News Releases

Orban Presents at Gordon Conference in Switzerland


August 23, 2018 -- IBBR Fellow Dr. John Orban spoke at the Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Gordon Research Conference held in Les Diablerets, Switzerland in early July. Dr. Orban presented work from two systems his team is exploring in his talk titled “Disordered Regions in Ensemble and Fold Switching”.

Montgomery County Students Gain Biotechnology Experience at IBBR


August 23, 2018 -- IBBR’s 2018 Summer Intern program culminated on Thursday, August 16, as six Montgomery County high school students presented their research results to their peers, colleagues, family, and friends at a poster session held at the Institute’s Shady Grove campus. Begun in 2003, the IBBR Summer Intern program has provided approximately 160 local high school students with real-world experience in biology, chemistry, and engineering.

New Cell Lines Will Facilitate Optimized Production of Antibody-based Therapeutics


August 13, 2018 -- A family of drugs called monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) harnesses the power of the immune system to fight cancer and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.  In 2016, NIST released a reference standard for mAbs called NISTmAb.  Now, NIST and UMD researchers at IBBR have developed three cell lines that produce antibodies very similar to the NISTmAb standard.  The new cell lines will be publicly available, valuable tools for studying the biomanufacturing production process for new mAb drugs.

IBBR Researchers Develop Web Platform for Modeling Structure of Immune System Proteins


August 9, 2018 -- Immune system proteins called T cell receptors (TCRs) are involved in fighting infectious disease, are implicated in a number of autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, and have major potential as a platform for the development of cancer drugs. TCRModel, developed by IBBR Fellow Dr. Brian Pierce and postdoctoral associate Dr. Ragul Gowthaman, allows researchers to input TCR sequences and retrieve high-resolution structure predictions in a matter of minutes.

University of Maryland Student Experiment Returns from Space


August 8, 2018 -- University of Maryland undergraduates Rushi Challa and Natalie Ivanina learned techniques and optimized their experiment for space conditions with the help of IBBR Fellow Daniel Nelson and his lab group. 

2 IBBR Researchers Receive UM Ventures Seed Grants


August 1, 2018 -- IBBR Fellows Dr. Silvia Muro and Dr. Daniel Nelson were each awarded $15,000 Seed Grants from UM Ventures. Dr. Muro’s project will expand the applications of her patented peptides that specifically target cellular structures called lysosomes, defects of which are the cause of a range of severe genetic disorders. Dr. Nelson’s project will advance his patented technology that targets Bacillus bacteria, including organisms that cause anthrax and a serious form of food-poisoning. 

IBBR Researchers Receive $1.5M NSF Award


July 31, 2018 -- The National Science Foundation’s SemiSynBio program recently awarded $1.5 million to IBBR Fellows Dr. Bill Bentley and Dr. Greg Payne and their collaborators at University of Maryland’s Institute for Systems Research, University of Nebraska, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. The team's unique insight is that both biology and electronic devices can communicate through reduction and oxidation reactions - referred to as "redox". 

IBBR at Maryland Day!


April 30, 2018 -- Sunshine, blue skies, and nary a cloud made for a beautiful day as UMCP welcomed thousands of visitors for its 20th anniversary of Maryland Day.  IBBR participated in the event for the first time with two table displays. The first display featured a protein matching game based on protein structures solved at the Institute. The second shared information about genetically modified organisms (GMO's), genetic engineering, and their potential impact on global food shortages.  

IBBR Graduate Student Receives Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award


April 24, 2018 -- Congratulations to Tsega Solomon, a graduate student in Dr. John Orban’s laboratory, at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), who has received the 2018-2019 Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement for her work on temperature-dependent protein fold switches.  The award is given each year to just one UMCP graduate student campus-wide and carries a stipend of $15,000 and candidacy tuition remission.

IBBR Solar Canopy Dedication - Part of a Larger Energy Savings Plan


April 23, 2018 -- On Wednesday, April 18, the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) welcomed honored guests to a dedication of its recently installed solar canopy.  Funded by a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration and completed in cooperation with the UMD Facilities Management Department of Engineering and Energy, WGL Systems, and SGC Power, the canopy is not only a renewable energy source helping to reduce the Institute's carbon footprint, it also includes two charging stations for electric cars and is providing shade and weather protected parking for staff... Read More