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CPIMA / MPI-P Forum On Interfacial Science

Program Agenda, April 26 - 27 1999, MPI-P Mainz. (pdf)

Trip Reports:

Liqin Zhang
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
University of California at Davis

In this April I was sponsored by the CPIMA Travel Grant to attend the International Workshop on Biosensors Utilizing Lipid Bilayer Membranes at MPI-P in Mainz, Germany. During the workshop, I had the opportunity to listen to many excellent presentations and to read the interesting posters, whose topics covered a combination of interdisciplinary knowledge in the development of solid supported lipid bilayers for biosensor applications. I also had the chance to meet and to discuss with researchers from all over the world. After the International Workshop, I attended the two-day CPIMA-MPI-P Joint Seminar session and gave a presentation on one of my research topics: spherical supported lipid bilayers. I was very grateful to receive a lot of valuable feedback and encouragement after the talk. I also found it very helpful to exchange ideas with professors and students attending the Joint Seminar in various topics on biomembrane research.

During the stay in Mainz, I met Dr. Thomas Bayerl, a pioneer in the field of biomembranes on spherical support. To my great pleasure, I was invited to visit Dr. Bayerl’s lab in the University of Wurzburg after the workshop. During the one-day visit, Dr. Bayerl and his students showed me in detail from the equipment, techniques, procedures, to the specific substrates they have been using to study spherical supported bilayers. Their knowledge and experience gave me invaluable insights in further investigation in this research area.

This trip to the International Workshop and CPIMA-MPI-P Joint Seminar in Germany enabled me to meet and to discuss closely with talented and experienced researches worldwide in the biosensor area. I really want to thank CPIMA for making possible for me this rewarding experience.

Prof. Chris Klug
Department of Chemical Engineering
Stanford University

April 26 and 27 I attended the CPIMA/MPI-P Forum on Interface Science. This forum provided an opportunity for me to obtain, in two days, a fairly thorough overview of the activities of researchers at Mainz (I was already familiar with most of the work from Stanford). From my own point of view it was important to understand the themes of their research, i.e. the general classes of systems under investigation and the goals of their work, and in this respect the meeting was very successful.

The remainder of my week (April 28, 29, 30) was spent visiting the laboratory of Professor Spiess, a leader in the field of NMR of polymers. My time was primarily spent reading their recent publications and talking with members of the Spiess group individually. Spiess has recently developed a new approach to high resolution proton NMR in solids which he is currently combining with other techniques to obtain structural information in a variety of systems. In our final discussion, Prof. Spiess and I agreed that there is a strong potential for future collaboration since some of these methods may be particularly applicable to surface systems relevant to CPIMA. In the future we hope to have an exchange of personnel for the purposes of a) learning how to set up the techniques, in the case of Stanford to MPI-P, and b) applying the techniques to surface systems, in the case of MPIP to Stanford.

In summary, the visit to Mainz resulted in two principal things: 1) I learned more about the results and objectives of researchers associated with CPIMA/MPI-P thus potentially allowing me to propose more collaborative projects in the future, 2) Prof. Spiess and I learned more about each others work and agreed that there is a strong potential for future collaboration/interaction.