Biological Sciences News:
Cobine receives NSF grant
Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Paul Cobine received a four-year National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $588,088. The grant is titled “Transport and Distribution of Mitochondrial Copper.”
Copper is an essential element required for aerobic life. Cobine’s project addresses the fundamental eukaryotic cellular process of copper trafficking to mitochondria. Copper is required in mitochondria as part of an enzyme complex that is intrinsically linked to the production of energy for cells. However, the mechanism of transport of copper to mitochondria and the trafficking within the organelle are not well understood. The identity of proteins and/or molecules involved in the delivery and distribution of copper is crucial to understanding the larger picture of regulation and coordinated assembly pathways. Baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is used as a simple system to perform genetic and biochemical experiments to identify and understand the proteins and molecules involved in the homeostasis of copper in mitochondria. Cobine’s research will define the mechanism of the copper transporter that facilitates movement across the otherwise impermeable inner membrane of mitochondria, identify alternative or complementary pathways of transport, and characterize the molecule that binds copper to make it biologically available to mitochondria.
"While the final destination of copper in mitochondria has been established for many years, the mechanisms for recruitment to distribution are a 'black box,'" Cobine said. "This funding provides an opportunity to confirm the identity of the protein doing the transport across the inner membrane, and we expect that this protein will be the key to unraveling the complete pathway."
Included in this project is funding to partner with the established Cellular and Molecular Biosciences Teaching Enhancement Awards, or TEA, program for Alabama high schools. In the TEA program, high school students spend two weeks in the Cobine laboratory learning experimental strategies using yeast as a model organism for a spectrum of scientific questions that can be translated into their high school classrooms. After working in the laboratory for two weeks, the students demonstrate proficiency by teaching their science teachers the experimental design and strategy that was learned. The design is then implemented into their high school science curriculum. This project also provides training for graduate and undergraduate students at Auburn University.
For more information on Cobine, visit his website.
Acevedo receives NSF grant
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Orlando Acevedo received a three-year National Science Foundation, or NSF, grant. The grant, which began on May 1, 2012, totals $275,061 and will support Acevedo’s research as he tries to establish a firm understanding of the intermolecular interactions occurring between ionic liquids and important chemical reaction classes. The title of the grant is, “Development of an Ionic Liquid Force Field for QM/MM Simulations.” Ionic liquids are a unique class of solvent, generally defined as a material containing only ionic species with a melting point below 100 degrees Celsius. With over 100 million pounds of chemical waste treated yearly, a better understanding of how to optimize recyclable ionic liquids for chemical reactions has the potential to impact society from the lab to large-scale industrial manufacturing. In addition, his research will expand the number of ionic liquid force field parameters available for simulation.
“I am honored that the NSF has chosen to fund our work and I think it's a testament to the hard work that my graduate students have been putting into their research efforts,” Acevedo said.
For more information on Acevedo, visit his website.
COSAM announces 2012 football season tailgates
COSAM will host three 2012 football season tailgates, and you are invited to attend. The first one will take place prior to the Auburn vs. Arkansas game on Oct. 6. The second tailgate will take place prior to the Auburn vs. Texas A&M game on Oct. 27. The final COSAM tailgate will be on Nov. 10, prior to the Auburn vs. Georgia game. All three tailgates will last one and a half hours and will begin three hours prior to kickoff.
Please RSVP to Brook Moates at 334.844.2931 or email@example.com to guarantee enough food for all. We hope to see you there! War Eagle!
Numerous opportunities for giving
COSAM’s Office of Development has numerous opportunities for supporting the college through giving. Here are a few options:
Annual Scholarship: An annual award to a student can be established with a minimum gift of $1,000. You may designate criteria for recipients including major, geographic location and financial need.
Endowed Spirit of Auburn Scholarship: First time endowment donors may establish a scholarship with a minimum gift of $12,500 which can be paid over a five-year period. Earnings from the endowments are “paired” with current Auburn University scholarships in perpetuity to make a more meaningful student award. The deadline for the Spirit of Auburn scholarship program is June 30, 2012.
Endowed Scholarship—Planned Gift: Endowments may be funded through estate plans which require no current gift. Types of planned gifts include bequests, trusts, life insurance, retirement plans or real estate. Planned gifts may also be used to increase the size of previously established endowments.
For additional information, please call 334.844.2931 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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COSAM graduate is finalist for Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship
Two former Auburn student athletes are among six finalists for the 2012 Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, the NCAA's highest academic award: 2010 COSAM honors graduate in chemistry Dan Mazzaferro; and Mary "Katy" Frierson, women's soccer, who graduated in 2011 from the College of Liberal Arts. Mazzaferro was a member of the Auburn men’s swimming and diving team and is also a 2011 graduate from the College of Business. He was a three-time SEC champion diver and the SEC Male Diver of the Year in 2009 and 2011. A native of Cheshire, Conn., Mazzaferro is a seven-time All-American who participated in the 2007 and 2009 World University Games and was a United States Olympic Trials finalist in 2008. A Rhodes Scholar finalist in 2011 and 2012, Mazzaferro graduated from Auburn with a 3.92 grade point average in chemistry and was a two-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Mazzaferro was a finalist for the Byers Postgraduate Scholarship in 2010 and 2011, and is a four-time College Swimming Coaches Association of America Academic All-American. Currently studying medicine, Mazzaferro is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi, Golden Key International Honor Society, Delta Epsilon Iota and National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
"It is a tremendous honor to be named a finalist for the Walter Byers Scholarship," Mazzaferro said. "The experiences and opportunities I had as an NCAA Division I student-athlete have positively impacted me and will remain a part of me throughout my life. I am grateful for the service of Walter Byers and the thousands of other NCAA coaches and staff who have created, and continue to improve, an environment that encourages excellence in academics, athletics and service."
The Byers Scholarships were established in 1988 to recognize the contributions of former NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Recipients must have at least a 3.5 grade-point average, demonstrate evidence of superior character and leadership, and show that participation in athletics has been a positive influence on their personal and intellectual development.
For more information on the Walter Byers Scholarship click HERE.
To read the full story, click HERE.
COSAM alumnus delivers podcast
Last month, e-Journey published an announcement about COSAM alumnus Ivy Carroll, chemistry ’57, receiving the Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry during the 2012 Ceremony and General Meeting of the American Chemical Society on March 27, in San Diego, California. Carroll recently visited Auburn University and while he was here, Chemistry Professor and former Dean of COSAM, Stewart Schneller, captured a podcast with him. To listen to the podcast, Click Here.
Congratulations COSAM Graduates
COSAM's spring 2012 commencement was on May 7, at the Auburn Arena. Following the ceremony, COSAM hosted a reception at the Donald E. Davis Arboretum. To see photos from the reception, please join us on Facebook.
2012 – 2013 COSAM Leaders announced
The COSAM Leaders are an exemplary group of students who serve the college as its official ambassadors. The 2012-2013 Leaders have been selected and they are: Brad Young (President), Kyle Adams (Vice President), Channing Garber (Secretary), Billy Walick (Treasurer), Maria Campbell, Jessica Epperson, Austin Gilchrist, Jamey Hammock, Pamela Hart, Sarah Hashimi, Jordie Keeley, Ashley Nutt, Stephen Thrasher, Sean Tilford, Jazmine Wilder and Kevin Zhang.
Late Registration available for COSAM’s Science Matters Summer Academy
The College of Sciences and Mathematics’ Science Matters Summer Enrichment Academy for elementary students offers youngsters a cross-curricular, age-appropriate science experience. Parents can choose between the Regular Day option from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily or the Extended Day option from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Prices range from $170 to $235 per week, per child. Multiple-week discounts are available. Limited seating is still available for some courses. Information and registration forms can be found on the Science Matters Website. Seating is limited and spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Late registration for the above courses will continue until courses fill.
For more information contact Allison Tjelmeland at 334.844.8161 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.