Fall Symposium & Business Meeting

  • 05 Dec 2013
  • 1:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Brandeis University


  • Registration for Fall Symposium Speakers Only

Registration is closed

Brandeis University

Join NESM for our annual Fall Symposium & Business Meeting on Thursday, December 5th at Brandeis University! The meeting will consist of four technical talks, a coffee break, a buffet dinner, and our yearly business meeting, during which we will hold board elections. We look forward to seeing you then!

Meeting Schedule

1:30 PM - Registration & Lab Tours

2:15 PM-  Welcoming Remarks

2:20 PM – “Visualizing cytoskeletal dynamics: from single molecules to living cells” , Bruce L Goode, PhD., Department of Biology, Brandeis University

3:00 PM -  "Spatio-chemical analysis with atom probe tomography", Dr. Andrew Magyar, Harvard University

3:40 PM  - Coffee Break


4:20 PM – "Shaping tissues with contractile ratchets", Adam Martin, PhD., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5:00 PM – Business Meeting

6:00 PM – Dinner

7:15: Keynote - "Bioimaging at the nanoscale – Single-molecule and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy", Xiaowei Zhuang, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Department of Physics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University

Speaker Abstracts & Bios 

"Visualizing cytoskeletal dynamics: from single molecules to living cells", Bruce L. Goode, PhD., Department of Biology, Brandeis University


Our lab is interested in how different cell types dynamically rearrange their actin and microtubule cytoskeletons to govern cell shape, cell movement, and cell division, and how actin and microtubule polymer dynamics are coordinated during these processes. The goal of our research is to define the molecular basis for cytoskeletal remodeling events in yeast and mammalian cells. We take a multidisciplinary approach - combining genetics, biochemistry, single molecule analysis, live-cell imaging, and electron microscopy - to obtain a quantitative view of the mechanisms and dynamics involved. The talk will focus on complementary imaging approaches we have used to define new mechanisms controlling cytoskeletal dynamics.


Bruce Goode received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied the interactions of Tau protein with microtubules. As a postdoc at UC Berkeley, he developed new approaches to study the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons of budding yeast. He started his own lab at Brandeis University in July 2000, and since then has made seminal contributions to understanding actin cytoskeleton dynamics in yeast and mammalian cells. He is the recipient of a Pew Scholar Award, an American Cancer Society Scholar Award, and an NIH Career Development Award. He is Editor-in-Chief of Cytoskeleton, and teaches Advanced Cellular Mechanisms. He is a dog lover and an avid cyclist.

"Spatio-chemical Analysis with Atom Probe Tomography", Dr. Andrew Magyar, Harvard University


Atom probe tomography provides sub-nanometer spatial resolution along with ppm-level chemical sensitivity. Applications for atom probe tomography include studying dopant profiles in semiconductors, looking at isotope ratios in geological specimens, and better understanding catalytic nanomaterials.  This talk will provide an overview of the physics behind atom probe tomography as well as some applications of the technique.  Additionally, some novel techniques we are developing at Harvard for atom probe sample preparation will be described.


Andrew Magyar is a Senior Scientist at the Harvard University Center for Nanoscale Systems.  He received his doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT.  His graduate work focused on the development of bio-templated materials for photocatalytic water splitting.  Dr. Magyar conducted his postdoctoral studies in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences where he developed new ways to create photonic structures from wide band gap materials such as diamond and SiC and studied the adaptive camouflage of cephalopods. 

"Shaping tissues with contractile ratchets", Adam Martin, PhD., Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Throughout the lifespan of an organism, tissues are remodeled to shape organs and organisms and to maintain tissue integrity and homeostasis.  Apical constriction is a ubiquitous cell shape change of epithelial tissues that promotes epithelia folding and cell/tissue invagination in a variety of contexts.  Apical constriction promotes tissue bending by changing the shape of constituent cells from a columnar-shape to a wedge-shape.  Drosophila gastrulation is one of the classic examples of apical constriction, where cells constrict to fold the primitive epithelial sheet and internalize cells that will give rise to internal organs.  We find that the apical constriction of these cells occurs via repeated contractile pulses of the cytoskeleton, specifically actin filaments and the molecular motor myosin II.  Contractile pulses are stabilized to promote incremental apical constriction, similar to a ratchet.  Furthermore, we find that upstream signals that regulate apical constriction and myosin II activity exhibit a polarized spatial organization within the apical domain, which is critical for the ratchet-like cell shape change.  We are investigating how biochemical and mechanical signals cooperate to establish cell polarity and how this polarity mediates ratchet-like cell constriction and the transmission of contractile forces across the tissue.


Adam Martin received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley where he combined biochemistry, genetics, live imaging, and quantitative image analysis to demonstrate important roles for Arp2/3 complex mediated actin assembly and myosin motor activity to generate force during endoctyosis.  As a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University he extended his expertise to Drosophila gastrulation where live imaging of cell shape changes can be combined with genetics, mechanical manipulations, and computational analysis to study cellular forces that underlie tissue morphogenesis. Here, he discovered that apical constriction during Drosophila gastrulation occurs incrementally, via a ratchet-like contraction of an actin-myosin network.  Pulsatile and incremental cell shape changes have now been identified in many other developmental processes that drive tissue morphogenesis.  He started his own lab at MIT in January of 2011, where members rely heavily on imaging and quantitative analysis to analyze the spatial organization and dynamics of the cellular activities that transmit forces from the molecular to tissue scale.  He is a recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award and a Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Career Development Assistant Professor of Biology.

"Bioimaging at the nanoscale – Single-molecule and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy", Xiaowei Zhuang, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Department of Physics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University,


Dissecting the inner workings of a cell requires imaging methods with chemical specificity, single-molecule sensitivity, molecular-scale resolution, and dynamic imaging capability such that molecular interactions inside the cell can be directly visualized. Fluorescence microscopy is a powerful imaging modality for cell biological research largely owning to its molecular specificity and dynamic imaging capability. However, the spatial resolution of light microscopy, classically limited by diffraction to a few hundred nanometers, is substantially larger than typical molecular length scales in cells. Hence many subcellular structures and dynamics cannot be resolved by conventional fluorescence microscopy. We recently developed a super-resolution fluorescence microscopy method, stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), which breaks the diffraction limit. STORM uses single-molecule imaging and photo-switchable fluorescent probes to temporally separate the spatially overlapping images of individual molecules. This approach has allowed multicolor and three-dimensional imaging of living cells with nanometer-scale resolution and enabled discoveries of novel sub-cellular structures. In this talk, I will discuss the general concept, recent technological advances and biological applications of STORM.


Xiaowei Zhuang is a professor of chemistry and chemical Biology and a professor of physics at Harvard University, and an investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is a biophysicist recognized for her work in the development and application of advanced optical imaging techniques for the studies of biological systems. In particular, she and coworkers invented a super-resolution fluorescence imaging method, Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM), which breaks the diffraction limit. STORM has allowed fluorescence imaging with nanometer-scale resolution and enabled discoveries of novel sub-cellular structures. Her lab has also developed and applied single-molecule approaches to investigate how proteins and nucleic acids interact and how protein-nucleic acid complexes function.

Zhuang was born in Jiangsu, China in 1972 and became a US citizen in 2009. She received her B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Science and Technology of China, Ph.D. Degree in Physics from University of California at Berkeley, and postdoctoral training in biophysics at Stanford University. In 2001, she became an assistant professor at Harvard University, where she was promoted to associate professor in 2005 and full professor in 2006. She joined the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an investigator in 2005. Zhuang received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship, Sloan Fellowship, Coblentz Award, American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry Award, American Physical Society Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics, and Raymond & Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics, etc. Zhuang is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of American Association of the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the American Physical Society. She serves on the editorial boards of Cell, eLife, Annual Review of Biophysics, Chemical Physics letters, and Optical Nanoscopy.


415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453

Hassenfeld Conference Center, Luria Room

An interactive map can be found Here. A downloadable, printable PDF map can be found Here. Hassenfeld Conference Center is located at L13 on this map. 

Visitors will park in the J Lot, off of South Street, just over the railroad tracks. Take a left onto Angelside street, and the parking lot is on the left. There will be parking monitors present to assist visitors. A shuttle will run continuously every 20 minutes, from the parking lot to the conference center, throughout the meeting. The parking shuttle is graciously sponsored by Andor Technology. 
In addition, there is a very limited number of parking passes which we can obtain for those who may be unable to take the shuttle. If you believe that you will have difficulty getting to the conference center, contact us and we will try to acquire a parking pass for you. 

*** The Materials and Research Society's annual Fall Meeting and Exhibit will be held in Boston from December 1-6th. NESM members are invited to view the exhibits for free. Stop by MRS on your way to NESM! More information found here. ***

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