2022 Mosaic Lecture Series
Celebrating Diversity in the Mathematical Sciences
The Topology of Nucleic Acids
Tuesday, March 29, 2022, 7:00 pm, LTT 103 - Lecture Hall
Dr. Mariel Vazquez
Professor of Mathematics; Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
The genetic code of viruses and of living organisms is contained in very long DNA or RNA molecules, which are tightly packaged in confined environments. In order to fit, the molecules need to coil upon themselves. Understanding the shape of chromosomes is key to understanding the mechanisms of viral infection and the inner workings of a cell. We use techniques from knot theory and topology, aided by discrete and computational methods, to ask questions about the topological state of a genome. I will illustrate the use of these methods with examples drawn from recent work in my group. The lecture will be accessible to students and suitable to a diverse interdisciplinary audience.
Sponsored by the Department of Mathematics, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, the Frederik Meijer Honors College, Laker Familia and the Gayle Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity.