News

Grant renewal has been resubmitted to National Science Foundation, Chemistry of Life Processes program

We are excited by the opportunity to submit the funding request for additional three years of support in order to continue our inquiry into structure/function relationships of metalloproteins and metalloenzymes with [4Fe-4S] prosthetic groups by utilizing the versatile maquette chemistry. The overall aims and our research approach are graphically illustrated by the scheme displayed on the opening page of this website.

Congratulations to Katherine Kaul!

The INBRE IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence and the MSU Provost and MSU Vice President of Research and Economic Development have awarded funding for academic year 2019-2020 to support Katherine’s undergraduate research entitled “Coordination and Reductive Cleavage of S-adenosylmethionine by [4Fe-4S]-maquettes”.

Congratulations to Taylor Okon!

TJ has been awarded funding for the project, Investigation of Redox Active [4Fe-4S] Radical S-adenosylmethionine Maquettes through Voltammetric Methods for the fall 2019 semester from the MSU Undergraduate Scholars Program.

Welcoming new graduate students, August 7, 2019

Eric and Robert gave a two hour presentation ranging from geoinspiration and bioinspiration of maquette chemistry, emergence of life connection, chemical evolution of the building blocks of life, [4Fe-4S] maquettes, clay embedded Fe-S clusters and nanoparticles … tour-de-force of inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry, materials science, spectroscopy, and computational chemistry. We are accepting students for research rotation. Please inquire either with Robert or Eric!

Chemistry outreach with structural molecular chemistry focus at ZALA Camp, July 15-19, 2019

This 5-day event was organized at the Zoot Adventure Learning Academy summer camp for a large group of 5-12 years old children. Activities included a card game with the elements of the Periodic Table, molecular modeling with mechanical models, visit the chemistry department on campus, and the finale was playing the Settlers of Elementia board game, where participants harvested chemical elements by colonizing the solar system of Elementia and fending off the attack by space pirates.

A teary farewell and a cheerful wellcome! – July 1, 2019

We wish Amanda a very successful medical school in the WWAMI program at University of Wyoming! You will be missed!
We welcome Garrett Olrogg, first year graduate student for the summer to learn about all the beauties and magic of maquette chemistry. He is focusing on non-coded amino acids and what advantage they may provide for constructing redox active [4Fe-4S]-maquettes over the coded amino acids.

Welcome summer undergraduate students! – May 13, 2019

As the summer research programs for undergraduates have started at Montana State University, we welcome Kathelyn and Mason who will be working on various spectroscopic characterizations of [4Fe-4S] maquette complexes and their derivatives.

Keginar #1 at Nordic Brew Works – Science in the Pub public lecture by Robert on April 23, 2019

ACS Montana Local Section – Meeting-in-Miniature – on April 13, 2019

Agustin and Luke were presenting their undergraduate work at Carroll College in Helena, MT. Congratulations to Agustin (middle) for receiving the undergraduate travel award for his oral presentation entitled “Mass Spectrometry of Radical SAM Maquettes”. Luke’s poster entitled “Ab initio Study of Aqueous [Fe-S] Clusters: Computational Modelling of Sterwise FeS Cluster Building” described a coarse-grained approach to modeling FeS nanoparticles.

Agustin receiving the recognition for the Presidential Emerging Scholar Award

The Presidential Emerging Scholar Grant is a unique affirming grant, which may be bestowed upon a Montana State University undergraduate in recognition of their potential for success as an emerging scholar. Unlike other similarly prestigious awards, selection is not based on academic performance, scholarly research, campus involvement or financial need. Rather, the Presidential Emerging Scholar Grant requires just one simple criterion — potential.

Eric and Amanda at the National ACS meeting in Orlando, FL

As part of the celebration of Prof. Joan Broderick’s Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic Chemistry, Eric and Amanda presented their poster entitled “Radical S-adenosylmethionine maquette chemistry: Cx3Cx2C peptide coordinated redox active [4Fe-4S] clusters” at the Spring 2019 ACS meeting.

Amanda and Eric celebrating with Joan at the poster session.

Robert at the CHEMOBRIONIC 80/30 meeting in Spain

Robert was one of the last speakers with a “dessert” talk entitled “Atomic-scale description of Fe-S cluster nests in peptide maquettes”. It was a fantastic experience for him to meet so many of the members of the European “Emergence of Life/Astrobiology” community.

See the conference schedule at the COST Action Website.
 
Please see a short with highlights from the meeting (Robert in action @ 0:26 and Mike appreciates the MT bourbon from Headframe distillery, Butte @ 0:38) created by Dr. Jitka Cejkova (Science Communication Manager)

Luke’s Undergraduate Scholars Program Award – Spring 2019

Congratulations, Luke, for receiving funding through the Undergraduate Scholars Program at MSU for his work on computational modeling!

Holiday Potluck – December 2018

Our group joined the Broderick laboratory for a holiday get-together. Much good food was eaten and many laughs were had as we swapped “white elephant” gifts with one another.  

Congratulations Agustin – November 2018

Agustin has been selected as a Presidential Emerging Scholar for Montana State University! Congrats Agustin! This grant award is sponsored by the Office of the President and will allow Agustin to explore the structure and composition of iron-sulfur maquette complexes.

Luke’s ACS Poster – October 2018

Luke was a Presentation Award Winner with his poster titled “Ab Initio Thermodynamic Study of Aqueous [Fe-S] Clusters” at the 2018 ACS Montana Fall Social. Great job Luke!

New Lab Member Alert – Fall 2018

The group would like to welcome TJ Okon to the project!

Farewell Becky! – Fall 2018

Becky has departed from the group to begin graduate school at UC Berkeley where she has joined the Neuscamman Group in pursuit of her PhD. We hope that her finely tuned computational skills will aid in her success as she pursues her advanced degree!

Morgan Receives Funding from Montana INBRE – Summer 2018

Morgan received a summer research grant through Montana INBRE for her work centered on the development of radical SAM inspired peptide maquettes. This award supported her summer research activities and gave her the opportunity to introduce the MT INBRE community at Montana State to maquette research.

39th Steenbock Symposium – May/June 2018

Eric, Robert, and Becky attended the “Iron-Sulfur Proteins – Biogenesis, Regulation and Function Conference” (39th Steenbock Symposium) at the University of Wisconsin- Madison where the following posters were presented:

Secondary Structure Analysis of Peptides with Relevance to Iron-Sulfur Cluster Nesting

Radical S-Adenosylmethionine Maquette Chemistry: A Combined Experimental and Computational Approach

Morgan’s Undergraduate Scholars Program Award – Spring 2018

Under the mentorship of Robert, Morgan received research funding from the Undergraduate Scholars Program at MSU for the Spring 2018 semester.