Friday, April 30, 2010

CHEM 373 (Experimental Biochemistry) for Fall 2010

A few spots remain in the Experimental Biochemistry Laboratory course for next fall. This is a 0.25 credit exploratory course scheduled for Tuesday’s at 1:20-5:20pm. It may be taken concurrently with, or any time after completing, CHEM 379. Professor Listenberger is currently accepting applications from students who wish to enroll. To indicate your interest, please email Your email should include (1) whether you would be able to take this course during the 2011/2012 academic year; and (2) whether you plan to complete the concentration in biomolecular science.

Accepted students will be notified on Wednesday, May 5th.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chemistry Seminar Wednesday, April 28th RNS 300 at 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Heather Haemig ‘00
University of Minnesota

Investigation of the metal binding site of MntH, a divalent metal cation/H+ transporter of Escherichia coli

To protect itself, a cell is surrounded by a hydrophobic bilayer membrane. Unfortunately this mode of defense also inhibits the cell from obtaining many essential nutrients and excreting waste products. Therefore, the cell membrane contains numerous proteins that selectively permit molecules to go into and out of the cell across the membrane. Based on genomic sequence data, it is predicted that 30% of the proteins produced by Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisae, and Homo sapiens are integral membrane proteins. A novel family of membrane proteins has been determined to function as divalent metal ion/hydrogen ion symporters, and homologs of this Natural Resistance-Associated Macrophage protein (Nramp) has been found in plants, animals, and bacteria. The high degree of sequence conservation among family members suggests the structure and function of this family are important to its role in metal ion transport. Forty-two percent of the residues between the human Nramp and MntH are identical allowing information learned from the E. coli transporter to be applied in understanding how the human Nramp transports metal ions across cell membranes. This information can be applied to designing antimicrobial therapies or developing treatment for human diseases like hereditary hemochromatosis which causes an overloading of iron in the body’s tissues and affects 1/400 Caucasians.

Site-directed mutagenesis of E.coli MntH was performed on residues that are highly conserved among the Nramp (Natural Resistance Associated Macrophage Protein) family to which MntH belongs. Negatively charged residues conserved within the family were of particular interest for their possible roles in transport of divalent metal cations across the inner membrane. In addition, transmembrane domain six contains a number of highly conserved residues, which were studied with respect to metal transport. Each mutation to MntH was characterized by transport ability, protein expression, and kinetic properties. The results led to a model for the metal binding site within MntH.

ECOLAB Internships

Ecolab, Inc., a fortune 500 company, is the global leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services. We deliver comprehensive programs and services to food service, food and beverage processing, health care and hospitality markets in more then 160 countries. Headquartered in St. Paul, MN, Ecolab employs more then 26,000 associates worldwide. With $6 billion in annual sales, Ecolab is the industry leader.

At Ecolab we believe that the success of our associates and the success of the company go hand in hand. We are committed to a culture that fully leverages our people's talents by promoting an environment where all people can make a difference, be heard, be supported, be developed, and be rewarded for their contributions. This is where you come in.

Chemist Interns at Ecolab work in Product Development at our Research and Development campus located in Eagan, MN.

Main Responsibilities:
* Conduct laboratory research to support new product development projects.
* Develop and document new test protocols for use in research and field studies for validation of new product efficacy.
* Coordinate and conduct new product testing at customer sites in addition to training field service personnel on new product usage.
* Provide on-site customer technical support and trouble-shooting of new product applications and equipment.
* Assist in managing relationships with field service personnel and customers to proactively identify customer and business needs with respect to new product development efforts.

Basic Qualifications:
* Working towards degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or a related technical discipline.
* Experience performing laboratory test independently.

Preferred Qualifications:
* Demonstrated creative problem solving skills in laboratory and field testing environments.
* Requires very strong communication and interpersonal skills to interact effectively with internal and external customers.
* Self-motivated, independent worker.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Molecule of the Week - iPhone App

Did you know that the Molecule of the Week (MOTW) is one of the most popular destinations on It has its own space on the ACS home page, and now it has its own iPhone app, too!

MOTW enthusiasts and followers enjoy a quick reference each week to a different molecule online. With the mobile app, they get this and a quiz, too, with clues and images – all from the convenience of their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Other cool features make the MOTW iPhone app not only informative but fun!

Check out the MOTW app today, and download it for free at the iPhone store or

Monday, April 19, 2010

Summer Internship Possibility

Summer Internship-Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

Want to challenge yourself in a rewarding summer internship? Then CIMA LABS, wholly owned subsidiary of Cephalon, Inc. is the place for you!

As a summer intern, you will work in the Research and Development Analytical Group assisting with the development of new dosage forms/delivery systems including method development and validation for HPLC and dissolution, stability testing in support of drug formulations activities, laboratory sample analysis and documentation.

We are seeking junior or senior-year students majoring in chemistry who have completed quantitative analysis or instrumental analysis coursework.

Does this sound a rewarding challenge to you? Please fax or email your cover letter, resume, and college transcript to Katina Shelton by April 30, 2010.


7325 Aspen Lane N.

Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

Fax: 763-488-4800


CIMA LABS, a Cephalon company is proud to be an equal opportunity employer

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This is a great example of opportunities that are being created in the area of green chemistry. Alumni and current students should find this both interesting an informative.

Post-Doctoral Position in Sustainable Chemistry

A postdoctoral research project in the area of sustainable chemistry is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Sustainable Chemistry Program is focused on the integration of principles which define green chemistry and green engineering to develop chemical technologies that offer increased levels of sustainability when compared to an existing technology. The scope of this in-house research project is to expand the development and implementation of new methods or the syntheses of chemicals, ranging from specialty to commodity. The goal of the program is to demonstrate the production of chemicals with a minimized environmental and physical footprint with an emphasis towards implementation in an industrial setting. Applicants should have received a doctoral degree in chemistry, chemical engineering or a related discipline within five years of the starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date.

More information is available at

Technical Information: The participant will be mentored by Dr. Michael Gonzalez. For technical information, he may be contacted at

How to Apply: The Research Participation Program for EPA is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Please reference Project #EPA-ORD/NRMRL-STD-2010-03 when calling or writing for information. For additional information and application materials contact:

Research Participation Program/NCEA-RTP, Attn: Betty Bowling, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, P. O. Box 117, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0117, Phone: (865) 576-8503, FAX:(865) 241-5219, e-mail:

An application can be found at

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chemistry Seminar "Solving the Multiple Sclerosis Problem"

Colleen Hayes
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Friday, April 9, 2010 in RNS 390 at 3:00 p.m. with refreshments prior to seminar.

"Solving the Multiple Sclerosis Problem"
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a genetically and immunologically complex neurodegenerative disease that often strikes in young adulthood and causes significant disability. The seminar will cover genetic susceptibility to MS, and how a sunlight-linked environmental factor, vitamin D, appears to overcome genetic susceptibility, setting the disease threshold.  The mechanism of action of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 as an inhibitor of rodent MS will also be discussed.  Finally, the seminar will suggest a way forward, translating these new insights into a vitamin D-based action plan for MS disease prevention and treatment.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Graduate/Medical School Forum

The Biomolecular Science 201 class on Thursday, April 8 from 7-8:30 pm  in RNS 390 will be hosting a Graduate/Medical School forum.  This forum seeks to address questions such as;
  • What can I do with a biomolecular science concentration?
  • Is graduate/medical school for me?
  • What do I need to know about the graduate/medical school application process?
  • How do I prepare for graduate/medical school?
  • What is graduate/medical school like?
All science students are welcome.  Our experts include alumni currently in graduate/medical school and seniors who are finishing the graduate/medical school application process.  We hope to see you there.