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Author:Holland Lab

Holland Lab is Looking for a Post-doc

A DOD-funded postdoctoral position is available at San Diego State University in the general area of exploring atomic and molecular level structure and dynamics in spider silk proteins with solution and solid-state NMR together with cryo-TEM and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Developing a fundamental understanding of how spider silk proteins assemble into high performance biomaterials will impact applications in the defense, medical and space exploration sectors. The biochemical transformation processes that take place to synthesize protein-based materials remains a complicated problem with numerous unanswered questions. These structural evolutions are mostly unexplored due to the lack of combined experimental data that can link the atomic, molecular and meso- length scales. The aim of this research is to harness recent advances in magnetic resonance, cryo-TEM and simulation to develop models for the transformation of soluble silk proteins to materials that out-perform man-made systems.             The successful applicant will become part of a large multi-university team to investigate and characterize spider silk structural biology from solution through the solid, fibrous material. The applicant must possess outstanding communication skills and be able to clearly communicate the scientific significance of  this work to colleagues with backgrounds in theory, chemistry, biology and materials science. The applicant will be responsible for acquiring and analyzing multi-dimensional, multinuclear solution and magic angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR data of spider silk proteins. NMR data will be combined with data from cryo-TEM imaging and tomography and MD simulations to begin connecting the atomic, molecular and nanometer length scales for an improved understanding of hierarchical silk formation. Extensive image simulation with dynamic models provided by computation will be integrated into the data analysis and interpretation. Basic Qualifications: •   A Ph.D. in physics, chemistry, materials science or related disciplines. •   Experience in solution and MAS solid-state NMR of proteins. •   Experience in analyzing NMR data with TOPSPIN, NMRPipe, Sparky, TALOS-N, CS-ROSETTA, etc. •   Experience in MATLAB programming to combine and analyze data sets from multiple techniques. Preferred Qualifications: •   Experience in cryo-TEM tomography of protein oligomers. •   Experience in MD simulations of proteins. Contact gholland@sdsu.edu for more info. ...

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Holland Lab Awarded DOD-AFOSR and ARO Grants to Study Spider Silk

The AFSOR grant is for 900K to investigate the hierarchical assembly process of spider silk and natural materials in general. The focus is on understanding the molecular and nanoscale design rules for spider silk proteins using a combination of NMR and cryo-EM methods in conjunction with molecular dynamics simulations. This work is being conducted in collaboration with Nathan Gianneschi's Lab and the University of Northwestern. The ARO grant is for is 365K to study aciniform spider silk as potential system for nest generation biomaterials for the US Army. Aciniform spider silk is the toughest of the spider silks and exhibits a unique cross-linking property where the silk converts from a flexible alpha helical fiber to a cross-linked b-sheet fiber when water treated. ...

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San Diego State Science Fair

Congratulations to high school students Jason Provol and Matt Bronars for their poster presentation “Metabalomic Analysis as a Method for Breast Cancer Diagnosis”, presented at the San Diego State Science Fair. They won top awards and the opportunity to represent San Diego at the Intel International High School Science Fair hosted in LA in July....

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American Chemical Society National Conference Presentations

The Holland lab will be presenting at the ACS Conference in San Diego. Dr. Holland’s Talk is titled “Molecular Mechanisms of Peptide and Protein Binding at Nanostructured Interfaces.” Haley Swanson’s Poster is titled “Elucidating the Structure & Assembly of Amino Acids on Silica Nanoparticles.” David Onofrei will be presenting a poster titled, “Investigating the unique structure and physical properties of spider prey wrap silk with electron microscopy and solid-state NMR.” The Title of Geri Polido’s poster is “Investigating the Interaction of GsMTx-4 with Lipid Bilayers Using 31P Solid-State NMR, Transmission Electron Microscopy, and Thermal Analysis” Work from our collaborators will also be presented by Dr. Geoffray Leriche on his poster titled, “Cyclohexane Rings Reduce Membrane Permeability to Small Ions in Archaea-Inspired Tetraether Lipids”....

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Geri Polido and David Onofrei will be presenting at (CSUPERB) Symposium

Congrats to Geri Polido and David Onofrei who will be presenting research posters at the Califonia State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) Symposium. Geri’s poster is titled “Investigating the Interaction of GsMTx-4 with Lipid Bilayers Using 31P Solid-state NMR, Transmission Electron Microscopy and Thermal Analysis” David’s Poster is titled “Structural Analysis and Characterization of Glandular Spider Silk Proteins.”...

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Dr. Holland will be presenting at Pacifichem Conference

Sponsored by the American Chemical Society and many similar organizations of nations in the Pacific, the 2015 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem) occurs every five years. Dr. Holland will be presenting his research on biomaterials at this conference in Honolulu, Hawaii titled, “Monitoring Spider Silk Assembly in vitro with NMR”....

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Haley Swanson will be presenting ACS Regional Conference

Congratulations to Haley Swanson who will be presenting her research poster, titled “Structural Elucidation of the Nano-Bio Interface: Histidine on Fumed Silica Nanoparticles”, at the American Chemical Society’s Western Regional Conference at CSU San Marcos. Dr. Holland will be talking on “Molecular mechanisms of biomolecule binding at nanostructured interfaces” at the ACS Regional Conference...

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Outreach At Gage Elementary School

Helping to spur interest in STEM fields early in life is an important part of our mission as researchers. In March, Dr. Holland gave a presenation at Gage Elementary in San Diego where students had the chance to see first-hand what research entails. Naturally, students were very excited by spiders shown during the presentation....

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ASU Travel Awards

The Holland group won travel awards to visit Arizona State University in late March. Dr. Holland receives CSUPERB Travel Award to visit ASU and collect solid-state NMR data for Holland Lab projects. Geri, David and Haley all receive SDSU Graduate Student Travel Awards to visit ASU and collect solid-state NMR data for spider silk, spider venom neurotoxin and nanomaterial projects. March 2015. The research conducted there will help advance all the current research projects on silica nanoparticles, spider silk, and spider venom....

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