MPSDC to host Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics 2014

Continuing with our successful annual meetings and workshops over the past three years, the Membrane Protein Structural Dynamics Consortium (MPSDC) announces the second Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics meeting in 2014. The meeting, which will take place in the Chicago Hilton Hotel in the downtown Chicago loop area, is open to the public and will be our most extensive meeting to date.

Like our first Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics meeting in 2012, the conference will consist of scientific sessions and poster presentations, and feature both Consortium members and external invitees. Unlike in previous years, however, Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics 2014 will span three days of scientific discussion, organized into eight sessions covering topics at the edge of current developments in membrane protein structure, dynamics and function.

Additionally, we are thrilled to announce that Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics 2014 will feature two keynote speakers. On May 7th, the meeting will be inaugurated by Dr. Robert Stroud, Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California at San Francisco. Then, on May 9th, Dr. Klaus Schulten, Swanlund Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an active participant in the Consortium’s own Computational Modeling Core, will close the conference. Both Stroud and Schulten are renowned experts at the vanguard of membrane protein dynamics and their unique insights on the contemporary state of the scientific field will significantly enhance our discussions. Read more about Drs. Stroud and Schulten »

Last year’s annual meeting.
Click photo to enlarge.

Finally, we count a stellar roster of speakers covering a broad range of topics and techniques. A preliminary speaker list can be found here »

Up-to-date information about Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics 2014, can be found at a stand-alone website portal dedicated exclusively to this meeting. In addition to hosting a registration form (mandatory for MPSDC members), we have included information about sponsorship opportunities, abstract submissions, a tentative program, Hilton Hotel room rates, and general information about the Chicago area to boot.

A registration fee schedule, based on Consortium affiliation, has been posted to the website. Upon registration, you will be redirected to an e-commerce gateway where payment for the meeting should be posted.

We invite you to visit the Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics 2014 website, and let us know what you think! Please stay posted as we will be releasing more information to the website soon.

Visit the 2014 Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics website »

MPSDC Protein Expression/Purification core adds two scientists to the team

We are pleased to announce that Drs. Francis Valiyaveetil and Andrzej Rajca and their research teams have officially joined the Consortium. Valiyaveetil and Rajca began their collaborations with the MPSDC as Associate Members, and are now participating as active members of the Membrane Protein Expression/Purification Core.

Dr. Francis Valiyaveetil is Assistant Professor of Physiology & Pharmacology at Oregon Health & Science University. The Valiyaveetil lab studies potassium channels, which are integral membrane proteins that catalyze the selective conduction of K ions across biological membranes. While a great deal of research has been focused on these channels, fundamental questions regarding the mechanism of ionic selectivity and gating remain. Valiyaveetil”s team has developed a unique combination of methods to address these questions. Their methods include the use of chemical synthesis to introduce precise chemical changes in the channels, x-ray crystallography to determine the structural effects and electrophysiology to determine the functional effects of these changes. Using this multidisciplinary approach they hope to explain the mechanism of ion selectivity and channel gating.

Dr. Andrzej Rajca is Charles Bessey Professor of Chemistry at University of Nebraska. The Rajca laboratory research interests lie in the area of organic and biomaterials chemistry. The underlying theme of the laboratory”s mobgames research is rational design and synthesis of new materials (molecules and polymers) with magnetic and optical properties. Rational design of new structures and materials (molecules and polymers) with targeted properties are implemented using the tools of organic synthesis, crystallography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR and EPR) and imaging (MRI), as well as magnetometry (SQUID), circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy and multiangle light scattering (MALS).

According to Robert Nakamoto, PI of the Protein core, Rajca and Valiyaveetil will play a pivotal role in the core”s ongoing research activities: “Andrzej Rajca provides expertise in organic synthesis of nitroxide-containing compounds, and Frances Valiyaveetil is developing in vitro methods for synthesis and folding of membranous polypeptides. These investigators are collaborating with Protein Core members to develop methods for incorporation of spectroscopic labels directly into target proteins.”

Welcome, Andrzej and Francis!

2014 Meeting keynote lectures and tentative program announced

We are happy to present two keynote speakers for next year’s Frontiers in Membrane Protein Dynamics conference:

Our first speaker is Robert Stroud, Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California at San Francisco. At the Stroud lab, scientists seek to understand molecular mechanisms of certain key biological processes, as well as signal transduction between processes at the level of protein structure, dynamics, and mechanism. In addition to his posting at UCSF, Dr. Stroud is also the director of the Membrane Protein Expression Center, one of the centers funded by the NIH Common Fund Structural Biology Program. The MPEH develops and applies the latest innovative methods yielding structurally and functionally intact eukaryotic membrane proteins for drug development, and structural and functional characterization.

Our second keynote speaker is one of our very own Consortium members: Klaus Schulten, Swanlund Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Professor Schulten is a full-time faculty member in the Beckman Institute and directs the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group. His professional interests are theoretical physics and theoretical biology. His current research focuses on the structure and function of supramolecular systems in the living cell, and on the development of non-equilibrium statistical mechanical descriptions and efficient computing tools for structural biology. Professor Schulten is a leader in the field of computational biophysics, having devoted over 40 years to establishing the physical mechanisms underlying processes and organization in living systems from the atomic to the organism scale. Schulten is a strong proponent of the use of simulations as a “computational microscope”, to augment experimental research, and to lead to discoveries that could not be made through experiments so far. The molecular dynamics and structure analysis programs NAMD and VMD, born and continuously developed in his group, are used today by many thousands of researchers across the world.

Read more »

Video feature: Behind the scenes in Emad Tajkhorshid’s laboratory

We are delighted to share with you the latest episode of our Behind the Scenes series. Within this series, we explore the inner workings of the Consortium with a camera in hand, dedicating to showing you what takes place within the laboratory setting and outside of it.

For our second feature, we present the following video feature of Emad Tajkhorshid, an active participant in the Consortium’s Computational Modeling Core and the Structural Dynamics of ABC Transporter and Conformational Dynamics in the CLC Channel/Transporter Family projects. We sat down with Emad and asked him about his work with computational modeling, how his laboratory collaborates with other entities within the Consortium, and how he views the role of the Consortium within the broader scientific community. Let us know what you think in the comments!

MPSDC Director to give plenary lecture at 2014 International Biophysics Congress

The 2014 International Biophysics Congress, which is taking place in Brisbane, Australia this year, will have the pleasure of hosting none other than MPSDC Director Dr. Eduardo Perozo.

Along with three other scientists, Perozo has been nominated as a plenary speaker for this conference hosted by the Australian Society for Biophysics (ASB) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB).

“IUPAB 2014″ will feature an outstanding scientific program and a stimulating social program. Attending this Congress will be highly scientifically rewarding, as well as a terrific opportunity to visit Australia. The meeting will be held from August 3 – 7, 2014 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Visit the IUPAB 2014 Conference website »

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