UT Pregame Showcase Focuses on Nanoscale View of Human Proteins

KNOXVILLE — The Oct. 10 College of Arts and Sciences Pregame Faculty Showcase focuses on a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, biology professor’s work to visualize human proteins on a scale too small for even the most powerful microscopes.

Cynthia Peterson, professor and head of the department of biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology, will lead the discussion “Building a Biological Camera: 3D Snapshots of a Protein.” Peterson’s work to view proteins on the nanoscale is important because the tiny proteins play an important role in blood coagulation, immunity, infectious disease, neurobiology and cancer.

The presentation takes place Saturday, Oct. 10, before the UT home game against the University of Georgia. It begins at 10:21 a.m. in the University Center Ballroom.

Peterson also is director the School of Genome Science and Technology, a joint graduate program with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and associate director for the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). At UT, Peterson teaches courses in biochemistry, cancer biology and cell biology. She also participates in the College of Arts and Sciences Pre-Collegiate Scholars Program which involves mentoring area high school students in her lab.

Peterson’s ongoing research focuses on the areas of blood coagulation, fibrinolysis and cell-matrix interactions using a combination of protein biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. Most of her research activities are dedicated to understanding the structure and function of vitronectin, an abundant protein in the blood that regulates many physiological processes.

She won the Science Alliance Faculty Research Award for eight years; the American Heart Association’s Established Investigator Award for five years; the 1998 YWCA Tribute to Women in the Science and Technology category; and was a finalist for the 1998 Cardiovascular Research Prize from the American Heart Association. She has also won several professional development awards and faculty research awards during her tenure at UT.

For 20 years, the Pregame Faculty Showcase has introduced football fans to some of UT Knoxville’s most exceptional faculty members.

Each showcase is a 30-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. Free and open to the public, the presentations are held two hours before kickoff in the University Center Ballroom.

The rest of the showcase schedule is:

Oct. 31 — Jed Diamond, UT’s head of acting in the theater department, will relate tales of UT alumni who are working actors.

Nov. 7 (Homecoming) — Larry McKay, professor and head of the earth and planetary sciences department, will explain how geology and hydrology affect viruses and bacteria in groundwater and streams.

Nov. 21 — Michael Lofaro, English professor, will look at “James Agee at 100: A Centennial Celebration.”

The showcases will be recorded and the webcast archive will be posted online at http://www.artsci.utk.edu/outreach/Pre_Game.asp.

The showcases are sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, WUOT 91.9 FM, the UT Alumni Association, the UT Office of Alumni Affairs and the UT Athletics Program.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden, (865-974-9008, bgladden@utk.edu)

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