Date: Monday, February 5

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p. m.

Location: Holiday Inn, Bozeman

As a graduate student, Blake Wiedenheft studied the viruses that thrive in the boiling acid environments of Yellowstone National Park, a line of research that helped uncover an adaptive immune response in bacteria fighting off viruses. Findings related to this research have led rapidly to new technologies for “surgically” repairing defective genes that can cause genetic diseases. Participants in this Side Trip will hear fascinating stories about this and related research efforts, and gain an understanding of how and why this new technique works and what it may mean for our future.

Presenter: Blake Wiedenheft

WiedenheftBlake Wiedenheft is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at MSU, and recent winner of a Presidential Early Career Award. He earned a PhD from MSU in 2006 and then moved to Berkeley, California, where he served as a Howard Hughes Fellow of the Life Science Research Foundation at UC-Berkeley. His research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that viruses use to manipulate their hosts and the counter defense systems that microbes employ to defend themselves from infection.