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Science colloquium asks “Who Is Afraid of Big, Bad Bacillus?”

The next Penn State Berks Division of Science Colloquium will feature Dr. Richard Rest, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology; Director of the Center for Bacterial Pathogenesis and Biodefense, the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases; and Director of Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs, Biomedical Graduate and Postgraduate Studies, at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, who will give a presentation titled “"Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Bacillus? Studies on a Pore-forming Toxin of the Anthrax Bacillus” on Friday, April 20, 2012, at 1 p.m. in room 5, Luerssen Building. This presentation is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

According to the abstract, “Pore-forming Toxins (PFTs) are the largest family of toxins made by pathogenic bacteria. Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of anthrax, secretes the PFT Anthrolysin O (ALO), which can interact with essentially all human cells. ALO has a number of mechanisms by which it causes disease, ranging from stimulating multiple signaling pathways to punching large and lethal holes in the plasma membrane.  This seminar will describe some of these mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels, and will ask whether ALO is an important component of the B. anthracis vast arsenal of virulence factors.”

The Science Division colloquia are of broad and general interest, accessible to a general audience. All students, faculty, and interested members of the Penn State Berks and surrounding community are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Dr. Leonard Gamberg, Associate Professor of Physics, via e-mail at LPG10@psu.edu.

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