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Events are free and open to E3B BBSRC NIBB members. You can join the E3B BBSRC NIBB (it’s free of charge and only takes a few minutes to register).

Upcoming events:

9-10 July 2024, Durham (in-person):
Metals in Engineering Biology,  Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham City. Attendance, meals and overnight accommodation are free of charge for E3B BBSRC NIBB members (join here)
. Click here to book your place. View program here.

Past events:

12-14 December 2023, Manchester (in-person):
Bio-recovery of technology-relevant metals, Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and Maldron Hotel Manchester. Program can be viewed here.

Wednesday 14 December 2022 13:30 UK time (online):  
Selective recognition and separation of f-block elements using lanmodulin
Joey Cotruvo, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University
Lanthanides are essential enzyme cofactors in certain bacteria. In this talk, I will describe biochemical insights my laboratory has gained into how lanthanides are selectively recognized and acquired in biological systems – including the discovery and characterization of lanmodulin, the first highly selective, natural chelator for lanthanides. I will also illustrate how we can apply the principles learned from lanmodulin to develop robust and efficient biotechnologies for separations of rare earths and actinides.

4–9 September 2022 and 38 September 2023, Durham (in person)
The Bioprocessing Entrepreneurial Skills Training (BEST) programme
At our week-long, intensive residential training programme, designed around the insights and advice of senior industrialists, you will take part in group-based activities and work with real-life industrial case studies. The programme is designed to engage with the process of entrepreneurship, focus on development of your ability to promote yourself and your research ideas and their value to audiences and the key importance of the societal impact of industrial biotechnology. The BEST courses were run together with the bioprocessing network BioProNET2.

Thursday 7 July 2022 09:30 UK time (online):
Industrial Biotechnology versus COVID-19
A 90-minute session to inspire early researchers about a career in industrial biotechnology.
Developing the Oxford vaccine | Sarah Gilbert & Catherine Green, University of Oxford 
Manufacturing the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine | Carol Knevelman, Oxford Biomedica 
Developing mAbs for SARS-Cov-2 | Chris Sellick, Sanofi 
Developing and manufacturing SARS-Cov-2 LFTs | Paul Davis, Mologic 
Next-gen mRNA vaccines | Cleo Kontoravdi, Imperial College London 

Tuesday 24 May 2022 12:00 UK time (online):
The role of technology metals in reaching net zero & a resilient circular economy for the UK Frances Wall, University of Exeter; Megan Barnett, British Geological Survey; Guillaume Zante, University of Leicester
The design of efficient technology metal recycling is a key element in enabling a circular economy. The UKRI-funded Met4Tech Centre is investigating new sources of sustainable supply, (re)manufacturing and recycling innovations, material stocks and flows, and analysing the policy context for the UK. The talk will highlight advances in making the recycling of metals cheaper, less toxic and efficient to reclaim metals sustainably. Colin Miles from BBSRC will present on the new funding ‘towards a circular bioeconomy for technology-relevant metal recovery and textiles’

Thursday 28 April 2022 09:30 UK time (online):
Sustainable landscapes for microbe–mineral interactions: relevance to mineral recovery and agricultural systems
Professor Richard Herrington, Head of the Earth Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum, investigates the behaviour of metals critical for our modern economy in earth systems. This presentation will focus on the impact of metal-related microbial processesrelevant to the recovery of valuable and often at-risk minerals and also to sustaining soil health. Richard studies metals concentrated by deep weathering processes in surface systems and has projects focused on cobalt and on rare earth metals, amongst others. He collaborates extensively with industry and is an enthusiastic advocate for sub-disciplines linked to core missions of the E3B BBSRC NIBB.

Wednesday 12 January 2022 09:30 UK time (online):
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility
Claudia Blindauer and Trent Franks, Warwick University
Claudia Blindauer will illustrate uses of solution-state NMR for the study of metalloproteins, especially highlighting bespoke metal-related NMR methods, and Trent Franks will introduce the Warwick solid state NMR facility.

Thursday 2 and Friday 3 December 2021 (hybrid):
New Topics in Mineralogy 2: The mineral-microbe interface through time and space
Online two day meeting, focusing on the importance of the mineral-microbe interface with presentations from international leaders in the field. Here’s the full information.

Thursday 18 November 2021 09:30 UK time (online):
Cleaning up biocatalysis with hydrogen: from recycling NADH and flavin cofactors for biotechnology to spin-out of HydRegen and beyond

Kylie Vincent and Sarah Cleary, University of Oxford/HydRegen Ltd
Starting from fundamental BBSRC-funded research into hydrogenase enzymes, this talk covers a journey of discovery from the mechanism of nature’s hydrogen-converting enzymes through to applications in biotechnology and the spin-out of a company to commercialise technology for cleaner biocatalysis. Our HydRegen technology for recycling the redox cofactor NADH is based around hydrogenases and an NAD+ reductase ‘plugged in’ to carbon beads so that electrons from H2 oxidation flow through the bead to the reductase enzyme, and NADH can be supplied to industrially important dehydrogenase enzymes which rely on it for hydride transfer. Overall, this transforms biocatalytic processes which are normally driven by formate or glucose into cleaner hydrogenations which translate smoothly into existing chemical hydrogenation infrastructure used for chemical manufacturing.
Tuesday 12 October 2021 09:30 UK time (online):
The London Metallomics Facility
Wolfgang Maret and Theodora Stewart
The London Metallomics Facility (LMF) is a centralised hub for state-of-the-art metallomic analytics and correlative bioimaging. LMF has access to a range of radionuclides of trace metals suitable for radiotracer studies and PET (positron emission tomography) metallomics in vivo, as well as access to SIMS (secondary ion mass spectrometry) and MC-ICP-MS (multicollector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry). The talk will highlight case studies from fundamental research to translational biomedical applications, and how the LMF provides the latest analytical tools and networks to underpin applications of elemental analyses in metallomics.

Thursday 10 June 2021 09:30 UK time (online):
Introducing Oxford Biotrans: P450-driven routes to high-value chemicals
Matthew Hodges, Oxford Biotrans
Oxford Biotrans uses metallo-enzyme P450BM3 variants as biocatalysts for producing high-value chemicals, including flavour and fragrances, nutraceuticals and pharma derivatives. The talk will provide background on Oxford Biotrans, the development of nootkatone, its first flavour and fragrance product, as well as areas of interest for potential collaboration. These include enzyme stability (including heme or variants) and productivity and substrate/product tolerance, using molecular dynamics-aided rational design and directed evolution.

Monday 17 May 2021 09:30 UK time (online):
Rare-earth metal responses explored in the genomes of extremophilic red algae Galdieria
Seth Davis, University of York
Galdieria species are extremophilic eukaryotic microalgae with amazing diversity of metabolism, essentially unparalleled in the eukaryotic kingdom. They thrive to pH = 0 and 56˚C, the limits of eukaryotic life, can grow as an autotroph and as a heterotroph, with growth supported essentially from any carbon source. Given its habitat of high acidity, Galdieria has evolved to tolerate massive quantitates of heavy metals prevalent in its environment. They are known to detoxify high concentrations of metals and thus are targets for bespoke bio-mining applications for precious metals accumulation.

Wednesday 14 April 2021 09:30 UK time (online):
An Introduction to working with Johnson Matthey
Nigel Powell, Johnson Matthey
A seminar featuring the history and working of Johnson Matthey by Nigel Powell, Principal Scientist.  Nigel will then give an overview of the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre (JMTC) detailing what happens there giving an explanation of how they interact with academic and industrial collaborators. The aim is to encourage anyone who might be interested in working with JM to approach them, offering guidance with relevant suggestions, with a long term objective of potential collaboration.

Tuesday 16 March 2021 18:30 UK time (online):
UK to get the world’s first commercial precious metal bio-refinery from e-waste

Ollie Crush and Andy Hanratty, Mint Innovation
Mint Innovation is a cleantech start-up founded in Auckland, New Zealand in 2016. Mint’s mission is to develop and deploy new technologies to aid the recovery of valuable materials from urban mine feedstocks. A core current project focuses on electronic waste. Having scaled a suitable recovery process for metals such as gold and copper, Mint is now undertaking the build of their first commercial plant in 2021. This presentation will cover Mint’s progression from flasks to 6,000L tanks, how microbes play a starring role in recovering metallic value from old circuit boards, and what the future might hold. 

Thursday 18 March 2021 16:00 UK time (online):
The challenge to correctly measure metal affinities of proteins
Tessa Young and Nigel Robinson, Durham University
Many reported metal affinities of proteins are incorrect, often by many orders of magnitude. This one-hour workshop will provide an introduction to some of the common pitfalls and the ways to avoid them. Also held on 4 March, 11 & 24 February 2021.
Here’s a recording of the event.

Thursday 11 March 2021 12:00 UK time (online):
Bridging the gap between concept and commercialisation
Bob Holt, Centre for Process Innovation Biotechnology
The road from laboratory bench to commercial production is never smooth and takes most start-ups well outside of their experience and core capabilities. A significant gap is the lack of available expensive, larger-scale equipment necessary to demonstrate process viability at a commercially relevant scale. This presentation will outline the facilities available at CPI, how the constraints of larger-scale manufacturing operations require alternative approaches to those used in bench scale R&D and how CPI develops processes with commercial-scale operation in mind from the very start.

Wednesday 17 February 2021 09:30 UK time (online):
Probing metalloenzyme catalysis with time-resolved crystallographic and spectroscopic methods at X-ray free-electron lasers
Allen Orville, Diamond Light Source, the UK’s National Synchrotron Science Facility

Tuesday 19 January 2021 10:00 UK time (online):
Top tips for writing better manuscripts

Charlotte Harrison, Freelance Science Editor
A 90-minute interactive seminar designed to help you make the most of your research when publishing a paper, run by freelance science editor Charlotte Harrison. It is aimed at early career researchers, but anyone is welcome to attend.
Also held on: 22 October 2020, 29 September 2020, 16 March 2022, 28 March 2023