UMass Boston News

Spring 2017 Biology Seminar Series: Raffi Aroian

Biology Professor Linda Huang is hosting this week's Seminar Series. She is bringing in guest speaker Dr. Raffi Aroian from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His talk is entitled, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Worms and Bugs (& Bacteria)!" The discussion abstract is as follows: "The Aroian Group studies human/animal parasitic nematodes as well as bacterial toxins.Our main goal is to discover new and superior treatments for human soil-transmitted helminths (intestinal nematode parasites). These parasites, aka hookworm, whipworm, and Ascaris (large roundworm) infect upwards of 2 billion people in the world and are leading causes of childhood stunting (physical/cognitive), malutrition, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and loss of productivity worldwide. We are discovering and developing new de-worming (anthelmintic) compounds with superior characteristics to those currently in use and are developing novel delivery strategies to make these compounds available widely and cheaply in the developing world. We are also studying how anthelmintic compounds work and how parasite resistance can be overcome.

Additionally we are studying how these parasites interact with their host. In particular, we are interested in studying how these parasites modulate the host and host immune system in a way that might control autoimmune diseases.

Another group in the laboratory uses the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study how bacterial pore-forming toxins work and how the innate immune system protects against bacterial toxin attack. Since pore-forming toxins are by far the most common mechanism pathogenic bacteria use to attack us, these studies have important implications in the control of bacterial pathogens and diseases, such as those caused by Staphyloccocus and Streptococcus."

To view this event flyer, click here. To view the whole schedule for the Spring 2017 Biology Seminar Series, click here. 

Please note the time difference. 

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit www.ada.umb.edu two weeks prior to the event.