Montana State University
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Despite winter storms in the eastern states that shut down airports, the meeting drew a winter record 80 attendees from 46 industrial companies, as well as 5 government entities and 5 universities. Attendees came from 24 states, Sweden, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Nine invited speakers presented research addressing session topics on healthcare-associated biofilms, industrial water treatment, and enzyme interactions with biofilms.

Featured presentations by the recipients of the CBE’s new program to recognize talented young biofilm researchers included:

Semprus Biosciences is our newest small business member. They are a venture capital funded start-up based in Cambridge, MA, that is developing innovative medical device coatings for prevention of surgical site infection. The company representative is David Lucchino, CEO.

Read more about Semprus Bioscience

Dr. Ross Carlson has very generously contributed funding to purchase a new 100X oil objective for the CBE microscope facility. In addition, Ross has also purchased some ion chromatography necessities (AS9-HC column set and self-regenerating suppressor) and a replacement ultra-pure water filter cartridge set that will also benefit CBE researchers.

Read more about CBE Microscope Facility

MSU was recently reaccredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Commission praised the university with four special commendations. Three of the commendations relate to campus features that CBE has helped influence:

Achieving inclusion in the Carnegie Foundation’s list of top research institutions: With a multimillion dollar annual budget for the past 20 years coming from competitive grants, industrial memberships, and sponsored research projects, the CBE has consistently been a productive research unit at MSU.

"Use of alternative carrier materials in AOAC official methodSM 2008.05, efficacy of liquid sporicides against spores of Bacillus subtilis on a hard, nonporous surface, quantitative three-step method"
Tomasino SF, Hamilton MA, Pines RM
Journal of AOAC International 2010; 93(1):259-276
Read abstract

"Quorum sensing: A new biofouling control paradigm in a membrane bioreactor for advanced wastewater treatment"
Yeon K-M, Cheong W-S, Oh H-S, Lee W-N, Hwang B-K, Lee C-H, Beyenal H, Lewandowski Z

Florence Mus is joining the MSU Algal Biodiesel group, as a postdoctoral researcher. She has a PhD in molecular microbiology and biotechnology from Aix-Marseille II University, France, and did her postdoctoral work at Stanford with Dr. A. Grossman. Her industry background includes working at Metabolic Explorer.

Florence has extensive experience analyzing the physiology of photosynthetic algae and will work with the algae biodiesel group at MSU to study experimental and metabolic systems aspects of lipid accumulation.

Poster Session, February 26, 2010

Potential employers were able to browse through a poster session presented by MSU graduate students showcasing their research projects, which represented 11 disciplines. A host of CBE-associated students presented their work and the poster abstracts are provided below for you to download and read through.

Read poster abstracts (pdf designed by Monica Chodkiewicz-Nocek, Graphic Designer for the Molecular Biosciences Program)

Visiting Scientist

Mijeong Jang, a postdoctoral research scientist from Seoul, Korea, will be working in Anne Camper’s Lab until February 2011. Dr. Jang has an interest in the effects of humics on biofilms in drinking water distributions systems.


Industrial Visitors

Andrew Full and Marcos Gomez from BASF, Somerset, NJ, visited the CBE January 26-27, 2010

Isaac Klapper presented, “Importance of layering in ecology and function of microbial biofilms,” Dynamics of Layering in Biological Systems Conference, Pasadena, CA, January 14-18, 2010.

Paul Sturman presented, “Biofilm growth and control in industrial water systems,” Genentech, San Francisco, CA, January 11, 2010.

The CBE was proud to present the 2010 W.G. Characklis Outstanding Student Award to Sabrina Behnke and Erin Field.

Sadly, on Tuesday 6th of January 2010, Professor Kevin Marshall, internationally recognized and well-loved former Head of the School of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of New South Wales, passed away.

In memory of Kevin, former CBEer Paul Stoodley (now at Southampton University) wrote:

"A biofilm growth protocol and the design of a magnetic field exposure setup to be used in the study of magnetic fields as a means of controlling bacterial biofilms"
McLeod BR, Sandvik EL
Bioelectromagnetics 2010; 31(1):56-63
Read abstract

"Checking the validity of the harvesting and disaggregating steps in laboratory tests of surface disinfectants”
Hamilton M, Buckingham-Meyer K, and Goeres DM
Journal of AOAC International 2009; 92(6):1755-1762
Read abstract

Stacy Parks, Research Engineer, accepted a job with Bend Research, Inc. in Bend, OR. In the last three years, she has worked with Al Cunningham’s group and contributed substantially to research on Subsurface Biofilm Barriers for Enhanced Geologic Sequestration of Supercritical CO2. We will miss her at the CBE but wish her the best in this new opportunity for her career.

“Reactive transport in biofouled and biomineralized porous media,” Thesis Defense by Logan Schultz, MS candidate in Chemical Engineering, Montana State University, January 2010.

"Alkaline hydrolysis of explosives," Thesis Defense by Catherine E. VanEngelen, PhD candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Montana State University, December 2009.

Darla Goeres presented “Standardized methods: Development and validation of a treatment method” and Al Parker presented “Ruggedness assessment and experimental design in the biofilm laboratory,” to representatives of the Biological and Economic Analysis Division (BEAD) and Antimicrobials Division (AD) of the EPA, Fort Meade, Maryland, December 2 – 3, 2009.

Mary Cloud Ammons was one of seven winners of the BD Biosciences Fall 2009 Research Grant Program selected to receive individual grants of research reagents valued at $10,000. She was interviewed about her research which examines the function of the innate immune system in the presence of biofilms.

Read the interview stories, “Fall 2009 Research Grant Recipients Talk About Their Research.”

WuXi AppTec has joined the CBE as our newest small business member. WuXi is an R/D service company specializing in testing for medical devices and pharma. The designated representative will be Michael Corby.

Read more about WuXi AppTec.

UPCOMING:Montana Biofilm Meeting
Bozeman, Montana
February 9-10, 2010
Montana Biofilm Meeting Agenda (pdf)

Standardized Biofilm Methods Workshop
February 8, 2010
Biofilm Methods Workshop Overview (pdf)

Great expectations from micro-organisms: MSU gets a $2 million grant from NSF to investigate a diesel-producing fungus. CBE associated faculty members Brent Peyton and Ross Carlson, chemical and biological engineering, have teamed up with Gary Strobel, plant sciences, and researchers at Yale University to optimize the production of hydrocarbon-rich vapors from Gliocladium roseum. Read more.

Montana State University professors are taking the next step in research that could make it possible to produce biofuel from wood chips using a fungus discovered in South America.