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Giedroc Lab: Daiana A. Capdevila named 2016 Pew Latin American Fellow


A postdoctoral researcher in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry is one of only 10 scientists named to the 2016 class of Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences, a program of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
A native of Argentina, Daiana A. Capdevila will receive support from the program to spend two years in the lab of Lilly Chemistry Alumni Professor David Giedroc, whose group conducts basic research into the fight against drug-resistant bacterial infection.
Read more about this article at Science at Work here.

Posted 6/9/2016

QCB Trainer Kao receives Johnson Center grant


The Johnson Center for Innovation and Translational Research awarded more than $160,000 in grants to seven researchers at Indiana University Bloomington through the Translational Research Pilot Grant program.
The Johnson Center works with faculty and researchers throughout the IU Bloomington campus to identify discoveries that hold commercial potential. Launched in 2015, the Translational Research Pilot Grant program funds the completion of proof-of-concept projects that will support the development of translational research projects with industry partners and the establishment of new companies or strengthen patent applications based on IU Bloomington discoveries.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 5/23/2016

QCB Trainers Brown, Theilges & Yu receive NSF Career Awards




In a recognition regarded as one of the most prestigious given in support of junior faculty, the National Science Foundation has awarded eight researchers at Indiana University a total of $6.27 million to advance research with applications to areas such as affordable drug development, global climate change, and resilience to terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
The NSF Faculty Early Career Development Awards, known as the NSF CAREER Awards, recognize faculty who "exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research." As an award that supports both research and education, each grant supports cutting-edge research as well as educational activities that benefit students from grade school to the Ph.D. level. All grants are for five years.
M. Kevin Brown, whose funding begins April 1, will receive about $675,000 to conduct research on catalyzing the construction of carbon-carbon bonds, which could advance the ability to synthesize drug molecules with inexpensive non-precious metal catalysts such as copper, lowering the cost of certain drugs. Currently, many drugs on market require expensive precious metals for the preparation of molecules used to treat certain conditions, such as cancer or depression.
Megan Thielges will receive over $966,000 to advance research on the chemical mechanisms that orchestrate protein interactions in cells, focusing on the ways proteins recognize other proteins to which they need to bind.
Although such interactions are crucial to cellular function, they remain notoriously difficult to study since every protein in a cell is a large, complex molecule whose individual interactions take place within a complex and crowded environment. The work will be aided by state-of-the-art methods that allow the placement of "reporter chemicals" at specific locations on proteins, which provides the ability to test how motion at different parts of the molecule affects reaction with binding partners.
Yan Yu, whose grant began Feb. 15, will receive $500,000 to advance research on Janus particles, named for the Roman god with two faces, whose surface possesses two distinct parts with different surface chemistry.
Specifically, the project will investigate Janus particles' ability to enter cells, which could affect their potential as a carrier for multifunctional, programmable drugs. These drugs deliver treatment for multiple symptoms in one package; for example, a single pill that targets cognitive impairment, motor dysfunction and depression in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 3/31/2016

QCB Trainer Yu receives Cottrell Scholar Award


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Yan Yu has been named one of two dozen 2016 Cottrell Scholars, a distinction given to top early career academic scientists by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).
“The Cottrell Scholar program champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy by providing these significant discretionary awards,” said Robert N. Shelton, president and CEO of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, which selected the recipients of its awards based on their innovative research proposals and education programs.
More information on this year’s winners can be obtained here.

Posted 3/28/2016

QCB Trainer Bochman helps craft brewers' sour beer production

Wild Saccharomyces cerevisiae from Upland's "Sky" sampling site.

Indiana University researchers have found that conditions common in the production of certain types of craft beers can inhibit the successful production of these brews, risking a growing segment of an industry whose economic impact was recently estimated at $55 billion.
The conditions, the primary of which is high acidity, threaten yeasts typically used in the production of sour beers, one of the fastest-growing segments of the craft beer industry. The work, which appears in the journal Food Microbiology, also reports a method to overcome the condition, dubbed "terminal acid shock."
The lead author on the paper is Matthew Bochman, an assistant professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and a craft brewing consultant. The research was conducted in collaboration with Upland Brewing Co., a small craft brewery based in Bloomington, Ind.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 3/21/2016

QCB Trainer Douglas group creates 'nano-reactor' for the production of hydrogen biofuel

An artist's rendering of P22-Hyd, a new biomaterial created by encapsulating a hydrogen-producing enzyme within a virus shell.

Scientists at Indiana University have created a highly efficient biomaterial that catalyzes the formation of hydrogen -- one half of the "holy grail" of splitting H2O to make hydrogen and oxygen for fueling cheap and efficient cars that run on water.
A modified enzyme that gains strength from being protected within the protein shell -- or "capsid" -- of a bacterial virus, this new material is 150 times more efficient than the unaltered form of the enzyme.
The process of creating the material was recently reported in "Self-assembling biomolecular catalysts for hydrogen production" in the journal Nature Chemistry.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 1/4/2016

QCB Trainer Ortoleva part of team to study self-assembling molecules, software for next-generation materials

The ring-shaped macromolecule tricarbazolo triazolophane, or "tricarb," self-assembles into highly organized, multilayered patterns.

The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.2 million to three research groups at Indiana University to advance research on self-assembling molecules and computer-aided design software required to create the next generation of solar cells, circuits, sensors and other technology.
This interdisciplinary team in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry is led by Amar Flood, Steven Tait and Peter Ortoleva in collaboration with Mu-Hyun Baik of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, who previously served at IU.
Designing new materials at the molecular level is a key goal of the U.S. government's Materials Genome Initiative, a project launched in 2011 to reduce the cost, and speed the creation, of these materials. As recipients of funds from the NSF's Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer Our Future program, the IU scientists will contribute to this national initiative.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 12/1/2015

QCB Trainer DiMarchi elected as a member of National Academy of Medicine


Indiana University Distinguished Professor Richard D. DiMarchi, one of the world's leading peptide chemists, has been elected as a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine, becoming the 10th IU faculty member to join the organization and the first on the IU Bloomington campus.
Election to the National Academy of Medicine, previously known as the Institute of Medicine, is considered one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 10/19/2015

QCB Trainer Ortoleva receives Grant Linking University-Wide Expertise Award


The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute recently selected three projects to receive $200,000 each in funding for the next two years through the IU Grant Linking University-Wide Expertise Awards. The three projects address issues in psychological and brain sciences and chemistry.
Peter Ortoleva, distinguished professor in physical chemistry and chemical biology at IU Bloomington will conduct a study titled, “Integrated Computational and Laboratory Approach for the Efficient Discovery of Antiviral Vaccines.” Through this study, an integrated program of computational and experimental methods will be developed to facilitate the discovery of vaccines that protect against viral infections. Co-investigators include Aaron Ermel, M.D. and Darron Brown, M.D. of the IU School of Medicine.
Read more about this article at the IUSM Newsroom here.

Posted 9/14/2015

Winkler Lab: QCB Trainee Perez wins best poster at conference


Amilcar Perez (Winkler Lab) won a best poster award for graduate students for his work on functional and genetic relationships of essential cell division proteins in Stretptococcus pneumoniae at the annual Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference (MMPC) held in Indianapolis from August 28-30, 2015, and attended by over 260 scientists.

Posted 8/31/2015

QCB Trainer Cook receives Amgen Young Investigator Award


Professor Silas Cook has been selected as a 2015 winner of the Amgen Young Investigators Award. This prestigious prize is given in recognition of young researchers whose scientific contributions significantly impact the field of drug discovery. Professor Cook will be honored at the 13th annual Amgen Young Investigators Symposium and Award Ceremony in October of this year in addition to the receipt of an unrestricted cash award.

Posted 8/26/2015

QCB Trainer Bell elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology


Two Indiana University scientists have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group of the American Society for Microbiology. It is a major honor for scientists in the field.
Stephen D. Bell, a professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, and David M. Kehoe, a professor in the Department of Biology, will join a select number of their peers in the society
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 5/7/2015

Kao Lab: Emma Winkler received the Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award


Indiana University Bloomington recognized students for exceptional achievement during the annual Founders Day Honors Convocation, one of the traditional activities that mark the celebration of IU's founding in 1820.
Several dozen students were accorded special recognition during the event for receiving university awards for scholarship, leadership and service and for earning nationally competitive scholarships and honors. Also honored were approximately 4,100 Founders Scholars, the campus's most academically distinguished undergraduates, who have earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8 or higher.
Senior Wells Scholar Emma Winkler, a Barry Goldwater Scholar, was the student speaker at the event. The evening before, Winkler received the Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award at the annual Wells banquet.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 5/5/2015

QCB Trainers Baker & Bochman receive IU Collaborative Research Grants



Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José has announced over $1 million in collaborative research grants to be shared among 15 newly formed research teams. Members of the teams represent 21 departments from eight schools on three IU campuses.
“The idea behind the program was to create incentives for researchers to initiate new collaborations to address important problems in transformative ways,” José said. “While we can fund only about 15 percent of the applications, just the process of preparing applications has created some new partnerships across the university. The program has been a success so far, and we believe it will continue to be in the future.”
Single Cell Studies With Scanning Sniffer Patch Microscopy Lane Allen Baker, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; and Theodore Cummins, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine.
Mechanism of the Regulation of DNA Replication by PIF1 Family Helicases Matthew L. Bochman, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; Yuichiro Takagi, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine; and Amber Mosley, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 4/27/2015

Brun Lab: Radhika Agarwal receives Provost Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity


Six Indiana University Bloomington students have been chosen to receive the Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. The award recognizes undergraduates who collaborate on or spearhead excellent or original academic work.
Recipients of the 2014-15 awards are Radhika Agarwal, in the category of Natural and Mathematical Sciences; Rachel Cooper and Neil Craney, Professional Inquiry; Ryan Galloway, Creative and Performing Arts; Jordan Goodmon, Humanities; and Gabrielle Malina, Social and Applied Sciences.
Radhika Agarwal, from Carmel, Ind., is a senior majoring in biochemistry and biology. Her career goals include conducting research in bacterial antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation and teaching medical students. Her mentor is Yves Brun, Clyde Culbertson Professor of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 4/21/2015

QCB Trainer Brown awarded Sloan Research Fellowship


Indiana University Bloomington chemist M. Kevin Brown has been awarded a 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today.
The Sloan fellowships, awarded every year since 1955, honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements suggest they will be among the next generation of scientific leaders.
He is one of 126 researchers and scholars from 57 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada to be named Sloan Research Fellows this year. Fellows receive $50,000 to further their research.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/23/2015

QCB Trainers Brun, VanNieuwenhze & Winkler receive NIH R01 Multiple PI award

Regions of active cell wall synthesis shown by high-resolution imaging of the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae. Long-term labeling is revealed with blue FDAA and short-time labeling with red FDAA.

The alarming increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses health and economic threats worldwide, with more than 2 million Americans infected by the bacteria each year. Now, a team of Indiana University chemists and biologists has been awarded a major grant to develop and use a chemical tagging method to better understand how bacteria build their cell wall, which is still the best target for new antibiotics.
About two years ago, an IU team led by chemist Michael VanNieuwenhze and microbiologist Yves Brun discovered what they saw as a new weapon in the arms race against antibiotic-resistant bacteria: a nanoscale, fluorescent chemical probe that pinpoints where bacterial cells build their peptidoglycan, the mesh-like polymer that provides shape and strength to cell walls.
Now the National Institutes of Health has agreed with their assessment and awarded them $3.3 million to form a team with four other IU chemists and biologists who plan to improve upon their method of exploring the dynamics of the peptidoglycan building process.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/9/2015

QCB Trainer McKinlay's lab partner bacterium with nitrogen gas to produce more, cleaner bioethanol

Biomass being crushed using liquid nitrogen causes ice to form outside the bowl. The researchers later realized that crushing the biomass in these conditions was unnecessary.

Indiana University biologists believe they have found a faster, cheaper and cleaner way to increase bioethanol production by using nitrogen gas, the most abundant gas in Earth’s atmosphere, in place of more costly industrial fertilizers. The discovery could save the industry millions of dollars and make cellulosic ethanol – made from wood, grasses and inedible parts of plants – more competitive with corn ethanol and gasoline.
The raw materials for cellulosic ethanol are low in nitrogen, a nutrient required for ethanol-producing microbes to grow, so cellulosic ethanol producers are estimated to spend millions of dollars annually on nitrogen fertilizers like corn steep liquor and diammonium phosphate. But an IU team led by biologist James B. McKinlay has found that the bioethanol-producing bacterium Zymomonas mobilis can use nitrogen gas (N2) as a nitrogen source, something that the more traditional ethanol-producer, baker’s yeast, cannot do.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/2/2015