterogeneous gene expression, morphology and behaviour. A balance between adhesion and migration allows cells to move past one another in a fluid and controlled fashion, yet whether this process is controlled via rapid remodeling of junctions, focal adhesions and/or the actin cytoskeleton, remains unknown. Tyrosine kinase c-Src has been implicated in cell adhesion and vascular integrity, where downstream of activated cell surface receptor VEGFR2, c-Src is recruited to junctions to phosphorylate vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin) and mediate its internalisation, resulting in loss of cell-cell adhesion and vessel integrity. Using novel mouse models, we have identified a role for spatiotemporal c-Src activity in vessel sprouting. Surprisingly, c-Src mediates vessel elongation by controlling adhesion at the cell-matrix interface rather than at cell-cell junctions. This study reveals the importance of spatiotemporal cellular signalling in controlled blood vessel growth and function.
Speaker's bio: Dr Gordon completed her PhD at The University of Adelaide in 2011, investigating the biochemical events that occur during lymphatic vascular growth. Following her PhD she worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University, striving to unravel the molecular mechanisms responsible for blood vessel sprouting. Following her time at Yale, she relocated to Uppsala University in Sweden, where she studied the signalling cascades governing vessel growth and stability in development and disease. In August 2017 she commenced a position as IMB Fellow in the Hogan lab, where she will continue her studies on the cellular communications guiding vascular patterning.

Speaker #2 details
*Title of talk: Elucidating the Role of the Elongator Complex and Neuroinflammation in the Pathophysiology of Cerebellar Ataxia
*Speaker's name: Dr Marija Kojic
*Speaker's organisation: Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ
Speaker's city/state/country:
Talk Abstract: Cerebellar ataxias are severe neurodegenerative disorders with an early onset and progressive and inexorable course of the disease. Here we show a new paradigm in neurodegenerative ataxias with the identification of a disease causing single point mutation in the gene encoding Elongator complex subunit 6 in the wobbly mouse. This mutation destabilizes the complex, which compromises its function in tRNA modification and translation regulation, leading to protein misfolding, proteotoxic stress and eventual neuronal death. In addition, we show that the presence of protein aggregates in Purkinje neurons leads to local priming of microglia, triggered by activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Through both pharmacological inhibition and genetic approaches, we demonstrate that blocking NLRP3 function in vivo significantly delays neuronal degeneration and the onset of ataxia in wobbly mice. Our data indicate that neuroinflammation promotes neurodegeneration in cerebellar ataxia and uncovers novel therapeutic approaches for a disease where currently none exist.
Speaker's bio: Marija Kojic graduated in Molecular Biology and Physiology in 2011 from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Marija did her MSc in the field of Immunobiology at the Military Medical Academy, Serbia. After her studies, she worked on epithelial morphogenesis in Drosophila in Professor Großhans Lab at the University Medical Centre Göttingen, Germany. In 2012, she started her PhD in Professor Wainwright Lab at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, the University of Queensland. Marija obtained her PhD degree in 2016 for her work on the genetic regulation of development and disorders of the cerebellum.

Other Details:
*Host name: Dr Kelly Smith
Host phone number:
*Host email: imbevents@uq.edu.au