Saturday, 24 April 2021 18:55

Entrepreunership Club - Pavia

Elisa Seghetti, a member of Collegio Nuovo and co-founder of Entrepreneurship Club Pavia (E-Club Pavia for short) is bringing E-Club Pavia to the attention of Volta students and is inviting members of Volta them to the next Club event.

E-Club Pavia is a University group aiming to create a network of University students with a serious interest in entrepreneurship and is organising a meeting online on Thursday, the 29th of April at 7.30 pm in collaboration with the startup Thesis4U and the student group ImGestionale during which 4 startup companies will outline their ideas and business plans and will illustrate in the process how to 'pitch' such presentations.

Business inclined members of Collegio A Volta are welcome to join the E-Club Pavia event on Thursday 29th at the following url  https://thesisforyou.com/iscriviti-allevento-su-come-fare-il-pitch/.

The College expresses its gratitude to Elisa Seghetti for extending this invitation to the members of Volta.



RNA Vaccines

22 April 2021. 
George P Smith, University of Missouri, Columbia

At 6.00 pm on 22 April 2021 George P Smith will give a lecture entitled: RNA Vaccines for Pandemic Threats (subtitle:Promise of the technology and economic justice in its development. The lecture will be online and is accessible through this link.

George Smith is Curators' Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.  He was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in the United States. He obtained a degree in Biology at Haverford College in Pennsylvania (1963) and a PhD in Bacteriology and Immunology at Harvard University (1970). After completing post-doctoral research at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, he moved to the University of Missouri in Columbia where he remained there for the rest of his career excpet for two years at Duke University (1983–1984).

George P Smith adapted fundamental principles of evolution (diversity and selection) to laboratory science and specifically to protein engineering.  He developed a strategy - phage display - that enables rapid selection of protein varian for specific functions or new functions and for this work he was awarded a share of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2018.

The poster of the lecture is available here.

Image
Image: People queuing for food aid during the Covid pandemic in Pretoria, South Africa (20 May 2020, Reuters)

Sunday, 11 April 2021 08:17

RNA Vaccines

College will host a lecture entitled RNA Vaccines for Pandemic Threats. Promise of the technology and economic justice in its development to be given online at 6.00 pm on 22 April 2021 by 

George P Smith , Professor of Italian - Emeritus - and Fellow of St John’s College at Cambridge University. The lecture can be joined through this link.

George Smith is Curators' Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouriwas born in Norwalk, Connecticut in the United States and made fundamental contributions fto the field of protein engineering by developing the phage display technology for which he was awarded a share of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. 

The poster of the lecture is available here and further information can be found on this page. All College students are warmly invited to join this major science lecture.

Image: A three dimensional model of a coronavirus (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC).



Ut Pictura Poesis et Poesis Pictura

15 April 2021. 
Patrick Boyde, St John's College, Cambridge

At 6.00 pm on 15 April 2021Patrick Boyde will give a lecture entitled: Ut Pictura Poesis & ut Poesis Pictura (subtitle: Simbiosi e interazioni tra Dante e i grandi artisti toscani all’epoca dei Comuni). The lecture will be online and is accessible through this link.

Patrick Boyde is Professor Emeritus of Italian at Cambridge University and Fellow Borderer of St John’s College at Cambridge University. He is a also a Fellow of the British Academy (1987), a Member of Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and a Honorary Member of the American Dante Society.  He received Gold Medals from the City of Florence (1995) and the Italian Republic (1998) and the title of ‘Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana’ from Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, then President of the Republic for for outstanding contributions to Italian Culture.

Patrick Boyde has researched the work od Dante Alighieri from new theoretical perspectives at the crossroad of literature, philosophy and figurative arts. He published 5 books on Dante : Dante's Lyric Poetry (with Kenelm Foster, in two volumes), Oxford 1967; Dante's Style in his Lyric Poetry, Cambridge 1971 (translated in Italian as Retorica e stile nelle liriche di Dante, Napoli, Liguori editore, 1979); Dante Philomythes and Philosopher: Man in the Cosmos, Cambridge 1981 (translated in Italian as L'uomo nel cosmo: Filosofia della natura e poesia in Dante, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1984); Night Thoughts on Italian Poetry and Art, Cambridge 1985; Perception and Passion in Dante's ‘Comedy’, Cambridge 1993 (translated in Italian as ‘Lo color del core’. Visione, passione e ragione in Dante, Napoli, Liguori editore, 2002); Human Vices and Human Worth in Dante’s ‘Comedy’, Cambridge 2000, work that received the Sapegno Prize in 2002. The titles in bold are known among the scholars as Parick Boydes’s ‘trilogy’. Patrick Boyde is widely regarded as one of the major scholars of Dante’s work of all times.

The poster of the lecture is available here. The video of lecture is available here.

Image
Dante's Inferno (canto XVIII) from La Divina Commedia Illustrata da Sandro Botticelli. Engraving on parchment, painted in ink and partly colored. At the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) in Berlin.


Saturday, 10 April 2021 14:56

Dante Alighieri

College will host a major lecture on Dante Alighieri entitled: Ut Pictura Poesis & ut Poesis Pictura (subtitle: Simbiosi e interazioni tra Dante e i grandi artisti toscani all’epoca dei Comuni) to be given online at 6.00 pm on 15 April 2021 by 

Patrick Boyde, Professor of Italian - Emeritus - and Fellow of St John’s College at Cambridge University. The lecture can be joined through the following link.

Patrick Boyde is widely regarded as one of the major scholars of Dante’s work of all times.

He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Member of the Italian Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and a Honorary Member of the American Dante Society.  He received the highest tribuets and prizes from the City of Florence (1995) and the Italian Presidency (1998 and 2004) for 'outstanding contributions to Italian culture'.

All College students are warmly invited to join this unique opportunity of hearing Patrick Boyde on Dante Alighieri.

The poster of the lecture is available here and further information can be found on this page. The video of lecture is available here.

Image: A portrait of Dante showing his Commedia (1456) by Domenico di Michelino based on a drawing of Alesso Baldovinetti. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze.



Patient Assessment

The Systematic Approach to Patient Assessment Course is a 10-14 week interactive webinar series offered by Volta alumni Henriette Wa Katolo and Kesav A Vijayagopal and aimed at preparing medical students for assessing patients and become confident in taking histories, choosing relevant investigations, formulating differential diagnoses, and initiating management plans. The sessions will be highly interactive in nature and focus on clinical cases.

Henriette Wa Katolo and Kesav A Vijayagopal are currently carrying out postrgraduate training at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin (HWK) and at the Wirral University Hospital in Wirral, a metropolitan borough of Liverpool. The poster outlining the scope of the Course is available here. College students interested in attending the Course may contact ....................... who will act as a point of liaison with Henriette and Kesav.

The dates and times of the meetings are detailed below.

 

Sunday, 01 November 2020 23:55

European Union. A Political Journey

College will host a major seminar serie entitled European Union: A Political Journey between November 3rd  and November 17th.  The series has been organised by College undergraduate L Ferrero (Political Science, Yr 2) and Volta representative for Acersat, the office of the University of Pavia that acts in support of a number of student's cultural and events.

The 'political journey' of the European Union has met remarkable challenges in the last 10-12 years. The social consequences of 2008 Financial Crisis hit the people of Europe in a major way and it was widely perceived that the financial tools and procedures available produced a slow and inadequate response to the social damage created by the crisis. But this was just the first of the last wave of challenges that the European Union had to face. The migrant crisis resulting from both the lasting conflicts in the Middle East and the social and political instability of large areas of the African continent has been met with indifference and limited responses at central European level leaving countries such as Italy and Greece at the mercy of events and unable - in many instances - to prevent huge human tragedies and loss of life.  Connected with the migrant crisis Europe has witnessed a remarkable surge of nationalism in many countries leading, in the case of the United Kingodom to a referendum that decided to take the country out of the European Union.  Finally, the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated once more sharp divisions among member states although, in this instance, the institutions of the European Union have been able to agree a set of financial measures that may considerably assist the strain caused by the Covid emergency on the like of millions and millions of European citizens.

The seminar series European Union: A Political Journey basically asks the question as to whether the European Union has the ability to withstand these challenges and set a clear roadmap for the Union in years to come.  Speakers at the series will include Emma Bonino, one of the strongest advocates of the European project and herself a European Commissioner between 1994 and 1999 as well as four major scholars in the field of European Studies: Sophie Heine (Oxford University), Cetta Mainwaring (Glasgow University), Jerome Creel (Ecole Superieure du Commerce in Paris) and Simon Usherwood (Surrey University).  All College students are warmly invited to attend the events of this seminar series.

Seminars will be held online due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic at 11.00 am on November 3rd, 10th, 12th adn 17th. The poster of the series can be downloaded here.

The links for connecting to the seminars via zoom are below.  Further information about the seminar series can be found on the relevant seminar pages accessible from the Seminars/Colloquia page of the College website. The webcasts of each seminar will be uploaded on the seminar pages for students unable to attend the seminars live on the above dates.

E Bonino and S Heine, 3rd November at 11.00 am
European Union is our destiny. Populism is the worst enemy this vision (1)  &
European federalism at a cross road: Why we need to rethink federalism around the idea of sovereignty (2)
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqce6hrDwiHtQF720qSvVyQLQPYIWE6WqJ

C Mainwaring, 10th November at 11.00 am
Constructing “Europe”: Reflections from the Mediterranean
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUofumpqzwpH9FgQKEr_VOZxA5uuMwLYEcA

J Creel, November 12th at 11.00 am
Convergence in the euro area and the consequences of Covid-19 crisis
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocO-qpzIvHdTpHvGrPen-B1Mkos-DBafS

S Usherwood, 17th November at 11.00 am
Where next for EU-UK relations ?
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqcu6hrjkpGNN84UBRtQHFBrnuB98-Ioq1

European Union is our destiny. Populism is the worst enemy this vision (1) & Why we need to rethink federalism around the idea of sovereignty (2)

3rd November 2020.  Emma Bonino & Sophie Heine.

European Union is our destiny. Populism is the worst enemy this vision (1)
European federalism at a cross road: Why we need to rethink federalism around the idea of sovereignty (2)

On the 3rd of November Emma Bonino, member of the Italian Senate and former European Commissione and author and consultant Sophie Heine, will give a double seminar  at 11.00 am on key issues facing the European Union (populism, sovereignism, the limits of federaslim, etc). The seminars will be given online due to current restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This doublel seminar is the first of four events that address the recent challenges that the European Union is tackling from a resurgent wave of national political sentiments and agendas,  the migrant crisis, the Covid pandemics, etc.  The lecture series entitled European Union: A Political Journey has been organised by College undergraduate L Ferrero (Political Science, Yr 2) who also acts as the Volta representative for Acersat, the office of the University of Pavia that acts in support of a number of student's cultural and events. All College students are warmly invited to attend the events of this seminar series.

The poster of the series can be downloaded here.

The link to access the seminar by Emma Bonino and Sophie Heine via zoom is:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqce6hrDwiHtQF720qSvVyQLQPYIWE6WqJ.

The College will post a link on this page to the seminar webcast for students unable to attend the seminars live at 11.00 am on November 3rd.

_______________________

E Bonino

Abstract

The idea of a United States of Europe means a different Europe from the IMPERFECT one we already have, still paralysed by the criss-crossing vetoes by the member states that are slowing down the progress of deeper integration. Building on the existing one, we want to go forward making the EU stronger, more democratic, and able to face the challenges that can only be overcome if we stay together. Populism – usually going hand in hand with nationalism – aims to delegitimize the building of a new Europe, forgetting for example that today Europe has the most advanced level of social and health care and attention to the environment.

Biography
Emma Bonino is a member of the Italian Senate and was elected to Senate as a member of a cross political movement known as More Europe. She served as the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2013 and 2014, was deputy chair of the Italian Senate from 2008 and 2013 and was Minister for International Trade and European Affairs. First elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1976, she served either in the Italian or in the European Parliament continuously since then, except between 1994 and 1999 when she took the role of European Commissioner. In the years 1994 to 1999 she confronted the dissolution of former Yugoslavia and the humanitarian crisis that results from the conflict. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at the International Crisis Group (ICR), a co-chair of the council of Foreign Relations (ECFR ) and an active Member of the Radical Party.

_______________________

Sophie Heine

Abstract
At a time when the European Union is increasingly criticised and exposed to fragmentation, pro Europeans need to build a coherent and convincing alternative project. defending the statu quo is no longer sufficient to resist anti European forces. European federalism should be deeply rethought and refurbished. In that respect, European sovereignty can constitute a concept, as long as it is combined with democratic and liberal principles.

Biography
Sophie Heine holds a bachelor degree in Politics, a master in European Studies, a master in international Relations and a PhD from the Institute for European Studies (Universite Libre de Bruxelles) that she accomplished with a scholarship from the Belgian Fund For Scientific Research- FNRS. She then did a post-doctoral research at Balliol College (Oxford University) partly funded by the Wiener-Anspach Foundation, before teaching for a year modules on European politics and International Politics at Queen Mary, University of London. In 2014, she became involved in the movement Stand Up for Europe by contributing to launching the movement and running for the European elections. She then became a Senior Research Fellow for the Egmont institute in Brussels and worked part time for Stand Up for Europe as its secretary General. Since 2016, she has been back as a research associate at Oxford University (Department for Politics and International relations), a freelance author and consultant as well as a dance teacher and choreographer. Sophie Heine has published numerous articles and several books on a variety of topic (Populism and Euroscepticism, Progressive ideologies, Left-wing movements and parties, liberalism and individual freedom, gender-related injustices, European federalism and sovereignty). Her most recent book, "For a sovereign Europe", has been published last November by Peter Lang (Oxford).
Web page: https://sophieheinefoodforthought.food.blog/.

 

 

News from the Aurora-verse delivered by NMR spectroscopy

14h September 2020.  Mark Pfuhl, King's College London.

News from the Aurora-verse delivered by NMR spectroscopy


On the 14th of September Mark Pfuhl of King's College London will give a talk on News from the Aurora-verse delivered by NMR spectroscopy at 5.00 pm. The seminar will be deliverd online due to current restrictions on access to lecture theatres and the link for access is found on the seminar poster that can be downloaded here. All College students are invited to attend, especially those reading Medicine, Biology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Abstract
Aurora-A kinase is an important regulator of the cell cycle and many other processes beyond. It also plays an important role in cancer so that it has become an important drug target. However, the success of Aurora-A targeted drugs at present is rather mixed so that a better understanding of this complex enzyme is required. Aurora-A is an unusual kinase that lacks a canonical on-off switch and its activity can be regulated by a combination of interactions with a plethora of accessory proteins and phosphorylation on multiple sites. I will present how NMR spectroscopy has been used in my group over the past years to make important contributions to better understand this enigmatic protein and its partners. This will include the redefinition of the domain architecture of the XMAP215 family (1), structure determination of a novel cryptic TOG domain (1,2) and its partner 4/5 helix domain (1,4), studies of conformation and interactions of small fragments of TACC3 with Aurora-A kinase (3,5), early stages of the development of novel anti-cancer drugs and a first glimpse of the conformation of the overlooked N-terminus of Aurora-A kinase.

Biography
Mark Pfuhl was born in Berlin where he went to school and where he initially studied Chemistry at the Technische Universität before moving on to Biochemistry at the Freie Universität. After graduating there in 1991 he moved to EMBL Heidelberg where he did his PhD in the group of A Pastore using NMR to determine the first structures of domains of the giant muscle proteins Nebulin and Titin. He finished his PhD in 1995 and - after a brief stint at the Université de Haute Normandie with F Toma in early 1996 - he moved to London on an EMBO long term post doc fellowship to work with P Driscoll at UCL. In 1998 he obtained a Royal Society University Research Fellowship for independent research at UCL. In 2001 he moved to the University of Leicester where he held a Lectureship in addition to his fellowship. In 2010 he returned to London to hold a Readership in cardiovascular structural biology in the then Randall Division of molecular and cellular biophysics. His main scientific interests are the regulation of muscle and kinase function which he studies using mainly NMR spectroscopy supported by other biochemical and biophysical methods.

References
1) “Coordination of adjacent domains mediates TACC3–ch-TOG–clathrin assembly and mitotic spindle binding”, FE Hood, SJ Williams, SG Burgess, MW Richards, D Roth, A Straube, M Pfuhl, R Bayliss, SJ Royle, J. Cell Biol. 202, 463-478, 2013
(2) “Solution NMR assignment of the cryptic sixth TOG domain of mini spindles”, SG Burgess, R Bayliss, M Pfuhl, Biomol. NMR Assign. 9, 1-3, 2015
(3) “Aurora-A dependent control of TACC3 determines the rate of mitotic spindle assembly”, SG Burgess, I Peset, N Joseph, T Cavezza, I Vernos, M Pfuhl, F Gergely, R Bayliss, PLoS Genet 11, 212-221, 2015
(4) “Solution NMR assignment of the C-terminal domain of human chTOG”, E Rostkova, SG Burgess, R Bayliss, M Pfuhl, Biomol. NMR Assign. 22, 604-606, 2018
(5) “Mitotic spindle association of TACC3 requires Aurora-A-dependent stabilization of a cryptic a-helix”, SG Burgess, M Mukherjee, S Sabir, N Joseph, C Gutiérrez-Caballero, MW Richards, N Huguenin-Dezot, JW Chin, EJ Kennedy, M Pfuhl, SJ Royle, F Gergely, R Bayliss, EMBO J. 37, 720-731, 2018

 

 

Saturday, 29 August 2020 14:05

Back on Track

For a few months the Volta website has been silent as much of the communication between the College and its students took place by internal emails.

The Covid-19 pandemic affected our College as it affect other Colleges in Pavia and other Collegiate Universities.  But two points clearly emerged from the crisis caused by the SARS Cov-2 virus:

(i)   Many Volta students elected to stay in College throughout the lockdown months. Although the College does not have the full data from other Colleges in Pavia it is clear that the occupancy of Volta throughout lockdown has been one of the highest if not the highest across University. And fortunately no Volta student has been infected by the virus or at least not in a recognisable, symptomatic way.

(ii) Volta made the point that teaching ought to continue throughout lockdown and College is indebted and very grateful to the following students (listed alphabetically): A Barone, G Burini, M Freiherr von Wangenheim, V Mangiaterra, S Merlini. D Nodari, O Najlani, I Rosignoli and the following external students or post-doctoral fellows (in alphabetical order): S Burgess, S Fofou Fotchi, P Minerba (a Volta alumnus), M Musci, E Naldi and I Rossinelli.

Together these students and post docs delivered 168 hours of Course material and 264 of supervisions, the majority of which was offered online, often with the help of graphic tables and unquestionably the teaching that College carried out notwithstanding Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown contributed in a major way to the strong academic results achieved by the members of Volta by the end of July deadline and to be presented at the General Assembly that will take place early in October.

Volta and its members sincerely hope that the worst of the SARS Cov-2 may now be over but the College will maintain the strictest vigilance and enforce tight discipline in order to try and keep the virus outside the College boundaries and enable our students to have a safe and productive 2020/21 academic year at Volta. 

 



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