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NextGen Discovery Series - September 22

The NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series provides learning opportunities for UM System faculty and staff across disciplines, the statewide community and our other partners to learn about the scope of precision health research and identify potential collaborative opportunities. The series consists of monthly lectures geared toward a broad multidisciplinary audience so all can participate and appreciate the spectrum of precision health efforts. 

Information about the upcoming talk, including continuing education, is available below.

For questions about this event or any others in the Discovery Series, please reach out to Mary Hindle at

Cores of discovery: How Thermo Fisher and NextGen Precision Health are partnering on the resolution revolution

Moderator: Michael Chapman, PhD

Panelists: Clarissa Durie, MU; Zachary Berndsen, MU; Jeff Lengyel, Thermo Fisher; David Wall, Thermo Fisher

This virtual discussion featured panelists from both Thermo Fisher Scientific and NextGen Precision Health to talk about how this collaboration is fueling precision health research and treatment.

The resolution revolution is coming to the University of Missouri as new imaging equipment makes its way to campus. The NextGen Precision Health Institute will house the Electron Microscopy Core Facility, thanks in part to a collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific. Some of the key equipment will include the Krios G4 Cryo-TEM, Aquilos Cryo-FIB, Helios 5 Hydra CX DualBeam , and the Thermo Scientific Spectra 300 Scanning/Transmission Electron Microscope (S/TEM). “The instruments from Thermo Fisher Scientific mean NextGen will house a complete pipeline for electron microscopy analysis under one roof,” said Richard Barohn, executive director of NextGen Precision Health and the executive vice chancellor for health affairs at MU. "By collaborating with the University of Missouri and bringing life and materials science together in this way, we enable microscopists of the future to address novel scientific questions now,” said John Sos, President of Materials and Structural analysis at Thermo Fisher Scientific. 

About the Speakers

Chapman Headshot Michael Chapman is Professor and chair of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri. Research centers on biophysical approaches to molecular structure at near-atomic resolution.  He has served as Associate Director for one of the NIH National Centers for cryo-Electron Microscopy (EM) and is helping to oversee the development of capabilities for the University of Missouri. His group applies cryo-EM to the interactions of the AAV vector with host cell receptors in the hope that a fundamental understanding will enable the development of better targeted and efficient gene therapies for inherited disorders.
Berndsen headshot Zachary Berndsen will be joining the Mizzou Biochemistry Department in the Spring of 2022 as an Assistant Professor. Currently, he is a postdoc in the lab of Andrew Ward at the Scripps Research Institute where his work has focused on using single-particle cryo-EM to study the structure and function of viral fusion proteins, specifically within the context of structure-guided vaccine design. For his pioneering research on the surgary camoflauge known the "glycan shield" that coats the surface of these viral proteins along with significant contributions to understanding the mechanism of neutralization of several important classes of antibodies that target the fusion protein of HIV he was recognized by the vaccine design community with the CHAVD 2020 Young Investigator Award. At Mizzou, Dr. Berndsen will continue to expand the capabilities of cryo-EM for studying these highly dynamic glycoproteins while building on his expertise to to tackel important questions in the field of lipoprotein structure and function as it relates to cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Durie Headshot Clarissa Durie will be an Assistant Professor with the University of Missouri Biochemistry Department in January 2022. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan and completed her doctoral research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The translocation of proteins across membranes is a universal and finely tuned process for all cells. The Durie lab will focus on understanding the molecular mechanism of this process in bacterial pathogens using a highly integrated combination of biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, and structural biology.
Lengyel Headshot Jeff Lengyel is the Director of Product Marketing; Electron Microscopy Life Sciences for Thermo Fisher Scientific. His previous roles include Americas Principal Scientist for Cryo-EM, Product Marketing Manager for Structural Biology, onsite Team Lead for the FEI/NIH Living Lab for Structural Biology, and Senior Titan Krios Applications Specialist. Jeff received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Univ. of Cambridge (UK) as a Univ. of Cambridge/National Institutes of Health, Health Sciences Scholar. As per this scholarship he was co-mentored by Prof. Richard Perham (Cambridge) and Dr. Sriram Subramaniam (NIH). For his doctoral research Jeff studied the Pyruvate dehydrogenase using a combination of CryoEM and Biophysical techniques.
Wall Headshot David Wall is the Senior Product Director for Materials Science in the Materials and Structural Analysis Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific. David began his Electron Microscopy career working in Semiconductor Failure Analysis at Intel and has spent over 20 years in Electron Microscopy in a range of positions including Applications and Product Marketing as well as working in Strategic Marketing at ASML.