Join Us At ENC 2018

59th Experimental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Conference

April 29 - May 4, 2018

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, Florida

Come visit us at Exhibitor Booth 202

Download Our Special Edition ENC 2018 Catalog

 

As a supporter of the ENC conference for many years Norell, Inc. is giving back to the community in a substantial way for 2018.

We are proud to announce that this year, we are funding 25 student stipends for the 2018 ENC in Orlando, Florida. Check out some of the research that these students are doing below!

Nazanin Mosavian - University of New Mexico

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

My current research focuses on developing a new type of magnetic resonance sensor that uses laser interrogation of diamond to detect the type and behavior of complex molecules in their natural environment without altering the analyte. The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) sensor uses a diamond chip in a picoliter (pL) solution. The NMR detection sensitivity depends on the number of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers that are located close enough to the diamond surface to sense external spins. Our motivation is to assist in monitoring drug delivery and early diagnosis of cancer.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I obtained my bachelor's degree in solid-states physics, and my MSc in medical physics. My master's thesis was on surface plasmon resonance based biosensors with biological and medical applications. I joined Victor Acosta's lab to pursue my PhD degree in Optical Science and Engineering at University of New Mexico, working on nanophotonic magnetic resonance bio/chemical sensors using nitrogen vacancy centers in diamond.

Fatema Bhinderwala - University of Nebraska Lincoln

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

My thesis research focuses on NMR-based metabolomics work to understand a few different biological systems. Along with some wonderful collaborators I have got the opportunity to work on understanding cellular communication in Pancreatic Cancer model, nitrogen metabolism in resistant Staphylococcus aureus to name a couple. Another aspect of my research work is to identify metabolite level biomarkers for early stage Multiple Sclerosis in different biofluids like urine and cerebrospinal fluid. This work has lead me to continue to develop paper-based devices for metabolite identification. All in all my work is targeted towards using NMR to better human disease management. Why I do what I do? I always had an intent to learn, to discover and analyze, more for the process of finding things out. The joy in finding things out is what keeps me going. NMR and metabolomics have been an interesting adventure for me so far. I am intrigued by NMR spectroscopy and see my self as a researcher in the field for a long time.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a young and zealous student. I was born and raised in Mumbai, India. I obtained a bachelors degree from Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai India. The atmosphere at the university was that of research, everyone from faculty to students wanted to contribute to the world through research. I was bitten by the research bug and applied to university across the world to get a Doctoral Position. As a second girl child from a lower middle class family, my parents, who never went to college, were apprehensive about this adventure I had dreamed up. I hope I have done them proud. I am excited to be a part of Dr. Robert Powers group at University of Nebraska Lincoln. I look forward to obtaining a postdoctoral position in the future and continue my academic journey.

Ghoncheh Amouzandeh - Florida State University

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

My PhD project is on magnetic resonance electrical property tomography (MREPT) at 21.1 T, which is the strongest pre-clinical MRI magnet in the world. In MREPT, electrical properties of the sample such as conductivity can be determined from electromagnetic interaction between the B1 field and the sample using convention MRI sequences. I have investigated the feasibility and error percentage of different conductivity mapping approaches at ultra-high field using phantoms with known conductivity values. I have been passionate about developing this technique because imaging tissue conductivity can be used as an additional diagnostic parameter, e.g. in tumor diagnosis. Improving the accuracy and precision of this technique can significantly increase its application in clinical studies.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a PhD student in physics at Florida State University. As a graduate research assistant at National High Magnetic Lab, I work on magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy projects as well as MRI/NMR coil design and characterization. I am an international student and received my BS in physics from Tehran University in Iran. I really enjoy learning and working in the interdisciplinary area between physics, biomedical and RF engineering.

Paris Ning - University of Toronto

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

My research focuses on the development and application of comprehensive multiphase NMR. It allows for analyses of multiphase samples in their intact forms. It can differentiate components in difference phases and study the interaction on solid-liquid interface. It opens doors to better understanding of environmental processes and natural samples in a holistic way, without any perturbation to the samples.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am currently a third year PhD student at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Prof. Andre Simpson. Outside of the lab, I would use up most of my resources travelling. Exploring the unknown feeds my curiosity. Also, I am a photographer wanna-be.

Mihajlo Novakovic - Weizmann Institute of Science

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

Developing new NMR methods for sensitivity enhancement has always been one of the most important approach to boost the SNR. My research is based on utilizing CEST and DNP principles to improve the signal of low gamma nuclei and weak NOE and TOCSY cross peaks in multidimensional experiments as well as to allow detection of the signal in challenging experiments involving protein-ligand interactions. Smartly designing a pulse sequence and bringing multi-fold sensitivity enhancement to the NMR community, for free, is what I am aiming for.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

After finishing undergraduate studies at the University of Belgrade in Serbia, I enrolled at the Weizmann Institute of Science as a PhD student with Marie Curie fellowship as a part of EUROPOL ITN project. Research in an international environment in Prof. Frydman's group has always been a big excitement and pleasure for me, always inspiring me to think outside the box.

Nina Kubatova - Goethe University

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

Rhodopsin belongs to the largest GPCRs (Gprotein coupled receptor) membrane protein family in the human genome. Light absorption by rhodopsin is the initiation point for photoactivated signaling cascade in retinal rods. Point mutations in the protein sequence cause the defective signaling and lead to human night blindness diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (PR) and congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB). In contrast to PR, where the majority of mutations are distributed over the whole sequence, only 4 single point mutations causing CSNB are located in the retinal binding pocket. Depending on the type of amino acid replaced against glycine attheG90position in the sequence, mutation can lead either to RP (G90V) or to CSNB (G90D).
By light-triggered, time-resolved NMR in solution-state, in combination with flash photolysis experiments I investigate light-induced conformational changes and dynamics of the CSNB associated G90D rhodopsin mutant. In contrast to wt rhodopsin, the thermally stable wt and the G90D mutant do not precipitate upon illumination and remain stable even after incubation at RT for several hours. Furthermore, the introduced mutations lead to significant changes the kinetics of the photodecay of rhodopsin. The characterization of mutations at position 90 may thus provide important clues to understand the molecular basis of stationary and progressive retinal degeneration

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Ph.D. student in the group of Prof. Dr. Harald Schwalbe at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. During my studies, I got appealed to the NMR on biomolecules, while doing my internship at his group. My research focused on analysis of the conformational preferences of unstructured state of polypeptides. I characterized the influence of next-amino acid residue on the structural preferences in φ, ψ, χ1 conformational space. These investigations, in cooperation with Prof. Reinhard Schweitzer-Stenner from Drexel University, resulted in to two publications.
My master thesis project involved NMR puls sequence programming and optimization of the conditions for successful experimental approach. The aim was to detect the fast exchangeable unpaired imino protons in RNA by using chemical exchange saturation transfer experiments (CEST). Conclusively it was shown that CEST NMR technique can be successfully implemented for detection of the fast exchangeable imino protons in dynamic and unpaired regions of RNA molecules as well as free nucleotides in solution.
I am currently working on two research topics: 1) light dynamics of retinal disease relevant rhodopsin mutants and 2) rapid NMR and biophysical characterization of structure and dynamics of small proteins. Due to their size and difficulty in biochemical identification, small proteins encoded by small open reading frames have been overlooked in gene annotation in the earlier years. Nowadays, such proteins are being identified to play important roles in a broad range of cellular functions such as cell division, morphogenesis and stress response. The functional elucidation of these small proteins still remains a challenging task. To understand the molecular mechanism of action, the characterization of their structure and dynamics is of utmost importance. Therefore, I apply NMR as powerful technique to obtain the structures and dynamics of a number of small peptides in their apo state as well as in complexes with diverse cellular components.

Leo Svenningsson - Chalmers University of Technology

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

Morphology of regenerated cellulose fibers is known to affect mechanical properties along with chemical accessibility and appearance. One essential part of the morphology description is to determine the molecular orientation distribution function of the cellulose chain segments, which are typically aligned in the fibers drawing direction. Using solid-state NMR spectroscopy and the intrinsic chemical shielding tensor properties, it is possible to probe molecular anisotropy and thereby the molecular orientation. The methodology is based on Rotor Synchronized Magic Angle Spinning, abbreviated ROSMAS, which was originally developed by Spiess and co-workers and conducted on polyethylene terephthalate along with other synthetic polymers. The data evaluation strongly depends on an accurate chemical shielding tensor description and therefore we have employed density functional theory (DFT) electronic structure calculations, using the gauge-independent atomic orbital method, to minimize the identified inconsistency in previously reported data.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Phd student since two years at Chalmers University of Technology in the research group of Associate Professor Lars Nordstierna. My background is in applied physics with a MSc from Uppsala University.

Daniel Morris - University of Akron

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

I study protein-ligand interactions for drug discovery and material sciences using NMR and other methods. I'm interested in better understanding protein active site structures and how advances in this area will help us develop better therapeutics and create systems for developing more consistent precursor materials for manufacturing.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I will be receiving my PhD in biochemistry at the end of this semester from The University of Akron. My long-term career goal is to become a structural biologist working for a major corporation developing new therapeutics for novel protein targets. I'm currently seeking a post doc to gain more experience working on elucidating new protein structures and am interested in further developing my NMR experience as well as learning cryo-EM.

Victor Beaumont - Yale University

Please describe your research and why you are passionate about it.

My research focuses on understanding the relationship between dynamic motions of enzymes and their catalysis. Specifically, determining how the rate of catalysis of protein tyrosine phosphatases is regulated by the motions of active site loops. I am also researching how modulation of loop motions changes the catalytic rate through mutants and post-translational modifications. I am passionate about my research because I believe in its impact to improve our knowledge of these enzymes and potentially the drug development targeting related diseases.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am French-Canadian, but grew up in Syracuse, NY. I completed my undergraduate studies at SUNY University at Buffalo under the advisement of Dr. Thomas Szyperski. My research in Buffalo involved validating novel pulse sequences for large biomolecules. Currently, I am a graduate student at Yale University under the advisement of Dr. Patrick Loria. Personally, I enjoy playing soccer and ultimate with friends or reading fiction on my free time.