New Frontiers lecture series welcomes distinguished chemist, chemical biologist

Feb 9, 2016 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Engineering and Science, Research and Development

Louisiana Tech University will host a presentation by Dr. Wilma K Olson, the Mary I. Bunting Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, on February 15 for the next installment of its 2015-2016 New Frontiers in Biomedical Engineering seminar series.
Dr. Wilma Olson

Dr. Wilma Olson

Olson’s presentation titled, “Insights into Gene Expression and Packaging from Computer Simulation” will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of University Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus. The event is free and members of the campus and local communities are cordially invited to attend.
Within the nucleus of each cell lies DNA – an unfathomably long, twisted and intricately coiled molecule – segments of which make up the genes that provide the instructions that a cell needs to operate. Olson will discuss how a cell stores the genetic information inside the nucleus and how it is complicated by the necessity of maintaining accessibility to DNA for genetic processing.
“The talk will focus on our recent treatment of the communication between proteins attached to precisely constructed stretches of DNA and chromatin,” says Olson. “Our simulations account for the enhancement in communication detected experimentally. The molecular states captured in the simulations offer insights into the ways that the DNA and various proteins contribute to long-range communication along the genome.”
Olson received her doctoral degree from Stanford University (1971), an A.P. Sloan Fellowship (1975-1977), and a J. S. Guggenheim Fellowship (1978-79). She served as vice president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics and as President of the Biophysical Society. Olson is also a Fellow of the Biophysical Society, world-renowned lecturer and researcher with numerous publications, awards and honors.
The New Frontiers in Biomedical Research seminar series is co-organized by Dr. Jamie Newman, the Scott Weathersby Endowed Professor in Zoology and Premedicine and an assistant professor in biological sciences, and Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore, assistant professor of biomedical engineering. The 2015-2016 series will spotlight interdisciplinary collaborations, alumni spotlights and features, and research discussions by renowned guest speakers from across the nation.
Sponsors for the 2015-2016 series include Lincoln Health Foundation, Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science, the College of Applied and Natural Sciences, the Office of the President, Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science, Sigma Xi, and generous donations from members of the community.
Olson’s presentation is sponsored by Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science. All lectures during the series will be recorded and can be accessed through the College of Engineering and Science’s events web page at
For more information on Olson and her presentation, or other events in this year’s New Frontiers in Biomedical Research series, visit