Various Biochemistry Department Laboratories
Journal to feature Roston's study of freeze-tolerant enzyme
September 12, 2014 -- Rebecca Roston's in-depth molecular study of a protein that helps plants survive freezing temperatures will be featured on the Sept. 19 cover of JBC the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The research may help other scientists develop agricultural crops that can better withstand the cold.
Oleh Khalimonchuk Receives NIH-NIGMS Grant
August 28, 2014 -- Project Title: A Conserved Metalloprotease Required for Mitochondrial Maintenance and Protection
The overall goal of this project is to uncover the mechanisms by which evolutionarily conserved quality control proteases sense mitochondrial damage and maintain mitochondrial protein homeostasis. By delineating the mechanism of stress-induced activation of the conserved protease Oma1 in the yeast model and cultured human neuronal cells, this project will advance our understanding of intramitochondrial quality control in neuroportective mechanisms and late-onset disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and peripheral neuropathies.
Tomas Helikar Receives Grant
August 11, 2014 -- Project Title: An innovative computational modeling intervention to facilitate learning of biology in university courses using simulation and dynamical systems approaches
This project is a collaborative effort between life sciences educators and computational biologists from UNL to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative computational modeling methods to transform the way life sciences students learn about complex living systems. These methods will be deployed and evaluated in UNL's LIFE 120 and LIFE 121 labs over the course of the project. The newly developed simulation-based learning content will be further disseminated to a broader community (and other courses) via an on-line platform, the Cell Collective (www.thecellcollective.org).
Nicole Buan Lab Awarded Three Grants in 2014
August 6, 2014 -- We are happy to announce that we have been awarded three grants in 2014!
The NSF has awarded two EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) grants to support research in the Buan laboratory. The National Science Foundation uses the EAGER funding mechanism for "potentially transformative research ideas or approaches that could be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" and involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives". The project "Coupling Electron Transport and Metabolism using Biological Routers" was awarded by the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems in the Directorate for Biological Sciences to investigate how energy conservation and metabolism is coordinated in methanogens. This project is based on a new conceptualization of biophysical biochemistry and how living cells are structured at the molecular level. If our ideas are correct, it could change the way we think about biochemistry and microbial evolution.
The Buan lab is also collaborating with Dr. Massimiliano Pierobon in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Their collaborative NSF EAGER project "TelePathy: Telecommunication Systems Modeling and Engineering of Cell Communication Pathways" received funding from the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in the Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Together, the Pierobon and Buan labs will design artificial communication systems by applying telecommunications systems engineering to the quantitative modeling of information exchange between microbial cells.
The Buan laboratory has also received funding from the Water Environment Research Foundation and the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research. In collaboration with Dr. Karrie Weber in the School of Biological Sciences and Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, the Buan and Weber labs are devising strategies to convert CO2 and methane to value-added bioproducts, and are screening subsurface microbial populations for desirable metabolic traits.