Discovery and Impact Symposium Series

Discovery and Impact Symposium Series

Join us: Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 1:00pm – 2:15pm

Introducing the Discovery and Impact Symposium, a monthly series where University of Oregon and Thermo Fisher Scientific researchers will shed light on new understanding and innovations in the biosciences and their potential impact in the world. This series will increase scientific interactions between UO and Thermo Fisher, foster greater partnerships, and provide insights into technologies, materials, and techniques that could further each organizations’ mission to advance society and contribute to a healthier, cleaner, and safer world.

The symposium kicks-off on Wednesday, February 24, with presentations by Dr. Mike Pluth and Dr. Leticia Montoya. It will then continue on the third Wednesday of each month. We hope you can join us!

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Chemical Tools for Investigating Reactive Sulfur Species in Biological Systems

Dr. Mike Pluth
Professor, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Bioinorganic Chemistry

Reactive sulfur species play key physiological and pathological roles in biology. This presentation will focus on recent advances from our lab aimed at developing responsive chemical tools for advancing our understanding of different reactive sulfur species.

Mike Pluth received his B.S. in chemistry and math from the University of Oregon in 2004, his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2008, and was a postdoc at MIT from 2008-2011. In 2011, Mike joined the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UO as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016 and Professor in 2020. He is a Member of the Materials Science Institute, a Faculty Associate of the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, and an Associate Member of the Institute of Molecular Biology. His research interests are thematically based on different aspects of molecular recognition at the interface of bioorganic and bioinorganic chemistry. Much of his lab focuses on developing chemical tools for investigating the roles of reactive sulfur species in biological systems.

mike pluth

Simultaneous Assessment of RNA and Protein Expression in Single Cells for In-Depth Characterization of Cellular Sub-Populations

Leticia Montoya
Chemical Biologist, Thermo Fisher

The visualization of biomarkers in cells is a valuable approach for understanding the roles of biological networks in health and disease states. Simultaneous detection of proteins and RNA within the same sample reveals information about heterogeneity in RNA and protein expression, quantification, and subcellular localization at the single-cell level. This talk will describe a novel in situ hybridization (ISH) assay which utilizes a branched DNA amplification technique for the detection of single-copy mRNA along with protein expression. Applications, using this ISH assay, that will be highlighted in this talk include mRNA knockdown measurements, trafficking of viral genes, biomarker validation, and more.

Leticia Montoya is a chemical biologist, with a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Oregon, currently serving as an R&D Scientist in the Protein and Cell Analysis group with Thermo Fisher Scientific. Dr. Montoya serves as a technical lead for various projects aimed at developing new reagents and assays for the detection of cellular targets and functional studies in cells using flow cytometry, microplate readers, and cell imaging platforms. Dr. Montoya is an active member of the Scientist-to-Scientist program at Thermo Fisher Scientific where she has presented multiple seminars and workshops on single-cell analysis and solution-based reagents to educate the scientific community. She also interacts with customers on a personal level to help execute and troubleshoot experiments. Furthermore, she co-leads the Women’s Employee Resource Group at the Eugene site where she has overseen multiple initiatives to promote employee achievements, advancements, and raise awareness about women’s equality.


leticia montoya


Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Marian Hettiaratchi
Assistant Professor, Knight Campus

Schuyler Corry
Staff Scientist in Chemistry, Thermo Fisher