Web Resources



11/17/14 - Mary Clay defends her PhD thesis!


11/03/14 - Manali Ghosh joins the group as a PhD student in Physical Chemistry!


08/16/14 - Alex Greenwood receives the Springborn Postdoctoral Fellowship!


07/09/14 - Grant Hisao receives the J & M Witt Fellowship!


07/07/14 - Xiangyan Shi joins the group as a postdoc!


06/19/14 - Alex Greenwood joins the group as a postdoc!


04/24/14 - Former group member, Kathy Kloepper, wins undergraduate teaching awards!


03/30/14 - Amphotericin study published in Nature Chemical Biology


12/09/13- Alexander Barclay, Lisa Della Ripa, and Dennis Piehl join the group!


12/06/13 - Eric's review article published online in Analytical Chemistry.


11/13/13 - Joseph passes his preliminary examination!


11/09/13 - Rienstra group members attend the Chicago Area NMR Discussion Group.


11/08/13 - Marcus presents at the Molecular Biophysics Training Grant Symposium.


08/02/13 - Mike Brothers defends his thesis!


07/09/13 - Congratulations to Andy Nieuwkoop, who received an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship in Germany.


Chad recieves an NIH grant for "Low Temperature Solid-State NMR Technologies for Protein Structure Determination!


05/10/13 - Congratulations to Dr. Chad Rienstra, who is promoted to Professor effective August 16, 2013


03/25/13 - Sperling et al. "Solid-State NMR Study of a 41 kDa Membrane Protein Complex DsbA/DsbB" accepted for publication in J Phys Chem B. online


03/22/13 - Tang et al. "Advanced Solid-State NMR Approaches for Structure Determination of Membrane Proteins and Amyloid Fibrils" accepted for publication in Acc Chem Res. online


02/08/13 - Tang et al. "Structure of the Disulfide Bond Generating Membrane Protein DsbB in the Lipid Bilayer" accepted for publication in J Mol Biol. online


11/12/12 - Marcus AWARDED A TRAINEESHIP ON THE Molecular Biophysics Training Grant


11/10/12 - Rienstra Group members MaRY Clay and Marcus Tuttle present at the 2012 Chicago area NMR Discussion Group at Purdue University


10/10/12 - Lemkau et al. "A site-specific comparison of Parkinson's disease related E46K, A53T and wild-type alpha synuclein" accepted for publication in PLoS ONE.


09/8/12 - Mike Invited to speak at Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference!

Mike recieved a travel award to present his research in Milwaukee at the 19th Annual Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference.


08/23/12 - Kristin wins a poster Award at the Fall ACs meeting!

Kristin presented in the Physical Chemistry Poster Session at the Fall Philadelphia American Chemical Society meeting where she recieved a Student Poster Award.


07/10/12 - Marcus has recieved a Procter & Gamble Departmental Fellowship! Congratulations Marcus!


06/10/12 - Congratulations to Mary, who has been awarded an American Heart Association Midwest Affiliates Predoctoral Fellowship!


05/03/12 - Dan has been awarded an Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship from the Chemistry Department!


04/24/12 - Kristin has been awarded a WCC-Eli Lilly travel award to attend a National ACS meeting!

She will be attending the 244th National meeting in Philadelphia on August 19-23.


04/24/12 - Gemma has been selected as one of the finalists for the 2012 Procter and Gamble Student Research Awards for her thesis work!

She is presenting an oral talk from her thesis results today to the committee.


04/13/12 - Ming, Mike, Mary, Kristin, Marcus and Prof. Rienstra present research at the 53rd Annual Experimental NMR Conference (ENC)

Ming will give an oral presentation in the Biomolecular NMR section of the 53rd Annual Experimental NMR Conference (ENC)!


04/13/12 - Morrissey et al. "Tissue factor/factor VIIa complex: role of the membrane surface" accepted for publication in Thrombosis Research


03/15/12 - Congratulations to Marcus, who has received a Graduate College travel award in order to attend the Experimental NMR Conference in Miami next month!


03/08/12 - Congratulations to Kristin for the Experimental NMR Conference travel award that she has just received to attend the conference!


03/07/12 - Former Rienstra group member Andrew Nieuwkoop (Dec. 2011 Ph.D.) has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship!

Andy will pursue postdoctoral studies in Berlin, Germany, at the Leibniz-Institute fur Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP). Andy's research project, entitled "Structural biology of heterogenous, native-like systems by solid-state NMR", will be carried out in the laboratory of Prof. Hartmut Oschkinat. The project will combine novel dynamic nuclear polarization techniques in order to examine protein structures in cellular environments.


02/21/12 - Nuzzio, et al. "Backbone resonance assignments of the C2 domain of coagulation factor VIII" accepted for publication in Bioml. NMR Assign.online.


02/20/12 - Comellas et al. "Structural intermediates during alpha-synuclein fibrillogenesis on phospholipid vesicles" accepted for publication in J. Am. Chem. Soc.online.


02/09/12 - Lemkau et al. "A30P alpha-synuclein adopts the wild-type fibril structure, despite slower fibrillation kinetics" now available from J. Biol. Chem. online.


12/07/11 - Kristin Nuzzio Wins An ACS YCC Leadership Development AwarD:

She'll attend a weekend workshop on leadership development held January 20-22 in Fort Worth, TX. Congratulations Kristin!


12/04/11 - Eric Watt awarded an American Heart Association Fellowship For work on the conformation and dynamics of Tissue factor, a Protein involved in blood coagulation.


10/28/11 - Kristin Nuzzio wins A best poster award at the MBTG symposium. Congratulations Kristin!


09/23/11 - Lin, Sperling et al. "A rapid and robust method for selective isotope labeling of proteins" now available from Methods online.


09/23/11 - Brothers et al. "VITAL NMR: Using Chemical Shift Derived Secondary Structure Information for a Limited Set of Amino Acids to Assess Homology Model Accuracy" accepted for publication in JBNMR

We'll link up the pdf as soon as it is available online.


09/23/11 - Rienstra group will give three oral and one poster presentation at the 46th Midwest/39th Great lakes joint regional ACS Meeting in St. Louis, MO:

Prof. Rienstra, Ming Tang and Luisel Lemkau have been selected to give oral presentations on a body of work spanning from the automation of NMR structure determination, to enahnced methods for membrane protein investigations, to investigations of three α-synuclein familial mutants. Anna Nesbitt will present a poster on her work to automate NMR structure determination.


09/21/11 - Gemma presented at the 2nd Montagne Ste GeneviÈve Workshop on NMR of Biological Solids and the 7th Alpine conference on Solid-state NMR:

Her research presentations were titled "Structural studies of amyloid fibrils by solid-state NMR: the case of alpha-synuclein fibrils" and "Magic-angle-spinning studies of alpha-synuclein fibrils and the lipid-catalyzed fibrillation pathway", respectively.


09/21/11 - Brothers et al. "Membrane interaction of Pasteurella multocida toxin involves sphingomyelin" accepted in FEBS Journal. ONLINE.


09/06/11 - Gemma has been named the winner of a 2011 Baxter Young Investigator Award:

This award is intended to stimulate and reward research applicable to the development of therapies and medical products that save and sustain patients' lives. Gemma will be attending the Baxer award ceremony at Baxter's Corporate Headquarters where she will be presenting her research results. Gemma was selected over a hundred nominations and she will receive a $1,000 prize at an awards presentation in October. Congratuations Gemma!


08/29/11 - Tang et al. "High-resolution membrane protein structure by joint calculations with solid-state NMR and X-ray experimental data" accepted for publication in JBNMR


08/18/11 - Wylie et al. "Ultra-high resolution protein structures using NMR chemical shift tensors" accepted for publication in PNAS:

Congratulations to Ben Wylie et al.!


08/01/11 - Rienstra Group Grads Mary Clay and Marcus Tuttle awarded Department of Chemistry Fellowships:

Department of Chemistry Fellowships are awarded based on outstanding achievement in coursework, research, and faculty recommendations.


07/07/11 - Tang et al. "Solid-State NMR of a Large Membrane Protein by Paramagnetic Relaxation Enhancement" now available online:


06/27/11 - Ming Tang selected to Present at the 242nd AMerican CHemical Society Meeting (denver, 08/29/11) in the Biological Division sci-mix:

Abstract: "De novo disulfide bond generation in the E. coli periplasm involves a transient complex consisting of DsbA, DsbB and ubiquinone. We present a structural model of the disulfide bond generating membrane protein DsbB in the lipid bilayers through a molecular dynamics simulation.

The starting PDB structure is calculated in Xplor-NIH using both X-ray reflections and SSNMR distance and dihedral angle restraints. The protein was then placed in a native-like membrane environment and went through solvation, minimization and equilibration. The model reveals the membrane topology of DsbB, which is consistent with our SSNMR observations of water or lipid to protein correlations from selective proton spin diffusion experiments."


06/27/11 - Gemma to present at the 2nd Montagne Ste GeneviÈve Workshop on NMR of Biological Solids 09/16/11:

Gemma will present her most recent structural investigations of alpha-synuclein fibrils using solid-state NMR in the Protein fibrils session chaired by Christina Sizun. Stay tuned for more on this event!


06/23/11 - Work on blood clotting is JBC - FRONT MATTER:

Our Blood Coagulation research is done in collaboration with Prof. James H. Morrissey's lab and Prof. Emad Tajkhorshid's lab. Our recently published article in JBC has just been featured as front matter; you can access the article here.


06/01/11 - Rienstra Group Undergraduate Research Assistants: Aranee, Shin and Lars, were honored this year by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Departments:

Shin Wook Lee has spent the past two years in the Rienstra group producing alpha-synuclein protein with many different isotopic labeling patterns, all for SSNMR studies to determine the structure of the synuclein fibrils. For his senior thesis project, he then constructed cysteine mutants of alpha-synuclein and modified the protein by attaching spin labels at the cysteine positions. Shin graduates this year with top honors having earned the John C. Bailar Award for the best senior thesis in Chemistry at UIUC. Congratulations Shin!

Lars Rikardsen began working in the Rienstra lab in May 2009 with a project to express, purify, and crystallize isotopically-labeled CcR55 for SSNMR. Over the past few years, he has also worked with alpha-synuclein, expression and purification of DsbA and DsbB, and a range of other projects. Lars graduates this year with top honors having earned the R.C. Fusion Award given to the Chemistry graduate with the highest GPA. Lars was also receipient of the Robert H. Doremus Scholarship the previous year to support his research in the Rienstra Group. Congratulations Lars!

Aranee Sivananthan has been developing an HPLC-based activity assay for an iron-containing quinone monooxygenase, a project that requires synthesis of the enzyme's substrate. Aranee was recently honored with the William T. and Lynn Jackson Scholar Award, a $1500 prize to aid in her biochemistry-related research project. Aranee will spend one more year in the Rienstra Group before she graduates, afterwhich she's planning to pursue a career in medicine. Congratulations Aranee!


05/31/11 - Team solves decades-old molecular mystery linked to blood clotting - Illinois News Bureau:

Visit the Illinois News Bureau to read more about our latest research in Blood Coagulation in collaboration with Prof. James H. Morrissey's lab and Prof. Emad Tajkhorshid's lab. The article also features a link to a simulation of GLA domain insertion into a phospholipid bilayer.


04/10/11 - Gemma, Andy and Prof. Rienstra present research at the 52nd Annual Experimental NMR conference (ENC):

Gemma's work was titled: Magic-Angle Spinning Studies of alpha-Synuclein Fibrils and the Lipid-Catalyzed Fibrillation Pathway, research complete in collaboration with Kathryn Kloepper; Andrew Nieuwkoop; Luisel Lemkau; Jakob Lopez; Julia George; Chad Rienstra

Andy's presentation was titled: SSNMR Methods for Solving the Structures of Protein Assemblies and Fibrils, research in collaboration with Gemma Comellas; Luisel R. Lemkau; Elliot Brea; Deborah Berthold; Chad M. Rienstra.


03/31/11 - Mike Brothers research on Pasteurella multocida toxin featured in Government Security News


02/14/11 - Eric Watt joins the group:

Please join us in welcoming Eric to the group. Eric hails from Yale University, where he studied Ribonuclease A and rate limiting enzymatic motions under the direction of Prof. Loria. Eric will join the "Blood" supergroup and lend his expertise to obtaining experimental observations of the dynamics and motions of blood clotting enzymes; he'll also learn a bit about SSNMR.


02/05/11 - NMR observations and MD predictions for Calcium-Induced Phosphatidylserine clustering:

Former Rienstra Group member John Boettcher alongside Rebecca Davis-Harrison and Mary Clay publish a work in Biochemistry on Calcium-induced phosphatidylserine clustering related to platlet activation and phagocytosis. This article is newly accepted and a link will be posted to our Publications site as soon as it is available. Stay tuned.

This work wouldn't be possible without our colleagues in Prof. James H. Morrissey's lab and Prof. Emad Tajkhorshid's lab.


01/07/11 - New evidence for the formation of a unique charge-transfer complex:

Tang et al. publish findings confirming the formation of a charge transfer complex between UQ8 and the membrane protein DsbB. This article is newly accepted in JACS and a link will be posted to our Publications site as soon as it is available. Stay tuned.


12/31/10 - SPINAL DECOUPLING MADE EASIER for biomolecular solids:

Comellas et al. explain a straightforward method for SPINAL decoupling optimization in their newly published article.


11/10/10 - Two new publications available:

Choi SH, Collins JNR, Smith SA, Davis-Harrison RL, Rienstra CM, and Morrissey JH. Phosphoramidate end labeling of inorganic polyphosphates: Facile manipulation of polyphosphate for investigating and modulating its biological activities. Biochemistry 49:9935-9941, 2010. (Published online)

Franks WT, Atreya HS, Szyperski T, Rienstra CM. GFT projection NMR for proteins in the solid state. Journal of Biomolecular NMR Online First 2010. (Published online).


11/06/10 - UIUC and Rienstra Group to host the Chicago Area NMR Discussion Group.

Join us on November 6 for the 40th Anniversary of CANMRDG. Click on the following links to download the meeting information and program.

"This year’s final program for the CANMRDG meeting on Saturday November 6 at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is now posted on our website http://www.chem.purdue.edu/canmrdg/. The meeting will be held in room B102 of the Chemistry and Life Sciences Building and begins at 8:30AM (Central Daylight Time). Directions, parking and hotel information are available as links on the website. Come help us celebrate 40 years of the Chicago Area NMR Discussion Group. Lunch reservations close at noon on Tuesday November 2."
"Once again we are delighted to welcome two outstanding NMR scientists as our keynote speakers: Professor Hashim Al-Hashimi (University of Michigan) and Professor Len Mueller(University of California Riverside). In addition, we have had an overwhelming number of papers submitted by our community and this has produced a very full program – please note we will start at 8:30 and run until 5:30 with cooperation from the speakers."


10/26/10 - Two new students join the Rienstra Group: Bienvenidos Marcus and Anna Jean.

Marcus Tuttle and Anna Jean Wirth are first year Physical Chemistry students who have just joined the Rienstra Group. More to come soon on our new recruits!


08/15/10 - Installation of new 750MHz wide bore spectrometer completed, initial protein spectra collected!

"High-Field, Wide-Bore Solid-State NMR Spectrometer for Membrane Protein Structure" through the High End Instrumentation Grant Program (S10, PAR-07-383).


08/01/10 - Andy And ProF. Rienstra leave for the 52ND Annual Rocky Mountain Conference on Analytical Chemistry:

Proton Detection Methods and Applications to Membrane Proteins and Fibrils.
Andrew J. Nieuwkoop, Donghua H. Zhou, Deborah A. Berthold, and Chad M. Rienstra

Supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01GM073770 and R01GM075937).

Magic Angle Spinning Solid-state NMR Studies of a 41-kDa DsbA/DsbB Membrane Protein Complex.
Lindsay J. Sperling, Ming Tang, Myat Tun Lin, Anna E. Nesbitt, Deborah A. Berthold, Robert B. Genni,s and Chad M. Rienstra

Supported by the NIH (NIGMS/Roadmap, GM075937-01) and Molecular Biophysics Training Grant, Dr. Glen Ullyot and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois for fellowship support (to LJS).

Magic Angle Spinning Studies of Alpha-Synuclein Fibrils.
Gemma C. Comellas, Andrew J. Nieuwkoop, and Luisel R. Lemkau and Chad M. Rienstra
Supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01GM073770).


07/10/10 - Lindsay, Luisel, Mary, Mike And Kristin Help Organize and Participate In the Bonding with Chemistry Day Camp for Girls:

[The day camp, presented by the East Central Illinois Women Chemists Committee, first began in 2008 with a grant from the American Chemical Society and aims to encourage middle school girls from around Illinois to develop an interest in science, said Lindsay Sperling, graduate student in chemistry and day camp coordinator. Sperling said around 40 to 50 girls come to the University from area schools and the Chicago area for a day of basic hands-on chemistry experiments. Notices were sent out to schools earlier this year, and the committee also advertised the event to University faculty members with children. "Interest has also been spread through word-of-mouth," Sperling added. "People last year who had fun tell others about it, and they come to participate this year."] - Taken from the Daily Illini


06/30/10 - Former Rienstra Group member Dr. Ying Li mentioned in C&E News:

Techniques borrowed from solid-state NMR sharpen proteins' broadened spectral lines.

06/27/10 - Anna Nesbitt Awarded an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship to investigate PTEN-membrane interactions


05/13/10 - "Supramolecular protein structure determination by site-specific long-range intermolecular solid state NMR spectroscopy", Nieuwkoop, A. J..; Rienstra C. M. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132(22), 7570-7571. (Published online, May 13, 2010):

We demonstrate that 3D Z-filtered TEDOR experiments, when performed on mixtures of isotopically labeled protein samples, report on site-specific intermolecular distance restraints. These data sets can be leveraged to perform rigorous structure calculations of the protein interface. In the example demonstrated here, we determine the packing arrangement of our nanocrystalline GB1 preparation to be consistent with the trigonal form as determined by X-ray diffraction. This represents an important proof of principle, in a case where the results can be directly compared with other structural information. We envision the application of this approach to determining the registry and quaternary arrangement of protein fibrils, which most often cannot be determined by diffraction methods.

05/04/10 - "NMR Determination of Protein pKa Values in the Solid State", Frericks Schmidt, H. L.; Shah, G. J.; Sperling, L. J.; Rienstra, C. M. J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2010, 1, 1623-1628. (Published online, May 4, 2010):

Charged residues play an important role in defining key mechanistic features in many biomolecules. Determining the pKa values of large, membrane, or fibrillar proteins can be challenging with traditional methods. In this study we show how solid-state NMR is used to monitor chemical shift changes during a pH titration for the small soluble β1 immunoglobulin binding domain of protein G. The chemical shifts of all the amino acids with charged side-chains throughout the uniformly 13C,15N-labeled protein were monitored over several samples varying in pH; pKa values were determined from these shifts for E27, D36, and E42, and the bounds for the pKa of other acidic side-chain resonances were determined. Additionally, this study shows how the calculated pKa values give insights into the crystal packing of the protein.

04/16/10 - Rienstra Group members Ming, Lindsay, Gemma, Andy and Prof. Rienstra leave for the 51ST Experimental NMR Conference (ENC):

Group members will present posters on their work regarding the WT-DsbB/DsbA(C33S) Complex (NIH GM75937), the recently submitted for publication work concerning multimeric structures of GB1, proton detection in solid-state NMR, and α-synuclein fibrilation (NIH GM73770), with a talk by Prof. Rienstra detailing the most recent results from the group on proton detection in SSNMR and the newly acquired spectra of Coq7, the "fountain of youth"; enzyme involved in longevity.

04/13/10 - John Boettcher Successfully Defends His Dissertation:

Congratulations to Dr. Boettcher for defending his dissertation entitled, "NMR Investigations of Blood Coagulation".

04/04/10 - Sperling et. al Manuscript accepted at Journal of Molecular Biology:

"Assignment strategies for large proteins by magic-angle spinning NMR: the 21-kDa disulfide bond forming enzyme DsbA" by authors Lindsay Sperling, Deborah Berthold, Terry Sasser, Victoria Jeisy-Scott, and Chad M. Rienstra was just accepted by JMB and will appear online in 5-10 days. This work was supported by NIH GM75937.

03/25/10 - Kristin Nuzzio Receives an NSF Predoctoral Fellowship:

Congratulations to Kristin for her outstanding achievement as one of only 2000 candidates nationwide to receive this recognition. Kristin is a 1st year Physical Chemistry student who hopes to focus on NMR method development for achieving high resolution structures of membrane proteins.