A Note from the Director
From Dr. Barry Karger
The last few months for the Barnett Institute have been eventful. First, we were all saddened by the death of our colleague, Professor Bill Giessen, last March. Bill was with the Institute from its very beginning in 1973 and was an important member over many years. He is already sorely missed. I invite you to read comments I made at his memorial service>>
Also, as of July 2010, Northeastern has restructured the College of Arts and Sciences into three new colleges. The Barnett Institute has become part of the new College of Science and will now be housed under the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. This move is positive for the Institute as it will allow us to focus on advancing our research programs and the development of our Center for Advanced Regulatory Analysis (CARA). You can read more about CARA here>>
The past year has been very successful for the Barnett Institute. John Engen received the American Chemical Society Analytical Division Arthur F. Findeis Young Investigator Award. In addition, Waters Corp. introduced a new instrument based on his hydrogen/ deuterium exchange mass spectrometry for protein conformational analysis. Roger Giese and colleagues secured a major NIH project grant to study the role of the environment in causing the significant increase in preterm births in Puerto Rico. Paul Vouros also continued his remarkable success in being awarded NIH grants, especially for the detection of biomarkers indicative of environmental carcinogens, with a focus on DNA adducts.
This past year Bill Hancock was on sabbatical at Yonsei University in South Korea. While there, he continued his very successful editorship of the Journal of Proteome Research and his co-chairmanship of the NIH Alliance of Glycobiologists for the Detection of Cancer and Cancer Risk. Sunny Zhou introduced a powerful new approach for studying isoaspartic acid, a modification that is implicated in aging. It is also important to determine isoaspartic formation in biopharmaceuticals as the modification is immunogenic.
Graham Jones has devoted his research to bioconjugation, specifically the synthesis of F18 radiolabeled proteins for PET imaging. Also, as Chair of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, he introduced the first in the nation professional science master’s program in Regulatory Science; the first class has just begun. My program continues on two fronts. We have been successful in the proteomic study of breast cancer, elucidating new pathways and networks. On the biotechnology front, we have an active program with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, MA) to examine cell lines and final product when short interference RNA (siRNA) is used to control gene expression.
Finally, let me recognize our research faculty, Andras Guttman, Marina Hincapie, Tomas Rejtar, Thomas Wales and Billy Wu, as well as all the research and administrative staff. Without their enthusiastic efforts, it is clear that the Institute would not be where it is today.