The Colloquium in the Life Sciences is looking for new officers.


Want to build great contacts in the life sciences?  Interested in getting more involved on campus? Want to beef up your CV? Then The Colloquium is for you!


The Colloquium in the Life Sciences is an interdisciplinary seminar series run by graduate students at Colorado State University. We invite speakers, scientists, journalists and authors from around the country to give on-campus talks on a variety of biology topics.  The Colloquium aims to provide the premier forum for the students and faculty of CSU to interact with some of the greatest minds in life science research today. The ultimate goal of The Colloquium is the advancement of scientific conversation in the 21st century.


The Colloquium is currently seeking volunteers to fill the following positions:


President – organizes meetings, primary contact for speakers, leads organization of seminars

Vice President – assists in securing speakersassists in organizing meetings, organizes the advertising events

Treasurer – assists in securing speakersprepares budget, manages funds, organizes fundraising 

Secretary- assists in securing speakers, maintains Web site, Facebook page, Twitter account, and prepares notes/minutes of meetings


The new President will begin meeting with the new team but will not take over full duties until the Spring Semester.  All other officers will take over their new positions on August first, 2011.


This is a great opportunity to supplement your resume with science-oriented on-campus activities. If you are interested in joining The Colloquium team, please contact Tara Schumacher (t.schu@mac.com) by June 30th.

Thank you all for your involvement with the activities of the Colloquium in the Life Sciences this year. We will return for the Fall semester, with a brand new team and a brand new series of stimulating, thought-provoking talks. Have a great summer!

Think genetically engineered crops are unable to spread their transgenes to other plants? Think traditional crops grow in isolation away from engineered crops? Think superweeds are science fiction? Think again. Please join us for a very special talk and learn the truth about gene flow between GE crops and other plants.

Who: Dr. Carol Mallory-Smith, Oregon State University
Title: When gene flow matters: coexistence of GE and non-GE crops
Date: Monday, April 26, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Venue: Room A104, Clark Building [map]
Host: Bethany Econopouly, Soil & Crop Sciences

Gene flow is often raised as one of the major issues surrounding the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) crops because it can lead to the adventitious presence of the transgene. Gene flow via pollen was the initial issue raised with the introduction of GE crops, usually in regards to crossing with wild or weedy relatives. Gene flow occurs to some degree in all crops, even those that are predominantly self-pollinated. However, gene flow also can occur through movement of seed or vegetative propagules. For many crops, gene flow via seed will be the most common avenue of movement. The consequences of gene flow are dependent on the biology of the crop, the trait in question, and market issues surrounding the acceptance of the transgene. The traits that have been deregulated to date do not provide a fitness advantage in most instances but some newer traits may. It is difficult to predict under which circumstances gene flow will occur but there are many potential avenues. It is critical that gene flow be considered with the introduction of GE crops. However, there can be coexistence between GE and non-GE crops but tolerance levels must be set that can be met in the marketplace.

Carol Mallory-Smith, PhD is a professor and associate department head in the Crop and Soil Science Department at Oregon State University and also runs the Weed Science research group. Read more about her research interests here. Please contact Bethany if you would like to meet with Dr. Mallory-Smith during her visit to CSU.

Think all cancers are alike? Think modern proteomics science makes cancer diagnosis infallible? Think all lab experiments are held to the same standard? Think again. Please join us for a very special talk and learn the truth about cancer diagnosis and experimental design.

Who: Dr. Keith Baggerly, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas
Title: Proteomics, ovarian cancer, and experimental design
Date: Monday, April 19, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Venue: Room A104, Clark Building [map]
Host: Dana Gammelgaard, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Just as microarrays let us measure expression levels of thousands of genes, mass spectrometry lets us measure the expression of hundreds of proteins. Using spectra from easily available samples (e.g., serum), we seek proteins linked to differences like the presence or absence of cancer. This approach was claimed to provide near perfect diagnostic accuracy for ovarian cancer, and a home-brew test (OvaCheck) was publicly advertised. In this talk, we introduce the mass spectrometry variants of matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization/time of flight (MALDI-TOF), and surface-enhanced laser desorption and ionization (SELDI-TOF). We then take a pictorial tour through the raw data. However, the data most clearly shows not biological structure, but rather the need for careful experimental design (our broader theme).

Keith A. Baggerly, PhD  is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Read more about his research interests here. Please contact Dana if you would like to meet with Dr. Baggerly during his visit to CSU.

Upcoming talk: Janneke Balk

Pump some iron.Think fighting world hunger is just about the calories? Think iron deficiency is not the most important cause of global malnutrition? Think molecular biology won’t help feed the planet? Think again. Please join us for a very special talk and learn the truth about iron biogenesis.

Who: Dr. Janneke Balk, University of Cambridge
Title: Unraveling the biogenesis of Fe-S and Moco enzymes
Date: Monday, March 22, 2010
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Room 231, Wagar Building [map]
Host: Wiebke Tapken, Biology

Many of life’s biochemical processes are catalysed by metal cofactors. Organisms have developed elaborate molecular machinery to acquire the metals, transport them safely and insert them correctly into proteins. The genes involved in metal cofactor assembly are generally highly conserved from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, but compartmentalization adds an extra layer of complexity in eukaryotes. Our studies on iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster assembly in yeast and plants show that the mitochondria play a pivotal role in the biogenesis of cytosolic and nuclear Fe-S cofactors. The mitochondrial cysteine desulfurase, as well as an ABC transporter across the inner mitochondrial membrane are required for this process. Interestingly, the same ABC transporter also plays a role in the assembly of molybdenum cofactor (Moco), both in plants and mammals. Immuno-localization in Arabidopsis showed that the first step of Moco assembly takes place in the mitochondrial matrix, and not in the cytosol as previously thought.

Janneke Balk is a Royal Society Research Fellow in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Read more about her research interests here. Please contact Wiebke if you would like to meet with Dr. Balk during her visit to CSU.

Evolution is a fact of life.Think evolution is “just a theory”? Think intelligent design is science and not a religious argument? Think teaching ID along with evolution in the life science classroom is harmless? Think again. Please join us for a very special talk and learn the truth about intelligent design.

Who: Dr. Eugenie Scott, National Center for Science Education
Title: Not over after Dover: what we learned from Kitzmiller v. Dover
Date: Monday, January 25, 2010
Time: 3:00PM – 4:00PM, discussion panel and reception afterward
Venue: East Ballroom, Lory Student Center
Host: Jeric Harper, Biology

The 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover trial was a test of the constitutionality of teaching intelligent design – and ID failed. In response, the creationist movement has evolved new strategies calling for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses of evolution” or the “critical analysis of evolution”, but these turn out to be creationism in disguise. Dr. Scott will discuss the Kitzmiller trial and its aftermath. This presentation for the Colloquium in the Life Sciences is sponsored by ASCSU and is open to the public. Please contact Jeric if you would like to meet with Dr. Scott during her visit to CSU.

Eugenie Scott is the executive director of NCSE, the premier institution dedicated to keeping evolution in the classroom. Check out their Facebook page, or follow their good fight on Twitter.

insects - more than meets the eyeThink humans pose the only threat to our future forests? Think one insect is much like another? Think beetles are harmless? Think again. Please join us for a very special seminar and learn the truth about pine beetles.

Who: Dr. Anthony Cognato,  Michigan State University
Title: Recent advances in the knowledge of bark beetle systematics
Date: Monday, October 26, 2009
Time: Mixer at 3:30 PM, talk at 4:00 PM
Venue: Room 109, Natural Resources Building [map]
Host: Shiloh McCollum, BSPM

In addition to being an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology at MSU, Anthony Cognato is also the Director of the AJ Cook Arthropod Research Collection. Read more about his research interests here. Please contact Shiloh if you would like to meet with Dr. Cognato during his visit to CSU.