Putting Together a Puzzle Without a Picture

Willamette University, in cooperation with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, presents “Putting Together a Puzzle Without a Picture” by Associate Professor of Chemistry Sarah Kirk, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Brown’s Towne Lounge. Admission is free.

With the increased use and frequent misuse of antibiotics, there is a growing concern about the rise of drug-resistant strains of bacteria and other pathogens. Many drug discoveries have happened by accident, such as through chance observation or through scientific analysis of folk remedies. Often those broad-spectrum drugs can lead to negative side effects or drug resistance.

But that is changing. Sarah Kirk and her research group focus on designing medications that target specific receptors in the body for distinct purposes, a process known as "rational drug design." They work to understand relationships among drugs’ molecular structures, interactions with the body's receptors and therapeutic results. At this Science Pub, learn about discovering the size and shape of the receptors, designing drugs to fit them and how all the pieces must be put together like a puzzle.

The purpose of Science Pub is to learn about cutting-edge topics from leading researchers and scientists. Instead of a remote speaker behind a distant podium, experience an informal atmosphere where you can interact with experts and where there is no such thing as a silly question.

Brown's Towne Lounge is open to adults 21 and over, and it is in the heart of downtown Salem at 189 Liberty St. NE. Science Pub is free, so arrive early to ensure you get a seat.