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Charlottesville, VA, United States

The University of Virginia , often referred to as simply Virginia, is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. UVA is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies.Its initial Board of Visitors included U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. President Monroe was the sitting President of the United States at the time of the founding; Jefferson and Madison were the first two rectors. UVA was established in 1819, with its Academical Village and original courses of study conceived and designed entirely by Jefferson. UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site in 1987, an honor shared with nearby Monticello.The first university of the American South elected to the Association of American Universities in 1904, UVA is classified as Very High Research Activity in the Carnegie Classification. The university is affiliated with 7 Nobel Laureates, and has produced 7 NASA astronauts, 7 Marshall Scholars, 4 Churchill Scholars, 29 Truman Scholars, and 50 Rhodes Scholars, the most of any state-affiliated institution in the U.S. Supported in part by the Commonwealth, it receives far more funding from private sources than public, and its students come from all 50 states and 147 countries. It also operates a small liberal arts branch campus in the far southwestern corner of the state.Since 1953, Virginia's athletic teams have competed in the Atlantic Coast Conference of Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia won its 7th men's soccer national title in December 2014, bringing its collective total to 24 National Championships, and 63 ACC Championships since 2002 , the most of any conference member during that time. Wikipedia.


Pu L.,University of Virginia
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

ConspectusChiral alcohols are ubiquitous in organic structures. One efficient method to generate chiral alcohols is the catalytic asymmetric addition of a carbon nucleophile to a carbonyl compound since this process produces a C-C bond and a chiral center simultaneously. In comparison with the carbon nucleophiles such as an organolithium or a Grignard reagent, an organozinc reagent possesses the advantages of functional group tolerance and more mild reaction conditions. Catalytic asymmetric reactions of aldehydes with arylzincs, vinylzincs, and alkynylzincs to generate functional chiral alcohols are discussed in this Account.Our laboratory has developed a series of 1,1′-bi-2-naphthol (BINOL)-based chiral catalysts for the asymmetric organozinc addition to aldehydes. It is found that the 3,3′-dianisyl- substituted BINOLs are not only highly enantioselective for the alkylzinc addition to aldehydes, but also highly enantioselective for the diphenylzinc addition to aldehydes. A one-step synthesis has been achieved to incorporate Lewis basic amine groups into the 3,3′-positions of the partially hydrogenated H8BINOL. These H8BINOL-amine compounds have become more generally enantioselective and efficient catalysts for the diphenylzinc addition to aldehydes to produce various types of chiral benzylic alcohols. The application of the H8BINOL-amine catalysts is expanded by using in situ generated diarylzinc reagents from the reaction of aryl iodides with ZnEt2, which still gives high enantioselectivity and good catalytic activity. Such a H8BINOL-amine compound is further found to catalyze the highly enantioselective addition of vinylzincs, in situ generated from the treatment of vinyl iodides with ZnEt2, to aldehydes to give the synthetically very useful chiral allylic alcohols.We have discovered that the unfunctionalized BINOL in combination with ZnEt2 and Ti(O iPr)4 can catalyze the terminal alkyne addition to aldehydes to produce chiral propargylic alcohols of high synthetic utility. The reaction was conducted by first heating an alkyne with ZnEt2 in refluxing toluene to generate an alkynylzinc reagent, which can then add to a broad range of aldehydes at room temperature in the presence of BINOL and Ti(OiPr)4 with high enantioselectivity. It was then found that the addition of a catalytic amount of dicyclohexylamine (Cy2NH) allows the entire process to be conducted at room temperature without the need to generate the alkynylzincs at elevated temperature. This BINOL-ZnEt 2-Ti(OiPr)4-Cy2NH catalyst system can be used to catalyze the reaction of structurally diverse alkynes with a broad range of aldehydes at room temperature with high enantioselectivity and good catalytic activity.The work described in this Account demonstrates that BINOL and its derivatives can be used to develop highly enantioselective catalysts for the asymmetric organozinc addition to aldehydes. These processes have allowed the efficient synthesis of many functional chiral alcohols that are useful in organic synthesis. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Cafiso D.S.,University of Virginia
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

ConspectusProtein structures are not static but sample different conformations over a range of amplitudes and time scales. These fluctuations may involve relatively small changes in bond angles or quite large rearrangements in secondary structure and tertiary fold. The equilibrium between discrete structural substates on the microsecond to millisecond time scale is sometimes termed conformational exchange. Protein dynamics and conformational exchange are believed to provide the basis for many important activities, such as protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, enzymatic activity and protein allostery; however, for many proteins, the dynamics and conformational exchange that lead to function are poorly defined.Spectroscopic methods, such as NMR, are among the most important methods to explore protein dynamics and conformational exchange; however, they are difficult to implement in some systems and with some types of exchange events. Site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) is an EPR based approach that is particularly well-suited to high molecular-weight systems such as membrane proteins. Because of the relatively fast time scale for EPR spectroscopy, it is an excellent method to examine exchange. Conformations that are in exchange are captured as distinct populations in the EPR spectrum, and this feature when combined with the use of methods that can shift the free energy of conformational substates allows one to identify regions of proteins that are in dynamic exchange. In addition, modern pulse EPR methods have the ability to examine conformational heterogeneity, resolve discrete protein states, and identify the substates in exchange.Protein crystallography has provided high-resolution models for a number of membrane proteins; but because of conformational exchange, these models do not always reflect the structures that are present when the protein is in a native bilayer environment. In the case of the Escherichia coli vitamin B12 transporter, BtuB, the energy coupling segment of this protein undergoes a substrate-dependent unfolding, which acts to couple this outer-membrane protein to the inner-membrane protein TonB. EPR spectroscopy demonstrates that the energy coupling segment is in equilibrium between ordered and disordered states, and that substrate binding shifts this equilibrium to favor an unfolded state. However, in crystal structures of BtuB, this segment is resolved and folded within the protein, and neither the presence of this equilibrium nor the substrate-induced change is revealed. This is a result of the solute environment and the crystal lattice, both of which act to stabilize one conformational substate of the transporter.Using SDSL, it can be shown that conformational exchange is present in other regions of BtuB and in other members of this transporter family. Conformational exchange has also been examined in systems such as the plasma membrane SNARE protein, syntaxin 1A, where dynamics are controlled by regulatory proteins such as munc18. Regulating the microsecond to millisecond time scale dynamics in the neuronal SNAREs is likely to be a key feature that regulates assembly of the SNAREs and neurotransmitter release. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Platts-Mills T.A.E.,University of Virginia
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Before the first description of hay fever in 1870, there was very little awareness of allergic disease, which is actually similar to the situation in prehygiene villages in Africa today. The best explanation for the appearance and subsequent increase in hay fever at that time is the combination of hygiene and increased pollen secondary to changes in agriculture. However, it is important to remember that the major changes in hygiene in Northern Europe and the United States were complete by 1920. Asthma in children did not start to increase until 1960, but by 1990, it had clearly increased to epidemic numbers in all countries where children had adopted an indoor lifestyle. There are many features of the move indoors that could have played a role; these include increased sensitization to indoor allergens, diet, and decreased physical activity, as well as the effects of prolonged periods of shallow breathing. Since 1990, there has been a remarkable increase in food allergy, which has now reached epidemic numbers. Peanut has played a major role in the food epidemic, and there is increasing evidence that sensitization to peanut can occur through the skin. This suggests the possibility that changes in lifestyle in the last 20 years could have influenced the permeability of the skin. Overall, the important conclusion is that sequential changes in lifestyle have led to increases in different forms of allergic disease. Equally, it is clear that the consequences of hygiene, indoor entertainment, and changes in diet or physical activity have never been predicted. © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.


BACKGROUND: Axon degeneration is a characteristic feature of multiple neuropathologic states and is also a mechanism of physiological neurodevelopmental pruning. The vast majority of in vivo studies looking at axon degeneration have relied on the use of classical silver degeneration stains, which have many limitations including lack of molecular specificity and incompatibility with immunolabeling methods. Because Wallerian degeneration is well known to involve cytoskeletal disassembly and because caspases are recently implicated in aspects of this process, we asked whether antibodies directed at caspase-generated neoepitopes of beta-actin and alpha-tubulin would be useful immunohistochemical markers of pathological and developmental axon degeneration.RESULTS: Here we demonstrate that several forms of axon degeneration involve caspase-mediated cleavage of these cytoskeletal elements and are well-visualized using this approach. We demonstrate the generation of caspase-induced neoepitopes in a) an in vitro neuronal culture model using nerve growth factor-deprivation-induced degeneration and b) an in vivo model using ethanol-induced neuronal apoptosis, and c) during normal developmental pruning and physiological turnover of neurons.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support recent experimental data that suggests caspase-3 and caspase-6 have specific non-redundant roles in developmental pruning. Finally, these findings may have clinical utility, as these markers highlight degenerating neurites in human hypoxic-ischemic injury. Our work not only confirms a common downstream mechanism involved in axon degeneration, but also illuminates the potential utility of caspase-cleavage-neoepitope antibodies as markers of neurodegeneration.


Ruddiman W.F.,University of Virginia
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences | Year: 2013

The start of the period of large-scale human effects on this planet (the Anthropocene) is debated. The industrial view holds that most significant impacts have occurred since the early industrial era (∼1850), whereas the early-Anthropogenic view recognizes large impacts thousands of years earlier. This review focuses on three indices of global-scale human influence: forest clearance (and related land use), emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4), and effects on global temperature. Because reliable, systematic land-use surveys are rare prior to 1950, most reconstructions for early-industrial centuries and prior millennia are hind casts that assume humans have used roughly the same amount of land per person for 7,000 years. But this assumption is incorrect. Historical data and new archeological databases reveal much greater per-capita land use in preindustrial than in recent centuries. This early forest clearance caused much greater preindustrial greenhouse-gas emissions and global temperature changes than those proposed within the industrial paradigm. © Copyright ©2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

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