Volume 2  |  Issue 3  |  July 2020

Happy summer!

Welcome to the July 2020 issue of the CBSD Quarterly Courier. In this issue, we have several updates to share with the community, a project highlight from one of our Investigators, and a student spotlight. As always, we share recent publications citing the use of CoBRE resources. If you have suggestions for content, simply reply to this email or connect with any one of the CBSD team members

CBSD Community Updates
Project Highlight: Orion Berryman
Student Spotlight: Matthew Sydor
Recent Publications


CBSD Community Updates

Since our April issue, CBSD has been busy! To that end, we would like to share several updates with the community. We successfully submitted our Phase III CoBRE application, and it is on track for a timely review. Under “normal” circumstances, this was a massive task to complete, but it was made even more challenging with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is because of the support of the CBSD community and our ability to efficiently adapt to the evolving situation that we were able to submit this application successfully. We are grateful to all who contributed to the submission, and we look forward to sharing the outcome with you.

In addition to the CoBRE Phase III application submission, we are happy to share the progress of the Integrated Structural Biology Core (ISBC). By mid-July, we expect that construction on the new ISBC space in the basement of the ISB will be complete. We are currently working on settling into the space and are excited to take you on a tour. 

As you likely know, Tung-Chung Mou accepted a new position in Colorado earlier this spring. Since then, the recruitment process for an ISBC Manager has progressed. We anticipate extending an offer to the finalist by the end of July. We appreciate everyone who met with the candidates and anticipate introducing you to the new ISBC Manager in the October 2020 issue.

Our final updates are regarding CBSD events. While the symposium is arguably more vibrant when we can step away from campus and facilitate dynamic dialog regarding the research happening in the community, CBSD also acknowledges that we are amid a pandemic and must adapt appropriately to protect the health of our community. It is to that end that we have decided to host the symposium in a hybrid format on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Zoom options will be made available and limited space will be offered in the UC for open sessions. For those attending in person, we request following the current social distancing guidance. Please watch your email for registration and further details regarding the symposium.

Although we are disappointed we will not be able to return to the Double Arrow Lodge for our symposium this fall, we are excited to announce that we are piloting our first-ever remote Hot Water Workshop on August 28, 2020. As those who have participated can attest, the Hot Water Workshop series is a useful tool in the proposal development process. We expect to structure the August workshop as we do an in-person Workshop with the exception that participants will join remotely via a secure Zoom link. Even if you are not submitting a proposal for the fall deadlines, you are more than welcome to register as a reviewer only. Registration is open now for those wishing to participate. As always, please contact Sara Jestrab (sara.jestrab@umontana.edu) if you have any questions about the CBSD events.
Dr. Asia-Marie Riel and Madeleine Boller working in Dr. Berryman lab.

Project Highlight: Orion Berryman

In the event you missed the news, Dr. Orion Berryman received two new awards. You can read the full article on the UM Relations website.

Student Spotlight: Matthew Sydor

Image of Matthew SydorDuring Matthew Sydor’s time as the Core Fellow for the Biospectroscopy Core Research Lab (BCRL), he was able to investigate the interaction between engineered nano-materials (ENM) and biologically relevant lipid membranes. ENM are widely used in everyday items, such as sunscreens, cosmetics, electronics, and various biomedical applications, so there is a concern for human exposure. The way in which these materials interact with the lipid membranes of cells is important for understanding potential adverse effects and toxicity. In order to study ENM-induced changes to lipid membranes, liposome model systems were used along with a fluorescence probe, Di-4-ANEPPDHQ, which reports on the lipid order of the system. By using the time-resolved fluorimeter of the BCRL, anisotropy data on the wobble of the fluorescence probe were acquired, which indicated how ordered or disordered the membrane was. These data were included in his publication that examined how two ENM changed the order of liposomes: “Effects of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide Nano-materials on Lipid Order in Model Membranes”. To further understand the extent to which the ENM adhere to the liposome membranes, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) experiments were performed. The PicoQuant MicroTime 200 was used to measure the diffusion rates of fluorescently labeled liposomes, indicating whether or not ENM were bound to the surface. In addition to the time-resolved fluorescence work, Mr. Sydor was able to take part in some live cell imaging using the Zeiss LSM 880. This involved imaging of macrophage-like THP-1 cells that express a fluorescently tagged ASC protein. Oligomerization of the ASC protein produced a visible fluorescent speck that is indicative of bioactivity of the ENM that they were treated with. By using high-resolution imaging, Mr. Sydor observed which ENM produced more speck formation in this particular cell line. Mr. Sydor would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Zifan Wang, who guided him in these experiments and in learning this new instrumentation.

Recent Publications Supported by the CBSD

The bolded names indicate University of Montana authors. View all publications citing CBSD CoBRE. If you are working on a manuscript that has used CBSD CoBRE resources, please remember to cite P20GM103546.
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We want to extend a special thank you to our newsletter contributors this month: Orion Berryman, Bruce Bowler, Sara Jestrab, Asia-Marie Riel, Stephen Sprang, and Matthew Sydor. CBSD would also like to thank it's newsletter content reviewers: Bruce Bowler, Sara Jestrab, and Stephen Sprang.
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