Montana State University

MSU grad student to speak Jan. 16 on nanomaterials

January 8, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- A free public lecture about the engineering of protein and enzyme packaged nanomaterials will be given Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Montana State University.

Alison O'Neil, a doctoral candidate in MSU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the recipient of a Kopriva Graduate Fellowship, will speak on "Engineering P22 Virus-Like Particles to be Nanomaterial Building Blocks" at 4:10 p.m. in the Byker Auditorium in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Building. A reception will follow.

Viruses have evolved to be efficient carriers of their nucleic acid cargo. Rendering viruses free of their nucleic acid, scientists are left with non-infectious, biocompatible, hollow, nano-sized containers. These containers have proved to be useful for such biomedical cargos as MRI contrast agents, drug molecules and enzyme replacement therapies. O'Neil will discuss her work on exploiting the bacteriophage P22 capsid for the engineering of protein and enzyme packaged nanomaterials.

O'Neil's lecture is presented by the Kopriva Science Seminar Series, which is funded through an endowment created by Phil Kopriva, a 1957 microbiology graduate from MSU. Kopriva, who died in 2002, also created an endowment to fund the Kopriva Graduate Fellowship Program, which provides support and opportunities for graduate students in the College of Letters and Science, particularly in the biomedical sciences. The series features six seminars annually, with talks provided by MSU graduate students, faculty members and guest speakers.

For more information about this and other Kopriva lectures, visit

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or