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  • SDSU Graduation – Hannah Johnson & Yuan Li PhDs

    SDSU Graduation was this past weekend. Proud of the two most recent PhD students from the Holland Lab, Yuan Li and Hannah Johnson!!! Yuan’s thesis is on: “Elucidating Bio-Nano Interface Atomic Structure in Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles with SSNMR”. Hannah’s thesis is on: “The Role of Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation in Spider Silk Formation”. A busy summer ahead getting all of their awesome manuscripts out!!!...

  • 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!!!...

  • Prof. Holland’s Seminar in CSRC Colloquium

    For anyone interested in our latest research results on spider silk formation, a link to a recent talk is provided below. The talk was given as part of the Computational Science Research Center (CSRC) Colloquium series at SDSU. The title was “Integrating Experimental Biophysics and Computational Tools to Elucidate Spider Silk Formation”. In recent years, we have significantly grown the computational and simulation aspect of our silk research efforts to include coarse grained and atom...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • New Biomacromolecules Paper

    The lab has just published a new paper on spider silk structure in ACS Biomacromolecules! While the ordered domains of spider silk fibers have been well characterized (beta-sheets), little is known regarding the more disordered (non-beta-sheet) domains. In this paper we explore Pro-containing beta-turn regions where we elucidate ring packing interactions with SSNMR and MD simulation in collaboration with Chris Lorenz at King’s College London. Holland Lab Post-doc Kevin Chale...

  • Prof. Scheibel Visits Holland Lab, SDSU

    In October 2023, Prof. Scheibel from the University of Bayreuth, Germany, visited the Holland Lab and SDSU to work on collaborative research project and meet with lab members. Prof. Scheibel also gave a seminar to the Department of Chemistry on synthetic spider silk. For more on Thomas’ Lab see here:...

  • 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....

  • Holland Lab Attends Soft Matter Conferences at University of San Diego

    In October 2023, the Holland Lab attended the Soft Matter Conference at the University of San Diego. PhD graduate student Hannah Johnson presented her recent work using solution NMR to understand liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of spider silk proteins as an important intermediate step en route to spider silk formation. Post-doc, Dr. Kevin Chalek presented his recent work on using solid-state NMR to probe dragline and prey wrap spider silk structure in the fibrous form. New PhD graduate stu...

  • 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 formatio...

  • Holland Lab Featured in San Diego Union Tribune

    In August 2023, the Holland Lab was featured in the San Diego Union Tribune. The article was on the front page of the Sunday paper! The article titled: “Rolling in the Money and Talent: SDSU Sets Up as Key Player in Science Scene” was focused on SDSU’s growing research portfolio that totaled 192 M this past year. The Lab’s spider silk research was featured in the article together with some nice pics of spiders and silk collection. The article can be found here: https://ww...

  • Holland Lab Attends ACS National Meeting

    In August 2023, the Holland Lab attended the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, CA. Prof. Holland gave a talk titled: “Combining Solution NMR and Modeling to Determine Structural Ensembles of Spider Silk Proteins”. The presentation focused on how the lab is combining coarse grain and atomistic molecular dynamic (MD) simulation together with CS-ROSETTA determined structural ensembles to understand spider silk protein structure in solution. The talk was in the Nuclear Magnetic Reso...

  • Holland Lab Attends Gordon Research Conference on Silk

    In July 2023, the Holland Lab attended the first Gordon Research Conference on Silk at Bryant University in RI. PhD graduate student Hannah Johnson presented her work on using solution NMR to understand liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of native spider silk proteins as an intermediate step in spider silk assembly. Post-doc, Dr. Kevin Chalek, presented his solid-state NMR work on dragline and prey wrap spider silk structure. And, Prof. Holland gave a presentation titled: “Combining Bio...

  • 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 org...

  • Prof. Holland Presents Seminar to NJACS NMR Topical Group

    In February 2023, Prof. Holland presented to the NJACS NMR Topical Group. The presentation was titled: “Elucidating Spider Silk Structure and Assembly with NMR”. The seminar focused on how the lab is combining solution NMR, solid-state NMR and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to understand spider silk formation....

  • Holland Lab Attends CSUPERB Conference in Santa Clara, CA

    In January 2023, The Holland Lab attended the Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium in Santa Clara CA. Undergraduates Anikin Domingo and Andy Chua presented on isotope enrichment on spider silk proteins for NMR characterization. Undergraduate Julian Aldana presented his recent work on coarse grain and atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to understand spider silk protein structure and assembly. And PhD student Hannah Johnson, post-doc, Dr.Kevin Chalek and Professor Holland presented at the ...

  • Prof. Holland Attends AFOSR Grant Review

    In December 2022, Prof. Holland presented recent work from the lab at the annual AFOSR grant review. The grant and talk is titled: “Hierarchical Assembly of Spider Silk Proteins: Exploring the Structural Biology of Biomaterials from the Atomic to the Mesoscale”. The grant and presentation focused on how the lab is combining biophysical methods including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to unders...

  • Holland Lab Participates in NSF-ICORPS Program

    In October 2022, The Holland Lab was part of the NSF-ICORPS program that is focused on commercialization of academic lab research discoveries. PhD graduate student Hannah Johnson, post-doc Dr. Kevin Chalek and Prof. Holland worked with the ICORPS team at SDSU to develop ideas to commercialize aspects of the labs spider silk research. In the future, this may be the spring board to a start-up company spun out of the lab....

  • Holland Lab Attends SCUM (Southern California Users of Magnets) Conference at University of Santa Barbara

    In September 2022, the Holland Lab attended the SCUM conference to present work from the lab that is focused on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). PhD graduate student Hannah Johnson presented her work on using solution NMR to understand spider silk protein spinning dope. PhD graduate student Yuan Li presented her solid-state NMR work on nanoscale hydroxyapatite. And post-doc Dr. Kevin Chalek presented on solid-state NMR structural characterization of spider silk fibers....

  • New Journal of Physical Chemistry Paper

    In July 2022, we published "Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Morphologically Distinct Nanoscale Hydroxyapatites" in the Journal of Physical Chemistry...

  • Holland Lab Visits Scheibel Lab at University of Bayreuth in Germany and Attends 8th Kavli Frontiers in Science Symposium

    In a two part trip, Prof. Holland and Dr. David Onofrei first visited the Scheibel Lab at the University of Bayreuth in Germany to work on collaborative research projects focused on synthetic (recombinant) spider silk formation. Prof. Holland gave a presentation on the lab’s NMR spider silk research to the Biomaterials Group and worked with Scheibel and lab members on recombinant spider silk protein structure and assembly. The visit included a week of time to collect 1 GHz NMR data on spid...

  • Congratulations to our graduate students!

    Haley Swanson graduated with her PhD and Rich Thai graduated with his master’s of science degree in May 2022. PhD student Hannah Johnson also successfully passed her 3rd year qualifying exam!...

  • Francisco Botello Featured on SDSU NewsCenter

    Undergraduate mechanical engineering major Francisco was interviewed about his love of Spider-Man and how it connects to his research in our lab. Check out the full story on SDSU NewsCenter!...

  • Holland Lab Publishes New Paper in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry

    At the end of May 2022, the Holland Lab published a paper titled "Assembly and Thermal-Induced Polymerization of Histidine on Fumed Silica Surfaces" in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry...

  • Holland Lab Publishes new Spider Silk Paper in Advanced Functional Materials (w/Cover Art!)

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adfm.202170090...

  • 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 transforma...

  • Holland Lab PhD student Yuan Li was just awarded the The Rees-Stealy Research Foundation Fellowship.

    This will provide Yuan a much needed break from her TA responsibilities this Spring to focus on her hydroxyapatite bio-nano interface project to develop bone mimetics....

  • PhD Student Dillan Stengel Awarded University Graduate Fellowship (UGF) for 2020/2021

    This fellowship will support Dillan for the remainder of his PhD....

  • 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...

  • NASA Presents MUREP Fellowship to Holland Group Member

    Congratulations Haley Swanson for receiving the NASA Minority University Research Education fellowship! This fellowship is renewable for up to three years and is part of ongoing research to study origin of life chemistry....

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

    Congratulations to Dillan Stengel for winning the Jivan and S.C. Tong Endowed Fellowship and the Provost Award for Research Scholarship at the Student Research Symposium!...

  • Congratulations to our scholarship winners

    Congratulations to Dillan Stengel for winning the Paul G. and Margaret F. Peninger Memorial Scholarship! Also congratulations to David Onofrei who was awarded a Graduate Research Fellow at SDSU!...

  • Holland Lab receives DURIP Equipment Grant

    Holland Lab receives DURIP equipment Grant for: “Acquisition of a T150 Mechanical Testing System for In situ Structural Characterization of Nanoscale Animal Silks under Strain”...

  • Dr. Holland to speak at Sheffield Silk Conference in the UK

    Dr. Holland will be presenting his talk, “The Molecular Mechanisms of Spider Silk Assembly” at the Sheffield Silk Conference in the UK on July 26th....

  • Holland Lab receives Course Redesign with Technology Grant

    Holland Lab receives Course Redesign with Technology Grant to “Redesign General Chemistry, CHEM-200”...

  • Holland Lab receives CSUPERB Grant

    Holland Lab receives CSUPERB Grant on a Faculty-Student Collaborative Research titled “Molecular and Hierarchical Structures Formed by Spider Silk Proteins”...

  • Holland Lab receives AFOSR Grant

    Holland Lab receives AFOSR Grant to investigate “The Molecular Mechanisms Responsible for the Assembly of Spider Silk Fibers”...

  • Congratulations Graduate Geri Polido

    Congratulations to Geri Polido who has completed her Master’s of Chemistry from SDSU. Her thesis, titled, “Investigation the Interactions Between Spider Venom Toxins and Lipid Bilayers” is pending publication....

  • 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....

  • Mahsa Pahlavan will be presenting a poster about spider silk

    Mahsa Pahlavanwill be presenting a poster titled, “Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Spider Silk Mini Spidroin Peptide Mimics”...

  • David Onofrei will be presenting at the CSUPERB Biotechnology Symposium

    David Onofrei will be presenting a poster titled “Probing Silk Protein Oligomeric Assemblies in Spider Silk with NMR Diffusion Measurements and Cryo-EM” at the CSUPERB Biotechnology Symposium on Jan 5th....

  • Dr. Holland will give a talk at the National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science program in Malang, Indonesia

    Dr. Holland will give a talk on “Molecular Mechanics of Spider Silk Assembly” as part of the National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science program in Malang, Indonesia. For more info visit: http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news_story.aspx?sid=76251 https://vimeo.com/179396251...

  • 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....

  • Holland Lab receives SDSU University Grants Program (UGP) Award

    Holland Lab receives SDSU University Grants Program (UGP) Award to investigate “Aciniform Spider Silk as a Novel Biomedical Suture Material.”...

  • Holland Lab receives second SDSU Presidents Leadership Fund Award

    Holland Lab receives second SDSU Presidents Leadership Fund Award to study “Structure of Biomolecules at Nanoparticle Interfaces”...

  • 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.”...

  • 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”....

  • Holland Lab receives DOD-AFOSR Grant

    Holland Lab receives DOD-AFOSR Grant to investigate “Spider’s Silk: From Protein-rich Gland Fluids to Diverse Biopolymer Fibers”...

  • 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...

  • GREW Fellowship awarded

    Greg Holland receives Grants and Research Enterprise Writing (GREW) Fellowship...

  • Holland Lab receives SDSU President’s Leadership Fund (PLF) Award

    Holland Lab receives SDSU President’s Leadership Fund (PLF) Award to study “Molecular Structure of Spider Venom Neurotoxins and Their Interaction with the Lipid Bilayer”...

  • 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....

  • 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 nanoparticle...

  • American Chemical Society (ACS) Reviewer Award

    Greg receives American Chemical Society (ACS) Reviewer award for 2015. This is the second year in a row Greg received this award....