The benefits of an industry-academia partnership: Experiences of Prof. McHugh and Dr. Tuminello…

Dr. Tuminello was in the Central Research Department of DuPont when Dr. McHugh met him in 1992 at a DuPont workshop. They collaborated on fluoropolymer-supercritical fluid solvent behavior for approximately eight years during which they generated data to secure two patents.
Tuminello, W.H., McHugh, M.A., Wheland, R.C., and G.T. Dee, “Solutions of fluoropolymers in carbon dioxide,” U.S. Patent 6,034,170, 7 March 2000.
Tuminello, W.H., McHugh, M.A., and C.A. Mertdogan, “Solutions of perfluorinated polymers in SF6 with and without CO2″ U.S. Patent 5,696,195, 9 December 1997.
Dr. Tuminello supported Dr.McHugh’s research by nominating him for unrestricted research grants from DuPont amounting to $145,000 over a seven-year period. These unrestricted grants from DuPont, listed here, were in addition to the research contracts Dr. McHugh had with the hydrocarbon polymers division of DuPont in Texas from 1991 to 2000 (E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., “Solubility behavior of ethylene copolymers at high pressures,” $857,000 (1/91-12/00)).
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., DuPont Educational Aid Program, Unrestricted Grants, $75,000 (6/94-6/99).
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., “Fluorocopolymer-SCF solubility behavior,” Unrestricted Grant, $60,000 (6/93).
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 1993-94 DuPont Educational Aid Program, Unrestricted Grant, $10,000 (5/93).
Dr. Tuminello also contributed to Dr. McHugh’s research program by serving on the PhD committee for Cynthia Mertdogan, a graduate student in his research group who earned her PhD at Johns Hopkins University in 1997. After finishing her PhD studies, Cynthia was hired by DuPont. Bruce Hasch, another of Professor McHugh’s PhD students, was also hired by DuPont. Both of these hires were a result of the DuPont collaboration with Professor McHugh’s research program.
Bill’s direct technical involvement with Dr. McHugh’s research program resulted in five joint manuscripts in polymer journals.
Tuminello, W.H., G.T. Dee, and M.A. McHugh, “Dissolving perfluoropolymers in supercritical carbon dioxide,” Macromolecules, 28, 1506-1510 (1995).
Mertdogan, C.A., Byun, H.-S., McHugh, M.A., W.H. Tuminello, “Solubility of poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-19 mol% hexafluoropropylene) in supercritical CO2 and halogenated supercritical solvents,” Macromolecules, 29, 6548-6555 (1996).
McHugh, M.A., Mertdogan, C.A., DiNoia, T.P., Anolick, C., Tuminello, W.H., and R. Wheland, “Impact of melting temperature on poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-hexafluoropropylene) solubility in supercritical fluid solvents,” Macromolecules, 31, 2252-2254 (1998).
Mertdogan, C.A., McHugh, M.A., Barth, H.G., Walls, D.J., and W.H. Tuminello, “Supercritical fractionation of a perfluorinated copolymer,” International Journal of Polymer Analysis and Characterization, 4, 231-246 (1998).
Mertdogan, C.A., McHugh, M.A., and W.H. Tuminello, “Cosolvency effect of SF6 on the solubility of poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-19 mol% hexafluoropropylene) in supercritical CO2 and CHF3,” Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 74, 2039-2045 (1999).
At the time he left E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc., Dr. William H. Tuminello was a Senior Research Associate with expertise in polymer rheology, Teflon® solvents, fiber spinning, thermoplastic elastomers, elastomer modified plastics, advanced composites. He had more than 31 peer-reviewed publications, was a presenter or co-author for more than 38 presentations at National and International Conferences and Symposia, and held twenty two patents primarily in the area of fluoropolymer processing including Teflon® and Nafion®.
After leaving DuPont, Dr. Tuminello joined the Western Research Institute, which is associated with the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He worked on asphalt rheology and was also active in energy research over more than nine years in Laramie. His research resulted in a patent as well as several presentations and peer-reviewed publications. He is now retired and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Prof. Gupton receives PRIP Award!!

The Virginia Commonwealth University Presidential Research Incentive Program (PRIP) has announced its second round of internal funding awards to support faculty engaged in new, emerging or continuing research. Prof. Gupton received an award for his project titled “High throughput continuous synthesis of strategic anti-HIV drug substances“. More details about the PRIP can be found at http://www.research.vcu.edu/vpr/prip/. Congrats to Prof. Gupton and his research team!!!

Spring 2011 seminar series

26- Jan: Dr. Michael Montague, Department of Synthetic Biology, Craig Venter Institute, MD
9-Feb: Dr. Ali Siamaki, Chemical and Life Science Engineering, VCU
23-Feb: Aaron Pruett, Human Genome Sciences Inc., MD.
23-Mar; Dr. Joseph M. Desimone (2nd Annual Henry McGee Lecture); Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University/Chemistry, University of North Carolina
6-Apr: Dr. Jason Bara, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.
13-Apr: Dr. Ipsita Banerjee, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
20-Apr: Dr. Arul Jayaraman, Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University
All seminars will be held in Room 401, School of Engineering West Hall. (12:30-1:30pm)

Dr. Michael Montague to present CLSE seminar, January 26th, 2011

Dr. Michael Montague, Staff Scientist, J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD, will present the CLSE seminar on January 26th, 2011.
This event is free and open to the public.
The seminar will be held in Room 401, Engineering West Building from 12:30PM-1:30PM. Refreshments will be served (12:15-12:30PM).
The Synthetic Cell, From the Mind to Life
ABSTRACT: In the summer of 2010, The J. Craig Venter Institute announced the synthetic construction an organism that operates from a genome that is 100% the result of human design decisions. Many technologies for DNA assembly, error detection and correction, large fragment cloning and whole-genome transplantation were developed in the process; these technologies will be discussed with special emphasis placed, not just upon what eventually succeeded, but what did NOT work. Future directions and applications of the synthetic cell work will be discussed, specifically the identification of the minimum complement of genes necessary to sustain life.
BIO: Dr. Michael Montague completed his doctoral degree in the lab of Clyde Hutchison at UNC-Chapel Hill. In his doctoral work, he focused upon the identification and analysis of protein families in several contexts. Using herpes virus genomes as a model system, he developed improvements to the COG method of constructing protein families, and explored the phylogenetic characteristics of the resulting dataset. Later, he developed a method of phylogeny directed identification of coevolving amino acids in a multiple sequence alignment. This generated a series of hypotheses for the roles of individual amino acids in the HIV reverse transcriptase that were then tested by characterization of site directed mutants.
He then joined the J. Craig Venter Institute as a post-doctoral researcher in 2005 and is now employed at JCVI as a Staff Scientist. Dr. Montague’s research combines wet-lab and computational components. He has worked on a variety of projects including: the design of degenerate primers for detection of HPV species, analysis of viral metagenomic data, phylogenetic analysis of RecD with regards to the D. radiodurans DNA repair system, bridge amplification, design and testing of degenerate and discriminating primers intended for domain specific amplification of 16S gene sequence, characterization of the restriction enzymes of M. mycoides LC, and M. capricolum, statistical analysis of the efficiency of the yeast spheroplast DNA assembly method, and the mentoring of high school interns.
Recently, Michael has been involved in several aspects of the work to create a synthetic cell. He has done quality-control work to confirm that the sequences of the 1KB, 10KB, 100KB, and complete-genome stages of the assembly of the synthetic cell’s genome were correct and had no errors. Michael also designed the watermarks that were encoded into the synthetic genome, and the system by which they were encoded.
Michael’s current work involves proteomics to support the minimal-genome project, efforts to extend the methods used in the synthetic cell to non-Mycoplasma, and use of synthetic biology techniques in drug discovery.