Lab News

This site provides periodic updates of lab activities: publication of papers, awards, graduations etc.

Double Digits! CurtisLab's 10th Publication of 2015 Accepted!

posted Dec 15, 2015, 8:04 PM by April Hile

A culmination of FIVE years of iterations on reactor designs with numerous unforeseen obstacles along the way, CurtisLab's manuscript, A Temporary Immersion Plant Propagation Bioreactor with Decoupled Gas and Liquid Flows for Enhanced Control of Gas Phase, was accepted to Biotechnology Progress. It details development of our Hy-TIB reactor, a Hydrostatically-driven Temporary Immersion Bioreactor that emphasizes low-cost scaleability for plant propagation, which is essential given their generally miniscule pricing. Current research involves its scale-up with collaborations in Africa towards propagation of Dioscorea (yam--not sweet potato--) to help feed millions. Sergio Florez, Matt Curtis, and Sydney Shaw spent COUNTLESS hours with massive the assistance of Nate Hamaker---not to mention the venerable Jeff Larsen.

Hydrocarbon Book Chapter Accepted!

posted Dec 15, 2015, 7:39 PM by April Hile   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 7:40 PM ]

CurtisLab's book chapter, Production of biofuel-related isoprenoids derived from Botryococcus braunii, was accepted into the Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Protocols  on November 12th, 2015. It details methods of extraction and analysis of squalene produced by native and alternative hosts using both GC-FID performed by CurtisLab's Nymul Khan and Bill Muzika and state-of-the-art TOF-SIMS (Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) by Winograd Lab collaborator, Lauren Jackson.

Dr. Curtis awarded 2015 Outstanding Student Chapter Advisor Award

posted Nov 23, 2015, 11:26 AM by April Hile

Serving as Penn State's AIChE Chapter Advisor since 1990, Dr. C was awarded Outstanding Student Chapter Advisor award at t
his year's National AIChE Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT on November 8th.  

CurtisLab takes 2nd at 2015 National AIChE Poster Competition

posted Nov 10, 2015, 6:10 AM by Wayne Curtis

Katie's oral presentation skills showcased the 'puzzles' theme that explains our past (i.e Justin [now NSF Fellow at UCSB]), present (i.e. Katie/Nate), and future (i.e. Haonan) work in bioinformatics and growth experiments with a B. braunii symbiont. 

CurtisLab's 8th paper of 2015!

posted Jun 19, 2015, 2:29 AM by Wayne Curtis   [ updated Jun 19, 2015, 2:36 AM ]

Collaborator, Dr. Ramya, has had her paper, A rapid and economical method for efficient DNA extraction from diverse soils suitable for metagenomic applications, accepted to PLoS ONE today, on June 19th, 2015!!! HERE IS THE PRE-PRINT!!!

Lucky No. 7

posted Jun 14, 2015, 4:49 PM by April Hile

Ramya & Trevor's Paper,  Physiology, genomic, and pathway engineering of an ethanol-tolerant strain of Clostridium phytofermentans was accepted on May 27th, 2015 to Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Big thanks to Billy for carrying on the work and Tina for her help in the final push for submission.

2015's Sixth Paper Accepted!

posted May 19, 2015, 2:16 AM by Wayne Curtis

Mustafa & Brandon's paper, Advancing Rhodobacter sphaeroides as a platform for expression of functional membrane proteins, was accepted May 16th, 2015 into Protein Expression and Purification. Download the accepted pre-print now!

Metabolic Engineering Review Accepted!

posted May 19, 2015, 1:43 AM by Wayne Curtis

After thousands of hours of work and seemingly dozens of iterations, CurtisLab's Dr. Khan (PhD. '15), alumnus Ben Woolston (PhD Candidate, MIT), and 'partner-in-review', Dr. Eric Nybo (Ferris State, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry), Metabolic Engineering Review was finally accepted on April 29th, 2015!!! Download the Accepted Manuscript now and/or DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2015.04.008 in the near future!

Dr. Curtis awarded Lawrence J. Perez Memorial Student Advocate Award!

posted May 11, 2015, 5:56 PM by Wayne Curtis   [ updated May 11, 2015, 5:57 PM ]

Recipients from the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Dinner held April 23rd, 2015.
Left to Right: Dr. Andrew Zydney, M.J. Smith, Laurinda Benner, Dr. Wayne Curtis, & Dr. Rob Rioux!

Dean Elnashai awards Dr. Curtis the The Lawrence J. Perez Memorial Student Advocate Award, which recognizes a College of Engineering faculty member who contributes to the welfare of students and enriches the College by his or her willingness to devote significant time and effort to assist students with academic and/or personal problems. Nominated by his fellow students, excerpts from nomination letters were shared including the noteworthy mention of his willingness to put students first despite a "timebomb of a calendar"---Thanks Olga!!

Dr. Curtis & his 'entourage'
From left to right: Erica Lennox, Olga Vinogradova, Danielle Dunshee, Dr. Wayne Curtis, Erik Curtis, & Rachel Erwin

Plant-based cattle vaccine scaled in plant cell culture - Kristin's Publication

posted Apr 20, 2015, 11:00 AM by Wayne Curtis

Congratulations to Kristin O'Neill and her Undergraduate helpers ... as this paper was a 'side project' that was left on a back-burner for nearly a decade as we dealt with a broadening of the labs research focus.  The basic concept is to utilize transgenic plant material expressing a vaccine epitope for pathogenic E.coli as basis for animal vacination when they eat it.  The scaling work was done in a 60L pilot plant bioreactor.  Scale-up of transgenic tobacco cells that express intimin of enterohemorrhagicEscherichia coli O157:H7 for use as a transitional platform for an oral cattle vaccine.  

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