Saturday, July 23, 2011

CREATE program in Bionanomachines

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has announced a new Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) grant in Bionanomachines led by Kalle Gehring at McGill University.

The CREATE Program in Bionanomachines (CTPB) is focused on the principles, design, and applications of bionanomachines, which are defined as nanometer scale devices such as enzymes or biomaterials that are derived from living organisms and composed of DNA, RNA, protein, sugars, and/or lipids. Existing bionanomachines touch us every day as improved stain-removing enzymes in laundry detergents to diagnostic tools and therapies for medicine and health.

The CTPB links world-class laboratories from across Canada in the fields of structural biology, biotechnology, supramolecular chemistry, nanotechnology, biophysics and protein engineering. Summer and graduate studentships can be held at Concordia University, the Université Laval, McGill University, the University of Calgary, the Université de Montréal, and the Université du Québec à Montréal. Applications for next year are due in December 2011.

A full list of mentors and program details can be found on the CTPB web site: (available September, 2011) or by e-mail ( "at"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stable Isotopes for Structural Biomolecular NMR

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories (CIL) made available a series of application notes on the use of stable isotopes in Biomolecular NMR. These application notes were written by some of the world's leading researches in the field, including several Canadian scientists.

Lewis Kay (University of Toronto) "Alanine Probes of Supra-Molecular Structure and Dynamics", page 9.

Leonid S. Brown and Vladimir Ladizhansky (University of Guelph) "Pichia pastoris as a Eukaryotic Protein Isotope-Labeling System", pages 14-15.

Ying Fan, Lichi Shi, Vladimir Ladizhansky and Leonid S. Brown (University of Guelph) "Uniform Isotope Labeling of Eukaryotic Proteins in Methylotrophic Yeast for High-Resolution NMR Studies - Extension to Membrane Proteins", Application Note 26, pages 71-74.

Recent research by Gang Wu's group (Queen's University) is cited as an example of advanced 17O NMR spectroscopy in large protein-ligand complexes in solution and in the solid state, "17O NMR reagents", page 34.

These application notes are available for download as a PDF file (5.1MB) "Stable Isotopes for Structural Biomolecular NMR Catalog" at:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Recognition: Myrna Simpson

Myrna Simpson (University of Toronto) has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor (Environmental Chemistry) starting July 1, 2011.

Myrna received a BSc (Chemistry & Mathematical Sciences) and a PhD (Environmental Soil Chemistry) from the University of Alberta. Myrna joined the University of Toronto in 2002 after a 2.5 year postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Patrick Hatcher in the Department of Chemistry at the Ohio State University.

Myrna's research in environmental and analytical chemistry involves the development and application of molecular-level analytical tools to improve the fundamental understanding of soil environmental processes. In particular her group is using advanced mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods to characterize, monitor and predict the fate of soil organic matter components in various environments. In 2010 she was awarded the SETAC/Royal Society of Chemistry Award in Environmental Science for "outstanding contributions that have advanced the understanding or development of environmental systems, technologies, methodologies or other relevant research in the environmental sciences".

In addition to teaching and research, Myrna acts as the Associate Director of the Environmental NMR Centre of the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, the University of Toronto.

For more information visit:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review in Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

J.L. Kitevski-LeBlanca and R.S. Prosser, "Current Applications of 19F NMR to Studies of Protein Structure and Dynamics," Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (2011) accepted. (Invited Review)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cover article in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Cory M. Widdifield, Alex D. Bain, and David L. Bryce, "Definitive Solid-State 185/187Re NMR Spectral Evidence for and Analysis of the Origin of High-Order Quadrupole-Induced Effects for I = 5/2," Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 13 (2011) 12413-12420. (Cover Article)

This is the tenth cover article featuring results obtained using resources of the National Ultrahigh-Field NMR Facility for Solids. See our cover gallery and the complete list of research publications enabled by the Facility here (complete list).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NMR investigations of metabolomics

Special issue of Journal of Biomolecular NMR guest edited by Brian D. Sykes, volume 49, numbers 3-4, April 2011.

B.D. Sykes, Journal of Biomolecular NMR 49 (2011) 163-164. (Editorial)