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Holland Lab | Awards
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Awards

Julian Aldana and Yuan Li Receive Research Awards

Julian and Yuan were awarded Outstanding Research Awards by the SDSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Julian was awarded his for Outstanding Undergraduate Research and Yuan for Outstanding Research at the PhD level. Julian's research work is focused on molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of spider silk proteins. Yuan is working on Bio-Nano interface atomic structure in hydroxyapatite nanoparticles with SSNMR. Congratulations Julian and Yuan!!! ...

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Holland Lab Attends ENC Conference

The Holland Lab attended the Experimental NMR Conference (ENC) at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA https://www.enc-conference.org/Conference-2024. This is the premier conference in experimental magnetic resonance including solution and solid-state NMR and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The lab gave two talks and presented three posters. Lab post-doc, Dr. Kevin Chalek's talk was on Sunday (4/7) in the Young Scientist Symposium titled "Studying Sidechain Interactions in Dragline Spider Silk Fibers Using MAS Solid-state NMR and DNP". Kevin also presented a poster on the same topic Tues/Thurs. Research scientist and SDSU NMR Facility Manager, Dr. David Onofrei gave a talk in the Biomolecular Solution NMR Session on Tuesday (4/9) titled "Using CS-ROSETTA to Probe Assembly of Intrinsically Disordered Spider Silk Proteins in Solution". PhD grad student, Hannah Johnson presented a poster on Tues/Thurs titled "Solution NMR of Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation in Native Major Ampullate Spider Silk Proteins Indicates Arg and Tyr Influence Pre-Assembly". PhD grad student, Yuan Li presented a poster on Mon/Wed titled "The Calcium Sites of Hydroxyapatite with Different Morphologies and Crystal Phases Investigated by 43Ca MAS Solid-state NMR". Yuan was also awarded an ENC graduate student travel award to support her attendance. Congrats Yuan!!! Below is a picture from the Lab Dinner at the Fish Hopper in Monterey where we caught up with Lab alumni, Dr. Haley Swanson, who is now Bruker NMR West Coast Sales Rep. We had fantastic discussions regarding our upcoming 600 MHz Ascend NMR magnet install and some plans for new cutting edge probes in Diffusion and Solid-state NMR for the future. Check out the picture from dinner below: ...

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Holland Lab Awarded New DOD-ARO Grant

The Holland Lab was awarded a new DOD-ARO grant this month! The grant is titled: "Structural Biology of Aciniform Spider Silk Guides Biomimetics for a New Class of Biomaterials". The project will focus on understanding prey wrap spider silk structure and assembly including its unique hydration-induced cross-linking property. The work will rely heavily on a combination of solution and solid-state NMR together with XRD and MD modeling to understand the holistic aciniform silk assembly process from spinning dope to fiber. This structural biology work on the native system will guide the biomimetic design of silk peptide mimics of aciniform spider silk structure-function. ...

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Prof. Holland Presents at AFOSR Grant Review

In December 2023, Prof. Holland attended the AFOSR grant review in Ft. Walton Beach FL. The talk was a transitional talk where Prof. Holland discussed the close out of the lab's previous grant on spider silk and natural materials research and discussed new research directions for the new grant that just started in September 2023. ...

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Holland Lab Awarded New AFOSR Grant

In September 2023, the Holland Lab was awarded a new AFOSR grant. The grant is titled: "Elucidating the Intrinsically Disordered State, Supramolecular Assembly and Protein Condensates in Natural Materials Formation". The grant is for 800K and will fund research in understanding spider silk formation. The grant will focus on the intrinsically disordered state, how silk proteins assemble and an intermediate step triggered by liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) in spider silk formation. The research will focus on both native and recombinant spider silk protein systems and rely heavily on solution and solid-state NMR, and our growing use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and NMR computational tools to determine spider silk protein conformational ensembles. The LLPS intermediate step is a new phenomenon in the context of biomaterials formation and solution NMR will play a key role in determining the atomic level interactions responsible for the formation of these unique phases. Our MD component will be bolstered by a new collaboration with Prof. Chris Lorenz's Lab at King's College London. For more on Chris' Lab see here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/chris-lorenz ...

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Holland Lab Awarded New NSF Grant

In June 2023, the Holland Lab was awarded a new NSF-CHE grant. The grant is for 476K and will fund Holland lab research on Bio-Nano interfaces. The grant is titled: "Elucidating Bio-Nano Interface Atomic Structure and Peptide Directed Nanoparticle Formation". The Holland Lab is developing atomic and molecular level structural understanding of nano-bio interfaces and the influence of nanoparticle curvature, mesoporosity and morphology on biomolecular ligand structure, dynamics and organization on nanoparticle surfaces. The project is creating valuable research training opportunities for students at various levels that is further integrated with outreach activity development. Prof. Holland is building a highly interdisciplinary research and education program on nanoparticle surface characterization involving broad participation of graduate, undergraduate and High School interns contributing to the training of a diverse workforce. ...

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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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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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