Department of Physics

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physics@etal.uri.edu401-874-2104

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URI Physics Colloquium

The URI Physics department hosts an ongoing speaker series each academic year, which features physics experts from URI and other universities, as well as scientific organizations.

During the fall and spring semesters, colloquia are held in East Hall, Room 112. Refreshments are served before each talk at 3:30 pm in the East Hall Library or Room 112.

All are welcome, and there is no fee to attend.

Schedule for Spring 2024

Date Speaker Title Host Location
02.02.2024 Max Isi Gravitational-waves: from black holes to the cosmos :Abstract Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

02.09.2024 Student Presentation TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

02.16.2024 Student Presentation TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

02.23.2024 Sarah Croke TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

02.29.2024 Michael DuPont

 

Design and application of pH sensitive peptides for fluorescence imaging and therapy of tumors:Abstract Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

03.08.2024 Suhail Zubairy TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

03.22.2024  Spencer Rogers TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

04.05.2024 Neal Spellmeyer TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

04.12.2024 Benjamin Young TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

04.19.2024 Jing Yang  TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

04.24.2024 Pedro Lopes  TBA Wenchao Ge East 112

(3.45 PM)

Zoom

         
         

 

 

Abstracts:

Gravitational-waves: from black holes to the cosmos.

With the LIGO-Virgo detectors currently undergoing their 4th observing round, gravitational-wave astronomy has matured into a fast-developing field with broad implications for astrophysics, nuclear physics, gravity and cosmology. In this talk, I will focus on recent developments in probing the physics of black holes and their mergers with gravitational waves. This includes measurements of black hole spins and merger kicks, their use as cosmological probes, and the spectroscopic study of ringing black holes. I will outline some of the theoretical and observational questions driving this field: how do black holes form? Are they stable? Can we leverage them as probes of new fundamental fields, dark matter or cosmic expansion? How does the nonlinear nature of gravity manifest in black hole mergers? I will conclude by arguing that we are at the cusp of observationally tackling these and many other fascinating questions as we enter the era of precision gravitational-wave science, with current and future observatories in space and on the ground.

Bio:

Maximiliano Isi is a gravitational-wave astrophysicist using gravitational waves to learn about the nature of gravity, fundamental physics and cosmology. Max is currently a Research Fellow at the Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA) of the Flatiron Institute in New York City. Before that, he was a NASA Einstein Fellow at MIT, where he was affiliated with the LIGO Laboratory and the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics. He obtained his PhD from Caltech in 2018, where he was also part of LIGO. He is currently a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the LISA Consortium.

Design and application of pH sensitive peptides for fluorescence imaging and therapy of tumors.

The most common cancer treatments are currently chemotherapy and radiation therapy which include an untargeted delivery of toxic molecules, resulting in systemic effects and reduction in patient comfort. This leads to research for cancer treatments that are targeted and will reduce the severity of systemic effects on patients. Tumor resection surgery also has its own complications relating to not having real time confirmation of tumor geometry and position. pHLIP peptide targets acidity which is a characteristic of most cancer lines due to the Warburg effect, along with targeting tumor associated macrophages, cancer associated fibroblasts, and myeloid derives suppresser cells that are present in the tumor micro environment. This targeting mechanism has been used to deliver foreign antigens, cytotoxic molecules, immunomodulators, and fluorophores to tumor sites. In vitro experiments to test cargo molecules were done on liposomes by taking fluorescence and circular dichroism measurements, on three dimensional tumor spheroids using confocal microscopy, and by fluorescent aided cell sorting with immune cells and cancer cells. In vivo experiments with the cargo molecules were done on mice by measuring tumor size, mouse weight, and performing NIR imaging. Ex vivo experiments with the cargo molecules were done with collected tumors, organs, and blood from mice using enzyme linked immunosorbent assays, histology, and immunohistochemistry. Foreign antigen delivery to tumors has shown a 50% reduction in tumor size, when administered after immunizing against the specific antigen. Immunomodulator delivery has shown a 100% reduction in tumor size and immune memory to the originally administered cancer cell line. Cytotoxic molecule delivery has shown a change in the cellular composition of the tumor micro environment, which can lead to a higher immune activation for subsequent therapy. Fluorescent molecule delivery has shown to give real time continuous imaging of tumors for resection surgery. The mentioned therapy approaches have shown little or no systemic effects to the live subjects, and present alternatives to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The delivery of fluorescent molecules has shown to be useful as an additional confirmation to surgeons during tumor resection

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