The eighth annual MBSB research symposium will be held on Friday, May 14th, virtually,  from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The symposium will be held on (  The 2021 symposium will feature Dr. Gregory Petsko as the keynote speaker. Other speakers will include MBSB faculty, current MBSB graduate students, and an MBSB alumnus.  Scroll down to see the schedule of events!


Keynote Speaker: 

Dr. Gregory Petsko, Professor of Neurology, Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital

"How Parkinson's Disease Starts - And How It Might be Stopped."  


Registration Information

 MBSB Symposium 2021 registration form and abstract submissions should be completed no later than April 23rd, 2021.

Completed forms should be emailed to Ananya Mukundan at

 Registration Form: Click HERE to register

Abstract Template: Click HERE to download 


Program Details - MBSB Symposium 2021


9:00-9:10 Program Welcome

Morning Session 1:

Chaired by Ari Selzer

9:10 am            Title TBA
                         Maria Kurnikova
                         Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, MBSB Training Faculty

9:35 am            Peeking and Poking at Cells: Optochemical Control of Biological Processes
                         Alex Deiters
                         Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, MBSB Training Faculty

10:00 am          Parallel Session: Career Development session for Students
                         MBSB Faculty Meeting for Faculty


Morning Session 2:

Chaired by Ananya Mukundan

11:00 am          Sub-Pocket EXplorer (SubPEx): a Weighted ensemble algorithm to sample protein conformations
                         Erich Hellemann Holguin
                         Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, MBSB student

11:20 am          Holding it Together: Contact Tracing within the NHEJ Synaptic Complex
                         Sean Carney
                         Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Loparo Laboratory, Harvard University, MBSB Alumnus

Lunch Break: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Afternoon Session:

Chaired by Brittani Schnable

1:00 pm             Activation of Tec family kinase Btk by HIV-1 Nef
                          Manish Aryal
                          Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, MBSB Student

1:20 pm             Tetramerization: a new paradigm for regulating SNX-BAR membrane interaction
                          Marijn Ford
                          Department of Cell Biology, University of Pittsburgh, MBSB Training Faculty

1:45 pm             Pull yourself together! Mapping mechantransduction of cellular tension forces.
                          Kirill Lavernyuk
                          Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, MBSB Student

2:10-3:15           Poster Session

Keynote Address:

Chaired by Ananya Mukundan

 3:20 pm            How Parkinson's Disease Starts - And how It Might be Stopped.
                          Gregory Petsko
                          Professor of Neurology, Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital