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As an important part of your professional education, Molecular Biology majors are expected to attend department seminars. Note that attending seminars and writing questions are required for graduation (see “Senior Capstone” in the Major's Handbook).  Molecular Biology seminars are scientific presentations given by faculty or guest speakers.  See the professor in charge of seminar scheduling for arrangements if you have suggestions for speakers. Once you have declared a Molecular Biology major, you will be notified by email of upcoming seminars on campus that are relevant for Biology majors. It is in your best interest to declare a Biology major before your junior year, in order to receive this information.

  • The list of seminars below is preliminary and will be updated as additional seminars are confirmed, so check back for updates.  Flyers for each seminar will also be posted in and around the Molecular Biology Office, 4th floor Olin Hall.  
  • If you enter after the start of the seminar, please try to enter as quietly as possible and avoid walking in front of the slide projector.
  • Questions are encouraged at the end of each seminar.
  • Seminars are free and open to the public.

If you have any questions regarding seminars, or if you have a suggestion for a possible speaker, contact Sara Hanson ( and or Jennifer Garcia  (

2017-2018 Seminars

Block 2 - Wednesday - October 11 - 12:15 - Olin #1
Dr. Carrie Moon
Title: "Exploring C-reactive protein forms with molecular binding assays"

Block 3 - Tuesday - October 24th - 12:15 - Olin #481
Dr. Adrianne Stefanski - University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus
Title:  "The role of Muc5b, sialic acid, and Siglec-F in the mouse lung:  an introduction to glycobiology".

Block 4 - Thursday - November 30th - 12:15 - Olin 1
Dr. Amber Scott - CU Boulder
Title:  "Pathways of adaptation:  Using genomic tools to understand how yeast adapt to growth in a low-carbon environment."

Block 4 - Wednesday - December 6th - 12:15 - Olin 1
Dr. David Bentley - UC Denver
Title:  "Coordination of transcription with mRNA processing in space and time"

Block 5 - Tuesday - January 30th - 12:15 - TBA
Dr. Lori Sussell - CU Denver
Title:  Maintenance of pancreatic islet cell identity in the adult

Block 6 - Friday - February 23rd - 12:15 - TBA
Dr. Andrea Henle-- Carthage College

Block 7 - Friday -April 13th - 12:00 - Slocum Commons
Molecular Biology Day
Dr. Brenda Bass - University of Utah

2016-2017 Seminars

Block 1 - Monday - September 5- 12:15 - Olin #1
Dr. Rachel Burger
Title:  agriculture and microfinance intervention among HIV positive farmers

Block 3/4 -November 14 and or 28;
SEMINAR - You may count ONE of these towards the seminar requirement, but not both
OBE Candidate Search Seminar
Look for posters in the OBE office or on the 4th floor of Olin for more information

Block 4 - Thursday - December 1 - 12:15 - Olin #1
Dr. Meghan Lybecker, UCCS
Title:  "Characterization of Functional Pervasive Transcripts of E. coli"

Block 5 - Wednesday - February 8 - 12:15 - Olin 1
Dr. Carolyn Decker - University of Colorado Boulder
Title:  "In Search of RNA - Based Cellular Life"

Block 6 - Thursday - February 23 - 12:15 - Tutt Science Room 122
Dr. Max Boeck - Regis University
Title:  "Dynamics of Genome-Wide Gene Regulation"

Block 7 - Friday - March 31st - 12:00 - Slocum Commons
Molecular Biology Day
Dr. Mengyi Cao - University of Wisconsin
Title:  "An enemy or an ally?  Lrp-dependent 'face switching' in the
symbiotic bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila"

Block 7 - Tuesday - April 11 - 12:15 - Olin 1
Dr. Sarit Smolikove  - University of Iowa
Title: The Puppeteer's Rest:  Downregulating
Meiotic Chromosome Movement to Promote Synapsis"

2015-2016 Seminars

Block 2 - Monday - September 21st - 12:15 - Olin #481
Dr. Morgan Sammons, University of Pennsylvania
Title:  Learning from the master (tumor suppressor): Genomics of cis-regulation in the p53 network

Block 2 - Friday -September 25th - 12:15 - Olin #481
Dr. Sara Hanson, School of Medicine & Medical Science Conway Institute University College Dublin
Title:  Origin and Evolution of Yeast Mating-Type Switching

Block 2 - Wednesday - September 30th - 12:15 - Olin #481
Dr. Rika E. Anderson, Marine Biological Laboratory
Title:  Deciphering deep sea genomes: Microbial evolution and ecology in the abyss

Block 3 - Tuesday - November 3 - 12:15 - Olin #1
Dr. Jane Kim, Tufts University Department of Biology
Title:  Disease-causing repetitive DNA sequences and the mechanisms of their expansion

Block 3 - Thursday - November 5 - 12:15 - Olin #1
Dr. Michelle McCully, University of California San Francisco
Title:  Engineering Proteins for Stability vs. Function

Block 3 - Tuesday - November 10 - 12:15 - Olin #1
Dr. Jennifer Flores Garcia, University of Colorado - Boulder
Title:  Intrinsic Toxicity of Unchecked Heterochromatin Spread Is Suppressed by Redundant Chromatin Boundary Functions in Schizosacchromyes pombe

Block 7 - Molecular Biology Day - Friday - April 1

2014-2015 Seminars

Block 2 - Tuesday - October 7, 2014 - 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Olivia Hatton, San Jose State University and Stanford University
Title:  Understanding Cell Signaling Pathways Promoting Survival of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) + B Cell Lymphomas

Block 2 - Monday - October 13, 2014 - 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Daniel Patrick Nickerson, University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry
Title:   Preventing a membrane identity crisis:  how cells remodel Rab GTPase signals tospecify compartment inentity and direct transport

Block 2 - Tuesday - October 21, 2014 - 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Laura Burrack, Grinnell College, Department of Biology 
Title:  Functional consequences of flexibility in chromosome segregation mechanisms

Block 2 - Saturday - October 25, 2014 - 9:00am - Gaylord
Dr. Phoebe Lostroh, Colorado College, Department of Molecular Biology
Title:  Nanomachines to the rescue!  Surviving starvation in a bacterial world

Block 2 - Saturday - October 25, 2014 - 11:00am - Gaylord
Dr. Steve Lory, Harvard Medical School's Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Title:  Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factors

Block 6 - Wednesday - March 4, 2015 - 12:15pm - Olin 1
Dr. Ross Kedl, University of Colorado Denver, Department of Immunology and Microbiology
Title:  The Surprising Persistence of Viral and Vaccine Derived Antigen Within The Lymphatics and Why Your Survival Might Depend On It

Block 7 - Wednesday - March 25, 2015 - 3:30pm - Olin 1
Dr. Charlie Calisher, Colorado State University
Title:  Are bats the sources of (almost) all vertebrate viruses (and God knows what else)?

Molecular Biology Day - April 10, 2015 - Noon - Spencer Boardroom
Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Devavani Chatterjea
Title:  Of mice and women:  Modeling allergy-driven skin sensitivity in chronic pain disorders

2013-14 Seminars

Block 1 - Thursday, September 19 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Stephanie A. Schittone, adjunct faculty at Araphahoe Community College and visiting professor in the Colorado College Biology Department
Title: Neurovirology: viruses get in but the brain fights back

Block 2 - Thursday - October 17 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Michael Huston, professor in the Biology Department at Texas State University - San Marcos
Title: Dirt is Destiny: Environmental Controls on Ecology, Evolution, Economics, and Human Cultural Diversity

Block 3 - Thursday, November 7 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Boyce Drummond, visiting professor, Biology, Colorado College. Also affiliated with: (1) the Denver Museum of Nature and Science; (2) Research Associate in Zoology; Colorado State University; (3) Faculty Affiliate in Bioagricultural Sciences and Research Associate, Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity; Florida State Museum; and (4) Research Associate, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Research. 
Title: Life on the Edge: Population Ecology of the Pawnee Montane Skipper Butterfly

Block 4 - Thursday, December 5 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Claire Birkenheuer, PhD student, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University
Title: Retroviral-induced tumors in wild animals and their importance

Block 5 - Thursday, February 6 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Shannon Murphy, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Denver
Title: Insect-plant interactions in a changing world: how insects form associations with novel host plants

Block 6 - Monday, March 3 at 3:30pm - Tutt Science Lecture Hall 122
Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell, Professor of Biology and Director of James G. Martin Genomics Program, Davidson College.
Title: Re-engineering natural selection with synthetic biology.

Block 7 - BioDay - Friday, April 11 at 12:30pm - Cornerstone Arts Center, Screening Room
Dr. James D. Murdoch (Jed), Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology, The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont.
Title: TBA 

Click here for 2012-13 Seminars

Click here for 2011-12 Seminars

Senior Capstone Requirement: Biology Research Seminar and Abstracts

Majors must submit satisfactory questions and attend 4 Molecular Biology seminars.  

Acceptable Seminars

  • Molecular Biology Department seminars, including the keynote address at Biology Day
  • Biology seminars at UCCS, CU, CSU, DU, CU medical school, and Penrose or Memorial Hospitals, but ask your academic advisor before attending.
  • Selected seminars from other science departments at CC.  In your abstract clearly link the seminar to biology.  Again, ask your academic advisor before you attend non-Biology seminars.
  • Not eligible: student presentations, including Biology Day talks.

Colorado College
Molecular Biology Department

14 E. Cache La Poudre
Colorado Springs, CO 80903