Palo Alto Colloquia
March 13, 2014
SUPERBUGS AND DRUG-DESIGN
Dr. Clyde Smith, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC
Have you ever wondered how scientists discover the antibiotics that we take to fight bacteria? It might surprise you to know that when our grandparents were young, there really was no such thing as an antibiotic, when diseases like tuberculosis were invariably deadly. Two fortuitous occurrences in the middle of last century brought antibiotics into being and ultimately into every physician’s medical bag; the discovery of penicillin from a mold and the discovery of streptomycin from soil. Today, we have even more powerful antibiotics, but also more powerful bacteria evolving into so-called “superbugs”. In more recent years, the large pharmaceutical companies have spent many billions of dollars on drug discovery using methods resembling “trial and error”, sometimes taking 10-15 years to bring a new drug to market. Now, using bright X-ray sources such as SSRL, in conjunction with a technique known as protein crystallography where we can see where atoms of killer viruses or essential proteins from superbugs are, we are able to gain important information about how these things work – and how to make drugs efficiently and cheaply to stop them.
Clyde Smith is a protein crystallographer with two decades of research experience in New Zealand and the USA. He completed his PhD in 1992 and spent two years at the Institute for Enzyme Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Ivan Rayment, where he worked on the three-dimensional structure of the muscle protein myosin. He returned to New Zealand in 1996 and was appointed as a Lecturer in Biochemistry, and later Senior Lecturer, at the University of Auckland, where he established a research program involving structural studies on antibiotic resistance, bacterial cell wall biosynthesis, folate metabolism and transport, cobalamin chemistry and thermophilic enzymes. Dr. Smith came to Stanford University and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) as a Staff Scientist in late 2003 to continue his work in protein structure and function, and is now a Senior Staff Scientist working in the Structural Molecular Biology group.
We are moving back to the Bldg. 202 Auditorium (where we were a year ago). Note That construction on the new building (B. 245, next to B. 202) is ongoing, but parking is available below B. 202. All Colloquium talks begin at 4:15 pm
Note, the following are TENTATIVE
Mar. 13 – Dr. Clyde Smith, SLAC: ANTI-BIOTIC RESISTANCE
Mar. 20 – Dr. Lawrence Ames, Lockheed Martin: HOW TO BECOME A MAD SCIENTIST IN 2 EASY STEPS
Mar. 27 – Dr. Steven Haddock, MBARI: BIOLUMINESCENCE AND BIODIVERSITY IN THE SEA: GLOWING ALIENS RULE BENEATH THE WAVES
Apr. 3 – Valley Christian High School ISS Teams. Unique Computer-Controlled Microgravity Experiments Aboard the ISS
Apr. 10 – Dr. Jennifer Dionne, Stanford Univ: Metamaterials and Bioimaging.
Apr. 17 – Dr. Ken Lum. Historical Innovations in Telescope Technology in England in the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries-A Tour with the Antique Telescope Society
Apr. 24 – Dr. Tom Passell, former ATC employee and recently retired from SRI and EPRI: Deuteron Stripping with Nuclei of Metals that Absorb Deuterium
May 1 – Dr. Akram Boukai, CEO and Co-Founder, Silicium Energy: Nano-Justified: Why Nano Matters for Silicon Thermoelectrics
May 8 – Dr. Craig R Horne, Ph.D. Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder, EnerVault Corporation. YES VIRGINA, THERE IS A LONG-DURATION, GRID-SCALE REDOX FLOW BATTERY SYSTEM
May 15 – Dr. Uwe Bergmann, SLAC: LCLS - The New X-Ray Laser at SLAC
May 22 – Dr. Gary Bush, LM/ATC: The Latest on High Speed Rail (Again!!)
May 29 – Dr. Ken Lum. Telescopes of Bernhard Schmidt.
June 5 – Dr. Perdomo-Ortiz , NASA Ames: NASA Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
June 12 – SUMMER BREAK, START SERIES AGAIN IN MID to LATE SEPTEMBER 2014
Sept. 18 – Mr. Greg Edwards. Privacy and big data
Sept. 25 –