Postdoctoral Research Award 2011
Adam Barb, a postdoctoral research associate in the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, completed a project that involved remodeling the glycans of immunoglobulin domains with sugars labeled with magnetically active isotopes. He used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) data on the isotopes to characterize the accessibility of the glycans to receptors and enzymes.
His most recent work, on the dynamic influence of N-glycan on the Immunoglobulin G Fc fragment, is a major breakthrough in the glycan field. It revealed a previously unobserved protein functional state — and provided the first concrete example of glycan-mediated conformational events. Barb has developed a research proposal that would investigate the structure, function and dynamics of glycoproteins by NMR, which would not only fill a void in solution NMR studies but have a major impact on human health.