Scientists by trade. Artists by association.
Biologists breaking down the building blocks of life to find a cure for cancer and other diseases fuse science and art every day, turning the laboratory into a studio.This week The University of Toledo is hosting a one-day conference to celebrate and explore the creative side of cytoskeletal research.
Toledo CellulART will take place Friday, Sept. 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the UT Center for the Visual Arts, a building designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and attached to the Toledo Museum of Art.
“Much of what we do is microscopy-based, which takes a certain level of artistic expertise,” said Ashtyn Zinn, UT PhD student researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Zinn organized the free, public event with the help of a grant from the American Society for Cell Biology. She works in the cancer research laboratory of Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, UT assistant professor of biological sciences.
Toledo CellulART’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Keith Burridge, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will speak at 3:30 p.m.
“Dr. Burridge is a modern scientist and pioneer in the field of cytoskeletal research,” Garcia-Mata said. “Among a very long list of seminal contributions, he provided key early insights into the mechanisms of cell attachment and adhesion as one of the very first to characterize focal adhesions and the contractile nature of stress fibers. He discovered and characterized many of the key molecular components of the complex now known as the adhesome.”
The event also will feature a talk and artwork by Dr. Dylan Burnette, assistant professor of cell and developmental biology at Vanderbilt University, at 1:30 p.m.
Oral and poster presentations by students and faculty are scheduled throughout the day. Pieces by past winners of the Nikon Small World Challenge will be on display at 4:30 p.m.
Registration is required for the event, which brings together the regional art and scientific communities. In addition to UT faculty and students, researchers from 15 other universities will attend the conference from Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, including the University of Michigan, Notre Dame and the University of Chicago.
For more information, go to https://toledocellulart.wixsite.com/home.