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Yearly Archives: 2020

Welcome, Jahmal and Connor!

After a successful Fall 2021 rotation cycle, the lab has two new members! We are very excited to welcome Jahmal Ennis and Connor Pitman, who are both graduate students in Computational and Integrative Biology

Jahmal Ennis is an MS student who completed his B.S. at Rutgers University New Brunswick. Jahmal has helped kickstart a new collaboration with the Griepenburg lab, and will be investigating the interactions of gold nanoparticles with membranes.
Connor Pitman is a PhD student who completed his B.S. at the University of Delaware. He will be continuing the labs’ work on mutations in intrinsically disordered proteins.

Congratulations, Jesse!

Jesse Sandberg won the best poster award (MS section) at the 2020 CCIB retreat for his poster “Novel Membrane Bending Mechanism of the Coronavirus Envelope (E) Protein.” The E protein of the coronavirus plays a very important role in shape of the viral envelope, but we don’t know why! Jesse’s poster explored a potential explanation revealed by simulation. Great work!

Congratulations to Best Paper Award Winners

The group was very well-represented at this year’s CCIB Best Student Paper Contest.  Ruchi tied for first place with her paper Sequence specificity despite intrinsic disorder: How a disease-associated Val/Met polymorphism rearranges tertiary interactions in a long disordered protein and Liam was awarded third place for his paper Boundary lipids of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: Spontaneous partitioning via coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation.   Ruchi and Liam competed against a record number of entries this year, and this is well-deserved recognition for two great papers. Congratulations!

New paper published in Structure

Collaborative work with the Hill lab at University of Basel was just published in Structure!  The Structural Basis for Low Conductance in the Membrane Protein VDAC upon β-NADH Binding and Voltage Gating” used NMR, electrophysiology, and atomistic MD simulations to study the mitochondrial ion channel VDAC.  VDAC is a beta-barrel protein with a much larger and less-sensitive pore than the ligand-gated ion channels we also study.  For channels with very narrow pores, understanding how conduction starts can be tricky, but for VDAC it is harder to understand why conduction ever stops.  Sruthi and Shashank contributed atomistic MD simulations of NMR structures solved by the Hill lab.

Congratulations, all!