The WILS workshop series is a collaborative effort between the center for proteomics(CFP), the center for molecular biology (CMB) and the center for microscopy and imaging (CMI). We will offer a series of short courses relating to aspects of research in the life sciences. Both lecture-based and hands-on courses will be available.

If you would like to see specific seminar topics offered, please contact the instructor from the appropriate center :

CFP (Kalina Dimova), CMB (Lou Ann Bierwert ), CMI (Judith Wopereis).





Under construction..







* "Introduction to Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy ", February 9th, 2009 and April 6th, 2009
Presented by Judith Wopereis, CMI, Smith College

The laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) eliminates out-of focus light from the imaging process obtaining good quality optical sections available for 3D image construction. In this workshop, designed for people interested in learning how to use the LSCM, components and application of the LSCM were discussed.

  • What is a confocal microscope?
  • Mechanical and optical components of the confocal microscope.
  • Image acquisition.
  • Overview of applications.


* "Using Mass Spectrometry to Identify Proteins", March 6th, 2009
Presented by Dr. Mohini Kulp, CFP, Smith College

The complete proteome has not been sequenced for any organism and researchers hope to identify novel proteins that will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of molecular biology, act as bio-markers that signal disease and provide targets for drug design. In the last ten years or so, the method of choice for protein identification is mass spectrometry.This workshop will cover the techniques available in the Center for Proteomics for the identification of novel proteins. This hands-on workshop included:

  • Running a protein digest on the mass spectrometer.
  • Manual analysis the data obtained from a protein sequencing run to demonstrate the relationship between mass spectra  and  protein sequence.
  • Use of database searching algorithms (such as Sequest) to identify a protein.


* "Development and Evaluation of an RT-PCR Assay for the Stage-Specific Detection of Filarial L3 Larvae in Infective Mosquitoes: An Essential Tool for Monitoring the Success of Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programs", April 17th, 2009
Presented by Sandra Laney (AC '96, Master's '02), Smith College

A presentation of her doctoral thesis research identifying L3-activated genes from two filarial parasites responsible for the tropical disease known as Elephantiasis.   The L3-activated genes were used to develop a diagnostic assay using qRT-PCR to detect the infective stage of the parasite in mosquitoes.  These new assays can be used to evaluate the risk of ongoing transmission in communities that have undergone drug treatments to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.

This is a perfect example showing how a molecular biotechnique such as real-time PCR is applied in the real work (basic research, medical diagnostics).


* "RNA interference: Silencing the Genes", April 14th, 2009
Presented by Dr. Wen Li, CMB, Smith College

RNA interference (RNAi) has made big splash in the last decade.  It is a mechanism that occurs naturally in the cell, by which double stranded (ds) RNA induces gene silencing by targeting complementary mRNA for degradation.  The phenomenon has been utilized as a major tool to knockdown gene expression in research and clinical fields.
The workshop covered:

  • History and discovery
  • Mechanism of RNAi
  • Applications of RNAi
  • Money-making potential of RNAi
  • Tour of the Bio-Rad Biolistic Particle Delivery System, which is an equipment that introduces DNA-coated microcarriers into cells.


* "IP protocols for Mass Spectrometry", March 24th, 2009
Presented by Dr. Mohini Kulp, CFP, Smith College

Samples preparation is a key step in identifying protein interactions using mass spectrometry. Immunoprecipitation (IP) protocols designed for mass spectrometry have to be optimized for purity and the presence of binding partners. The second criteria for successful mass spectrometry analysis are sufficient sample concentration so that you will be able to identify your protein(s) of interest. In this workshop, we will focus on a number of different IP protocols suitable for follow-up analysis by mass spectrometry and identify criteria that are essential for optimization of the protocol.

This workshop is designed for students and/or faculty that are interested in identifying protein interactions with mass spectroscopy.