Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Lectures April 10 and 11 at Augsburg University

“Membranes of
Hungry Yeast are Tiny, Living Thermostats”
Monday, April 10, 2023 • 5:00 pm
Augsburg University, Hagfors 150

During the process of making bread and beer, yeast cells eventually run out of sugar to eat. They react by segregating certain lipids and proteins in one of their membranes. Under the microscope, this membrane appears break out in polka-dots.

In her Convocation Lecture on Monday, April 10, titled “Membranes of Hungry Yeast are Tiny, Living Thermostats,” Keller will discuss how yeast membranes acquire the polka-dots, how the transition can be reversed, and how yeast control the transition.

“Stabilizing Fragile
Membranes on the Early Earth”
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 • 11:00 am
Augsburg University, Hoversten Chapel

The earliest versions of cells on Earth could have been very simple: a membrane that encloses molecules to encode information, like DNA, and to perform tasks, like proteins. However, the very simplest membranes are typically not stable in salty environments like oceans. How could those early cells have survived?

In her Convocation lecture on Tuesday, April 11, titled “Stabilizing fragile membranes on the early Earth”, Keller will explain that small building blocks of DNA and proteins can interact with membranes, stabilizing them. In turn, these interactions have the potential to concentrate the building blocks on the surface of the membrane, helping them link up into larger molecules capable of other important jobs.

About Dr. Sarah Keller

Sarah Keller, the Duane and Barbara LaViolette Professor of Chemistry, is a Biophysicist at the University of Washington in Seattle. She investigates self-assembly, complex fluids, and soft matter systems. Her research group’s primary focus concerns how lipid mixtures within bilayer membranes give rise to complex phase behavior. She is an elected member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the AAAS, and a Fellow of the Biophysical Society.

Additional Information

Sverdrup Visiting Science Program
at Augsburg University