Young Jang, Ph.D.
School of Biological Sciences

Goergia institute of Technology

Mitochondrial biology has become an intense area of research owing to its unique physiological and pathophysiological roles in a variety of disease conditions. In this seminar, I will review the current literature on some of the non-conventional roles of mitochondria that are possibly stemmed from endosymbiosis (i.e., mitochondrial-derived peptides, mitochondrial proteostasis, intercellular mitochondrial transfer). I will also discuss some of the ways we can exploit these features of mitochondria as a therapeutic intervention.

Cookies and coffee will be served.

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Kevin Pitts is Professor of Physics and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, University of Illinois. He is one of three finalists for the College of Sciences Dean search. He will present his vision of the college in this public seminar.

More information about Pitts is here.

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Susan Lozier is Distinguished Professor of Ocean Sciences, Duke University, and 
President-Elect of the American Geophysical Union. She is one of three finalists for the College of Sciences Dean search. She will present her vision of the college in this public seminar. 

More information about Lozier is here.

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Rodolfo Torres is University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, University of Kansas. He is one of three finalists for the College of Sciences Dean search. He will present his vision of the college in this public seminar.

More information about Torres is here.

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Bing Brunton, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
University of Washington
Discoveries in modern biology are increasingly driven by quantitative understanding of complex data. The work in my lab lies at an emerging, fertile intersection of computation and biology. I develop data-driven analytic methods that are applied to, and are inspired by, neuroscience questions. Discovering principles of neural computation is of fundamental importance in biology: How does a collection of neurons and their interconnections give rise to such richness and flexibility of function? Projects in my lab explore neural computations in diverse organisms.  We work with theoretical collaborators on developing methods, and with experimental collaborators studying insects, rodents, and primates. The common theme in our work is the development of methods that leverage the escalating scale and complexity of neural and behavioral data to find interpretable patterns. In this talk, I will highlight three research threads. The first focuses on a mathematical framework for spatiotemporal decomposition of large-scale data. The second tackles the challenge of understanding human neural activity "in the wild," outside traditional experimental conditions. The third seeks to uncover principles of hyper-efficient sensing supporting agile flight in winged insects.
Host: Tim Cope

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Douglas McCauley
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
University of California Santa Barbara
About the Speaker
Dr. McCauley began his career as a fisherman in the Port of Los Angeles, but migrated to marine science and now serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology. McCauley has a degree in political science and a degree in biology from the University of California at Berkeley and a PhD from Stanford University. He did postdoctoral research at Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Dr. McCauley is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in the Ocean Sciences.

Host: Dr. Mark Hay

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Joel Kostka, Joshua Weitz join prestigious leadership group

January 31, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

The American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) has elected 109 new fellows in 2019. Among them are Joel Kostka and Joshua Weitz.

Kostka is a professor in the Schools of Biological Sciences and of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Weitz is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences. Both are members of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience.

AAM is an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Fellows of the AAM are elected annually through a selective, peer-review process, based on records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

The election of Kostka as AAM fellow comes shortly after another high recognition of his contributions to microbiology. In 2018, he was named Distinguished Lecturer by ASM. In this capacity, Kostka speaks at ASM branch meetings throughout the U.S. His visits provide opportunities for students and early-career research microbiologists to interact with prominent scientists.

Kostka is well-known for his research in environmental microbiology. His lab characterizes the role of microorganisms in the functioning of ecosystems, especially in the context of bioremediation and climate change. He is co-principal investigator of C-IMAGE-III. This consortium is funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to study the environmental consequences of the release of petroleum hydrocarbons on living marine resources and ecosystem health.

Weitz holds courtesy appointments in the Schools of Physics and of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also the founding director of Georgia Tech’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences, a Simons Foundation Investigator in Ocean Processes and Ecology, and author of an award-winning book on quantitative viral ecology.

"I'm grateful for the recognition and excited to continue our ongoing, collaborative efforts to understand the role of ecology and evolution in shaping microbial and viral life," Weitz says.

Weitz’s research focuses on the interactions between viruses and their microbial hosts, that is, the viral infections of microbial life. Weitz is motivated by seemingly simple questions: What happens to a microbe when it is infected by a virus? How do infections of single cells translate into population- and system-wide consequences?

AAM fellows represent all subspecialties of the microbial sciences and are involved in basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, or government service. They hail from all around the globe. Kostka and Weitz join fellows from France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Israel, Korea, Taiwan, and China.

For More Information Contact

A. Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D.
Director of Communications
College of Sciences

Iconic tool will mix it up with Yellow Jackets’ tip-off on Jan. 22

January 8, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

By Laura Mast, Contributing Writer

A unique treat awaits fans at the Yellow Jackets’ Jan. 22 men’s basketball home game. The Georgia Tech team will battle Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish for the hoops amid element cards, games, and prizes to celebrate 2019, the International Year of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements.  

Born 150 years ago, the periodic table is one of the most important and recognizable tools of science. To celebrate the table’s staying power, the United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.

At Georgia Tech, the College of Sciences is leading an all-year-round celebration, #IYPT2019GT. It has partnered with other units to engage students, faculty, and staff in reconnecting with the periodic table, through athletics, art, and academics.

Kicking off the celebration is “The Periodic Table at Georgia Tech vs Notre Dame” men’s basketball match on Jan. 22. Partnering with Georgia Tech Athletics, the College of Sciences will bring #IYPT2019GT to McCamish Pavilion. Fans will have a chance to play games with the periodic table and element cards featuring the Yellow Jackets basketball team and Georgia Tech researchers. Prizes await lucky winners.  

"This kick-off event for Georgia Tech's year-long celebration of the periodic table is a great opportunity to bring chemistry to the public's attention and to illustrate its relevance to all of us – scientists, sports fans, and athletes," says David Collard, the College of Sciences' interim dean.

“Georgia Tech Athletics is proud to partner with the College of Sciences to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the periodic table of elements,” Director Todd Stansbury says. “Such a collaboration is uniquely ‘Georgia Tech,’ as we offer our student-athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics, while they receive an education at one of the nation’s leading research universities. We celebrate this combination, as it has proven to produce young people who change the world.”

Brief History of the Periodic Table
Using a set of notecards à la classic card game solitaire, Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev sorted and resorted the cards, each representing one element, trying to find a pattern using the elements’ weights and properties. He cracked the code after several sleepless days.

For decades before Mendeleev, scientists had been searching for patterns in the elements. Many other arrangements had been proposed, including one cylindrical design. Mendeleev succeeded where others failed – his table correctly placed more elements than any other.

Critically, too, Mendeleev’s table left gaps for elements yet to be discovered. His table included just over 50 elements, and it wasn’t imminently clear: Were there more elements? How many?

As we now know, many more elements came to light. Thanks to those empty spaces, Mendeleev’s powerful theoretical tool predicted newcomers with startling success. His spot-on predictions of hypothetical elements’ basic properties – atomic mass, atomic number, and reactivity – guided researchers into discovering new elements.

Major changes to Mendeleev’s design occurred as more elements were discovered. For example, the discovery of the noble gases in the 1890s led to the addition of an entirely new column (also called a group). The lanthanides and actinides, those two rows (or periods) at the bottom, were placed below the existing table to retain its basic shape. The periodic table is still being updated to this day: elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 were added in November 2016.

#IYPT2019GT Activities and Events
Every week, the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry will highlight two elements in social media through videos and haikus. And every month, a student, faculty, or staff will expound on a favorite element in a short video.

The periodic table and chemical elements will be a topic in Georgia Tech’s GT 1000 and various Writing & Communication courses. Classes in the School of Music and the School of Industrial Design will use the periodic table as inspiration for projects. The 2019 Clough Art Crawl will have a special section and prizes for submissions inspired by the periodic table or chemical elements.

In February, the Frontiers in Science Lecture Series on the periodic table will commence. Lectures will explore topics from the origin of the chemical elements to the economic, societal, and geopolitical consequences of elements yet undiscovered or in scarce supply. Among the lecturers is bestselling author Sam Kean. His book “The Disappearing Spoon” reveals the periodic table as a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession.

Here is a partial list of events. Full information is available at

  • January 22 The Periodic Table at Georgia Tech vs Notre Dame. Go Yellow Jackets!
  • February
    • Frontiers in Science: How the Universe Made the Elements
    • Water, in Three Movements, Georgia Tech Laptop Orchestra, School of Music
  • March
    • Frontiers in Science: Celebrating Silicon: Its Success, Hidden History, and Next Act
    • Periodic Table and the Chemical Elements in Clough Art Crawl
    • Periodic Table and the Chemical Elements in Atlanta Science Festival Expo
  • April
    • Frontiers in Science: Mathematical Mysteries of the Periodic Table
    • Frontiers in Science: The Periodic Table: A Treasure Trove of Passion, Adventure, Betrayal, and Obsession
  • June
    • Halloween in June: Periodic Table Costume Party and Variety Show
  • August
    • Chemical Element Scavenger Hunt
  • September
    • Frontiers in Science: The Elusive End of the Periodic Table: Why Chase It?
  • October
    • Frontiers in Science: Turning Sour, Bloated, and Out of Breath: Ocean Chemistry under Global Warming
  • November
    • Frontiers in Science, The Geopolitics of the Rare and Not-So-Rare Elements
    • Periodic Table Celebration Exhibit
  • December 
    • Periodic Table Celebration Exhibit

Keep up with #IYPT2019GT by checking periodically. Follow the College of Sciences on Facebook and Twitter. We look forward to celebrating #IYPT2019GT with you!

For More Information Contact

A. Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D.
Director of Communications
College of Sciences

January 18, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

Born 150 years ago, the periodic table is one of the most important and recognizable tools of science. To celebrate the table’s staying power, the United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements — and Georgia Tech is joining the celebration.

Events will take place every month, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 22, at McCamish Pavilion during the men's basketball game against Notre Dame. Fans will have a chance to play games with the periodic table and element cards, win prizes, and enjoy nitrogen-frozen ice cream.

A few upcoming events are listed below — follow along for more at

More information is available from the College of Sciences.

For More Information Contact

Maureen Rouhi

College of Sciences

Jan. 22 hoops match featured element cards and periodic table dart game

January 24, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

Led by the College of Sciences, Georgia Tech launched its year-long celebration of 2019, the International Year of the Periodic Table (#IYPT2019), at the Jan. 22 men's basketball game against Notre Dame. The Yellow Jackets prevailed over the Fighting Irish, 63-61.

College of Sciences students, faculty, and staff distributed element cards and guided fans through the periodic table dart game. Scores of fans won periodic table mug beakers and T-shirts, as well as ScienceMatters card holders and sticky note pads. ScienceMatters is the College of Sciences' podcast. It's second season returns in the spring 2019 semester.

Also featured in the Jan. 22 game was biochemistry major and track star Jeanine Williams. At half-time, a video of Williams talking about her favorite element was broadcast on the McCamish jumbotron.

Get visual highlights from the #IYPT2019 kick-off from the video on the right.


For More Information Contact

A. Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D.
Director of Communications
College of Sciences


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