[The Svedberg seminar] – High-throughput biology at the organismal level

January 18, 15:15 – 16:15


The Svedberg Seminar Series
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Online event via Zoom

[The Svedberg seminar] – High-throughput biology at the organismal level

January 18, 2023 @ 15:15 16:15 CET

Jan 18, at 15:15 in BMC, C8:301

Prof. Randall Peterson,
Dean, College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Utah, USA


Randall T. Peterson, PhD is a chemical biologist whose research utilizes high-throughput screening technologies to discover new drug candidates for cardiovascular and nervous system disorders. Unlike conventional drug discovery programs that utilize simplified, in vitro assays, the Peterson lab screens using living zebrafish, ensuring that the drug candidates discovered are active in vivo. Several of the compounds discovered by the Peterson laboratory have become widely used research tools or preclinical drug candidates.

Dr. Peterson received his PhD from Harvard University where he studied as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Stuart Schreiber.  He completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Mark Fishman at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Peterson spent 14 years as a faculty member at Harvard University where he was the Charles Addison and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Chair in Basic Science at Harvard Medical School, Scientific Director of the MGH Cardiovascular Research Center, and Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute.  In 2017 he moved to the University of Utah as L.S. Skaggs Presidential Endowed Professor and Dean of the College of Pharmacy.

Title of the talk: High-throughput biology at the organismal level

The impact of high-throughput technologies on biological research has been remarkable. For example, high-throughput drug screens have revolutionized drug discovery, and high-throughput CRISPR screens are revolutionizing gene discovery. Notably, these techniques have focused almost entirely on simple, in vitro or cell-based assays, leaving untouched organismal processes such as embryonic development, physiology, and animal behavior. These organismal processes are best studied in vivo, and consequently have not been amenable to high-throughput biology. The Peterson lab is focused on applying high-throughput technologies to such organismal processes and is developing methodologies that enable CRISPR screens and small molecule screens to be applied to organismal processes in zebrafish. Recently, we have discovered small molecules and genes with novel activities on the cardiovascular, nervous, and endocrine systems. I will describe how the compounds and genes were discovered, what they have taught us about biology, and how they might find practical or clinical utility.

Host: Marcel den Hoed marcel.den_hoed@igp.uu.se, UU

Last updated: 2023-01-10

Content Responsible: Alice Sollazzo(alice.sollazzo@scilifelab.uu.se)