Chuan HeChuan He, Ph.D.

John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Chemistry, and director, the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at the University of Chicago
Joint professor, Department of Chemical Biology, and director, the Synthetic and Functional Biomolecules Center at Peking University

Monday, May 4, 2015  ::  4 to 5 p.m.  ::  OHSU Auditorium

"Reversible RNA and DNA methylation in gene expression regulation"

He was born in P. R. China in 1972 and received his B.S. in 1994 from the University of Science and Technology of China. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000. After being trained as a Damon-Runyon postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University from 2000 to 2002, he joined the University of Chicago as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 2008, professor in 2010 and John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in 2014. He is also a member of the Cancer Research Center at the University of Chicago. His research spans a broad range of chemical biology, epigenetics, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology, and genomics. He's recent research concerns reversible RNA and DNA methylation in biological regulation. His research group discovered the first RNA demethylase and showed that reversible RNA methylation significantly affects post-transcriptional gene expression regulation. He has been selected as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2013.

Dr. He's talk is sponsored by the Graduate Student Organization.


Mortiz HelmstaedterMoritz Helmstaedter, Ph.D.

Director of the Department of Connectomics
Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany

Tuesday, May 5, 2015  ::  11 a.m. to 12 p.m.  ::  OHSU Auditorium

"Connectomics: The dense reconstruction of neuronal circuits"

Moritz Helmstaedter is a neuroscientist dedicated to mapping connectomes: the complex networks of nerve cells in the brain.His research is focused on deciphering how the cerebral cortex stores sensory experience and uses it to detect objects in the current environment. A medical doctor and physicist by training, Helmstaedter completed his doctoral thesis with Nobel laureate Bert Sakmann at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. During his post-doctoral work, together with Winfried Denk and Kevin Briggman, he developed methods to map nerve cell networks using electron microscopes and computer analysis tools. This is making it possible for the first time to decipher large complex networks in the brain at single-cell resolution. Helmstaedter has pioneered crowd sourcing for connectomics, engaging several hundred undergraduates to work together to analyze neuronal networks. He is now collaborating with game developers to build mobile and browser games, aiming at motivating thousands of curious minds to solve the task of reconstructing the powerful and fascinating neuronal networks of the brain online.

Dr. Helmstaedter's talk is sponsored by the Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research and the OHSU Office of the Senior Vice President for Research