Purdue breaks ground on structural biology facility
On October 19, Purdue University broke ground on the new Wayne T. and Mary T. Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology. The $30 million, 65,690-sq.-ft. building will provide an advanced workspace for Purdue’s Center for Structural Biology research group; the group currently is housed in the basement of Lilly Hall.
Hockmeyer Hall is named for Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Purdue alumnus and founder of biotech company MedImmune, and his wife, Mary, who gave $5.3 million toward its construction. The facility was made possible by $16 million in gifts and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2009. The building will include eight specialized labs and eight general labs for work in the areas of protein production, cell and virus culture, large molecule crystallization, x-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and analytical and biophysical instrumentation.
Purdue University’s Wayne T. and Mary T. Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology will house research teams focusing on breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of disease. Image courtesy of Purdue University.
One area that requires a large amount of space and carefully controlled conditions is electron microscopy. The group has five electron microscopes, three of which are advanced high-end cryoelectron microscopes that allow researchers to see nearly down to the molecular level. Each microscope takes up a small room, and the slightest vibrations can disturb the images produced. The new building will allow the group the space needed to house the large equipment necessary to advance structural biology, says Richard Kuhn, head of the Department of Biological Sciences.
Breakthroughs from the structural biology group have included fundamental insights into how important groups of human viruses infect cells, build themselves, and are recognized by the human body. Also, the group has achieved important advances in understanding the structure of membrane proteins, which are the gateways into and out of cells, Kuhn says.
compiled by Carrie Meadows
Semi industry exec John T.C. Lee joins MKS
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Christ takes controlling interest in Zeta Group
Christ Water Technology Group has taken over 76 percent of the stock of the Zeta Group, located in Tobelbad, Austria, expanding the company’s activities in the pharmaceutical and life science sectors. Zeta is a supplier of production systems and process equipment for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Christ executives say that not only will Zeta’s product line expand its current range of turnkey solutions, the qualified construction department at Zeta, which will continue to operate under this name, will strengthen the service sector of Christ.
Millipore unveils new brand identity, awards funding
Millipore Corporation, a supplier of technologies, tools, and services for the bioscience research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry, has unveiled its new brand initiative and visual identity. The re-branding underscores Millipore’s transition from filtration systems provider to a life science corporation focused on research, development, and production. Millipore also announced a $500,000 research gift made through the Millipore Foundation to the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI). The company’s gift will support the HSCI Seed Grant Program, which provides early funding for innovative projects in any field of stem cell research.
Plexus’s Asian facility receives FDA approval
Plexus Corp., a contract manufacturer of electronics products, has announced FDA approval of one of its Penang, Malaysia facilities, through the agency’s pre-market approval (PMA) supplement evaluation process, to manufacture Class III finished devices on behalf of a large tier-one medical OEM. This approval comes following an extensive on-site audit in Penang by the FDA. Approximately 25 percent of the company’s annual revenue comes from product design, supply chain management, and manufacturing services for medical device OEMs.