Day 2 :
Duke University, USA
Keynote: Plasmonics nanoprobes: A new generation of biotools for cellular sensing, biomedical imaging and bioenergy research
Time : 09:30-10:10
Tuan Vo-Dinh is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Chemistry, and Director of Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics at Duke University. He completed his BS in Physics in 1970 at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1975 at ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich, Switzerland. His research activities involve “Nanophotonics, biophotonics, nano-biosensors, biochips, molecular spectroscopy, bioimaging for medical diagnostics and therapy (nano-theranostics), personalized medicine and global health”. He has received seven R&D 100 Awards for most technologically significant advance in research and development for his pioneering research and inventions of innovative technologies. He has received Gold Medal Award, Society for Applied Spectroscopy (1988); the Languedoc-Roussillon Award (France) (1989); the Scientist of the Year Award, ORNL (1992); the Thomas Jefferson Award, Martin Marietta Corporation (1992); two Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer, Federal Laboratory Consortium (1995, 1986) etc. He has authored over 400 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
There is a strong need to develop nanoprobes for cellular sensing and imaging, which allow selective and sensitive monitoring of bio-targets and molecular processes inside and outside cellular systems related to studies of plant bio-systems relevant to biofuel production. We develop a new class of nanoprobes called inverse molecular sentinels (iMS) for nucleic acid targets (e.g., mRNAs, microRNAs, siRNAs) that will enable imaging and study of cellular functions, both in plant and microbial species using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection. The iMS nano-probe system is composed of three parts: A stem-loop nucleic acid probe labeled with a Raman reporter, which provides the source of the Raman signal; a plasmonic-active nanoparticle e.g. nanospheres or nano-stars and; an unlabeled capture placeholder strand. Upon exposure to the target sequences, the placeholder capture strand leaves the “open” stem-loop probe, allows the stem-loop to “close” and moves the Raman label onto the plasmonics-active metal surface; this yields a strong SERS signal. The multiplex capability of SERS is an important feature due to the narrow Raman bandwidths, which provides significant advantages over other methods. We demonstrate the multiplexing capability of the iMS technique to target RGA and PP2AA3 genes of plant cells. RGA gene belongs to a 5-gene DELLA family in Arabidopsis, which plays a critical role in controlling plant biomass. The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of using the iMS nanoprobes for multiplex detection of important markers in bioenergy-relevant plant systems. The results obtained with the iMS sensing technology will be useful to understand and manipulate vegetative plant growth by identifying and ultimately modulating DELLA expression in specific cell types. Because DELLAs play a central role in regulating vegetative growth in flowering plants, our work will provide significant insights into novel ways to manipulate plant growth to increase biomass if renewable energy sources are for a sustainable and green future.
University of Evry, France
Keynote: Visualization and quantification of protein interactions along microtubules in mammalian cells
Time : 10:10-10:50
David Pastre is currently the Head of the SABNP Laboratory (INSERM unit U1204) and Professor at the University of Evry. He after studying Physics and Optics at the University of Montpellier, has developed a set up to collect cathodoluminescence near field. During a Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia (2000-2001), he designed a method to observe living mammalian cells at high-resolution with a scanning ion conductance microscope. As a Teacher-Researcher at the University of Evry, he deciphered the mechanisms leading to DNA absorption on mica and studied the formation of DNA and RNA/protein complexes on mica by atomic force microscopy. He is currently investigating, at the cellular and molecular levels, the dynamics and structure of RNA/protein complexes involved in the control of protein expression and the mechanisms which regulate microtubule dynamics. He also continues to develop novel methods to explore cellular and molecular processes.
The functions of many proteins and their interplay remain elusive, which limits the developments of diagnostic and treatment of many human diseases. To address this issue, methods are currently developed to decipher protein interactions in cells. We recently developed a new technology to probe protein interactions (PPI) along microtubules in specifically engineered mammalian cells by fluorescence microscopy. A bait protein is brought to microtubules and the presence of putative molecular partners, attracted by the bait protein, is then detected on microtubules by fluorescence microscopy. Here, we present the advantages of this technology compared to other approaches and its latest developments. The domain of applications are broad spanning from discovery of new drugs that target protein or mRNA interactions, identifying molecular targets, exploring the consequences of mutations and the possible corrections of pathogenic consequences.
University of Houston, USA
Keynote: Bio-manufacturing of gout medicine
Time : 11:10-11:50
Colchicine is one of the most important alkaloid-based antigout drugs with anticancer potential which is unique to Colchicaceae. Gloriosa superba L is a very successful commercial source of plant-based pharmaceutical colchicine. However, high colchicine production is challenging and the cultivation is labor-intensive, time consuming, and expensive. Indeed, there is no bio-manufacturing technology for the production of plant-based colchicine. A new biotechnological bio-rhizome engineering platform is emerging from G. superba. Author will discuss recent advances in bio-rhizome to bio-manufacture therapeutic colchicine.
Ganapathy Sivakumar is currently an Assistant Professor in Department of Engineering and Technology at University of Houston, USA. He completed his PhD and Post-doctoral degree in the areas of Biotechnology, Molecular Chemistry, Bio-process Engineering. He has experience in Industrial Biotechnology. He has over 40 publications. He is also Editorial Board Member of several journals. He serves as an expert of grant proposals as well as numerous scientific journals. His laboratory focuses on metabolic and bioprocess engineering of colchicine pathway and developing potential anticancer medicine.