Subject: IIDR eNews - December 1st, 2017

Issue 7 - December 1st, 2017
This Month at the IIDR 

CMCB Facility Highlight: ÄKTA Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC)

AKTA FPLCs are capable of rapid purification of proteins at low to medium pressure. The systems can purify proteins using affinity tags, hydrophobicity, charge, or size exclusion. The FPLCs have a UV detector that automatically monitors three wavelengths and are also equipped with inline conductivity monitoring. There are sample loops for 0.1-150 mL volumes, as well as sample pumps for larger sample sizes (litres) and fraction collection options ranging from microtiter plates to 50 mL tubes. Four refrigerated systems and facility columns are available for use at the CMCB, and staff can provide complete start-to-finish training. Staff are also available for hire to purify proteins for you. Could you be purifying your protein or antibody of interest instead of purchasing it?

World AIDS Day 2017 - How IIDR's Dr. Charu Kaushic is Helping End HIV Transmission

AIDS-related illnesses have resulted in an estimated 35 million deaths since the start of the epidemic, including 1.1 million in 2015. The slogan for this year's World AIDS Day is "Lets End It - End isolation, End stigma, End HIV transmission." Check out our newest IIDR Research Highlight Poster to see how Dr. Charu Kaushic aims to help end HIV transmission through her incredible dedication to change and groundbreaking research on women's reproductive health.
A Clinical Study Walkthrough: Novel Probiotics to Promote Healthy Aging and Reduce Susceptibility to Respiratory Infections in the Elderly

The microbial ecosystem of the nose, sinuses and mouth change with age and may contribute to an increased risk of infection amongst older adults. Previous studies from the Bowdish and Surette labs have shown that older adults have fewer “good” bacteria that prevent pathogens from establishing a foothold in the microbial ecosystem of the nose and mouth. In this currently ongoing clinical study, the team hypothesize that individuals that have fewer of these “good” bacteria will be more susceptible to infections, and furthermore, if we can grow and understand how these bacteria support immunity in the upper respiratory tract we may be able to turn them - or the factors they produce - into novel probiotics. 
IIDR-Supervised McMaster Students Awarded Bronze Medal at International Synthetic Biology Competition

Under the supervision of Dr. Zeinab Hosseini-Doust, 'McMaster iGEM Team 2' was awarded a bronze medal at the 2017 International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Giant Jamboree in Boston. iGEM is the world’s largest undergraduate biology competition, inviting over 300 multi-disciplinary student teams from around the world to devise synthetic biological solutions to common problems in research or society. Read more about how iGEM Team 2 employed the interdisciplinary skills of mathematical modelling, engineering, and molecular biology to design a ‘bacterial cancer treatment’ – a bacterium capable of detecting and destroying a cancerous tumour, and subsequently self-destructing to prevent bacterial overgrowth.
Congrats, Doctor Pawlowski!

Huge congratulations to Dr. Andrew Pawlowski of the Wright lab for successfully defending his thesis this month. We had a chance to sit down with (the very busy!) Andrew, to ask him a few questions regarding his love for cooking up experiments, his area of research at the IIDR, and his goals for the future.

Make sure not to miss Dr. Pawlowski’s ID/IIDR Combined Rounds talk with Dr. Martha Fulford entitled “One Health – People, Animals, and the Environment” on Wednesday, December 6th. The presentation will take place from 8:00am to 9:00am in MUMC, HSC 4E20. Stay tuned next week for a live link to the seminar.
Caitlyn Rotondo & Dr. Gerry Wright Explore Inhibitors of metallo-β-lactamases

β-lactams represent the largest and most widely used class of antibiotics. However, β-lactamases are enzymes capable of inactivating β-lactams through an active site Ser residue or a zinc-dependent mechanism. Although Ser-β-lactamases are more commonly isolated in the clinic, metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) are becoming an ever-growing global health threat. The most prominent MBL inhibitors act by means of a Zn-dependent mode through ligand replacement (e.g. captopril, dimercaprol, cyclic boronates) or metal sequestration (e.g. aspergillomarasmine A). These inhibitors represent a promising tool to extend the effectiveness of current β-lactams antibiotics.
Call for Research Participants

The Bowdish lab is looking for young (30-70) and older (70+) adults to participate in a research study. If you or an older adult in your life might be interested in participating, click here for more details or contact Dr. Bowdish (

! The January ID/ IIDR Combined Joint Rounds will take place on Monday, January 10th in MUMC HSC 4E20, and are open to all IIDR members and trainees.

The Biochemistry Grad Student Association will be hosting a gingerbread house competition on Tuesday, December 5th in Home Base at 11 to 12 pm. It will be $10 a kit. Sign up here
Upcoming Events
! Wednesday, December 6th: ID / IIDR Combined Rounds
Dr Martha Fulford & Dr. Andrew Pawlowski
"One Health - People, Animals, and the Environment"
8:00 am - 9:00 pm

! Friday, December 15th: The IIDR Holiday Party
8:00 pm
The Collins Brewhouse
33 King Street West
Dundas, ON
L9H 1T5

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in the IIDR Main Office - MDCL 2301.
Thursday & Friday, December 14th - 15th: Data Carpentry Workshop
Aimed at teaching biology and biomedical researchers the data management basics they need to make their data curation and analysis skills more efficient and reproducible.
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Hamilton Hall, Room 102

*See the Website for more information
*Sign up on Eventbrite.
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