Verna Frasca, Product Manager

Microcalorimetry is hot in Brazil!

In February 2016, I participated in microcalorimetry workshops in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Carlos, Brazil. There is a long-standing and active group of calorimetry users in Brazil, and I had the opportunity to give introductory isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) presentations at each workshop. Faculty members and students presented their research projects including ITC and/or DSC results.

These workshops were coordinated by my Malvern Brazil colleague, Henrique Kajiyama. During our Brazilian tour, Henrique and I had the opportunity to speak to attendees and address their individual questions about and any issues with ITC, DSC, and other Malvern products.

Henrique Kajiyama, Technical Manager / Prof. Carlos Montanari, USP- São Carlos

Our first stop on February 2nd was the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), and our host and workshop organizer was Dr. Lucia Bianconi with the Instituto de Bioqímica Médica, UFRJ, There were 30 attendees and ten presentations, including:

  • Thermodynamics of Micelle Formation by Isothermal Titration Calorimetry” presented by Dr. Bianconi
  • Characterization of Hematophagous Insects’ Salivary Proteins: from Spit to Potential Drugs” presented by Patrícia Hessab Alvarenga (Instituto de Bioqímica Médica, UFRJ)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry of Proteins” presented by Theo Luiz Ferraz de Souza (Faculdade de Farmácia, UFRJ)
  • Virus-Membrane Interaction” presented by Fabiana Carneiro (UFRJ, Xerém)
  • Application of Microcalorimetry to Study Bioenergetic Metabolism” presented by Luiza Ketzer (UFRJ, Xerém)
  • Drug-Membrane Interaction” presented by Caroline Lacerda, (Instituto de Bioqímica Médica, UFRJ)

Our second stop on February 3-4 was the Instituto de Química de São Carlos, University of Sao Paulo (IQSP/USP), in Sao Carlos.  Dr. Carlos Alberto Montanari, (USP) was the chair of the workshop, and his co-chair was Dr. Conceição A. Minetti, (Rutgers University, New Jersey) who was visiting and conducting research at USP for several months. Dr. Watson Loh from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) also assisted in the organization of this workshop.

There were about 50 attendees with thirteen presentations, including:

  • Thermodynamics and Medicinal Chemistry Design” Presented by Peter Kenny, visiting faculty, NEQUIMED/IQSC/USP
  • New Insights on the calorimetry of wormlike micelles” presented by Karl Jan Clinckspoor, UNICAMP
  • A DSC Study on the Thermoresponsiveness of a Biocompatible Polymer” presented by Rafael Pires de Oliveira, UNICAMP
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC): Basic Concepts and Applications in Drug Discovery” presented by Fabiana Rosini, NEQUIMED/IQSC/USP
  • Calorimetry in Cell-based Assays” presented by Andrei Leitão, NEQUIMED/IQSC/USP
  • Determination of Thermodynamic Profile and Binding Constant of Cruzain Inhibitors” presented by Igor Muccilo Prokopczyk, NEQUIMED/IQSC/USP
  • Biocalorimetry applied to elucidate the thermodynamic signature between the interaction of Hsp90 of different organisms with natural ligands” presented by Karine Minari, USP
  • Unraveling the interactions of human mortalin (mitochondrial Hsp70) with binders and co-chaperones by ITC: obstacles and challenges” presented by Paulo Roberto Dore-Silva, USP
  • Calorimetry is not Color Blind: Molecular Insights from Calorimetric Measurements” presented by Watson Loh, UNICAMP
  • Thermodynamic Approaches to Characterize and Optimize Protein-Ligand Interactions” presented by Conceição A. Minetti, Rutgers University
  • Energetics and Structural Characterization of Cysteine Protease Cruzain Inhibition Using X-ray and Calorimetry” presented by Carlos A. Montanari, NEQUIMED/IQSC/USP

Many thanks to our Brazilian customers for organizing such great events – I am looking forward to further visits to Brazil in the near future!

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