Biophysical Newsletter - March 2014 - page 2

Dorothy Beckett
Edward Egelman
Francisco Bezanilla
Lukas Tamm
Paul Axelsen
Olga Boudker
Taekjip Ha
Samantha Harris
Kalina Hristova
Juliette Lecomte
Amy Lee
Marcia Levitus
Merritt Maduke
Daniel Minor, Jr.
Jeanne Nerbonne
Antoine van Oijen
Joseph D. Puglisi
Michael Pusch
Bonnie Wallace
David Yue
Biophysical Journal
Leslie Loew
Society Office
Ro Kampman
Executive Officer
Alisha Yocum
Monika Zakrzewska
Laura Phelan
Ellen Weiss
Public Affairs
Biophysical Society Newsletter
(ISSN 0006-3495) is published
twelve times per year, January-
December, by the Biophysical
Society, 11400 Rockville Pike, Suite
800, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
Distributed to USA members
and other countries at no cost.
Canadian GST No. 898477062.
Postmaster: Send address changes
to Biophysical Society, 11400
Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville,
MD 20852. Copyright © 2014 by
the Biophysical Society. Printed in
the United States of America.
All rights reserved.
Biophysicist in Profile
I am grateful for my years
in industry, where I got not
only significant experience in
drug design, but also the vision
that all research is for the bet-
ter understanding and better
application to practice.
Daumantas Matulis
Daumantas Matulis
was a high school student in Lithuania, an intimidat-
ing teacher taught him the basics of chemistry. With this knowledge, he won
third place in the Lithuanian National High School Olympiad. Now, many
years later, he says, “I still consider this probably my greatest achievement.”
After high school, Matulis enrolled in Vilnius University, studying biochemistry. It
was there that he met
Rex E. Lovrien
, a professor from the University of Minnesota
who would become his PhD advisor. In 1990, Lovrien had decided that potential
scientists in the Baltics could benefit from training in the US, so he traveled to
Vilnius to instruct the science majors there on how to
do so. Lovrien explained how to take the Test of English
as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Graduate Record
Examinations (GRE), and taught the students how to
apply to graduate schools in the US. Matulis traveled to
Moscow to take the necessary tests, and after he passed,
Lovrien paid for Matulis’s flight to the US.
Matulis entered the University of Minnesota and un-
dertook rotations in a protein x-ray crystallography lab
and an NMR lab. “I was happy with the help from
my PhD committee. I am really indebted to them,”
says Matulis, “
Douglas Ohlendorf
Leonard Ban-
taught me crystallography;
Kevin Mayo
taught me protein NMR and the use of hydrogen exchange to follow
the protein folding.”
Matulis eventually landed in Lovrien’s lab, studying protein ligand interac-
tions with the emphasis of using ligands to protect, selectively precipitate,
isolate, and purify proteins. Here he learned the method most important in
his career—isothermal titration calorimetry—as well as the fundamentals of
biothermodynamics. “I remember Rex ringing a bell in a corridor trying to
attract graduate students and postdocs to listen to weekly presentations of
departmental journal club and research reviews,” Matulis recalls. Following
these presentations were “interesting discussions with students who are now
prominent scientists, such as
Vincent J. LiCata
Hiroki Morizono
,” he says.
After finishing his PhD with Lovrien, Matulis obtained a postdoctoral posi-
tion in the field of DNA biophysics with
Victor Bloomfield
. Bloomfield’s
lab was home to a diverse group of postdocs who introduced Matulis to a
variety of new fields: single molecule biophysics with
Mark C. Williams
dynamic light scattering with
Christoph G. Baumann
Jeffrey J. Schwinefus
Jay R. Wenner
, and
Siddhartha Jena
; ultrasound velocity and densitometry
Besik Kankia
; and computational biophysics with
Ioulia Rouzina
Karen Tang
. Being exposed to this assortment of fields served as a great
learning experience for Matulis, who himself began to focus on lipid, ion,
and protein binding to DNA.
1 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,...12
Powered by FlippingBook