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Cells: A Genetic Blueprint or Molecular Machines?

  • Night Shift Brewing 87 Santilli Highway Everett, MA, 02149 United States (map)

A live recording with our friends at GLiMPSE Podcast! GLiMPSE coproducers Tim and Max will interview two cell biology experts to decide what determines the fate of our cells and therefore our bodies. Is it control over the genome to turn on and off genes? Or is it the molecular machines that carry out every action inside the cell? Come hear them fight it out, ask your own questions, and be part of a live podcast recording!

Note: this is a 21+ event.

Dr Iain Cheeseman

Professor of Biology, MIT

How cells build and control molecular machines

For their core functions, cells must be able to divide, move, grow, and conduct numerous additional activities. To achieve this, cells assemble molecular machines composed of dozens of different proteins. Our work is focused on how these cellular machines are assembled and controlled, and how the functions of the individual parts are integrated to create emergent properties.


Dr Salil Garg (he/him)

Clinical Investigator, MIT

Taming the noise: How biology creates complex structures from randomness

We all start from one cell, formed when egg meets sperm. But how does this one cell know how to make a whole animal? In mammals, the earliest development happens independent of the host - so much so that it even works in a dish, making in vitro fertilization possible. My group studies how evolution has learned to take advantage of random, chance events and organize them into something coherent, including monkeys like us. Sadly, cancer may be the price we pay for this remarkable ability.

This event will be moderated by Tim and Max from the GLiMPSE podcast!

Tim Fessenden is a co-producer and social media coordinator at GLiMPSE podcast. He loves meeting researchers across different academic fields at MIT and the broad concepts that they share. In the lab, Tim studies immune cell migration into and out of tumors using live microscopy as a postdoc in Stefani Spranger’s group. Outside of the lab, you can find him rowing on the Charles, enjoying a beer, or biking around Boston.

Max Robinson is a co-producer at GLiMPSE podcast. He applies his curiosity to understand big problems and probe for meaningful solutions. As a postdoc in Karen Gleason’s lab, Max pairs nanoscale polymer films and machine learning for early disease diagnosis of high-value agricultural crops. If he’s not poring over a new book or in a spirited discussion, you can find him exploring the city on a long run or perhaps climbing multi-colored plastic rocks.

Event information:

  • Doors open at 6:30pm, and our event kicks off at 6:45pm.

  • Ticket costs are a donation to our non-profit Scientists Inc., thank you for contributing the science outreach in your area!

  • No cash will be accepted at the door, so be sure to buy ahead of time or bring your debit or credit card with you!

  • In the event of any last-minute event cancellations, we will post an announcement on our webpage, Facebook, and Twitter.

  • If you are interested in volunteering for any of our events, please email us at

Earlier Event: April 22
Earth Day: Fixing the Planet!
Later Event: April 24
Have another helping of Science