Dr. Michael Blaber
Dept of Biomedical Sciences
Florida State University
Tallahassee FL 32306-4300
TEL: 850 644 3361
FAX: 850 644 9399
email: michael.blaber@med.fsu.edu




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This site is produced and maintained by Dr. Michael Blaber. Feel free to browse around!
This web site is intended to provide access to information and resouces associated with, or produced by, Dr. Michael Blaber, and was previously located at http://wine1.sb.fsu.edu

The old site was supported by the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University, but was retired after Dr. Blaber moved to the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Blaber decided to register the domain name "mikeblaber.org" and transfer the material to this site.

This site is not affiliated with Florida State University, and all opinions are those of the author, Dr. Michael Blaber.

(c)2005 Michael Blaber

News

Sep 2014

Ms. Xue Xia manuscript to be included in “Two Decades of Publishing Excellence in Biotechnology” special issue of J. Pharm. Sci.
Ms. Xue Xia's publication Mutation Choice to Eliminate Buried Free Cysteines in Protein Therapeutics has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming “Two Decades of Publishing Excellence in Biotechnology” special issue of Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Congratulations Susie!

Ms. Xue Xia manuscript accepted for publication in J. Pharm. Sci.
Ms. Xue Xia, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, has had a manuscript entitled Mutation Choice to Eliminate Buried Free Cysteines in Protein Therapeutics accepted for publication in Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This is among the first rigorous and systematic studies of mutation design to eliminate buried free Cys residues in proteins, and has important application in design of "2nd-generation" protein therapeutics. Congratulations Susie!

Aug 2014

Mr. Liam Longo manuscript accepted for publication in Cell: Structure
Mr. Liam Longo, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, has had a manuscript entitled Evolution and design of protein structure by folding nucleus symmetric expansion accepted for publication in Cell: Structure. This report is one of the most important to come out of our lab. It describes a simple, folding nucleus-based, design approach for efficient de novo design of symmetric proteins; and explains how symmetry in protein evolution is advantageous. Congratulations Liam!

Ms. Connie Tenorio-Zambrano joins Blaber Lab
Ms. Connie Tenorio-Zambrano who, as an undergraduate did directed independent studies in the lab, has joined as a graduate student from the Biomedical Sciences department of the College of Medicine! Connie is a promising student - having already won a prestigious McKnight Doctoral Fellowship. Welcome Connie!

Apr 2014

Dr. Michael Blaber elected to faculty senate
Dr. Michael Blaber was elected to serve on the FSU faculty senate - the basic legislative body of FSU - for the 2014-2017 academic years.

Ms. Connie Tenorio-Zambrano wins McKnight Fellowship
Ms. Connie Tenorio-Zambrano who, as an undergraduate researcher in the Blaber lab was a co-author on a Cell Structure paper and won an NSF undergraduate research award, has recently joined the graduate program in Biomedical Sciences and has won a McKnight Doctoral Fellowship. Congratulations Connie!

Mar 2014

Mr. Liam Longo selected for ASBMB Hill Day
Mr. Liam Longo has been chosen to participate in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Hill Day. Liam will visit Capitol Hill and work with ASBMB to advocate on behalf of scientists. Congratulations Liam!

Feb 2014

Mr. Liam Longo Poster takes 2nd Place award
A poster entitled "Efficient protein design by folding nucleus symmetric expansion" and authored by Mr. Liam Longo (grad student in the Blaber lab) won 2nd place at the recent 4th Annual FSU Life Sciences Symposium. Congratulations Liam!

Dec 2013

Dr. Michael Blaber manuscript accepted in Amateur Astronomy
A manuscript entitled Correct Translation, Rotation and Skew Adjustment of the Newtonian Secondary by Combining Laser Collimation with Flat Field Vignetting. and authored by Dr. Michael Blaber has been accepted in Amateur Astronomy. This manuscript describes a means by which flat field images (showing vignetting) and laser collimation can be combined in a novel procedure to resolve the rotation/skew ambiguity in alignment of the secondary mirror of Newtonian telescopes.

Mr. Liam Longo manuscript accepted in Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology
A manuscript entitled Prebiotic Protein Design Supports a Halophile Origin of Foldable Proteins. and authored by Mr. Liam Longo and Dr. Michael Blaber has been accepted in Frontiers Extreme Microbiol. This opinion article argues for the halophile environment as the cradle of proteogenesis (the origin of proteins). Congratulations Liam!

Mr. Liam Longo manuscript accepted in Journal of Proteins and Proteomics
A manuscript entitled Biophysical characterization of a thermoalkalophilic esterase from Geobacillus sp. and authored by Mr. Liam Longo has been accepted in J. Prot. Proteomics. Esterases from thermophilic organisms have potential commercial value in the metabolic processing of drugs and antimicrobial agents. In this report Liam characterizes the stability and folding properties of one such enzyme. Dr. Gulsah Sanli-Mohamed is a coauthor on this study. Congratulations Liam!

Dr. Ryota Kuroki manuscript accepted in IUCr
A manuscript entitled Structural characteristics of alkaline phosphatase from the moderately halophilic bacteria Halomonas sp.593 and authored by Dr. Ryota Kuroki has been accepted in International Union of Crystallography. This report describes how unique halophilic and mesophilic properties of negative surface charge, and substantial core packing hydrophobicity, respectively, enable alakaline phosphatse from a Halomonas bacteria to function over a uniquely wide range of salt concentrations. Dr. Michael Blaber is a coauthor on this report. Congratulations Ryota!

Dr. Luciano Puzer manuscript accepted in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters
A manuscript entitled Isomannide-Based Peptidomimetics as Inhibitors for Human Tissue Kallikreins 5 and 7 and authored by Dr. Luciano Puzer has been accepted in ACS Med. Chem. Lett. Dr. Puzer has developed new isomannide-based competitive inhibitors of both KLK5 and KLK7. The results open new prospects on the design and synthesis of highly specific KLK5 and KLK7 inhibitors - with potential human therapeutic utility for inflammatory skin disease. Dr. Michael Blaber is a coauthor on this report. Congratulations Luciano!

Nov 2013

Dr. Michael Blaber appointed to J. Pharm. Sci. Editorial Advisory Board
Dr. Michael Blaber has been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences for a three year term (Jan 1 2014-Dec 31 2016). J.Pharm.Sci. is published by Wiley Publishers on behalf of the American Pharmacists Association, with the support of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP); it has been in print since 1912.

Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko Blaber recognized at FSU Innovator's Reception
Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko Blaber were both recognized at the annual FSU Innovator's Reception. The reception recognizes faculty and staff that have developed intellectual property (filing a patent, having a patent issued, or licensing intellectual property). Dr. Michael Blaber was recognized for licensing IP related to FGF-1 mutants for acclerating wound healing (to E&B Technologies), and Ms. Sachiko Blaber was recognized as a coinventor of a novel mouse jacket (licensed to Lomir Inc.). Images from the reception can be found here.

Oct 2013

Dr. Michael Blaber accompanies delegation to China
Dr. Richard Nowakowski, chair of the department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medicine at FSU organized a trip to China. The delegation included Drs. Nowakowski, Branko Stefanovic, Yi Ren, Yi Zhou, Yanchang Wang, Baohui Jia and Haifa Qiao. The delegates gave research presentations at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, and Shandong University of Medical Sciences, Jinan. The purpose of the trip was to explore potential collaborative research projects between FSU and these institutions. Images from the trip can be found here.

Blaber Lab retreat to St. George Island
This October we had a much-needed 3-day lab retreat at St. George Island. Images can be found here.

Sep 2013

Mr. Liam Longo manuscript accepted for publication in Cell: Structure
Mr. Liam Longo, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, has had a manuscript entitled Alternative Folding Nuclei Definitions Facilitate the Evolution of a Symmetric Protein Fold from a Smaller Peptide Motif accepted for publication in Cell: Structure. Using a designed b-trefoil protein, this report shows that purely symmetric 1° structure enables utilization of alternative definitions of the critical folding nucleus in response to gross structural rearrangement. Thus, major replication errors producing 1° structure symmetry can conserve foldability. The results provide an explanation for the prevalence of symmetric protein folds, and highlight a critical role for 1° structure symmetry in protein evolution. Congratulations Liam!

Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick manuscript accepted for publication in J. Neuropath. Exp. Neurol.
Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick at the Mayo Clinic Rochester has had a manuscript entitled Kallikrein Cascades in Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: In Vitro Evidence for Roles in Axonopathy and Neuron Degeneration accepted for publication in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. This research shows that elevated levels of a significant subset of kallikrein-related proteases are positioned to contribute to neurodegenerative changes in cases of CNS trauma and disease. Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko Blaber are coauthors on this important study. Congratulations Isobel!

Lomir Biomedical Inc. markets "Butterfly Mouse Harness"
A novel mouse jacket designed and patented by Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko blaber of the Blaber lab, has been succesfully licensed by Lomir Biomedical Inc. Lomir is now actively marketing this product (for details see here). Congratulations Sachiko!

July 2013

Dr. Michael Blaber receives "Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher" award
At the recent College of Medicine faculty awards ceremony, Dr. Michael Blaber was awarded the "Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher" award for 2012-2013. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and accomplishments of the members of the lab, and the outstanding environment within the department of Biomedical Sciences; thank you!

Mr. Justin Blaber develops 2D digital image correlation program Ncorr
Mr. Justin Blaber, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, has developed a 2D digital image correlation MATLAB program along with an associated web site. The program, Ncorr, has broad applicability and extensibility in 2D image correlation, and was developed to help understand structural deformations in ceramic materials. The web site can be found here. Congratulations Justin!

Blaber lab licenses novel mouse jacket to Lomir Biomedical
A licensing agreement has been concluded between Lomir Biomedical and FSU for a novel mouse jacket invented by Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko Blaber. Lomir is a global leader in the design and manufacter of biomedical equipment, with offices in the US, Canada and the UK. In pursuing animal studies of wound healing the Blaber team designed and submitted a US patent for a novel mouse jacket that provides essential protection of the surgical field while being highly resistant to removal, and at the same time providing a substantial advantage in ease of manufacture. A movie of a the jacket can be found by clicking here.

Mr. Liam Longo manuscript accepted for publication in Methods in Molecular Biology
A manuscript entitled Symmetric Protein Architecture in Protein Design: Top-Down Symmetric Deconstruction, authored by Mr. Liam Longo and Dr. Michael Blaber, has been accepted for publication in a Protein Design issue of the Methods in Molecular Biology series. This manuscript is a practial laboratory guide to the novel Top-Down Symmetric Deconstruction strategy in protein design. Congratulations Liam!

June 2013

Mr. Liam Longo manuscript selected by Faculty of 1000
Mr. Liam Longo's manuscript entitled Simplified Protein Design Biased for Pre-Biotic Amino Acids Yields a Foldable, Halophilic Protein has been selected by the Faculty of 1000 (F1000), which places the work in the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine. Information can be found here. Congratulations Liam!

May 2013

Ms. Helen Phipps manuscript accepted for publication in Brain Injury
Ms. Helen Phipps, former grad student in the Blaber and VanLandingham labs, has had a manuscript entitled Kallikrein-related Peptidase 6: A Biomarker for Traumatic Brain Injury in Rat accepted for publication in Brain Injury. Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko Blaber are coauthors on this study. Congratulations Helen!

Ms. Helen Phipps successfully defends Ph.D. thesis
Ms. Helen Phipps, a graduate student co-mentored in the laboratories of Drs. Jacob VanLandingham and Michael Blaber successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on Kallikrein 6. Congratulations Helen!

Drs. Michael Blaber and Jihun Lee Patent Issued
A patent application entitled "Fibroblast Growth Factor Mutants Having Improved Functional Half-life and Methods of Their Use" by Michael Blaber and Jihun Lee has been issued (Appl. #12/783,005). This patent covers position Ala66Cys mutants in FGF-1, whereby an internal disulfide bond with Cys83 is formed. This disulfide stabilizes the protein and reduces the number of free buried thiols (thus, increasing functional half-life, and creating a novel "2nd-Generation" form of FGF-1 for therapeutic application in healing). Congratulations Jihun!

Ms. Connie Tenorio-Zambrano receives NSF summer research fellowship
Ms. Connie Tenorio-Zambrano, an undergraduate researcher in the Blaber lab, has been awarded a 2013 NSF summer research fellowship (awarded through the Florida A&M University National Science Foundation Research Experience as an Undergraduate SUMMER-13 Program). Connie will be working on a project involving protein structure and folding relationships in the Blaber lab this summer. Congratulations Connie!

Ms. Hyesook Yoon manuscript accepted for publication in J. Neurochem.
Ms. Hyesook Yoon, former grad student and postdoc in the Blaber lab and now a postdoc in Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick's lab at the Mayo Clinic Rochester, has had a manuscript entitled Kallikrein 6 Signals through PAR1 and PAR2 to Promote Neuron Injury and Exacerbate Glutamate Neurotoxicity accepted for publication in the Journal of Neurochemistry. Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko Blaber are coauthors on this important study. Congratulations Hyesook and Isobel!

April 2013

Mr. Joseph Babcock receives summer research fellowship
Mr. Joseph Babcock, a first year medical student in the FSU College of Medicine, has been awarded a 2013 Summer Research Fellowship. Joseph will be studying the acceleration of healing in response to engineered forms of fibroblast growth factor-1 in the Blaber lab. Congratulations Joseph!

Mr. Liam Longo wins 2013 Kasha Award
The Kasha Award is given each year for the most outstanding publication by a Molecular Biophysics graduate student. Liam Longo won this year's award for his publication entitled "Simplified Protein Design Biased for Pre-Biotic Amino Acids Yields a Foldable, Halophilic Protein" published in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Congratulations Liam!

Provisional Patent Application Filed for a Novel Mouse Jacket Design
In order to pursue wound healing studies we needed to come up with a better mouse jacket (one that could not be removed easily). We succeeded in developing such a jacket from a specially-shaped piece of double-sided velcro. It worked so well that FSU submitted a patent "Improved Mouse Jacket". The inventors are Michael Blaber and Sachiko Blaber. Congratulations Sachiko!

March 2013

Dr. Luciano Puzer manuscript accepted in Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm.
A manuscript entitled "Human Tissue Kallikreins 3 and 5 can Act as Plasminogen Activator Releasing Active Plasmin" and authored by Dr. Luciano Puzer has been accepted for publication in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. This manuscript describes how these two kallikreins are capable of activating plasminogen, and identifies an important functional intersection between the KLK family of proteases and the thrombostasis system. Dr. Michael Blaber is a coauthor on this study. Congratulations Luciano!

Feb 2013

Mr. Liam Longo manuscript receives Protein Society "Best Paper" Award
A recent manuscript published by Mr. Liam Longo (graduate student in Blaber lab) in Protein Science entitled "Experimental Support for the Foldability-Function Tradeoff Hypothesis: Segregation of the Folding Nucleus and Functional Regions in FGF-1" is one of two reports in the journal to be selected for "Best Paper" award of 2012, and Liam will give an invited oral presentation at the Annual Protein Society Symposium in Boston in July. Congratulations Liam!

Jan 2013

KLK6 Review by Drs. Scarisbrick and Blaber published
Chapter 612 in the 3rd Edition of Handbook of Proteolytic Enzymes, entitled Kallikrein-related Peptidase 6, and published this month, was co-written by Drs. Isobel Scarisbrick and Michael Blaber. Congratulations Isobel!

Dec 2012

Dr. Michael Blaber attends IISC meeting in India
The International Interdisciplinary Science Conference 2012 on Protein Folding and Disease was held in Delhi, Dec 8-10. Dr. Michael Blaber attended and gave a talk on "Top-Down Symmetric Deconstruction". Images and thoughts from the trip can be found here.

Manuscript by Mr. Liam Longo accepted in PNAS
A manuscript entitled "Simplified Protein Design Biased for Pre-biotic Amino Acids Yields a Foldable, Halophilic Protein" and authored by Mr. Liam Longo (graduate student in the Blaber Lab) has been accepted for publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This report tests the hypothesis that the pre-biotic set of amino acids comprises a foldable set, and in the process, identifies a potential halophilic property intrinsic to the pre-biotic amino acids. Congratulations Liam!

Blaber lab awarded CRC Planning Grant
A planning grant entitled "Development of “third-generation” FGF-1 mutants for therapeutic application" has been awarded to the Blaber lab from the FSU Council of Research and Creativity.

Commentary by Mr. Liam Longo and Dr. Michael Blaber accepted in Journal of Proteins and Proteomics
A manuscript entitled "Protein Design -- A Vast Unexploited Resource" and authored by Mr. Liam Longo (graduate student in the Blaber Lab) and Michael Blaber has been accepted for publication in Journal of Proteins and Proteomics. Congratulations Liam!

Oct 2012

Mr. Liam Longo manuscript accepted in Protein Science
A manuscript entitled "Experimental Support for the Foldability-Function Tradeoff Hypothesis: Segregation of the Folding Nucleus and Functional Regions in FGF-1" and authored by Mr. Liam Longo (graduate student in the Blaber Lab) has been accepted for publication in Protein Science. This manuscript describes a phi-value analysis of FGF-1 and shows that turns critical for folding are segregated from functional domains. The study has important and diverse implications for protein evolution. Congratulations Liam!

Sep 2012

Ms. Xue Xia manuscript accepted in PLOS ONE
A manuscript entitled "Pharmacokinetic Properties of 2nd-generation Fibroblast Growth factor-1 Mutants for Therapeutic Application" and authored by Ms. Xue Xia(graduate student in the Blaber Lab) has been accepted for publication in PLOS ONE. This manuscript studies the pharmacokinetic profile of mutant forms of FGF-1 and shows how both distribution and elimination kinetics can be controlled by specific mutation of the protein. Congratulations Xue!

Dr. Hyesook Yoon manuscript accepted in Biological Chemistry
A manuscript entitled "Activation Profiles of Human Kallikrein-related Peptidases by Matrix Metalloproteinases " and authored by Dr. Hyesook Yoon (former grad student and postdoc in the lab) has been accepted for publication in Biological Chemistry. This manuscript demonstrates the ability of members of the matrix metalloproteinase family to activate specific kallikrein-related peptidases, and thus identifies potentially important regulatory interactions between these two major protease families. Congratulations Hyesook!

Aug 2012

Dr. Luciano Puzer manuscript accepted in Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.
A manuscript entitled "Pseudo-peptides derived from isomannide as new class of inhibitors for human kallikrein 7" and authored by Dr. Luciano Puzer has been accepted for publication in Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry Letters. This manuscript describes a novel class of pseudo-peptide small molecule protease inhibitors derived from isomannide. Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko Blaber were coauthors on this study. Congratulations Luciano!

July 2012

THCA synthase JMB cover

Dr. Ryota Kuroki manuscript accepted in J. Mol. Biol.
A manuscript entitled "Structure and Function of d1-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA) Synthase, the Enzyme Controlling the Psychoactivity of Cannabis sativa" and authored by Dr. Ryota Kuroki has been accepted for publication in Journal of Molecular Biology. This manuscript describes an X-ray crystal structure and mutational study of TCHA Synthase and elucidates the chemical mechanism of action. Dr. Michael Blaber was a coauthor on this study. A figure from this report was also selected for the Journal Dec 2012 cover; congratulations Ryota!

June 2012

Dr. Michael Blaber manuscript accepted in Arch. Biochem. Biophys.
An invited review entitled "Protein design at the interface of the pre-biotic and biotic worlds" and authored by Dr. Michael Blaber and Mr. Liam Longo (grad student in the lab) has been accepted for publication in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. In this review we analyze the available information for plausible pre-biotic amino acids and conclude that they likely comprise a "foldable set" within a halophile/acidophile environment. Thus, "proteogenesis" is a likely principle player in biogenesis.

Dr. Michael Blaber manuscript accepted in Cell. Molec. Life Sci.
An invited review entitled "Emergence of Symmetric Protein Architecture from a Simple Peptide Motif: Evolutionary Models" and authored by Dr. Michael Blaber, Dr. Jihun Lee (former postdoc in the lab) and Mr. Liam Longo (grad student in the lab) has been accepted for publication in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. Recent experimental studies in "top-down" protein design largely support a “conserved architecture” evolutionary model, suggesting that complex protein architecture was an early evolutionary achievement involving oligomerization of smaller polypeptides.

Dr. Gulsah Sanli joins Blaber Lab as Visiting Scientist
Dr. Gulsah Sanli, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey, is a Visiting Scientist for the summer semester. Dr. Sanli is studying the structural biology of thermophilic enzymes from hot springs in Turkey. Dr. Sanli is a former Ph.D. student from the Blaber Lab (1998-2002).

May 2012

Dr. Michael Blaber manuscript accepted in Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol.
An invited review entitled "Designing Proteins from Simple Motifs: Opportunities in Top-Down Symmetric Deconstruction" and authored by Drs. Michael Blaber and Jihun Lee has been accepted for publication in Current Opinion in Structural Biology. This manuscript proposes that disparate recent efforts in "top-down" protein design can be unified in a common design principle - one that will accelerate efficient identification of simple structural building blocks for de novo protein design.

April 2012

Two U.S. Patents issued to Drs. Blaber and Dubey
Two U.S. patents (8,153,770 and 8,153,771) were issued as divisionals to patent 7,659,379, "Mutants of Human Fibroblast Growth Factor Having Increased Stability and/or Mitogenic Potency", with inventors Dr. Michael Blaber and Vikash Kumar Dubey. Congratulations Vikash!

March 2012

Two manuscripts published by Dr. Ryota Kuroki
Two reports,"Substrate recognition mechanism of a glycosyltrehalose trehalohydrolase (GTHase) from sulfolobus solfataricus KM1", and "A structural mechanism for dimeric to tetrameric oligomer conversion in halomonas sp. nucleoside diphosphate kinase", by Dr. Ryota Kuroki were both published in Protein Science. Dr. Blaber was a co-author on these studies. Congratulations Dr. Kuroki!

Feb 2012

Manuscript published by Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick
A report entitled "Kallikrein 6 Regulates Early CNS Demyelination in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis", by Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick was accepted in Brain Pathology. Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko Blaber were co-authors on this study. Congratulations Isobel!

Jan 2012

Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick manuscript accepted in Biological Chemistry
A manuscript entitled "Kallikrein 6 is a Novel Molecular Trigger of Reactive Astrogliosis" by Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick has been accepted for publication in Biological Chemistry journal. This study shows that KLK6 is a molecular trigger in the development of astrogliosis in the injured CNS and that this occurs by activation of the G-protein coupled receptor, PAR1. Dr. Michael Blaber and Sachiko Blaber are coauthors on this important study. Congratulations Isobel!
Blaber Lab awarded FSU GAP grant
The Blaber Lab has been awarded a $50,000 FSU "GAP" grant to undertake translational research on "second generation" Fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF-1) proteins. This grant will permit wound healing studies to be performed for the purpose of identifying the therapeutic advantage of designed mutant forms of FGF-1. This study is a collaboration with Dr. Joseph Schlenoff in the department of Chemistry at FSU, and will include tests of a novel bandage material intended to provide controlled loading and dosing of FGF-1.

Dec 2011

Ms. Sara Jackson graduates with M.S. degree
Ms. Sara Jackson, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, graduated in the Fall 2011 semester with an M.S. degree in biomedical sciences. Congratulations Sara!

Nov 2011

Middaugh/Blaber lab's study on "Second Generation" FGF-1 accepted for publication
The laboratories of Dr. Russ Middaugh (U. Kansas) and Dr. Michael Blaber have been collaborating on a study to utilize mutations in FGF-1 to achieve formulation goals for therapeutic application. In this report a series of "second-generation" mutants of FGF-1 was characterized using "empirical phase diagrams", and several mutants do not require heparin in their formulation as a stabilizing agent. This work was coauthored by Dr. Jihun Lee (Blaber Lab), Mohammad Alsenaidy (Middaugh Lab) and Dr. Tingting Wang (Middaugh Lab), and has been accepted for publication by Protein Science. Congratulations to all involved!

ChemWiki on track to surpase MIT's OpenCourseWare
Dr. Michael Blaber is a participant in the ChemWiki project to develop the next generation of open-access textbooks to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathmatics) education. The latest update indicates ChemWiki will surpase MIT's OpenCourseWare traffic. ChemWiki's web site is located here.

Oct 2011

Dr. Luciano Puzer manuscript published in Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.
Dr. Luciano Puzer's report entitled "Biological evaluation and docking studies of natural isocoumarins as inhibitors for human kallikrein 5 and 7" has been published in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters. K5 and K7 inhibitors may have therapeutic application in important disease conditions of the skin. Michael Blaber and Sachiko Blaber are co-authors on this report. Dr. Puzer is a former visiting scientist in the Blaber Lab and is a professor in the Universidade Federal do ABC in Brazil. Congratulations Dr. Puzer!

Sep 2011

Blaber Lab research featured in FSUMED magazine
Dr Jihun Lee's cover article in Journal of Molecular Biology (Vol 407, issue 5, 2011) was featured in the latest issue of FSUMED magazine (page 3). Congratulations Jihun! Link to a PDF of this issue can be found here.

Aug 2011

Blaber Lab manuscript featured on Global Medical Discovery site
A recent Blaber Lab article by Dr. Jihun Lee entitled "A polypeptide "building block" for the beta-trefoil fold identified by "top-down symmetric deconstruction" and published in the Journal of Molecular Biology has been featured as a key scientific article on the Global Medical Discovery web site. Details here.

July 2011

Michael Blaber manuscript published in Amaeteur Astronomy
An article entitled "As the Worm Turns: One Man's Descent into Periodic Error" by Michael Blaber has been published in Vol 71 of Amateur Astronomy. The article describes the effects of worm gear misalignment on the periodic error of a telescope mount, and a method to correct such misalignment. PDF file of the article can be found here.

Blaber Lab visits the local roller derby!
The lab took a break and watch a local roller derby match between the Jailbreak Bettys and the Molly Rogers. Pictures of this cultural event can be found here

June 2011

Ms. Sara Jackson recieves fellowship award
Ms. Sara Jackson is the recipient of a Bryan Robinson Endowment fellowship award for research in the neurosciences. Sara is currently working to identify the CNS-specific inhibitor of human kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (a protease associated with inflammatory demyelination). Congratulations Sara!

Dr. Luiz Juliano manuscript accepted in Biochimie
Dr. Luiz Juliano's report entitled Substrate specificity of kallikrein-related peptidase 13 activated by salts or glycosaminoglycans and a search for natural substrate candidates and produced in collaboration with the Blaber lab, has been accepted for publication in Biochimie. This report describes how the human KLK13 protease is activated by sodium citrate and glycosaminoglycans present in certain human tissues; furthermore, histatin 3, myelin basic protein and testis-specific proteins are likely substrates of KLK13. Congratulations Dr. Juliano!

May 2011

Dr. Jihun Lee receives award
Dr. Jihun Lee has received the Outstanding Achievement as a Postdoctoral Scholar Award from the department of Biomedical Sciences at FSU. This award is in recognition of her recently-published work in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Journal of Molecular Biology in addition to two patent applications (all in the field of protein design). Dr. Lee is currently a postdoctoral researcher at NIH. Congratulations Jihun!

Drs. Peter Angel and Jochen Hess manuscript accepted in Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Drs. Peter Angel and Jochen Hess, in collaboration with the Blaber lab, report that KLK6, in combination with PAR1 activation, can induce melanoma cell invasion. Thus, specific inhibition of KLK6 may represent a new therapeutic approach in the treatment of this agressive type of cancer. Congratulations Drs. Angel and Hess!

Apr 2011

Ms. Xue Xia joins Blaber Lab
Ms. Xue Xia ("Susie") a graduate student in the department of Biomedical Sciences in the FSU College of Medicine has joined the Blaber Lab. Susie will be working on the FGF project. Welcome Susie!

Blaber Lab publication upgraded to "Must Read" by Faculty of 1000
Dr. Jihun Lee's recent PNAS paper entitled "Experimental support for the evolution of symmetric protein architecture from a simple peptide motif" has been upgraded by Faculty of 1000 (a post-publication peer-review organization) to "Must Read" status. The review can be found here.

Mar 2011

Earthquake during spring JAEA visit
This year's visit to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency in Tokai Village, Japan, by Dr. Michael Blaber unfortunately coincided with the largest earthquake in Japanese history. Pictures and a personal account can be found here.

Symfoil synthetic protein

J. Mol. Biol. selects cover art from Blaber lab publication
The April 15th issue of the Journal of Molecular Biology will feature on its cover an image from the Blaber lab report entitled "A polypeptide "building block" for the b-trefoil fold identified by "top-down symmetric deconstruction"". The image shows a "ribbon diagram" from the X-ray stucture of a synthetic protein designed in the Blaber laboratory and overlaid with a symbol from the middle ages known as a "trefoil". This symbol is used in European architecture and the similarity with the atomic details of the synthetic protein are striking. Congratulations to the author of this report, Dr. Jihun Lee!

Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick manuscript accepted in PLos ONE
A manuscript entitled "Regulatory role of Kallikrein 6 in Lymphocyte Survival" by Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick has been accepted for publication in PLOS ONE journal. This report describes novel effects of KLK6 protease upon the survival of white blood cells in the immune system; in particular, KLK6 promotes resistance of lymphocytes to apoptosis. Dr. Michael Blaber and Sachiko Blaber are coauthors on this important study. Congratulations Isobel!

Feb 2011

Another Blaber lab paper selected by Faculty of 1000
Dr. Jihun Lee's recent JMB paper entitled "A polypeptide "building block" for the b-trefoil fold identified by "top-down symmetric deconstruction"" has been selected by the Faculty of 1000 (F1000), which places the work in the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine. Information can be found here. Congratulations Jihun!

Blaber lab PNAS paper selected by Faculty of 1000
Dr. Jihun Lee's recent PNAS paper entitled "Experimental support for the evolution of symmetric protein architecture from a simple peptide motif" has been selected by the Faculty of 1000 (F1000), which places the work in the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine. Information can be found here. Congratulations Jihun!

Dr. Jihun Lee manuscript accepted for publication in JMB
A manuscript entitled "A Polypeptide "Building Block" for the b-Trefoil Fold Identified by "Top-Down Symmetric Deconstruction"" by Dr. Jihun Lee (former grad student and postdoc in the lab) has been accepted for publication in Journal of Molecular Biology. This report describes the details of a novel methodology to design peptide "building blocks" for symmetric protein architecture. Congratulations Jihun on another excellent paper!

Jan 2011

Blaber lab awarded a Florida Department of Health grant
The Blaber lab was awarded a Florida Department of Health Technology Transfer Feasibility Grant (1KF03) "Development of "second-generation" fibroblast growth factor-1 for pro-angiogenic therapy". The grant is to support pre-clinical pharmacokinetic studies of mutant forms of human fibroblast growth factor (FGF-1). The goal is to identifying "second-generation" forms of FGF-1 for application in novel "pro-angiogenic" therapy in patients with ischemic disease that cannot be effectively treated by current therapies.

1st Annual FSU Life Sciences Symposium
The 1st Annual FSU Life Sciences Symposium was held Jan 7-8 in the College of Medicine at FSU. This meeting was designed to highlight the diverse biomedical research on-going at FSU, and included attendees and speakers from the departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Biological Science, Psychology, Physics, Mathematics, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Program in Neuroscience, and Institute of Molecular Biophysics. The organizing commitee was chaired by Dr. Michael Blaber. The symposium proceedings can be found here. Pictures from the meeting can be found here.

Dec 2010

Dr. Jihun Lee manuscript published
A manuscript written by Dr. Jihun Lee, entitled Increased Functional Half-life of Fibroblast Growth Factor-1 by Recovering a Vestigial Disulfide Bond has been published in J. Proteins Proteomics. This report describes how a novel disulfide bond mutant of FGF-1 increases the in vitro functional half-life of the protein by 14-fold. This mutant design approach may be applicable to "second-generation" forms of different members of the fibroblast growth factor family. Congratulations Jihun!

Dr. Hyesook Yoon accepts Mayo Clinic position
Dr. Hyesook Yoon (grad student/postdoc Blaber Lab) accepted a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick, Mayo Clinic, Rochester. As an alumni of the Blaber Lab, Hyesook published 3 papers as a first author, and 3 as coauthor (and with another manuscript in preparation). Her study of the activation profiles of the human pro-KLKs contribued to the 2009 E.K.Frey/E. Werle gold medal awarded to the Blaber laboratory for kallikrein research. We wish her the best of luck in this next phase of her career; she will be missed terribly.

Nov 2010

Dr. Jihun Lee manuscript accepted for publication in PNAS
A manuscript entitled "Experimental support for the evolution of symmetric protein architecture from a simple peptide motif" by Dr. Jihun Lee (former grad student and postdoc in the lab) has been accepted for publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This report provides experimental support for one of two competing hypotheses regarding molecular details of the evolution of the b-trefoil protein fold, from a simple peptide motif, via gene duplication and fusion processes. There are several significant implications of this report to protein evolution and design. Congratulations Jihun on this excellent paper!

Oct 2010

Dr. Jihun Lee accepts NIH position
Dr. Jihun Lee (grad student/postdoc Blaber Lab) accepted a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Sun, Chief, Structural Immunology Section, Nationl Institute of Alergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. As an alumni of the Blaber Lab, Jihun published 5 papers as a first author, and 7 as coauthor (and with a couple more currently being written). She solved 33 X-ray crystal structures of mutant FGF-1 proteins, as well as solved the structure of rabbit FGF-1. She also has two patent applications relating to protein therapeutics and protein design. We wish her the best of luck in this next step of her promising career; she will be sorely missed.

Sep 2010

Blaber & Brych Patent Issued
U.S. Patent 7,780,682, "Engineered Human Acidic Fibroblast Growth Factors and Associated Methods", by Blaber, M. and Brych, S. was issued on Sep 7, 2010. The patent covers a mutant form of FGF-1 that is highly-stable, lacks heparin-binding affinity, and is ~100x more potent than the wild-type FGF-1 protein in the absence of added heparin. Congratulations to co-inventor Dr. Stephen Brych.

Aug 2010

Fourth Blaber & Dubey patent issued
U.S. Patent 7,776,825, Mutant Polypeptides of Fibroblast Growth Factor 1 was issued Aug 17, 2010 (inventors Blaber, M. and Dubey, V.K.). This patent covers additional mutations at positions 12 and 134 of FGF-1 that substantially increase the thermostability as well as potency in the absence of added heparin. Such mutants are candidates for "second generation" forms of FGF-1 for pro-angiogenic therapy.

Dr. Michael Blaber joins Editorial Board of Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Dr. Michael Blaber was recently invited to join the Editorial Board of Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics a notable journal in biophysics and biochemistry published by Elsevier.

July 2010

Scarisbrick & Blaber Patent Issued
U.S. Patent 7,754,216 B2, "Method of Treating Multiple Sclerosis with Anti-K6 Antibody", by Scarisbrick, I.A., Blaber, S.I., Blaber, M. and Rodriguez, M. was issued. The patent covers a method of treating inflammatory demyelination byin the central nervous system by targeting specific inhibition of kallikrein-related peptidase 6. Congratulations to Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick, Sachiko Blaber and Dr. Moses Rodriguez.

May 2010

Blaber Lab retreat to watch Atlantis launch
This year's lab retreat was in Titusville, Fl to watch the last launch of the Shuttle Atlantis, and one of the last Shuttle launches before the U.S. manned flight program using the Shuttle is ended. We had an excellent view of the launch, and were about as close as you can get. The noise was unbelievable. Images can be found here.

Ms. Cristina Russo successfully defends Ph.D. thesis
Ms. Cristina Russo, a graduate student co-mentored in the laboratories of Drs. Marcia Fenley and Michael Blaber successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled Salt-dependence of protein-DNA binding: insights into protein electrostatics and redesign . Congratulations Cristina!

Dr. Michael Blaber joins Editorial Board of Research Reports in Biology
Dr. Michael Blaber was recently appointed to the Honorary Editorial Board of Research Reports in Biology an open access online journal published by Dove Press.

Apr 2010

Dr. Michael Blaber joins the Program in Neuroscience at FSU
The FSU Program in Neuroscience is an independent research and graduate training program and includes faculty from the departments of Biological Science, Biomedical Science, Mathematics, and Psychology. Its objective is to promote interdisciplinary basic research into neural processes, including the biological mechanisms underlying behavior, and to provide advanced graduate training leading to the Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience.

Third Blaber & Dubey patent issued
U.S. Patent 7,696,171, Mutant Polypeptides of Fibroblast Growth Factor 1 was issued Apr 13, 2010 (inventors Blaber, M. and Dubey, V.K.). This patent covers additional mutations at positions 12 and 134 of FGF-1 that substantially increase the thermostability as well as potency in the absence of added heparin. Such mutants are candidates for "second generation" forms of FGF-1 for pro-angiogenic therapy.

Mar 2010

Dr. Luiz Juliano manuscript accepted for publication
A manuscript entitled "Substrate specificity and inhibition of human kallikrein-related peptidase 3 (KLK3 or PSA) activated with sodium citrate and glycosaminoglycans", written by Dr. Luiz Juliano, has been accepted for publication in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Dr. Juliano is a long-standing collaborator and Sachiko Blaber and Dr. Michael Blaber are co-authors of this study. Congratulations to Dr. Juliano!

Feb 2010

Second Blaber & Dubey patent issued
U.S. Patent 7,659,379, Mutants of Human Fibroblast Growth Factor Having Increased Stability and/or Mitogenic Potency was issued Feb 9 2010 (inventors Blaber, M. and Dubey, V.K.). This patent covers additional mutations at positions 12 and 134 of FGF-1 that substantially increase the thermostability as well as potency in the absence of added heparin. Such mutants are candidates for "second generation" forms of FGF-1 for pro-angiogenic therapy.

Mr. Liam Longo and Ms. Sara Jackson join Blaber Lab
Graduate students Mr. Liam Longo (Molecular Biophysics program) and Ms. Sara Jackson (Biomedical Sciences program) have joined the Blaber Lab. Liam's graduate studies will focus upon protein folding, and Sara's graduate studies will focus upon Kallikrein-related peptidase enzymology. It's great to have two new graduate students in the lab, and a hearty welcome to both of them!

Jan 2010

Inaugural issue of Journal of Proteins and Proteomics
The first issue of the JPP has been published, with an editorial on the need for protein chemists contributed by Dr. Michael Blaber. A link to the issue can be found here.

Dec 2009

Dr. Hyesook Yoon joins Blaber Lab
Dr. Hyesook Yoon has started a postdoctoral research position in the Blaber Lab, focusing upon the study of Kallikrein-related peptidases. Dr. Yoon was a former graduate student of the lab (Ph.D. in Chemistry, 2008), and it is great to have her back in the lab once again.

Nov 2009

Dr. Michael Blaber manuscript accepted for publication
A review article on the interactions between Kallikrein-related peptidases and thrombostasis proteases, entitled "Functional intersection of the Kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) and thrombostasis axis" has been accepted for publication in Biological Chemistry.

Oct 2009

Dr. Jihun Lee/Sachiko Blaber manuscript accepted for publication
A manuscript jointly-authored by Dr. Jihun Lee and Sachiko Blaber, entitled X-ray Structure and Biophysical Properties of Rabbit Fibroblast Growth Factor-1 has been accepted for publication in Acta Cryst. F. This report describes the cDNA sequence, thermostability, receptor-binding affinity, mitogenic activity and X-ray crystal structure of rabbit FGF-1. Congratulations Jihun and Sachiko!

Sep 2009

Blaber & Dubey patent issued
U.S. Patent 7,595,296, Mutant Polypeptides of Fibroblast Growth Factor 1 was issued Sep 30 2009 (inventors Blaber, M. and Dubey, V.K.). This patent covers mutations at positions 12 and 134 of FGF-1 that substantially increase the thermostability as well as potency in the absence of added heparin. Such mutants are candidates for "second generation" forms of FGF-1 for pro-angiogenic therapy.

Josh Kogot manuscript accepted for publication
Joshua Kogot, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Geoffrey Strouse, has had his manuscript entitled "Analysis of the Dynamics of Assembly and Structural Impact for a Histidine Tagged FGF-1 – 1.5 nm Au Nanoparticle Bioconjugate" accepted for publication in Bioconjugate Chemistry. This study describes the structural changes to a mutant form on FGF-1 upon attachment to gold nanoparticles, and contributes to our understanding of protein conjugates in nanotechnology. Drs. Jihun Lee and Michael Blaber were coauthors in this study. Congratulations Josh!

Dr. Michael Blaber receives Frey-Werle Gold Medal
Dr. Michael Blaber was awarded the E.K. Frey-E. Werle Commemorative Gold Medal at the 3rd International Symposium on Kallikreins and Kallikrein-related Peptidases. This medal was awarded for Fundamental Contributions to the Structural Biology and Enzymology of the Human Kallikrein-related Peptidases. Pictures of the award ceremony can be found here.

Dr. Akshaya Meher manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Akshaya Meher's manuscript "Engineering an Improved Crystal Contact across a Solvent-Mediated Interface of Human Fibroblast Growth Factor-1" has been accepted for publication in Acta Cryst. F. In this report Dr. Meher demonstrates how mutations at a protein crystal contact interface, that substitute direct molecular contacts for a solvent-mediated interface, can improve the crystal growth. Congratulations Akshaya!

Blaber Lab receives high ranking in Structural Biology
The Structural Biology Rankings web site (http://www.molecularstructure.org/) ranks the impact of investigators in structural biology based opon a combination of total citation data, PDB download statistics of deposited structures, and other factors. In this ranking, the Blaber Lab is identified as being among the top 40 structural biology groups in the world (currently ranked 36th). Thanks go to the hardworking folks, past and present, within the lab.

Aug 2009

Another Dr. Jihun Lee manuscript accepted for publication!
Dr. Jihun Lee's manuscript "The Interaction between Thermodynamic Stability and Buried Free Cysteines in Regulating the Functional Half-life of Fibroblast Growth Factor-1" has been accepted for publication in Journal of Molecular Biology. In this report Dr. Lee shows that buried thiols and thermodynamic stability interact to provide effective regulation of protein functional half-life. This study identifies a protein engineering strategy to achieve a targeted functional half-life in mutant proteins. Congratulations Jihun!

Dr. Jihun Lee manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Jihun Lee's manuscript, "Structural Basis of the Conserved Cysteine in the Fibroblast Growth Factor Family: Evidence for a Vestigial Half-cystine" has been accepted for publication in Journal of Molecular Biology. In this report Dr. Lee shows that the conserved cysteine residue in the FGF family of proteins can be considered a vestigial half-cystine. In members with a cystine, the contribution of this residue is primarily to stabilize the protein; whereas, in members with a free cysteine, the contribution is to an irreversible unfolding pathway (due to thiol reactivity) and regulation of functional half-life. Congratulations Jihun!

July 2009

Dr. Michael Blaber appointed as Invited Research Fellow at JAEA
Dr. Michael Blaber has been appointed as an Invited Research Fellow to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) for 2009-2010. This appointment will involve research into structural biology associated with neutron diffraction at JAEA, Tokai, Japan. Blaber will interact with researchers in the laboratory of Dr. Ryota Kuroki, Quantum Beam Science Directorate. Pictures from the July 2009 visit are here .

May 2009

Blaber Lab Retreat at Amelia Island!
The lab had a much-deserved three day retreat at Amelia Island on the Atlantic coast of North Florida. Pictures are here .

Mar 2009

Blaber Lab research highlighted in FSU "Research in Review"
Our protein engineering of the FGF-1 protein, and its potential application in a novel treatment for heart disease, has been highlighted in the winter 2009 edition of FSU's Research in Review. To download a copy of this article click here. Thanks to the hard-working folks in the lab, especially Dr. Jihun Lee, for this accomplishment.

Feb 2009

Blaber Lab receives scientific award for Kallikrein research
The Blaber Lab has been awarded the E.K. Frey-E. Werle Commemorative Gold Medal. This medal "is awarded to scientists who have made outstanding contributions to our knowledge of the role of the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) and related subjects in health and disease over decades, so that their research achievements have significantly influenced the developments in the field". Thanks to the hard-working members of the lab, Rani Dhanarajan in the Biology department at FSU, Dr. Thayumanasamy Somasundaram in the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at FSU, and Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick our long-time collaborator at Mayo, Rochester; this award would not have been possible without their contributions.

Jan 2009

European patent issued
European patent EP1513553B1 was issued for "Methods and materials for treating and diagnosing kallikrein-6 related inflammatory conditions". The inventors of the patent are Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick (Mayo, Rochester), Sachiko I. Blaber (FSU) and Michael Blaber (FSU).

Dec 2008

Dr. Hyesook Yoon manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Hyesook Yoon (recent PhD graduate from the Blaber Lab) has had her manuscript entitled "A Completed KLK Activome Profile: Investigation of Activation Profiles of KLK9, 10 and 15" accepted for publication in Biological Chemistry. This report completes the characterization of the ability of the members of the KLK family to recognize and cleave the pro-sequences of the KLKs (i.e. the KLK "activome"). Congratulations Hyesook!

Nov 2008

Dr. Michael Blaber/Zign, Inc. receives STTR "Phase 0" award
Enterprise Florida is an organization in the state of Florida that provides seed funds to develop SBIR/STTR grant applications. Dr. Michael Blaber/Zign, Inc. was awarded one of these "Phase 0" grants to develop an STTR proposal entitled "Development of Second-generation Forms of Fibroblast Growth Factor-1 for Pro-angiogenic Therapy".

Oct 2008

Drs. Isobel Scarisbrick, Ian Mehr, and Michael Blaber form Zign Therapeutics, Inc
Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick (Mayo Clinic, Rochester), Dr. Ian Mehr (Golden Pine Ventures, Research Triangle Park) and Dr. Michael Blaber (Florida State University) are the founders of Zign Therapeutics, Inc., a startup biotechnology company. Dr. Ian Mehr (PhD, MBA) is the president of the company, and Dr. Michael Blaber is the CSO (Blaber retains his position as tenured professor of Biomedical Sciences at FSU). Details will follow on this exciting development!

Sep 2008

Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick's manuscript entitiled "Protease Activated Receptor Dependent and Independent Signaling by Kallikreins 1 and 6 in CNS Neuron and Astroglial Cell Lines" has been accepted for publication in Journal of Neurochemistry. This study shows that KLK6, but not KLK1 is an activator of CNS Protease Activated Receptors (PARs), and that both kallikreins are poised to signal in a B2 receptor-dependent fashion to regulate multiple signal transduction pathways relevant to CNS physiologic function and dysfunction. Ms. Sachiko Blaber and Dr. Michael Blaber are coauthors on this study. Congratulations Isobel!

Aug 2008

Dr. Michael Blaber appointed editor of new journal
Dr. Michael Blaber was appointed an editor of Journal of Proteins and Proteomics a new journal established by Dr. Vikash Dubey, IIT Guwahati. Details can be found here.

PhD Graduation ceremony for Dr. Hyesook Yoon
The graduation ceremony for Dr. Hyesook Yoon was held on August 9 at the Tallahassee Civic Center. Dr. Yoon was hooded by her PhD advisor Dr. Michael Blaber. Photos here!.

Dr. Hyesook Yoon manuscript accepted for publication
Recent Ph.D. graduate Dr. Hyesook Yoon's manuscript entitled "Activation Profiles of Human Kallikrein-related Peptidases by Proteases of the Thrombostasis Axis " has been accepted for publication in Protein Science. This study details how proteases that regulate coagulation and clot lysis can also activate members of the human kallikrein-related peptidase family, thus connecting the function of two major protease families. Congratulations Hyesook!

Dr. Michael Blaber travels to Brazil
Dr. Michael Blaber was invited to give a talk at the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as a guest of Dr. Luiz Juliano, a pioneer in the field of human kallikrein-related peptidases. Pictures from the trip can be found here.

July 2008

Dr. Maria Juliano manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Maria Juliano's manuscript entitled "S1’ and S2’ Subsite Specificities of Human Plasma Kalikrein and Tissue Kallikrein 1 on the Hydrolysis of Peptides Derived from Bradykinin Domain of Human Kininogen" has been accepted for publication in Biological Chemistry. This study reports that S1’ and S2’ subsites of KLK1 and HPK show peculiarities that are observed with substrates containing the amino acid sequence of human kinonogen. Dr. Michael Blaber and Sachiko Blaber are coauthors on this study.

Ms. Hyesook Yoon successfully defends Ph.D. thesis
Ms. Hyesook Yoon, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis Activation Profiles and Regulatory Cascades of the Human Kallikrein-related Peptidases. Pictures of Hyesook's defense can be found here. Dr. Yoon will continue her training as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Lab of Dr. Eleftherios Diamandis, University of Toronto. Congratulations Hyesook!

Dr. Gulsah Sanli named one of the top 5 Women in Science in Turkey
Dr. Gulsah Sanli (PhD student in the Blaber Lab 1998-2002), Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Izmir Institute of Technology, was recently recognized as one of the top 5 Women in Science in Turkey. A picture of Gulsah at the awards ceremony can be found here. Congratulations Gulsah!

June 2008

Blaber Lab receives NIH subcontract award
Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick, a long-time collaborator, was recently awarded an NIH research grant (1R01NS052741-01A2) entitled Regulation and Function of Kallikreins in Spinal Cord Injury and Repair. This research proposal is a collaborative project and includes a sub-contract award to the Blaber Lab of $252,636 ($171,862 direct). Congratulations Isobel!

May 2008

Dr. Michael Blaber to serve on Kallikrein meeting Advisory Board
Dr. Michael Blaber has been invited to serve on the International Scientific Advisory Board of the 3rd International Symposium on Tissue Kallikreins and Kallikrein-related Peptidases , to be held in Munich, Germany, Sep 16-19, 2009. Kallikreins are a family of proteases with emerging impact in human health, and this meeting is the premier meeting for the field.

Dr. Jihun Lee receives Finn Wold Award
Dr. Jihun Lee, postdoctoral researcher in the Blaber Lab, has received a Finn Wold Award, which provides support to attend the 22nd Annual Symposium of The Protein Society and present results of her research on b-turn structures in protein folding. Congratulations Jihun!

April 2008

Blaber Lab research featured in TechJournal South
Research in the Blaber Lab on FGF-1 mutants and their potential application in pro-angiogenic therapy for coronary heart disease was featured in the April edition of TechJournal South. A link to the article can be found here.

Blaber Lab research featured on WFSU/NPR radio
Research in the Blaber Lab on FGF-1 mutants and their potential application in pro-angiogenic therapy for coronary heart disease was featured this month on radio broadcasts on WFSU and NPR radio stations. An MP3 file of the broadcast can be found here.

Mr. Liam Longo awarded two undergraduate research fellowships
Mr. Liam Longo, an FSU undergraduate student, was awarded both a Florida State University Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (URACE) Summer Award, and a James R. Fisher Fellowship. These awards, totalling $4,000, will provide full-time support for Liam's on-going research into the folding mechanism of the FGF-1 protein in the Blaber Lab during the summer 2008 semester. Congratulations Liam!

Mar 2008

Dr. Michael Blaber invited to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
Dr. Blaber will spend one week in March in Tokai, Japan, as the guest of Dr. Ryota Kuroki, Molecular Structural Biology Leader-Drug Target Protein Group, Quantum Beam Science Directorate, Japan Atomic Energy Agency. Dr. Kuroki is a leader in neutron diffraction studies of protein solvation and hydrogen-bonding (more information here). Drs. Kuroki and Blaber are collaborating on neutron diffraction studies of FGF-1. Pictures can be found here.

Ms. Hyehyun Hwang, M.S., joins Blaber lab as Research Assistant
Ms. Hyehyun Hwang, formerly from ENZYTech Ltd., Daejeon Korea, joins the Blaber lab as a Research Assistant. Ms. Hwang will provide experimental and administrative assistance to the research programs in the lab, and her experience in cell-based assay and expression systems will provide additional support in these areas. Welcome Hyehyun!

Dr. Luciano Puzer, Ph.D., joins Blaber lab as Visiting Professor
Dr. Luciano Puzer, Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Department of Genetics and Evolution, Federal University of São Carlos, SP, Brazil, has joined the Blaber lab as a visiting professor for 6 months. Dr. Puzer is interested in kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) and will be collaborating on production and characterization of members of this important family of peptidases. Welcome Luciano!

Dr. Michael Blaber appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of CardioVascular BioTherapeutics Inc.
CVBT Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company performing clinical and pre-clinical studies of the application of FGF-1 in novel "angiogenic therapy" to treat various types of ischemic disease. The structural and biophysical properties of proteins play an important part in their biological activity, and the Blaber lab is a leader in structural biology and biophysical studies of FGF-1. Information on CVBT's Scientific Advisory Board can be found here.

Feb 2008

Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick's manuscript entitiled "Tissue Kallikreins are Associated with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and Promote Neurodegeneration" has been accepted for publication in Biological Chemistry. This study shows that tissue kallikreins 1 and 6 may serve as serological markers of progressive MS and contribute directly to the development of disability through promotion of neuron and axon injury. Ms. Sachiko Blaber and Dr. Michael Blaber are coauthors on this study.

Dr. Eijiro Honjo manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Eijiro Honjo's manuscript entitiled "Mutagenesis of the Crystal Contact of Acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation. Dr. Honjo is a researcher in the lab of Dr. Ryota Kuroki, a leader in neutron diffraction studies of protein solvation and hydrogen-bonding. This study describes a mutagenesis approach to increase the size of FGF-1 crystals to enable neutron diffraction studies. Drs. Akshaya Meher and Michael Blaber are coauthors on this study.

Dr. Jihun Lee manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Jihun Lee's manuscript entitiled "A Logical OR Redundancy within the Asx-Pro-Asx-Gly Type I b-turn Motif" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Molecular Biology. This report, containing a comprehensive structure, stability and folding study of 28 mutations of fibroblast growth factor-1, identifies a logical OR relationship for the Asx residues in the Asx-Pro-Asx-Gly b-turn motif in stabilizing the turn.

Jan 2008

Dr. George Georgiou manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. George Georgiou's manuscript entitiled "The Substrate Specificity of Human Kallikrein 1 and 6 Determined by Phage Display" has been accepted for publication in Protein Science. Sachiko Blaber, Gurunathan Laxmikanthan (former graduate student) and Dr. Michael Blaber are coauthors on this study which characterizes the preferred recognition cleavage sequence of KLK1 and KLK6 using a phage-display methodology.

Dec 2007

Ms. Hyesook Yoon and Dr. Jihun Lee featured on FSU International Center
Ms Hyesook Yoon (graduate student) and Dr. Jihun Lee (postdoctoral fellow), both members of the Blaber Lab, were featured researchers on the FSU International Center web site. Details can be found here.

Dr. Michael Blaber invited to serve on NIH study section
Dr. Michael Blaber received an invitation to serve as an ad hoc member of the Macromolecular Structure and Function Study Section of the NIH at its February 7-8 2008 meeting in Long Beach, CA. Such peer-review meetings are invaluable in understanding the NIH grant review process and the current areas of research interest supported by the NIH.

Nov 2007

Dr. Michael Blaber receives FSU Innovator Award
Dr. Michael Blaber received an FSU Innovator Award at the recent FSU Innovator Reception honoring those faculty involved in the development of intellectual property. Dr. Blaber was recognised for his patent applications associated with the development of novel mutants of fibroblast growth factor for application in angiogenic therapy. Further details can be found here, and a picture of Dr. Blaber receiving his award from Vice President of Research Dr. Kirby Kemper can be found here.

Dr. Thomas Stegmann visits FSU
Dr. Thomas Stegmann, a cardiac surgeon pioneering the application of angiogenic therapy to the treatment of vascular stenosis was the invited speaker for the "Grand Rounds" of the College of Medicine on Nov 1 2007. Dr. Stegmann's procedure utilizes human FGF-1, and several mutants of FGF-1 produced in the Blaber Lab may be of interest as "2nd Generation" forms in angiogenic therapy. A picture of Dr. Stegmann with members of the Blaber Lab can be found here.

Oct 2007

Blaber Lab members attend 2nd ISK meeting in Greece
The 2nd International Symposium on Kallikreins and Kallikrein-Related Peptidases was held Oct 16-18 in Santorini, Greece. Dr. Michael Blaber gave a lecture entitled "Activation Profiles and Regulatory Cascades of the Human Kallikrein-related Peptidases (KLK's)". The meeting was also attended by Ms. Hyesook Yoon and Ms. Sachiko Blaber. Hyesook presented a poster detailing her studies of the human KLK activome (in press in JBC), and Sachiko gave a poster detailing the autolytic regulation of KLK-6 (published earlier this year in Biochemistry). Pictures from the meeting can be found here.

Aug 2007

Ms. Hyesook Yoon manuscript accepted for publication
Ms. Hyesook Yoon's manuscript entitled "Activation Profiles and Regulatory Cascades of the Human Kallikrein-related Peptidases" has been accepted for publication in Journal of Biological Chemistry. This study characterizes the specificity profile of the mature KLK's for the 15 different KLK propeptide sequences, and elucidates potential KLK activation cascades.

June 2007

Dr. Michael Blaber receives "Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher" award
At the College of Medicine faculty awards ceremony, Dr. Michael Blaber was awarded the "Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher" award for 2006-2007. This achievement reflects the hard work and accomplishments of the students, postdocs and technicians in the Blaber Lab; thank you!

May 2007

Dr. Vikash Dubey manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Dubey's manuscript entitled "Spackling the Crack: Stabilizing Human Fibroblast Growth Factor-1 by Targeting the N- and C-terminus b-strand Interactions" has been accepted for publication in Journal of Molecular Biology. This report describes specific point mutations in the adjacent N- and C-termini b-strands that provide substantial increases in thermostability.

Apr 2007

PhD Graduation ceremony for Dr. Jihun Lee
The graduation ceremony for Dr. Jihun Lee was held on April 27 at the Tallahassee Civic Center. Dr. Lee was hooded by her PhD advisor Dr. Michael Blaber. Photo here!.

Mar 2007

Blaber Lab signs contract research agreement
The Blaber Lab has entered into a contract research agreement with CardioVascular BioTherapeutics, a leading-edge Biotechnology company in angiogenic therapy. The research agreement provides research support for the development and characterization of "second generation" forms of fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF-1) for application in angiogenic therapy.

Ms. Jihun Lee successfully defends Ph.D. thesis
Ms. Jihun Lee, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis Characterization of the Effects of b -turn Sequence on Protein Stability, Folding Kinetics, Functionality and Turn Structure. Dr. Lee will continue her training as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Blaber Lab, pursuing her interest in the study of protein turn structure. Congratulations Jihun!

Ms. Sachiko Blaber manuscript accepted for publication
Ms. Sachiko Blaber's manuscript entitled "The autolytic regulation of human kallikrein-related peptidase 6" has been accepted for publication in Biochemistry. This study concludes that KLK6 autolytic activity is primarily targeted towards inactivation and a distinct protease is required for activation.

Feb 2007

Ms. Hyesook Yoon passes PhD oral qualifing exam
Ms. Hyesook Yoon, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, successfully passed her PhD oral qualfying exam and has now advanced to candidacy for the PhD degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Congratulations to Hyesook!

Blaber Lab awarded NIH research grant
The Blaber Lab has been awarded a 3-year NIH R15 research grant entitled Interactions between CNS-specific human kallikreins and the PA system in inflammation. The project will focus of the role of specific members of the human kallikrein family in the progression of inflammatory demyelination in the central nervous system (as occurs with Multiple Sclerosis).

Jan 2007

Dr. Michael Blaber promoted to Full Professor
FSU president T.K. Wetherell approved promotion of Dr. Blaber to Full Professor, effective the 2007 academic year. This promotion reflects the achievements of the outstanding students, postdocs and technicians who have contributed to the success of the Blaber Lab over the past 13 years (special thanks to the current lab personnel).

Sep 2006

Mr. Gurunathan Laxmikanthan successfully defends Ph.D. thesis
Mr. Gurunathan, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis An Insight into the Structure, Function and Activation Cascades of the Classical Human Kallikreins. Dr. Laxmikanthan will pursue a Postdoctoral position at Brown University. Congratulations Guru!

June 2006

Dr. Morley Hollenberg manuscript accepted for publication
Another manuscript, Proteinase-activated receptors (pars): targets for kallikrein signalling in collaboration with Dr. Morley Hollenberg (pioneer in the area of protease-activated receptors) has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko I. Blaber are coauthors in this study.

May 2006

Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Isobel Scarisbrick (Mayo Clinic, Rochester) is a long-standing collaborator of the Blaber Lab. She has recently studied the potential scope of action of tissue kallikreins in T cell-mediated disease of the CNS. This work has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Neuroimmunology and includes Sachiko I. Blaber and Michael Blaber as coauthors. Congratulations to Dr. Scarisbrick.

Blaber Lab receives research grant from the American Heart Association
The Blaber Lab has been awarded a three-year research grant from the American Heart Association to study the x-ray structure and receptor-binding properties of mutant forms of human fibroblast growth factor-1. The mutant forms being studied exhibit enhanced properties in regards to their ability to stimulate cells to grow. The study of these mutants will help in the design of "second generation" forms of FGF-1 for angiogenic therapy in the treatment of "no option" heart patients. Thanks to all the hard-working lab personnel who made this grant possible!

Dr. Vikash Dubey obtains tenured faculty position
Dr. Vikash Dubey, a postdoc in the Blaber lab since 2004, has received an offer of a tenured Assistant Professorship in the Department of Biotechnology at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati campus. Congratulations to Vikash!

Apr 2006

Ms. Nikki Held graduates with MS
Ms. Nikki held graduated from the Blaber Lab with an MS degree in Chemistry in the Spring 2006 semester.

Mar 2006

Dr. Morley Hollenberg manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Morley Hollenberg has been studying the role of human kallikreins in the activation of protease-activated receptors. His manuscript entitled Kallikrein-Mediated Cell Signaling: Targeting Proteinase-Activated Receptors (PARs)1 has been accepted for publication in Biological Chemistry. Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko I. Blaber are coauthors in this study.

Dr. Blaber appointed to FSU Human Subjects Institutional Review Board
The Human Subjects IRB reviews research applications from FSU researchers that involve human subjects. The IRB ensures that appropriate ethical standards are upheld for research involving human subjects.

Feb 2006

European patent filed for treating inflammatory demyelination
A European patent application (03734121.1-2403-US0316106) has been filed by the Mayo Foundation entitled Methods and Materials for Treating Inflammatory Conditions. This application derived from research produced by the Scarisbrick (Mayo, Rochester) and Blaber laboratories (FSU). Dr. Michael Blaber and Ms. Sachiko I. Blaber are listed as co-inventors on this patent application.

Jan 2006

Dr. Ake Lundwall manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Ake Lundwall has organized a group of experts in the kallikrein field to propose a nomenclature for the kallikrein family. This effort derived from discussions at the 1st International Symposium on Kallikreins, held in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2005. Dr. Blaber participated in this effort, and is a coauthor on this manuscript which was recently accepted for publication in Biological Chemistry.

Dec 2005

Dr. Luiz Juliano manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Luiz Juliano, a recognized expert in the study of human kallikreins at the Department of Biophysics, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, has been collaborating with the Blaber Lab to study the ability of K6 to activate protease-activated receptors (PAR's). This work, authored by Dr. Juliano, was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Nov 2005

Dr. Blaber receives FSU Innovator Recognition
Dr. Blaber was one of several faculty and staff members to be recognized by Dr. Kirby Kemper, Vice President of Research, for contributions towards the licencing of intellectual property generated at FSU. Dr. Blaber was acknowledged for his development and licencing of web-based tutorials for teaching concepts in undergraduate Chemistry.

Oct 2005

Dr. Blaber reappointed to Protein Science Editorial Advisory Board
Dr. Blaber has previously served a three-year term as an Editorial Advisory Board member to Protein Science. This month he was invited by the Editor of the journal to serve a second three-year term (through 2008). Dr. Blaber has published articles in Protein Science as a graduate student, postdoc and P.I., and it is a real privilege to serve on the EAB for another term. Best wishes for the continued success of the journal!

Sep 2005

Ms. Jihun Lee manuscript accepted for publication
Ms. Lee, a graduate student in the Blaber Lab, had an article entitled "Conversion of type I 4:6 to 3:5 b-turn types in human acidic fibroblast growth factor: effects upon structure, stability, folding and mitogenic function" accepted, with no requested revisions, for publication in the journal Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics.

Blaber Lab Retreat in Sandestin
The Blaber Lab went on a much-needed 2-day retreat to Sandestin, FL. Images of the trip can be found here.

Blaber Lab first to receive research grant in FSU GAP program
The Blaber Lab was awarded the first of a new type of grant from the FSU Office of Research, known as a GAP grant. These grants are intended to provide proof-of-concept data in the development of intellectual property of potential commercial interest. The Blaber Lab submitted a proposal to study heparin and receptor-binding properties of mutants of human fibroblast growth factor 1 with enhanced functional properties. Such mutants have potential application in "angiogenic therapy" for the development of neo-vasculature in the treatment of ischemia. CardioVascular BioTherapeutics is one such company pursuing the use of FGF-1 in angiogenic therapy.

Blaber Lab moves to brand new research facilities in College of Medicine at Florida State University
After starting his academic career and spending 11 challenging and rewarding years in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at FSU, Dr. Blaber accepted an offer of a faculty position in the new College of Medicine at FSU. This next phase in his career will no doubt be as challengind and exciting as the first! His teaching responsibilities in the College of Medicine include training of medical students; several of which were undergraduates in Dr. Blaber's Chemistry and Biochemistry courses at FSU.

July 2005

Ms. Hyesook Yoon joins Blaber Lab
Ms. Hyesook Yoon has joined the Blaber Lab as a Graduate Research Assistant. Ms. Yoon's research efforts will initially focus upon the biochemistry and enzymology of human kallikreins.

May 2005

Dr. Vikash Dubey manuscript accepted for publication
Dr. Vikash Dubey, a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Blaber Lab, had an article entitled "Redesigning symmetry-related "mini-core" regions of FGF-1 to increase primary structure symmetry: thermodynamic and functional consequences of structural symmetry" accepted for publication in the journal Protein Science.

March 2005

Blaber Lab awarded Pilot Project Grant from National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Blaber Lab was awarded a grant (PP1113) to study the "Identification of Activation Cascades Involving Human Kallikrein 6" from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The research will help to understand the role of this novel CNS-specific protease in Multiple Sclerosis.

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