Montana State University

MSU grad student to speak Dec. 4 on developments in analyzing metabolism

November 26, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN -- A free public lecture about the use of microfluidic chips to detect and treat human disease will be given on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Montana State University.  

Joshua Heinemann, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the recipient of a Kopriva Graduate Fellowship, will speak on "Development of Microfluidics Technology for Real-Time Analysis of Metabolism" at 4:10 p.m. in the Byker Auditorium in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Building. A reception will follow. 

The human metabolism is comprised of a large set of small molecules that vary in their concentrations depending upon what people eat, what diseases they have and their age. Like a road map, metabolism can be used to follow the progression of aging and disease. Heinemann’s research is focused on developing technology that will allow researchers to measure biological activity and metabolite concentrations using microfluidics and mass spectrometry.  

Heinemann is part of a team that is developing microfluidic chips that can couple biological systems to computational systems to measure metabolism. Cells are processed and directly measured for changes in metabolism, which will significantly increase a person’s ability to follow physiological change associated with disease and stress. Development of this technology is important for preemptive treatment or intervention of disease. The microfluidic technology also has inexpensive components and the ability to integrate into a living system.


Heinemann’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.

This lecture is also part of MSU's Year of Engaged Leadership, where MSU highlights the many events and activities that help develop the leadership skills of students, faculty, staff and community members.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu