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					   Effective Mentoring of
 Undergraduate and Graduate
          Students

            Carla Mattos

Department of Molecular and Structural
             Biochemistry
   North Carolina State University
                   Outline
• Mentoring in the science – intellectual
  freedom with guidance
• Mentoring in networking and people skills
      1) Create a supportive and collaborative
      lab environment – trust
      2) Managing life at the interface with
      science - happy and fulfilled students
      will be the most productive in their
      research and learning.
    Get the students involved
• Take research project into the classroom
• Take the classroom into the laboratory
• Pair up postdocs and graduate students with the
  undergraduates.
• Encourage students to begin research their
  freshman year.
• Take students to regional and national meetings
  to present their work.
   Create a team environment
• Treat the students as important and serious
  contributors to the research program
• Make sure the students feel “ownership” of
  the project: they are involved in it for
  themselves, not for the PI
• Keep the task at a level where the students
  can succeed given a genuine effort
• Provide individual support either directly by
  the PI or by involving graduate students and
  post-docs
Minimize barriers between different
   stages in the academic ladder
 • Make sure that the people involved in
   mentoring are motivated and excited by the
   research project.
 • Share the “big picture” with the students.
 • Have project group meetings including all
   members of the team: PI, post-docs,
   graduates students and undergraduates
  CAREER: Probing protein
surfaces using multiple solvent
      crystal structures

          Carla Mattos
  North Carolina State University
    The Multiple Solvent Crystal
    Structures Method: MSCS

Uses organic solvents to:
• Locate and characterize protein
  binding sites.
• Probe plasticity in protein
  structure.
• Study hydration patterns
                        MSCS
• Solve crystal structure of protein in aqueous
  solution.
• Crosslink native crystals with gluteraldehyde:
  solve the structure of the crosslinked protein.
• Soak crosslinked crystals in organic solvents:
  solve structure of protein in different solvents.
• Superimpose the crystal structures and analyze
  the results.

  Mattos & Ringe, Nature Biotechnology 14, pp 595-599 (1996)
Multiple Solvent Crystal Structures of Elastase




   Mattos et al., Journal of Molecular Biology (2005)
The five model proteins
Protein     Source       Resoluti   Crystal   Data for     X-ray data
                           onin       s        cross-      on at least
                         aqueous    Mattos     linked      one solvent
                         solution    lab      crystals


Ras         Human,
            expressed     1.5 A       Yes        Yes          Yes
            in E. coli


Lysozyme    Hen egg
            white,        1.3 A       Yes        Yes          Yes
            Sigma
            Chemical,
            Co.
Calmoduli   Human,
n           expressed     1.2 A       Yes     Not tested   Not tested
            in E. coli


RNAse A     Bovine,
            Sigma         1.5 A       Not     Not tested   Not tested
            Chemical,                tested
            Co.


Chymotryp   Worthingto                                         Yes,
sin         n             1.6 A     Not       Not tested   Yennawar
            Biochemic               tested                 et al, 1994
            als, Co.
Year of    Spring               Summer                    Fall
funding
0 (2002)   Proteins and         Data collection for       Data collection for MSCS
           Molecular            MSCS of Ras               of Ras
           Mechanisms:
           develop new course
1 (2003)   Macromolecular       Write paper on MSCS       Submit Ras paper for
           Modeling:            of Ras. Data collection   publication. Data
           refinement of the    for MSCS of               collection for MSCS of
           MSCS of Ras          Lysozyme                  Lysozyme
2 (2004)   Proteins and         Write paper on MSCS       Submit Lysozyme paper
           Molecular            of Lysozyme. Data         for publication. Data
           Mechanisms:          collection for MSCS       collection for MSCS of
           refinement of the    of calmodulin             calmodulin
           MSCS of Lysozyme
3 (2005)   Macromolecular       Write paper on MSCS       Submit calmodulin paper
           Modeling:            of calmodulin. Data       for publication. Data
           refinement of the    collection for MSCS       collection for MSCS of
           MSCS of calmodulin   of RNAse A                RNAse A
4 (2006)   Proteins and         Write paper on the        Submit RNase A paper for
           Molecular            MSCS of RNAse A.          publication. Data
           Mechanisms:          Data collection for       collection for MSCS of
           refinement of the    MSCS of                   chymotrypsin.
           MSCS of RNAse A      chymotrypsin.
5 (2007)   Macromolecular       Write paper on the        Submit papers and finish
           Modeling:            MSCS of                   the proposed project.
           refinement of the    chymotrypsin and a        Prepare one or more data
           MSCS of              review of binding         sets from one of the lab
           chymotrypsin         surfaces of proteins      projects to continue
                                studied by MSCS and       research in the classroom.
                                other methods.
 Organic solvents

                       N     H
                                      CF3       OH
 OH 1
                           O 2                   3                4
                                            H   OH            H   OH
             OH
                  HO             OH
                           OH
                                       O        O         O       O
OH
      5                      6              H    7            H   8


     Two additional conditions: aqueous mother liquor and
     cross-linked, making a total of 10 crystal structures for
     each protein.
MSCS of Ras – data sets collected at SER-CAT

                       Organic Solvent / Resolution
                       Neat hexane                1.3 Å
                       Neat cyclopentanol         1.4 Å
                       50 % isopropanol           1.7 Å
                       50 % dimethylformamide 1.7 Å
                       50 % 2,2,2 trifluroethanol 1.9 Å
                       60 % 1,6 hexanediol        1.7 Å
                       70 % Glycerol              1.6 Å
                       90 % R,S,R bisfuran alcohol 1.5Å
                       20% S,R,S bisfuran alcohol 1.6Å
                       Crosslinked in aqueous sol 1.7 Å
  Ras in neat hexane
    People Skills – unspoken undercurrents
- Preach by example – you are a role model for your students
- Genuine enthusiasm is contagious
- Understand cultural background and differences between lab
members – encourage communication
- Be sensitive and knowledgeable about issues of gender,
class, race – set high expectation for everyone but reach out to
each student in the particular way that is needed in order for
the individual to succeed.
- Recognition is one of the most powerful stimulators of
ambition and drive for success – give positive feedback as
often as opportunity warrants, including along with
constructive criticism; acknowledge your students publicly for
their contribution.
References

1) The End of Education: Redefining the value of school –
Neil Postman (1995)

2) Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of
Freedom – bell hooks (1994)

3) This fine place so far from home: voices of academics
from the working class – CL Barney Dews and Carolyn
Leste Law (Edts) (1995)

4) Necessary Dreams: Ambition in Women’s Changing
Lives – Anna Fells (2004)
Mattos group meeting 2004

				
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