Midwest C. elegans Meeting


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Midwest C. elegans Meeting

April 9, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm


The Midwest C. elegans Meeting brings together scientists from across Michigan and the neighboring states to share the latest in Caenorhabditis elegans research. The meeting will feature a keynote talk by Nobel Laureate Martin Chalfie, Ph.D., who will present a talk entitled Determining neuronal fate in C. elegans.

The meeting is free and is open to all scientists with an interest in C. elegans research. It is hosted by Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science and organized by Assistant Professor Dr. Jeremy Van Raamsdonk.

Registration will open Feb. 8 and will close March 25.

Keynote speaker


Poster session

Directions and parking

Martin Chalfie is a University Professor and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. In 2008 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien for his introduction of green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a biological marker.

Chalfie_MartinDr. Chalfie was born in Chicago, Illinois, obtained both his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and then did postdoctoral research with Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England. He joined the faculty of Columbia University as an Assistant Professor in 1982 and has been there ever since.

He uses the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate nerve cell development and function, concentrating primarily on genes affecting mechanosensory neurons. His research has been directed toward answering two quite different biological questions: How do different types of nerve cells acquire and maintain their unique characteristics? And how do sensory cells respond to mechanical signals?

Dr. Chalfie is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a past president of the Society for Developmental Biology and is currently on the Council for the American Society for Cell Biology and the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences. He also chairs the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academies of Science.

Welcome – Jeremy Van Raamsdonk, Van Andel Research Institute

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays a chemotaxis behavior to tuberculosis-specific odorants.
Joseph Marsili, Cindy Voisine lab, Northeastern Illinois University

Using C. elegans to study to the role of mitochondrial dynamics in longevity, stress resistance and neurodegeneration
Emily Machiela, Jeremy Van Raamsdonk lab, Van Andel Research Institute

The C. elegans sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-ATPase regulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ACR-16 expression
Ashley Martin, Janet Richmond lab, University of Illinois at Chicago

pH sensation in C. elegans
Xiang Wang, Shawn Xu, University of Michigan

Rewiring the genome: Molecular mechanisms that regulate RNA editing in worms
Heather Hundley, Heather Hundley lab, Indiana University

11:20-11:50         Break

Unexpected and antagonistic functions for the EAT-2 and GAR-3 receptors during pharyngeal muscle peristalsis
Alena Kozlova, Peter Okkema lab, University of Illinois at Chicago

The C. elegans natural diversity resource
Daniel Cook, Erik Andersen lab, Northwestern University

The dual function of H4K20me1 is involved in both cell cycle and dosage compensation
Jiangjia Jiang, Györgyi Csankovszki lab, University of Michigan

Worms & germs: Interactions between C. elegans and bacteria
Amanda Wollenberg, Amanda Wollenberg lab, Kalamazoo College

12:50-1:30           Lunch

1:30-3:00            Posters  
Session I 1:30-2:15      Odd numbers
Session II 2:15-3:00    Even numbers

ATX-2, the C. elegans homolog of human Ataxin-2, regulates centrosome size and microtubule dynamics
Michael Stubemvoll, Mi Hye Song, Oakland University

Calcium drives a negative feedback pathway in a nociceptive neuron
Paul Williams, Bruce Bamber lab, University of Toledo

Autophagy and Parkinson’s disease related genes affect α-Syn interneuronal transfer in a novel C. elegans model
Trevor Tyson, Patrik Brundin lab, Van Andel Research Institute

The function of hlh-3 is necessary for the terminal differentiation of neurons with gender-specific roles.
Aixa Alfonso, Aixa Alfonso lab, University of Illinois at Chicago

4:00-4:30           Break

Keynote – Determining neuronal fate in C. elegans
Dr. Martin Chalfie, Columbia University

Meeting attendees are invited to submit abstracts for inclusion in the poster session.

To participate, please fill in the appropriate information during the registration process. Abstracts should be emailed separately to Dr. Megan Senchuk. Abstracts should represent original work and be no more than 300 words long. If planning to present a poster as a group, please note this on your submission and only submit the abstract once.

Posters should be no larger than 60” wide by 40” high.

All abstracts must be submitted by March 25. Please contact Dr. Megan Senchuk with any questions regarding abstracts.

Parking is available in the VAI visitor lot on Crescent St. NE at Division St. Upon reaching the gate, please indicate that you are attending the C. elegans meeting.

View parking lot on a map

To reach the front doors of the Institute, take the staircase across from the Crescent St. parking lot. At the top, proceed past the park. The Institute’s main Bostwick Ave. NE entrance will be on the left. Please buzz the intercom on the far right wall for access.

View map of walk from parking lot to VAI front doors


April 9, 2016
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Van Andel Institute
333 Bostwick Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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