News Archive - Biomolecular Interaction Centre - University of Canterbury - New Zealand



January - Congratulations to BIC Director Associate Professor Ant Poole as BIC Director.


September - Contgratulations to BIC Principal Investigators Ren Dobson and Volker Nock who have been jointly awarded a Tech Jumpstart prize of $20,000 for their project "A point-of-care microfluidic device that tests for blood incompatibility". The funding is to assist with technology development. They will also receive commercialisation support from UC's Research and Innovation, and possible additional funding for continued development.

June - Congratulations to BIC PI Ren Dobson who has received a US National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award to work on DapL as an antibiotic target. Ren's coapplicant is Associate Professor André Hudson from Rochester Institute of Technology, who visited UC last year as an Erskine fellow. This grant will enable Ren and André to continue to strengthen research ties between BIC and Rochester Institute of Technology, and will enable MSc student Anthony Weatherhead to spend six months at RIT to work on this project.

New BIC Director Appointed - March 2016:- Anthony Poole becomes the new Director of BIC taking the reins from Matthew Turnbull who has been a Caretaker Director since October 2015.


BIC Annual Symposium: Thursday 3 December

Canterbury 'Omics Symposium III, University of Otago - (4 November). This has become an important date on the local science calendar, having evolved out of a BIC symposium on genomics originally organised by BIC PI Paul Gardner, with BIC as an ongoing and proud sponsor.

BIC Postgraduate success at NZ Microbiology Conference, Rotorua - Nicole Wheeler (PhD with Paul Gardner and Renwick Dobson) and Paddy Gibson (MSc with Professor Jack Heinemann) were two of the five finalists at the New Zealand Microbiology talk competition. Nicole was awarded the best student talk with her presentation on "Profile-based comparison of Pseudomonas genomes reveals signatures of pathogenicity”.

New BIC PhD student (1 November) and recipient of the BIC Callaghan PhD scholarship - Serena Watkin, will be exploring the interface between protein chemistry (Theme 2) and microfluidics (Theme 1).  BIC PI’s Ren Dobson, Grant Pearce, and Volker Nock will supervise Serena’s PhD thesis.  She is currently working with a BIC visitor, Emma Purcell, who is visiting from the University of California San Diego.”

BIC Marsden Grant success:-

Associate Professor DF Ackerley

Victoria University of Wellington


Better, faster, stronger: bionic enzymes for artificial substrates

Dr RCJ Dobson



How do bacteria scavenge sialic acids from their human host?

Dr VM Nock



Hyphae-on-a-chip: a microfluidic platform for the study of protrusive forces in hyphal invasion

Brian Mason Trust - Ashley Garrill and Volker Nock were successful with $11,763 awarded for ‘Using the Lab-on-a-Chip to understand the protrusive force exerted by pathogenic hyphae’.

BIC Director, Emily Parker - steps down (October) and the reins are handed over to Matthew Turnbull (Head of the School of Biological Sciences) in a caretaker role until the end of February 2016.

BIC Visitor - welcome to Emma Purcell, an undergraduate student from University of California San Diego, is visiting Ren Dobson and Volker Nock’s laboratory for 5 months.  She is working on microfluidic devices. 

"Explain why your research project is important to your Granny" (7 October) - Congratulations go to the overall cash prize winners Eric Lang in first place, Kyle Van de Bittner 2nd and Nicky Blackmore 3rd. It is hoped that this event will be repeated to a wider public audience next time. Big thanks go to Sarah Kessans for pulling this inaugural event together - it was the brain child of former BIC manager Susie Meade.

MBIE grant awarded to Volker Nock as part of SCION (1 October) - as an AI $3,750,000 for Protecting New Zealand’s primary sector from plant pests; a toolkit for the urban battlefield.

MBIE grant awarded to Renwick Dobson (1 October) as part of Riddet CoRE, AI $42m.

BIC recipient for one of 12 New Rutherford Discovery Fellowships awarded in the 2015 - Congratulatons go to Dr Jane Allison, Massey University for her research entitled: “Deciphering molecular choreography".

25th Anniversary meeting Queenstown Molecular Biology 2015 (30th August to 4th September) - Nicole Wheeler, PhD student (supervisors:- Paul Gardner and Renwich Dobson) was awarded the the Poster Prize for her presentation on "profile-based comparison of Pseudomonas genome reveals signatures of pathogenicity".

Recently BIC has approved the following short term postdoctoral fellows:-



Postdoctoral fellow

Antony Fairbanks

Synthesis of Phosphorylated Glycoproteins

Akshita Wason

Ant Poole

Phylogeny-informed comparative transcriptomics of Bacteria and Archaeaas a tool to study avoidance of noncodingRNA – mRNA crosstalk interactions

Amy Osborne

Conan Fee

Gelation Properties of Self-Assembling Peptides.

Prasanna Ponnumallayan

Ren Dobson

Viral capsid-like bacterial enzyme factories: Structure, function, evolution and mode of assembly and packaging

Katherine Donovan

Paul Gardner

RNA vs protein: investigating evolutionary robustness

Dorien Coray

BIC farewells Susie Meade, BIC Manager, (24 July 2015) as she takes up a new role with QuakeCoRE . Rachel Hocking (finance) and Rosalie Reilly (admin) take on temporary part-time administration roles, they are located in the Chemistry, Phyiscs and Astronomy department admin offices, level 5, Rutherford Building.

BIC/Biology Seminar: John Lewis (Canterbury Health Laboratories)
“Antibodies as tools to investigate protein structure: lessons from corticosteroid-binding globulin (SERPINA6)
2 July, 12 Noon, Room 275, Biology

New BIC Investigator (May 2015) This month we welcome Antony Fairbanks as a principal investigator of BIC.  Fez has interest in carbohydrate and glycoprotein synthesis, which have strong overlap with many of our BIC activities so it is great to welcome him on board.

New BIC Investigator (13 April 2015) We are pleased to welcome Dr Paul Gardner (School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury) as a Principal Investigator.

BIC symposium: Biomolecular Evolution Symposium 1-5pm 12 June 2015

New BIC Investigator (20 March 2015) We are pleased to welcome Dr Simone Dimartino (CAPE, University of Canterbury) as a Principal Investigator.

BIC/Biology Seminar: ProfIan Shaw
“Molecular mimicry – Undercover chemistry in a biological world
23 April, 12 Noon, Seminar Room 275, Biology

BIC Symposium: Engineering Biotech
11am-2:30pm Thursday 19 March

BIC/Biology Seminar: Prasanna Ponnumallayan (Final PhD Seminar)
Development of Novel Stimuli Responsive Filtration Membrane using Self-assembling Peptides
10 February, 11am, Room 210, von Haast

BIC/Biology Seminar: Dr Ivanhoe Leung (University of Auckland)
Using NMR Spectroscopy to Study Protein-Ligand Interactions
5 February, 12Noon, Seminar Room 275, Biology


New BIC Investigator (5 November 2014) We are pleased to welcome Dr Gary Evans (Ferrier Research Institute, Victoria University), Dr Peter Tyler (Ferrier Research Institute, Victoria University) and Dr Stefan Clerens (AgResearch)  as Associate Investigators.

New BIC Adjunct (10 October 2014) We are delighted to welcome Dr Luigi Sasso (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands) as an UC Adjunct Fellow with BIC.

BIC/BlueFern Symposium: Biomolecular Computation
9.30am-5pm Tuesday 28 October

BIC/Biology Seminar: Prof Jerry Turnbull (University of Liverpool)
“Chemical Biology of Heparan Sulfates: Towards Diverse Therapeutic Applications in Alzheimers, Cancer and Nerve Repair
16 October, 1pm, Seminar Room 275, Biology

New BIC Adjunct (1 September 2014) We are delighted to welcome Dr James Murphy (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research) as an UC Adjunct Associate Professor jointly with BIC and the School of Biological Sciences.

New BIC Investigator (12 August 2014) We are delighted to welcome Dr Monica Gerth (University of Otago) as an Associate Investigator.

BIC/Chemistry Seminar:Jiří Kozelka (Laboratoire de Chimie et Biochimie Pharmacologiques et Toxicologiques)
“Antitumor platinum complexes and DNA: about the role of H-bonding in kinetics and structure
11.00 am 26 August, Rutherford Rm531

BIC/SBS Seminar:Prof Elisar Barbar (Oregon State University)
Poly-Bivalency and Disordered Proteins in Ordering Macromolecular Assemblies: Insights from NMR Spectroscopy
Noon, 31 July, Seminar Room 275

BIC Symposium “Connections and Collaborations”
1-5pm 17 June 2014

New BIC Adjunct (9 June 2014) We are delighted to welcome Dr Hironori Suzuki as an UC Adjunct Senior Fellow.

New BIC Investigator (16 April 2014) We are delighted to welcome Prof Tony Kettle (University of Otago, Christchurch) as an Associate Investigator.

New BIC Adjunct (9 April 2014) We are delighted to welcome Richard Neutze (Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden) as an UC Adjunct Professor.

BIC Grants Applications for BIC grants are now open. Applications are due by 5pm Friday 9 May.

BIC/SBS Seminar:  James Murphy (The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, University of Melbourne)
The emergence of a “dead” enzyme, MLKL, as a mediator of cell death by necroptosis
Noon  1 May, Rm 275,  Biology

New BIC Adjuncts (20 September 2013) We are delighted to welcome Michael Steward and Antonia Miller (Protein Science and Engineering Team, Callaghan Innovation) as UC Adjunct Senior Fellows.

BIC/SBS Seminar: Sylvie Hermann (Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie)
Diversity of Atp9 gene distribution between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes in Fungi
Noon, 10 April, Rm 275, Biology 

BIC/SBS Seminar: Derek Wilson (York University)
When Proteins Get... Excited
11am, 9 April, Rm 275, Biology 

Final PhD Seminar: Dmitri Joseph
Mechanistic and Evolutionary Analyses of the Sialic Acid Synthase Family
11 am, 4 April, Room 531, Rutherford Building,

Changes in Leadership Team:
From 1 April 2014, Juliet Gerrard will be stepping down as BIC Director as she will be moving to Auckland University later in the year.
We are delighted to announce that Emily Parker will be the incoming Director of BIC, with Ant Poole supporting her as Deputy Director. We'd like to thank Juliet for all her time and energy in the BIC Director role.

BIC/Biology Seminar: Stephen Withers (University of British Columbia)
New access to complex glycoconjugates through engineering and evolution of glycosyltransferases and glycosynthases
Noon, 19 March, Rm 275, Biology 

Final PhD Seminar: Tammie Cookson
Probing the active site of anthranilate phosphoribosyltransferase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis to facilitate novel drug development
11am, 19 March, Room 531, Rutherford Building,

Congratulations to Amy Yewdall on her poster prize at the 39th Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function Conference.

Thanks to Bill Swallow:
Bill Swallow stepped down as a BIC PI from 1 Jan 2014. Bill was an integral part of the original TEC funding that has enabled the purchase of a suite of BIC equipment and since then has been an active PI. We’d like to acknowledge all the work that Bill has done for BIC in the past 6 years and wish him all the best for his retirement.


Annual Report

BIC supports a dynamic research environment for both staff and students. In the annual report we offer a flavour of our diverse activities and particular successes over the past 18 months. Read more (PDF, 5.8MB)

Meet the BIC Board: Afternoon tea, 3:15pm Tuesday 17th December, NZi3 foyer

BIC seminar: Dr Wanting Jiao
“Schrödinger Capability: What can Schrödinger software be used for?
1pm, 13 December, Rm 275, Biology

BIC/Biology/UC Seminar: Bill Swallow
Scientific Entrepreneurship - What it is? Why bother?”
12 noon 5 December, , E8 Engineering

CAPE Prestige Seminar: Prof Anton Middelberg
“Engineering with biomolecules?”
4pm, Wed 4 Dec, NZi3 (RSVP by 5pm 27 Nov

Chemistry Seminar: Michael Hunter, Final PhD Seminar
“Controlling the substrate specificity of α-isopropylmalate synthase and related enzymes”
11 am, Thurs 28th Nov, Rm 531, Rutherford Building, Chemistry

CBE’s prestige lecture: Professor Graham Richards
‘Spinning out Companies’.

Thursday 21 November 2013, 7.00– 7.45pm,  E5 Lecture Theatre, College of Engineering

Biology Seminar: Thur 14 Nov, 12 noon Seminar Room 275, Biological Sciences,
Adverse drug reactions – can genetics help?
Professor Martin Kennedy
BIC AI, University of Otago,

CAPE Seminar: Wed 13th Nov 2013, 11 am E17, Engineering, University of Canterbury
Balaji Somasundaram: A surface plasmon resonance assay to determine the effect of influenza neuraminidase mutations on its affinity with antiviral drugs

BIC Workshop: Analytical Ultracentrifugation 15th & 16th October
Prof. Thomas Laue
(University of New Hampshire)

BIC Symposium: Understanding RNA: the next challenge. Monday 14th October 1- 5 pm

Upcoming Events
4th Oct - ENSEMBL Genome Browser Workshop
15-16th Oct - BIC Workshop “Analytical Ultracentrifugation

PhD positions in 3D Printed Adsorptive Media (11 September 2013) There are two open PhD positions to study 3D printing for applications in adsorptive processes for the purification of proteins. Applications close 29 September.

Chemistry Seminar: Wed 25 September 2013
Death is not an option – structural insight into virus mediated inhibition of cell death
Dr Marc Kvansakul, La Trobe University, Australia

UC summer scholarships:  BIC has 13 exciting projects available to students. 

Chemistry Seminar: Thurs 5 September 2013
The Role of Medicinal Chemistry in the Search for New Therapeutic Agents: Natural Products vs Peptides
Distinguished Prof Margaret Brimble
University of Auckland

Chemistry Seminar: Tues 10 September 2013
High concentration protein solutions
Prof Thomas Laue
University of New Hampshire

New BIC Investigators (19 August 2013) We are delighted to welcome Andrew Muscroft-Taylor, Michael Steward and Antonia Miller (Protein Science and Engineering Team, Callaghan Innovation) as an Associate Investigators. Andrew has also been made a UC Adjunct Senior Fellow.

Two MSc Scholarships are available for 2014:
1. Protein Nanofibers based chromatography beads
2. Protein Nanofibers based Biosensors

BIC Newsletter, June 2013 (PDF, 2MB)

Postdoctoral Fellowship
Fonterra funded postion investigating improving the quality of dairy products in a commercial setting.

BIC Seminar:
Using structural biology to design novel anti-microbials - Dr Sheena McGowan, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash Unviersity. Friday 16th August

BIC symposium -
Progress and new directions: What’s new at your place? Monday 19 August

ATA Scientific Biologics Stopped Flow Seminar
Friday 9 August

New BIC Investigator (12 July 2013) We are delighted to welcome Simone Dimartino (Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Canterbury) as an Associate Investigator.

BIC symposium - Molecules: evolution & interaction. 1-5pm Thursday 13 June

PhD position in RNA bioinformatics (7 March 2013) There is an open PhD position to study bioinformatic approaches to characterising non-coding RNAs. A PhD stipend of up to $25,000 NZD including fees is available. Applications close 30 April.

Change in Leadership Team
Conan Fee has accepted a new role as Dean of Engineering and as such has stepped down as a Co-Director of BIC. Juliet remains a Director of BIC, and Emily Parker has chosen to be Deputy Director.

MarinLit Introduction and welcome.
Wednesday 8 May, 10am
Venue: E120, University of Canterbury.

Congratulations to Amy Phillips on her poster prize at the recent joint Biochemical Society / Protein Society - Protein engineering: new approaches and applications conference held at University of Chester, UK on 10—12 April 2013.

School of Biological Sciences/BIC Seminar

Biochemical and Immunological Characterization of Plant-Produced HIV-1 Gag/dgp41 Enveloped Virus-like Particles
Dr Sarah Kessans
, Post-doctoral Fellow, Biomolecular Interaction Centre

BIC/Biology Seminar: If RNAs are so important, then where are all the diseases?
Dr Paul Gardner, BIC and University of Canterbury
Date: Thurs 7 March
Where: Engineering E10, UC at 12 noon - 1pm

Seminar: Bioprinting of Osteochondral Tissue
Dr Jos Malda,
Associate Professor of Joint Regeneration, Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Tues 15th January 2013

Congratulations to Professor Carol Robinson on being appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the British 2013 New Year Honours for services to science and industry.


PhD Scholarship Opportunity - Diagnostic Markers for Diabetic Complications
This is a publically funded project aimed at developing a novel biomedical test for diabetics at risk of developing further complications. 

Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (18 Oct) Congratulations to Prof Juliet Gerrard on being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Being elected as a Fellow is an honour given to New Zealand's top researchers for showing exceptional distinction in research or in the advancement of science, technology or the humanities.


Seminar: Poxviruses, immune-modulation and chemokines
Dr. Kurt L. Krause
Professor and Head of Department, Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago 

Membranes, Molecules and Money.
Prof Andrew Livingston
, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College, London; Chief Innovation Officer, Evonik Membrane Extraction Technology, London.
There are many trials and tribulations in taking university research from the laboratory to the commercial scale, and trying to make some profits along the way. This talk will describe one such adventure.

S E M I N A R (11 Oct)
Let’s talk about Sex
The Genetics Society of Australasia is helping Cantabrians' muddy their minds by talking about... sex. They are sponsoring a visit by renowned geneticist and lauded public speaker, Professor Jenny Marshall Graves. Come along to an informative and comical lecture where, among other things, you'll find out why the male Y chromosome is so embarrassingly tiny.

Congratulations to Canterbury Scienctific (28 Sept)
BIC congratulates Canterbury Scientific on their outstanding achievement of winning The Press Champion Canterbury Supreme Award for small enterprises. Canterbury Scientific manufactures controls for diagnostic laboratory tests, such as those used in the management of diabetes, which are prized by global clients like Roche and Siemens for reliability, stability and shelf life. The Champion Canterbury Business Awards celebrate business excellence, passion and success recognising the contribution enterprises make to the vitality of the Canterbury region.

Million Dollar Smart Ideas Funded (12 Sept)
Congratulations to Renwick Dobson and Madhu Vasudevamurthy, the leaders of our successful smart ideas MBIE grants:
Diagnostic Markers for Diabetic Complications. The project seeks to provide a new product to assist clinicians in identifying diabetic individuals at a high risk of developing secondary complications. (Funding of $995,628 over 2 years).
Protein Nanofibres-based Biosensors and Chromatography Beads. This research aims to put New Zealand at the forefront of bionanotechnology research through development of novel protein nanofibre based applications. (Funding of $973,700 over 2 years).

BIC/Biol Seminar: A New Brick in the Wall: The Discovery of a Novel Diaminopimelate/Lysine Biosynthesis Pathway in Plants, Algae and Bacteria (23 Aug)
Dr Andre Hudson, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York

BIC/CAPE Seminar: Purification of biomolecules using convective chromatography (23 Aug)
Dr Cristiana Boi, University of Bologna, Italy

BIC Seminar: Protein-mediated trans-membrane signalling through bacterial porins (24 Aug)
Prof Colin Kleanthous, Oxford University

BIC Seminar: Membrane protein stability may be the energy sink for sorting in the periplasm (24 Aug)
Assoc Prof Karen Fleming, Johns Hopkins University

Protein crystallisation robot has been installed. If you are interested in using this piece of equipment please contact Emily Parker. We appreciate the support from the Lottery Health shared equipment that made this purchase possible (7 August).

Congratulations to Balaji Somasundaram (7 Aug)
Balaji's his winning presentation entitled “INFLUENZA-WAR” as part of the Thesis in 3 competitions in the College of Engineering finals held on 3rd August, 2012. A total of 24 students from the Engineering College participated. Balaji will now compete in the University wide finals to be held later this month.

BIC/Chem Seminar: The Industrial Research limited UC Interaction (20 Aug)
Dr Andrew Muscroft-Taylor, IRL

Queenstown Research Week 2012
Registrations are now open for Queenstown Research Week 2012 which encompasses the Medical Sciences Congress, the 30th Annual Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research and the Queenstown Molecular Biology Meetings

BIC/Biology Seminar: Microfluidics – A Bioengineering Toolbox (19 Jul)
Dr Volker Nock,
Electrical and Computer Engineering, UoC

Part-time RPL position We are currently recruiting for a part-time Research Programmes Leader. Enquiries of an academic nature may be made to the Co-Directors, Juliet Gerrard or Conan Fee. Full details on how to apply are available on the University of Canterbury vacancy page.

PhD Scholarship: Enhanced Protein Functionalities (8 Jun) This project will investigate the impact of protein modifications on the functionality of dairy proteins, with a particular focus on cheese products. Closed.

Inaugural BIC Student Association (BSA) event (12 Jun)
Laura Domigan, who has just completed her PhD, will share her experiences as a post graduate student. This will also be a chance to know other students that are part of the BIC community.

BIC/Biology Seminar: New nanomaterials: Amyloid fibrils from waste proteins (3 May)
Laura’s PhD research has explored the use of amyloid fibrils formed from waste proteins, namely crude crystallin proteins from fish eye lenses, as biological nanowires.

New BIC Investigator (18 April) We are delighted to welcome Jane Allison, Massey University (Albany campus) as an Associate Investigator.

New BIC Investigators (16 March) We are delighted to welcome Volker Nock (PI) and Tim Woodfield (AI).

BIC symposium - Mon 2 April

Ministerial Appointment for Prof Gerrard (14 Feb) Congratulations to Juliet Gerrard on being appointed to Chair of the Marsden Fund Council.

PhD Scholarship: Bio-mimetics adhesives inspired by marine organisms (17 Jan) Biological adhesives have the potential to inspire industrial adhesives for high-tech applications. Closed

Seminar: Structural Biology of regulated Aquaporins (15 Mar)
Dr Richard Neutze, Department of Chemistry, University of Gothenburg.  Richard is a Chemistry Department Erskine for term 1. He will also give another Seminar on a Emerging X-ray methods for probing Membrane Protein Structural Dynamics to the Chemistry Department at 11am Monday 26 March.

BIC Seed and Flexible Grants (9 Feb) Guidelines and forms. Closed

Seminar: Magnetic Tweezers:  From Single Molecule Force Measurements to High Sensitivity Biosensors (1 Feb)
Prof Gil U Lee, Nanomedicine Centre and School of Chemistry, University College Dublin, Belfield, Ireland. 
Molecular tweezers techniques provide us with the tools to study and manipulate biomolecular inter- and intramolecular interactions under non-equilibrium conditions.  In this presentation I will describe three new applications of single molecule techniques. These new techniques promise to allow us to study biomolecular interactions under new conditions and enhance the sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic assays.

Seminar: Peptide Materials for Regenerative Medicine: Utilising Self-Assembly in-vivo (30 Jan)
Richard Williams, Deakin University
The regeneration of correct tissue function requires the provision of a complex array of spatially defined biochemical and physical signals. In the disease state muscular dystrophy, an important protein, laminin is missing from the membranes of the muscle cell, and with it the appropriate signals imparting correct muscular morphology. The self-assembly of peptides and peptide derivatives is a promising potential mechanism for the facile formation of nanoscale architectures which can carry, and deliver these signals.


Lottery Health shared equipment funding (9 Dec) Congratulations to Assoc Prof Emily Parker for leading successful a Lottery Health shared equipment grant in aid to support the purchase of a crystallsition robot.

The MacDiarmid and BIC institutes are sponsoring an Innovation Workshop for their staff and students. Speakers include successful innovators ranging from students through to business people.  
Places are strictly limited.  Workshop to be held on Wednesday 1 February 2012.

New Adjunct Appointments (24 Nov)
BIC is delighted to welcome Prof Geoff Jameson, Massey University, as an Adjunct Professor and Dr Rachel Williamson, Australian Synchrotron, as an Adjunct Fellow

Seminar: Zetasizer Nano Introduction
9 am Thursday 8th December
Bryn McDonagh, ATA Scientific Pty Ltd
Room F3 (Forestry) Seminar outlining the capabilities of our Zetasizer Nano ZS instrument that is due to be installed on 8th December

2 PhD Scholarships (18 Nov)
**Understanding enzyme inhibition by tracking molecular motion using computational studies
** Quantifying the importance of individual species in ecological networks

Art and Science Interact - Renwick Dobson on Canvas (25 Oct) Illuminations is an art project created by artist Andrew Baird. It consists of a series of portraits of scientists, each highlighting a symbol of the scientist’s work. The aim, apart from striving to make beautiful images is to acknowledge the importance of science in our world. See the Illuminations website

Marsden Funding Success (6 Oct)
Emily ParkerCongratulations to Emily Parker on her successful Marsden grant. Emily (Chemistry/BIC) will receive $735,000 over three years for her project titled “Retracing the evolution of enzyme regulation: understanding the molecular mix-and-match that gives rise to sophisticated metabolic control”.

Five New Associate Investigators Announced (29 Sept) We are delighted to welcome five new Associate Investigators to BIC. We have attracted outstanding researchers with national and international reputations in areas closely related to biomolecular interactions.

Noon Thursday 27 October Rm 275 New Biology Building. Much has been discussed lately about the so-called “Productivity gap” in pharmaceutical R&D. We will review the statistics of project failures in the different discovery and development phases and the sought after properties of drug candidates at each of those stages. Mitigation strategies being pursued by pharmaceutical companies and the role of academic drug discovery centres in helping projects cross the “Valley of Death” between laboratory bench and bedside will be discussed. Examples of lead optimization projects will be used to illustrate different discovery strategies.

Ant PoolePrestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship (8 Sept) BIC Associate Investigator Dr Anthony Poole has been awarded one of 10 Fellowships. He will use the fellowship to use a combination of computational and experimental approaches to test four specific hypotheses relating to the emergence of biological complexity with the aim of elucidating the mechanisms by which complex molecular and cellular systems evolve.

Poster Prizes (9 Sept) Congratulations to the poster prize winners for the recent Biointeractions Satellite in Queenstown. The best overall student poster prize was awarded to Nina Dicherhof (Otago University). Three highly commended awards were made to Penel Cross (University of Canterbury), Laura Nigon ( Massey University) and Corinna Richter (Otago University).

Staff Development Award (2 Sept)
Research Programmes Leader Dr Susie Meade has been awarded a general staff development award to support her targeted study tour of two other research institutes in New Zealand to investigate best practice.

Ministerial Appointment (5 August)
Big congratulations to Emily Parker who has recently taken up a Ministerial invitation to join the Board of Landcare.  Professor Parker is one of 12 new appointments made to the boards of Crown Research Institutes, which were announced by Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp recently.

Surface proteins of Gram-positive bacteria: Protein tales of the unexpected

Dr Jennifer Potts, University of York. BIC/Chem Seminar.
11:00 am Tuesday 13th September.

Call for PhD project proposals (17 Aug)
Funding for a PhD Scholarship in Computational Chemistry & Biology is available from a new joint scholarship funded by BIC and BlueFern at UC. We are seeking project ideas for PhD funding of an interdisciplinary protein focused project utilizing the BlueFern Supercomputing facility. Applications now closed.

Biomolecular Interaction Centre NewsNEWS
Winter Newsletter (2 June 2011)
Stay up-to-date with all the funding opportunities, visitors and events associated with the Centre with the latest edition of our newsletter
Newsletter (PDF 700 KB)

BIC symposium 1 pm Friday 5th August at AgResearch Lincoln. Keynote speakers: Prof Chris Abell (Cambridge University) and Assoc Prof Matt Perugini (University of Melbourne)

BIC has Masters and PhD Scholarships available now (19 April)

Welcome to Dr Ali Reza Nazmi, BIC Theme 3 Postdoc (9 April)

BIC and the MacDiarmid Institute presents an Innovation Workshop 15 June 2011 at UC. Speakers include successful innovators ranging from students through to business people.  They include Guy Horrocks, Keith Alexander, Ralph Bungard, Bob Buckley and Phil Holliday.

Seminar: 27 May 11am Biol Seminar Rm 275
Strategies for the direct, label-free detection of biomarkers in biological fluids
Prof Mike Thompson, Department of Chemistry and
Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering University of Toronto

Prof Carol Robinson was honoured at the Women in Science Awards last night, British biologist recognised as leader in mass spectrometry

BIC is delighted to welcome Prof Carol Robinson, FRS, FMedSci, Royal Society Research Professor, University of Oxford, as an Adjunct Professor.  Carol gave an inspirational seminar to BIC in early February, and we look forward to strengthening our collaborative research relationships.

Congratulations to Dr Grant Pearce on becoming a BIC Principal Investigator.  Grant's PI status is in recognition for his excellent research into Biomolecular Interactions over a number of years but also his valuable contributions to the activities of BIC.  (15 Nov)

Lottery Health shared equipment funding - Congratulations to Prof Juliet Gerrard, Prof Conan Fee,  Assoc Prof Emily Parker, Prof Steve Brennan, Assoc Prof Richard Hartshorn, Dr Renwick Dobson, Susie Meade and Prof Ian Shaw on their Lottery Health shared equipment funding to support the purchase of a fluorescence anisotropy instrument. (11 Nov)

Welcome to Prof. Giorgio Carta from University of Virginia, our first International Fellow for 2011. Giorgio is been hosted by Conan Fee and will be with us from 19 Jan - 30 April.


Newsletter: Issue 2, December 2010

Welcome to Dr Simone Dimartino, BIC Theme 1 Postdoc and Dr Céline Valéry, BIC Theme 2 Postdoc. (1 Nov)

Congratulations to Assoc Prof Ken Morison on his selection for the MoRST funded delegation to the Strategic International Cooperation Programme Workshop in Tokyo, Japan (11-15 October 2010). This work- shop will focus on functional foods and related areas.

Congratulations to Dr Renwick Dobson, BIC Principal Investigator, on his Marsden Fast-Start funding (24 Sept)

BIC Logo Design Competition : Create the new image that encapsulates BIC. We offer you the opportunity to contribute to the new design. Great prize to be won.

The Power of Movement: 18 August 2010, 6 pm Christchurch Art Gallery: FREE
The power of movement breathes life into our macroscopic world but also looms large in the molecular world of our cells. Led by Emily Parker and Richard Hartshorn of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre.

UC biochemist named one of NZ’s top tertiary teachers (5 Aug)
University of Canterbury biochemist Associate Professor Emily Parker has been recognised as one of New Zealand’s top tertiary teachers.

BIC welcomes: Adjunct Professor Steve Brennan, Adjunct Senior Fellow Jolon Dyer, Adjunct Senior Fellow Brent Gilpin, Adjunct Associate Professor Prof Nigel Larsen, Adjunct Associate Professor Jim Morton and Adjunct Senior Fellow Phillip Rendle.
(1 June)

Congratulations to Laura Domigan who won 1st Prize in the College of Science final of
PhD in 3 and also collected the 'audience choice' award in the University final. (26/27 May)

Official Opening BIC Institute was held on Friday 14 May 2010 by the Prime Minister, Hon John Key.

Congratulations to Anthony Fairbanks (8 Mar)
Antony has been selected to take part in the MoRST delegation this year toBIO2010 in Chicago.

BIC are seeking three motivated postdoctoral researchers to help us build a cross-Department multidisciplinary team. Closing date: 23 April 2010

Putting Tamiflu to the test (26 Feb) The research will be carried out in the University's world-class Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC)

Multi-million dollar boost for research centre (15 Dec) The Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC) has been selected to receive multi-million dollar, multi-year investment by the university in a bid to raise its international profile and allow it to become widely known as a world-class institution.

  • Biomolecular Interaction Centre
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
  • Phone +64 3 369 3979
  • Follow us
    FacebookYoutubetwitterLinked In