UC Biomolecular Interaction Centre - BIC

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Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC): University of Canterbury

The Biomolecular Interaction Centre is a multi-disciplinary research centre dedicated to the study of molecular interactions critical to biological function.

Operating as usual

Tree Syrup Aotearoa 06/03/2024

Why are maple trees being grown in North Otago?

Tree Syrup Aotearoa In the Tree Syrup Aotearoa research programme, we’re focusing on the potential of young trees for making maple syrup. Our aim is to use a closely spaced, horticultural-style row-crop, similar to an orchard or vineyard, and to trial new pruning techniques that result in smaller plants with multiple...

Photos from UC Biomolecular Interaction Centre - BIC's post 14/02/2024

Yesterday, the poster session by BIC summer students was well attended. With more than 20 summer students (thanks to BIC, NZPA and other funding) a poster session was a great way to share what the students have been doing to a wider audience. Congratulations to the students for creating some superb posters. With most of the students continuing on to postgraduate study, the summer studentships for 2023/4 have been a great success.

14/02/2024

Congratulations to the 3D printing research team for their recent publication on "3D Printing for catalytic activity – Ink development using a drop-on-demand cartridge".
Some superb research coming out of the BIC hosted 3D printing programme, funded by an MBIE research programme grant.

Redirecting

21 Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowships invest in Māori and Pacific STEM researchers 27/01/2024

Congratulations to Essie Van Zuylen for her success in being awarded a Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowship to study The psychoactive mushrooms of New Zealand, understanding our fungal taonga species at the University of Canterbury.
This prestigious fellowship provides four years of support for talented young researchers to focus on developing their career in New Zealand.

21 Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowships invest in Māori and Pacific STEM researchers Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowships have been awarded to 18 early-career and 3 mid-career scientific (Pūtaiao) researchers.

24/12/2023

Merry Christmas to you all. I hope you have a great Christmas and get some down time for what has seemed like a very busy year.

01/11/2023

Congratulations to members of BIC who have been successful in the recent Marsden funding round.
Dr Jodie Johnston at the University of Canterbury for “How allosteric tuning influences enzyme promiscuity and host adaptation” (standard Marsden, $942,000)
Dr Vanessa Morris at the University of Canterbury for “Regulation of cell death by amyloid fibrils” (Standard Marsden, $942,000)
Professor Emily Parker at Victoria University of Wellington for “Deciphering the molecular details of unusual fungal biosynthetic enzymes” (Standard, $941,000)
Dr William Welton at the University of Waikato for “Predicting the mutational trajectories behind viral zoonotic events” (Standard Marsden, $940,000)
Dr Rachael Wood at the University of Canterbury for “Mechanical and biomedical modelling of highly invasive endometriotic tissue” (Fast-start, $360,000)
Dr Amy Yewdall at the University of Canterbury for “Coming together for better or worse? How biomolecular interactions impact the self-assembly and properties of nucleoli-like condensates” (Fast-start $360,000)

Also congratulations to those AIs involved in these projects, unfortunately the list I have only gives the names of the PI on each grant.

This success, along with previous grant successes, reflects both the diversity and quality of the research being carried out by BIC members.

Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC) Symposium 25/10/2023

The Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC) symposium will take place on Wednesday the 22nd November.
For more details and registration go to

Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC) Symposium The BIC Symposium is an opportunity for BIC members and guests to gather to share research and socialise.

16/10/2023

One of the many exciting collaborations that the Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC) is involved with is working with the New Zealand Product Accelerator (NZPA), whose mission is to connect NZ industries with the best science and technology teams, to support companies in translating ideas into products and innovation and providing the "missing science" in the Aotearoa/NZ research and development system.

This includes our Sustainable is Attainable programme which has worked with food industries in Timaru (facilitated by Nigel Davenport at Venture Timaru) to quantify their waste streams, and this information is now being used by researchers in BIC to identify potential ways to reduce waste and develop value added products from the waste - from nutrient media to soil conditioners and nutraceuticals. All made possible by NZPA.

The NZPA also supported an initial study to understand the growth of syrup producing trees (e.g., maple) using cutting edge scanning technology. Thanks to this initial support this research has grown to be supported by a million-dollar MBIE grant and could provide future economic benefits for New Zealand.

Another BIC related project which was specifically funded by the NZPA and is led by Dr Carlo Carere is exploring the use of waste, including dairy waste, as a source material for producing biohydrogen.

UC also has a broader collaboration with the NZPA through Garrick Thorn in Chemical & Process Engineering whose strong connections with industry help UC and the NZPA provide the "missing science" (and engineering) that industry is looking for. This had led to interesting projects for not only engineering staff to work on but also engineering students.

01/10/2023

A great PhD opportunity.

26/09/2023

Exciting to have so many BIC researchers involved in successful Endeavour grants this year. Congratulations to them all.

Smart Ideas

Deborah Crittenden (UC) is the lead PI for “Long-lived, high-performance organic batteries for a greener rechargeable world”

Peter Gostomski (UC) is the lead PI for “Enhancing the sustainability od dairy farming using advanced methane biofiltration”

Daniel Holland (UC) is the lead PI for “Redefining the future of forensic drug testing using NMR”

Claudia Meisrimler (UC) and Artemio Mendoza (Lincoln) are P*s for “Unlocking the potential of microbial bioactive compounds to promote forest health”

Adele Williamson (Waikato) is an AI for “Smart antigens for ovine antiviral hyperimmune milk production”

Mark Staiger (UC) is an AI for “A new era for biocontrol: artificial eggs for in vitro parasitoid rearing”

Volker Nock (UC) is an AI for “Ion pipette aspiration chips for soft colloidal micromechanics”

Endeavour projects

Heather Hendrickson (UC) is the lead PI for “Adaptable phage solutions: An Aotearoa-NZ platform for precision biocontrol for primary industries”

Sarah Kessans (UC) is the lead PI for “Developing platforms for biological research in microgravity”. Volker Nock (UC) is also an investigator on this project.

About Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowships 19/09/2023

https://www.royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/puanga/about-en

The recently announced Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowships provide an opportunity to attract and grow Māori talent in the research, science and innovation system by providing 0.8 FTE salary for successful applicants over 4 years.
If you meet the criteria for these fellowships and are interested in working with one (or more) of the research groups within the Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC) at the University of Canterbury please get in touch with me so we can explore how we could support you with the remaining 0.2 FTE while providing you with access to world class research facilities which will allow you to develop your research career.

About Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowships Te putanga reo Māori Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao is part of the Expanding the Impact of Vision Mātauranga initiatives that aim to attract and grow Māori talent in the research, science and innovation system, enable Māori to better navigate and participate in this system and fund Māori-led research, sc...

Condensates in Cancer 11/07/2023

PhD position available exploring Condensates in Cancer.
$30 to $35k per annum plus fees paid.
More details can be found at

Condensates in Cancer Are you interested in how cells organise proteins and RNA into facilitate essential processes? Would you like to dive deep into how biomolecular condensates work, and how they become dysregulated in disease? Are you either highly interested in high throughput methods and/or applying your skills to t...

A versatile capillaric circuits microfluidic viscometer 28/06/2023

Another publication from BIC researchers describing the development of a microfluidic viscometer. Congratulations to all those involved in this project.

A versatile capillaric circuits microfluidic viscometer A novel capillary-action microfluidic viscometer has been designed that can measure the relative viscosity of a sample compared to a control liquid. U…

Software Developer - University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 26/06/2023

Software Developer - University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha We have an exciting opportunity for a Software Developer to support the development of software across a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Research Programme that bridges the faculties of Science and Engineering. The project leverages the University of Canterbury's world-lead...

Software Developer - University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 26/06/2023

Any Software Developers out there looking to explore the world of 3D printing of porous materials? Check out the link below.

Software Developer - University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha We have an exciting opportunity for a Software Developer to support the development of software across a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Research Programme that bridges the faculties of Science and Engineering. The project leverages the University of Canterbury's world-lead...

Enantioselective synthesis of hydantoins by chiral acid-catalysed condensation of glyoxals and ureas 26/06/2023

Another new publication by BIC researchers, this one describing a single step, enantioselective synthesis of hydantoins, a versatile scaffold in natural products and pharmaceuticals.
Well done everyone.

Enantioselective synthesis of hydantoins by chiral acid-catalysed condensation of glyoxals and ureas Hydantoins are important scaffolds in natural products and pharmaceuticals, with only a few synthetic strategies available for their asymmetric preparation. We herein describe a single-step enantioselective synthesis of 5-monosubstituted hydantoins via condensation of glyoxals and ureas in the prese...

Home - 12th International Workshop on Sap Flow - Millennium Hotel 08/06/2023

Speakers announced for the 12th International Workshop of Sap Flow, 31 October to 3rd November 2023, Rotorua.

Home - 12th International Workshop on Sap Flow - Millennium Hotel Nau mai, Haere mai, welcome to the XII International Workshop on Sapflow, to be held in Rotorua, New Zealand, from October 31 to November 3, 2023 (with an optional evening icebreaker on the arrival day October 30). On behalf of the local organising committee we warmly invite you to join us in Rotoru...

Photos from University of Canterbury's post 04/06/2023
Registration now Open! 21/05/2023

Registration now Open! We are pleased to announce that the online registration for the 12th International Workshop on Sap Flow is now open. Register now to take advantage of the Early Bird rates!  Please note: The abstract submission deadline is fast approaching! Please ensure you submit your abstract before 23 June 2023...

Registration now Open! 21/05/2023

Registration is now open for the 12th International Workshop on Sap Flow.
https://confer.eventsair.com/sapflow2023/
https://mailchi.mp/8919dc11ad21/registration-now-open

Registration now Open! We are pleased to announce that the online registration for the 12th International Workshop on Sap Flow is now open. Register now to take advantage of the Early Bird rates!  Please note: The abstract submission deadline is fast approaching! Please ensure you submit your abstract before 23 June 2023...

11/05/2023

Techweek 2023 is on next week in Auckland and Palmerston North. If you are interested in attending please register for these events.

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Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC) : University of Canterbury

The Biomolecular Interaction Centre is a multi-disciplinary research centre dedicated to the study of molecular interactions critical to biological function.

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Fantastic work from Dr Chris Horne, the Dobson Lab and Co! Their latest research on bacterial sialic acid metabolism has...

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