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February 17, 2011

Conference to Explore NMR Spectroscopy Discoveries

 Dr. Chad Rienstra Dr. Lila Gierasch

Dr. Chad Rienstra, left, of University of Illinois, and Dr. Lila Gierasch of University of Massachusetts are among the presenters at the March 23 "Frontiers in NMR Spectroscopy" conference at The City College of New York.

The City College of New York will host an all-day conference Wednesday, March 23, to explore groundbreaking discoveries made through the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The event features presentations by seven distinguished scientists on how they applied NMR spectroscopy to study the three-dimensional arrangement of atoms in complex bio-molecules and the motions and interactions that are important to their functioning.

“In living organisms, the spatial and temporal interactions of proteins and DNA underlie communication within and among cells, and with the external environment,” explained Dr. Ranajeet Ghose, CCNY professor of chemistry and conference organizer. “This network of finely tuned signals is tightly regulated in nature; disruption can lead to many diseases including cancer.

“Understanding the nature of biomolecular interactions in space and time in atomic detail is essential to shed light on these communication networks and to design alternatives when they are compromised by disease. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has evolved as the premier technique for studying the structure and functionality of these complex bio-molecules.”

The program’s featured speakers and their topics are:
•  Dr. Lewis Kay, professor of biochemistry, University of Toronto; “Seeing the Invisible by Solution NMR Spectroscopy.”
•  Dr. Chad M. Rienstra, associate professor of chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics, University of Illinois; “Lipid-Associated Intermediates in the Alpha-Synuclein Fibrillation Pathway.”
•  Dr. Hashim Al-Hashimi, Robert L. Kuczkowski professor of chemistry and biophysics, University of Michigan; “Highly Specific, Robust, and Encodable Nucleic Acid Structural Flexibility Unveiled by NMR.”
•  Dr. Lila Gierasch, distinguished professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, University of Massachusetts; “The Allosteric Landscape of Hsp70 Molecular Chaperones.”
•  Dr. Charalampos (Babis) Kalodimos, associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology, Rutgers University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; “Dynamic Activation of Protein Function.”
•  Dr. Kevin Gardner, professor of biochemistry, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; “NMR-based Discovery of Novel Environmental Sensing Machineries.”
•  Dr. Ad Bax, chief, section on biophysical NMR spectroscopy, National Institutes of Health; “The Sticky Fingers of Influenza Viewed by Modern Solution NMR.”

The conference will be held in the Great Hall of Shepard Hall on the City College campus, located at 160 Convent Ave. New York, NY. Please refer to the campus map for the location of Shepard Hall.

The event begins with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by welcoming remarks from City College President Lisa Staiano-Coico and Interim Dean of Science Ruth Stark. It concludes at 5:45 p.m.

The conference registration fee is $25, which includes breakfast, lunch and refreshments. Attendees may register and pay online at http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/prospective/science/nmr/register.cfm until Friday, March 18. After that date, they can pay cash at the door. Additional conference information is available at http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/prospective/science/nmr/index.cfm.

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