PULLMAN, Wash. — A Cornell researcher, who is leading the search for a diagnostic test for mad cow disease in live cattle, will discuss his research in a Thursday, March 4, seminar at Washington State University.

The seminar will be from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in Todd Hall, Room 420. Refreshments will be served at 11:30 a.m. in Todd Hall Atrium. 

Kelvin H. Lee, assistant professor in Cornell’s proteomics program and the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, will speak about two ongoing projects in the Cornell laboratory, including the identification of molecular markers for neurodegenerative diseases.

While a reliable test exists for measuring mad cow disease in animals and humans after death, there is no test for live cattle or people. Lee’s group has recently identified a protein as a sensitive molecular marker for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of mad cow disease. The group also recently identified a molecular marker capable of distinguishing the two different varieties of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Lee will also discuss his group’s development of a mathematical model for gene expression at the genome-wide level that may be used to predict protein expression based on measured messenger RNA (Ribonucleic acid) expression. The relationship between changes in gene expression in messenger RNA to the corresponding changes at the protein level is not well understood.

Thursday’s seminar is sponsored by the WSU Department of Chemical Engineering, the School of Molecular Biosciences and the Center for Integrated Biotechnology.