Covid-19 Update: The 2020 MBSB Symposium has been postponed until further notice.  

The information below will be updated when new information is available.

The eighth annual MBSB research symposium will be held on Friday, May 8th, in the Frick Fine Arts Building from 9:00am to 7:00pm. The 2020 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

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 2019 registration form and abstract submissions should be completed no later than April 15th, 2020

Completed forms should be emailed to Janet Zambotti at

 Registration Form: Click HERE to register

Abstract Template: Click HERE to download 


Program Details - MBSB Symposium 2020


9:00 am            Registration and breakfast

9:45 am            Welcome – Andrew Hinck

Morning Session

Chaired by: Ananya Mukundan

10:00 am          "Peeking and Poking at Cells: Optical Control of Biological Processes"

                         Alex Deiters#

                         Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh


10:35 am          "Multi-modal imaging reveals force transmission in cell monolayers"

                         Kirill Lavrenyuk

                         Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University


10:55 am          Break


11:30 am          "Activation of Tev family kinase Btk by HIV Nef"

                         Manish Aryal*

                         Structural Biology, University of Pittsburgh


11:50 am          "Mechanism of the AMPA type Glutamate Receptor Allosteric Activation by an Agonist from Molecular Dynamics Simulations"

                         Maria Kurnikova#

                         Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University



12:25 pm – 1:25 pm


Afternoon Session

Chaired by: Wesley Brown


1:30 pm            "Revealing XLF's Role in NHEJ" 

                         Sean Carney**

                         Harvard Medical School


2:05 pm            "Sub-Pocket Explorer (SubPEx): Leveraging weighted ensemble simulations to enhance the conformational search
                         of binding-pocket conformations"

                         Erich Hellmann Holguin*

                         Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh


2:25 pm            "Title Pending"

                         Marijn Ford#

                         Department of Cell Biology, University of Pittsburgh


Poster Session

3:00 pm – 4:10 pm


Keynote Address

Chaired by: Stephen White


4:15 pm            "How Parkinson's Disease Starts - And how It Might Be Stopped"

                         Gregory Petsko

                         Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Harvard Medical School and Bringham & Women's Hospital



5:30 pm


# MBSB Training Faculty
* MBSB Student
** MBSB Alumni