Join Us At ENC 2019

60th Experimental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Conference

 

April 7 - 12, 2019

Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California

Come visit us April 8 - 10 from 7pm - 11pm in the Dolphin Suite to pick up your shirt!

 

As a supporter of the ENC conference for many years Norell, Inc. is giving back to the community in a substantial way for 2019.

We are proud to announce that this year, we are funding several student stipends for the 2019 ENC in Asilomar, California. Check out some of the research that these students are doing below!

ENC tshirt royal blue

 

Anton Duchowny

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

My research is focusing on using benchtop NMR spectroscopy such that it will not only be seen as the highfield- NMRs’ smaller brother, but rather as a powerful analytical tool for day-to-day labwork and also interesting scientific or industrial applications. For this I currently work on several projects. First we have designed and built a setup that allows to measure any proton or carbon containing gas or fluid pressurized up to 200 bar. This allows to easily access spectra and relaxation time of gases in a large pressure range and also opens the door to use benchtop NMR for high-pressure online reaction monitoring. Furthermore we investigate several oils in order to find out origins and nature of deposits which eventually will cause damage to the mechanical components that the oil is in contact with. I also designed another setup allowing the user to do photocatalytic reactions inside the magnet. Lastly we used compact NMR to identify and reliably quantify polymer additives.

I enjoy my work a lot because I have large freedom of choice regarding my research. As I am always interested in learning new things and try to see the bigger picture this is much more appealing to me than having a set path to go. This way of working requires alot of self discipline, but I am able to try out alot of things that sometimes to not help me getting my PhD but at least satisfy my curiosity.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a PhD student in the group of Prof. Blümich at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany and currently in my 2nd year. After finishing my B.Sc. at he most eastern part of germany - next to the border to Poland and the Czech Republik - I moved to the most western part of Germany - next to the border to the Netherlands and Belgium - for my M.Sc. in Polymer Sciences. After an internship in the very south of Germany I decided I wanted to further introduce modern low-field NMR techniques to industrial and polymer-relevant enviroments.

In my free time I work on a voluntary basis for the local animal shelter and train some dogs until they find a new home.

Fu Yao

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

Solid-state NMR is a very powerful technique. I use this technology to study the structure and dynamics of the defects in Metal-organic frameworks. It can help us to see the microscopic world, the dancing of the molecules and the molecular interactions.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a phD student in Zhejiang University, I went to UC Berkeley as a visiting student in 2017 and spent 15 months here. I will graduate in this June and plan to pursue my academic career in Europe.

Tessa Andrews

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

My research focuses on the protein Human DJ-1, which has been implicated in Parkinson’s disease, emphysema and certain types of cancer. Importantly, a highly conserved cysteine residue, Cys106, may play a key role in disease progression, as over-oxidation of the residue causes a loss in structural integrity and increased dynamics of the protein. My work aims to characterize the structure and dynamics of the oxidative states of DJ-1, and their roles in diseases. As a scientist, it makes me excited to know that I have even just a small hand in furthering the understanding of devastating diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I received my undergraduate degree from a small liberal arts college, and after completing my PhD, I would like to return to a smaller, primarily undergraduate university as a professor. I would love to help others find a love for science as my mentors have done for me.

Patrick Timmons

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

My research focuses on using NMR and modelling techniques to model the structure of antimicrobial peptides and their interactions with their target biological membranes. The aim of my research is to further our understanding of how three-dimensional structure is related to the peptides’ biological activity. I use the NMR-derived structures in molecular dynamics simulations, which provide an atomistic insight into the peptides’ interactions. Additionally, I have a keen research interest in the intersection of peptide cheminformatics and machine learning.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am half-Irish and half-Polish, and completed my undergraduate studies in medicinal chemistry at Trinity College Dublin. I am now a second year PhD student in biochemistry at University College Dublin under the supervision of Dr. Chandralal Hewage where my research uses NMR and computational methods to study antimicrobial peptides. Last year, I helped in the organisation of the ICMRBS conference in Dublin. In my spare time, I enjoy reading fantasy, going on mountain walks, and travelling to new places.

Jared Baisden

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

I work on small, cancer related RNAs using NMR. I’m passionate about my research because NMR is a powerful tool; I have revealed new and exciting things about RNA that would be impossible with other techniques. I am hopeful that my discoveries can be used to develop therapeutics in future work.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Wooster, Ohio and received my B.S. from Ashland University. I started undergraduate research under Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer on natural products derived from Red Maple. I now work with Dr. Qi Zhang at UNC Chapel Hill, where I plan to graduate with a Ph.D. this year! I am an avid music fan and have been to over 100 concerts.

Kehinde Taiwo

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

My research focuses on screening for small-molecules that bind viral and pathogenic RNAs by NMR using selective Isotopic labels. The underlying problem that gave rise to this research is the increasing rate of antibiotic resistance which is an health crisis that comes with a huge financial burden. With the emergence of new resistance mechanisms, there is the need for the discovery of more small molecules that can function as effective antibiotics. In this research, we aim to identify a library of small molecules that bind specifically to various RNA fragments (20-30 nt) using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Due to the sensitivity of NMR chemical shifts to the environment, this technique affords us the ability to identify whether the RNA is bound and what parts of the RNA is interacting with the small molecule(s). We are synthesizing these RNA fragments using a chemo-enzymatic labeling strategy developed in our group to effectively study large RNAs by NMR. This approach will be used for studying fragments and eventually the full-length RNA in complex with the ribosome. Findings from this research could help identify potential therapeutic targets for treating a variety of bacterial infections.

My passion in this research is rooted in the fact that this and other related researches hold the key to closing the door behind the problems brought about by antibiotic resistance particularly in developing countries.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Kehinde Mary Taiwo. I am a second year Ph.D. and research student in the laboratory of Dr. Dayie Kwaku at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. I am an international student from Nigeria with a strong commitment for excellence in research. My purpose as a researcher is to contribute immensely to the field of pharmacology and biochemistry for the principal goal of eradicating diseases while making the world a better place.

Katharina Hohmann

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

My research focuses on the E.coli RNA-chaperone StpA and the understanding of its interaction with bistable RNA constructs. The driving force of the activity of StpA is unknown so far. I am investigating the effect of the protein on the thermodynamic, kinetic and dynamic properties of RNA refolding. Therefore, besides conventional 1H-based NMR, I use laser-assisted real time NMR experiments and want to employ CEST experiments to follow the conformational change in the RNA at atomic resolution. I like the combination of the biochemical synthesis of RNA and protein with the investigation of these biomolecules by NMR. Overall, it fascinates me, how we are able to follow the interactions of considerably large biomolecules with nuclear resolution on a remarkably small timescale.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I studied chemistry at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. During my master studies, I worked with biomolecules, namely RNA and proteins. I also worked with NMR for the first time and my interest in this field grew a lot. Therefore, I chose the topic of my master thesis to be the investigation of the dynamics of a chaperone- RNA-complex by NMR spectroscopy. I performed my thesis in the group of Boris Fürtig and it was such a great experience, that I decided also to do my PhD in his group.

Alexandra Born

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

My research is fundamentally driven by wanting to know how substrate interaction leads to dynamic and structural rearrangements throughout a macromolecule. My current work is elucidating the allosteric network of the two- domain protein, Pin1, where binding in one domain influences the activity of the other through an interdomain interface. I am interested in determining what causes the inherent motion of a protein, and how these dynamics are critical for its function.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a third year graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus in the Structural Biology and Biochemistry program working in Dr. Beat Vogeli’s lab. I grew up in Indiana and studied Chemistry and Microbiology at the University of Rochester, where I also was on the rowing team. When I am not in lab, you can typically find me skiing or mountain biking.

Rashik Ahmed

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

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia worldwide and the incidence is expected to rise due to pervasive population ageing. AD imposes severe social and economic burdens and is estimated to cost over US $1 trillion worldwide. Substantial genetic, animal model and biochemical studies have suggested that the production, deposition and reduced clearance of toxic oligomers of the amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide play a central role in the etiology of the early phases of AD. Hence, a potential therapeutic strategy that has garnered attention in recent years is the development of Aβ aggregation inhibitors, either through small molecules or biologics, such as antibodies or plasma proteins. However, understanding the mechanism by which these inhibitors reduce oligomer toxicity and their translation to the clinical setting has been largely hindered due to the transient nature of the Aβ oligomer intermediates. To this end, my research capitalizes on recent advancements in solution NMR techniques that enable the detection of these short-lived intermediates, providing atomic-resolution structural insight. The mapping of these previously elusive structural features provide a foundation to establish structure-toxicity relationships of Aβ oligomers, and inform the design of new and more effective treatment strategies for AD.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Rashik Ahmed received his Honors Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from McMaster University. For his senior thesis, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Giuseppe Melacini on elucidating the molecular mechanism of the green tea extract EGCG as an Aβ oligomer remodeling agent. Since then, he has stayed on in the Melacini lab to pursue a PhD degree. His current research focuses on understanding the series of microscopic steps that lead to the formation of toxic oligomers, which underlie the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders.

Ghoncheh Amouzandeh

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

Replacing normal metal NMR coils with thin-film high-temperature superconducting (HTS) coils in cryogenically cooled NMR probes can significantly improve the sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) due to the high quality (Q) factor of superconducting resonators. The improved sensitivity is especially helpful for direct 13C detection due to its low gyromagnetic ratio and 1 % natural abundance. By using HTS coils in probes optimized for 13C detection, compounds with as little material as 40 nmols can be studied. However, the high Q factor will reduce the system bandwidth for both excitation and reception required for detection of 13C broad spectrum. To characterize and resolve these issues, I have studied the RF properties of an HTS thin film resonator designed to be used as a 13C NMR transceive coils in frequency and time domains.

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 projects related to magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy as well as MRI/NMR coil design and characterization. I have received my BS in Physics from Tehran University in Iran. I really enjoy working on the interdisciplinary area between physics, biomedical and RF engineering.

Denis Jaschtschuk

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

In the last two decades, technical devices such as personal computers or mobile phones were miniaturized to profit from portability and simplified handling, while possessing enhanced functionality and performance. The same trend is observable for unilateral NMR sensors. Unfortunately, a miniaturization is often accompanied by losses in penetration depth and absolute signal quality and measurement time. My research deals with the hardware aspect of NMR sensor miniaturization and furthermore, different strategies of how these issues can be approached.

Furthermore, my research concentrates on application of low-field NMR sensors in the fields of materials science and porous media. I utilize the profile NMR-MOUSE to characterize the stratigraphy, composition and possible molecular consequences of fabrication processes of different tires types. Another type of compact NMR sensors, the Halbach magnet, is employed to investigate Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) in terms of methane storage capability. Inverse Laplace Transform (ILT) is used to gain insights in the process of methane adsorption and desorption depending on pressure and temperature.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am 28 years old and a PhD student at the RWTH Aachen University in the B. Blümich group. As a part of the ACalNet “ The Aachen-California Network of Academic Exchange “ group, I also had the opportunity to carry out research and gain experience at the University of California, Berkeley in the group of J. Reimer.

Brian Chung

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

My research investigates the metabolism of hyperpolarized [2-13C]pyruvate through the TCA cycle and its conversion to [2-13C]lactate and [5-13C]glutamate in the human brain in volunteers. I am passionate about new and useful metrics that may elucidate methods for diagnosing and detecting early-stage neurodisorders.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a PhD candidate at the University of California San Francisco researching hyperpolarized carbon-13 metabolic brain imaging. I earned my Master’s Degree in 2015 studying Electrical Engineering from Stanford University while pursuing patent law for startups.

Robbin Schnieders

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

My research focusses on the development of new heteronuclear-detected NMR experiments for the characterization of RNA. Here, heteronuclear-detected experiments often offer additional information when compared to proton-detected experiments, especially about flexible regions of RNA. This is especially valuable here as RNA is a very dynamic kind of biomolecule and therefore often difficult to characterize using conventional NMR experiments.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in a small village in Germany and then moved to Frankfurt to study chemistry. Early during my studies, I got fascinated by NMR and joined the group of Prof. Harald Schwalbe. Today, I am a third year PhD student in his group. In my free time I enjoy travelling other countries, bouldering and reading.