News Releases

New Cell Lines Will Facilitate Optimized Production of Antibody-based Therapeutics

August 13, 2018 -- A family of drugs called monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) harnesses the power of the immune system to fight cancer and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.  In 2016, NIST released a reference standard for mAbs called NISTmAb.  Now, NIST and UMD researchers at IBBR have developed three cell lines that produce antibodies very similar to the NISTmAb standard.  The new cell lines will be publicly available, valuable tools for studying the biomanufacturing production process for new mAb drugs.

IBBR Researchers Develop Web Platform for Modeling Structure of Immune System Proteins

August 9, 2018 -- Immune system proteins called T cell receptors (TCRs) are involved in fighting infectious disease, are implicated in a number of autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, and have major potential as a platform for the development of cancer drugs. TCRModel, developed by IBBR Fellow Dr. Brian Pierce and postdoctoral associate Dr. Ragul Gowthaman, allows researchers to input TCR sequences and retrieve high-resolution structure predictions in a matter of minutes.

University of Maryland Student Experiment Returns from Space

August 8, 2018 -- University of Maryland undergraduates Rushi Challa and Natalie Ivanina learned techniques and optimized their experiment for space conditions with the help of IBBR Fellow Daniel Nelson and his lab group. 

2 IBBR Researchers Receive UM Ventures Seed Grants

August 1, 2018 -- IBBR Fellows Dr. Silvia Muro and Dr. Daniel Nelson were each awarded $15,000 Seed Grants from UM Ventures. Dr. Muro’s project will expand the applications of her patented peptides that specifically target cellular structures called lysosomes, defects of which are the cause of a range of severe genetic disorders. Dr. Nelson’s project will advance his patented technology that targets Bacillus bacteria, including organisms that cause anthrax and a serious form of food-poisoning. 

IBBR Researchers Receive $1.5M NSF Award

July 31, 2018 -- The National Science Foundation’s SemiSynBio program recently awarded $1.5 million to IBBR Fellows Dr. Bill Bentley and Dr. Greg Payne and their collaborators at University of Maryland’s Institute for Systems Research, University of Nebraska, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. The team's unique insight is that both biology and electronic devices can communicate through reduction and oxidation reactions - referred to as "redox". 

IBBR at Maryland Day!

April 30, 2018 -- Sunshine, blue skies, and nary a cloud made for a beautiful day as UMCP welcomed thousands of visitors for its 20th anniversary of Maryland Day.  IBBR participated in the event for the first time with two table displays. The first display featured a protein matching game based on protein structures solved at the Institute. The second shared information about genetically modified organisms (GMO's), genetic engineering, and their potential impact on global food shortages.  

IBBR Graduate Student Receives Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award

April 24, 2018 -- Congratulations to Tsega Solomon, a graduate student in Dr. John Orban’s laboratory, at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), who has received the 2018-2019 Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement for her work on temperature-dependent protein fold switches.  The award is given each year to just one UMCP graduate student campus-wide and carries a stipend of $15,000 and candidacy tuition remission.

IBBR Solar Canopy Dedication - Part of a Larger Energy Savings Plan

April 23, 2018 -- On Wednesday, April 18, the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) welcomed honored guests to a dedication of its recently installed solar canopy.  Funded by a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration and completed in cooperation with the UMD Facilities Management Department of Engineering and Energy, WGL Systems, and SGC Power, the canopy is not only a renewable energy source helping to reduce the Institute's carbon footprint, it also includes two charging stations for electric cars and is providing shade and weather protected parking for staff... Read More

Surprise Visit by Prof. Changsheng Liu, VP, East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST)

April 16, 2018 -- UMCP welcomed Prof. Changsheng Liu, Vice President of Shanghai’s East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), to campus on Monday, April 9.  Dr. Liu is a member of the prestigious Chinese National Academy of Sciences and his group has been collaborating with researchers from UMCP’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) and Fischell Department of Bioengineering for several years.  

University of Maryland team hosts the nation’s Materials Genome Initiative Principal Investigators Meeting

April 4, 2018 -- University of Maryland Professors, Gregory Payne and William Bentley from UMCP’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) and the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, and Professor Jana Shen from Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of UMB’s School of Pharmacy, hosted the nation’s Principal Investigators Meeting of the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), on March 26-27, and received an award for their project - “Thin Film Biofabrication for Integrated Bio-electronics” - which aims to extend advances for microelectronics to applications in the life... Read More