2018 Workshop


August 2nd – August 8th, 2018
at the Unnatural Protein Facility
Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon
(Limited Capacity)

Instructors:
Ryan Mehl, Unnatural Protein Facility, Oregon State University
Kari van Zee, Unnatural Protein Facility, Oregon State University
Rick Cooley, Unnatural Protein Facility, Oregon State University
John Perona, Portland State University
John Lueck, University of Iowa

2018 Workshop Fee:
Academic $1250 until April 30th, and $1350 until June 30th.
Industrial $2150 until April 30th and $2350 until June 30th.

Workshop Description:
Advances in Genetic Code Expansion have changed the landscape of studies and uses of proteins in vitro and in vivo by enabling incorporation of hundreds of non-canonical amino acids site-specifically into proteins. Genetic Code Expansion is inherently a fusion of synthetic biology and chemical biology. Success in genetic code expansion requires 1) the addition of all the necessary translational components to an organism that allow it to efficiently produce a protein with new chemical functionality site-specifically encoded and 2) optimization of scientific studies of the chemically modified protein in vivo or in vitro. Overall, success with Genetic Code Expansion relies on proficiency in both synthetic biology and chemical biology.

This intensive laboratory and lecture course will provide participants with the theoretical and practical knowledge to utilize existing and emerging genetic code expansion technology. The laboratory component will focus on troubleshooting GCE tools with attendees and their genes in E. coli expression systems. The workshop will have a demonstration section on expression unnatural protein in mammalian systems with standard controls.

The laboratory component will focus on two common needs in the genetic code expansion field: 1) incorporation of an existing non-canonical amino acid into protein of interest 2) screening a new non-canonical amino acid against a panel of synthetases to determine if the desired non-canonical amino acid can be incorporated with current genetic code expansion tools. As part of the laboratory component of the course, participants will be given the opportunity to bring their research gene of interest and/or their non-canonical amino acid to the workshop to test their expression and incorporation along with optimized controls.

The lecture component will focus on how new genetic code expansion components are generated and attributes of orthogonality, efficiency, fidelity and permissivity are defined, measured and are conditionally dependent. The major applications now afforded by the new non-canonical amino acids will be discussed with a focus on the future of each field and its limitations.

Workshop Lectures:
1. GCE intro and workshop goals
2. GCE: When things don’t work, “the good, the bad, the ugly”
3. Generation, selection and characterization of GCE components.
4. Categories of ncAA and their applications
5. Bioorthogonal ligations -overview.
6. GCE for post-translational modifications
7. tRNA synthetase catalytic function and mechanisms
8. Characterizing ncAA tRNA/synthetases
9. Orthogonality and Eukaryotes expanded codes
10. Viral delivery methods for GCE and GCE with Oocytes

Applications:
Applications will be accepted beginning February 8, 2018
March 15 the first round of acceptances and awards will be announced
Applications will be accepted until the workshop is full

Application Eligibility:
Applicants should have a background in biochemistry and working knowledge of the basic laboratory techniques of protein expression. In their personal statements, applicants should specify:
1) their experience with genetic code expansion, 2) how they will apply genetic code expansion in their current projects or teaching, and 3) their long-term goals in learning more about genetic code expansion.

Financial Aid: Full scholarship and half scholarship support is available for the GCE workshop. The number of scholarships available depends on a number of factors, including the level of financial support in a given year and the number of students requesting stipends. Scholarships are awarded to support women and minorities in research and education. Applicants requesting financial assistance must submit their requests as a separate file online with your application.

To apply for scholarship support, please upload a letter with your application materials that clearly states the amount you’re requesting and provides a full justification for the request. The amount awarded will be based upon the availability of funding. Please note that scholarships will be provided to underwrite full or partial registration fees and/or full or partial lodging while on campus. Financial support for travel costs and ground transportation to and from OSU is not available for any applicant.

Workshop Selection Process: The number of places in the GCE workshop is strictly limited to ensure excellent instructor-to-student ratios and adequate access to laboratory equipment. Instructors are confronted with the difficult task of selecting diverse students from a large number of well-qualified applicants. To facilitate this process, each applicant is asked to submit two files during application/registration: a personal statement and a CV. In their personal statements, applicants should clearly describe their reasons for wanting to take this course. As part of this, applicants are encouraged to outline 1) their experience with genetic code expansion, 2) how they will apply genetic code expansion in their current projects or teaching, and 3) their long-term goals in learning more about genetic code expansion. Workshop admission is based first and foremost on the degree to which an applicant would benefit from the training opportunity, which in turn is judged from the information provided by the applicant.

Workshop application instructions:
The online application for the Workshop requires three components-
1. Basic personal/contact information
2. A personal statement/essay, in 1000 words or less. Please tell the admissions committee why you’re applying for the course, how you will benefit from taking it, and what you hope to gain. If there is a specific GCE problem you are planning on resolving please provide a brief description here
3. A Curriculum Vitae
4. Optional Component:
 Financial aid letter that clearly states the amount you’re requesting and provides a full justification for the request

  • Application vs. Registration: Completing an application will not register you to attend, nor does it guarantee acceptance to attend.  Registration can only be completed once you have been accepted by the Conference Chair/Committee.  If accepted you will be notified via email with an unpublished link to register for the conference.  Registration and payment arrangements are expected at that time.
  • Payments: Payment in full (less any financial support awarded) is required six (6) weeks prior to the start of the course.  Payment will not be accepeted until you have completed the registration process.
  • Financial Aid: We understand that your acceptance is sometimes conditional on the ammount of financial aid provided to you.
  • Wait List:  We anticipate the meeting to be full before the deadline.  If the meeting is oversubscribed you will be placed on a waiting list.  Applications will be considered at the discretion of the conference chairs.  One application per individual.

Acceptance/Rejection: You will be advised by email approximately eight weeks prior to the start of the workshop whether your application has been accepted. If accepted, the link you will be provided for registration is an unpublished link. You then have a limited time to accept the offer to participate in the Workshop. We understand that your acceptance is sometimes conditional on the amount of financial aid provided to you.

Payments: Payment in full (less any financial support awarded) is required six weeks prior to the start of the course. Please do NOT send payment until you are officially accepted into the workshop. Instructions on how to arrange payment will be included in your acceptance email.