Linda Columbus

Linda, Dan, and Brett attended Frontiers of NMR in Biology Keystone Symposium

Dan presented a poster entitled “NMR Backbone Assignment of Opa I: A mediator of host-Neisseria interactions” and Brett presented a poster entitled “Investigations towards improving solution NMR paramagnetic relaxation enhancement distance restraints for MTSSL labeled α-helical membrane proteins”. Both were invited to orally present poster previews and Dan received a travel award. The meeting was located in Big Sky, Montana and the snow was fantastic.lone-mountain.JPG2010_0119aa.JPGiceclimbing.jpg

Columbus and Criss labs receive UVA nanoSTAR seed funds

UVA nanoSTAR Institute awarded $30,000 to the Columbus and Criss laboratories to facilitate a collaboration aimed at targeting liposomes cell specifically. The nanoSTAR seed projects fund is contributed to by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Medicine. The nanoSTAR Seed Fund program is designed to support promising new interdisciplinary research collaborations in the Institute’s three thrust areas: nanoelectronics, medicine, and energy and the environment.

Alison and Dan present at the Biophysical Society’s 54th Annual Meeting

SFAlison and Dan present at the Biophysical Society’s 54th Annual Meeting at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California, February 20-24, 2010. Dan presented a poster on the NMR structure determination of OpaI and Alison presented a talk on the molecular determinants of the spontaneous refolding of OpaI in lipid vesicles.

UVA Chemistry Colleague and Chair, David Cafiso, received a Fellow of the Biophysical Society award. danf_cafiso2.jpg

Columbus Lab receives NSF CAREER Award

CAREER: The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education.

CAREER: An Innovative Study of Membrane Protein – Detergent Interactions was awarded through the Biomolecular Systems Program through the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.

Graduate and Undergraduate Students Present Posters at National Meetings

This last February and March,
Dan Fox presented his NMR studies of Opa proteins at the Frontiers in NMR Biology Keystone Symposium
Brett Kroncke (in photo) presented his EPR studies and Chris Reyes presented his Opa refolding and NMR studies at the 53rd Biophysical Society Meeting.
Thien Nguyen presented her mixed micelle refolding studies at the 2009 NIGMS Workshop: Enabling Technologies for Structural Biology.

First NIH Grant

The Columbus Lab received their first NIH RO1 grant.

Village School Visits the Lab

The 8th grade class of Kim Taylor visited on November 13, 2008 for an introduction to a research laboratory. The visit included two chemistry demonstrations (elephant’s toothpaste and molecular clock) and a tour of the laboratory by two graduate students Alison Dewald and Celine Griot, interactive molecular graphics by undergraduate Thien Nguyen and Prof. Columbus, and liquid nitrogen ice cream by Iza Bielnicka and Prof. Columbus.

Prof. Columbus, an honored Mead faculty

Each year the Mead Endowment invites about a dozen faculty members to become a members of the Mead Honored Faculty. The participants are handpicked by their Deans for their outstanding potential to become a friend of students and an example for other faculty.

Article in the Cavalier Daily
Mead Endowment Website
UVA Today article

Alison presents poster at FASEB Summer Research Conference

Alison presented a poster entitled “Physical determinants of outer membrane Opacity-associated protein folding in lipid vesicles” this August at the Molecular Biophysics of Cellular Membranes FASEB Summer Research Conference.
Alison on a hike in the White Mountains of Vermont.

Alison and Linda on the same hike.

Lab Featured on UVA Today

Linda Columbus Investigates Cell Membranes With Large New Grants

Paper accepted to Protein Science

As a part of the Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JSCG) biological targets, the structures of soluble domains of membrane proteins from Thermotoga maritima were pursued. Here, we report the crystal structure of the soluble domain of TM1634, a putative membrane protein of 128 residues (15.1 kDa) and unknown function. The soluble domain of TM1634 is an Α-helical dimer that contains a single TPR motif in each monomer where each motif is similar to that found in Tom20. The overall fold, however, is unique and a Dali search does not identify similar folds beyond the 38-residue TPR motif. Two different putative ligand binding sites, in which PEG200 and Co2+ were located, were identified using crystallography and NMR, respectively.

Columbus Laboratory Receives a Jeffress Memorial Trust Award

The purpose of the Jeffress Trust is to support basic research in chemical, medical, or other scientific fields through grants to educational and research institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Grants are given to assist scientists in such institutions to conduct investigations in the natural sciences, generally considered to include chemistry, physics, biology (with the exception of field studies, classification, other largely observational studies), studies in the basic medical sciences, such as biochemistry, microbiology, and others. (more…)