Characterizing the biological effects of novel insect repellants

Please join us on July 8, 2019, for our next edition of Cafe Scientifique, featuring Dr. David Lent from California State University, Fresno.

One of the most commonly used and effective insect repellents is DEET and has been in use, unchanged, for more than 60 years.  While DEET is very effective, it is known to be toxic, it has a short window of efficacy, loses its repellency effect over repeated exposure and it does lend itself well to agricultural applications.  This research, in part, involves characterizing the effects of DEET analogs on fruit fly behavior and neural pathways to find derivatives that improve on DEET.

Dr. Lent is a neuroethologist with a Ph.D. from The University of Arizona.  Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Fresno State.  He studies the neural basis of behavior in a number of different species with a strong focus on insects.

Who: Dr. David Lent, Department of Biology, Fresno State

When: July 8, 2019, at 7 PM

Where: Santa Fe Basque, 3110 N Maroa Ave, Fresno, CA

Nanomedicine and Cancer

Nanotechnology has revolutionized therapy of many diseases but manyapplications of it is coming in cancer. Nanotechnology can be applied not only for cancer treatment but also for detection, prevention, simultaneous diagnosis (theragnostic) and personalized medicine. There are several issues in traditional cancer chemotherapy such as solubility, stability and low selectivity of the agent along with higher side effects, drug resistance, low concentration in tumor leading to treatment failure. Many of these problems can be solved by nanotechnology. The tiny particles can voyage through the patient’s blood, hunting down the diseased cells, penetrate their membrane to deliver precise dose of medicine or appropriate gene.  Dr. Hussain and his research team is currently working on the reversal of drug resistance in cancer therapy and combination chemotherapy using multifunctional nanoparticles.

Who: M. Delwar Hussain, M. Pharm., Ph.D., Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, California Health Sciences University

When: June 3, 2019 at 7PM

Where: Santa Fe Basque, 3110 N Maroa Ave., Fresno, CA 93704


A Shared Experience to Value Chemistry and Conservation: The Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Despite Chemistry being all around us, we rarely consider our daily and intuitive interactions with Chemistry – from the air we breathe to the gasoline we use in our vehicles, to the medications we take, and to the kitchen products we use for cooking and cleaning.  Chemistry influences every facet of our life, yet the prevailing societal ideas about Chemistry is that it is abstract, done by people in white coats and glasses, and does not go beyond a laboratory. For the introductory chemistry course at Fresno State, we are tackling such societal ideas by challenging our students to investigate chemical concepts in the real-world scenario of Fresno Chaffee Zoo.  Students collect water samples from different aquatic environments including the Sealion Cove, the Stingray Bay, and the Otter exhibit, and investigate important characteristics of the water including the amount of salt, the buffer capacity, and the temperature, and their implications for each animal. Such an approach to teaching Chemistry has raised several important considerations about how we engage our students and we are interested in sharing and discussing these considerations with participants at Café Scientifique.

Dr. Donnelly is a chemical education researcher with a Ph.D. from the University of Limerick in Ireland.  He has studied in Ireland, New Zealand, and Berkeley.  He studies the impact of technology and teaching practices on student ownership and power in science classrooms.

Dr. Person is an applied chemist with a Ph.D. from the University of California San Francisco.  He has a background in forensic and environmental chemistry and is currently interested in strategies for evaluating and scaffolding experimental design ability early in the chemistry curriculum.

Who: Drs. Dermot Donnelly and Eric Person, Department of Chemistry, Fresno State

When: May 6, 2019 at 7PM

Where: Santa Fe Basque, 3110 N Maroa Ave., Fresno, CA 93704