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Exciting News in Meister Research

Konrad Meister, assistant professor here in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been involved in some very exciting things, here on campus and around the world.

In October, Dr. Meister and biomolecular science graduate student Rosemary Eufemio returned from a trip to Iceland and Greenland. They were conducting research aboard the National Geographic ship Endurance as part of the Visiting Scientist Program. This research, focusing on biological ice-nucleating particles in the Arctic, and the polar expedition with National Geographic were the subject of a Boise State News article. Also on board the Endurance, the Science at Sea program allowed for travelers to interact with the researchers, get hands-on with activities like assisting with data collection, and share in the research in the ship’s Science Hub. It was an experience that both Meister and Eufemio really enjoyed.

Rosemary Eufemio sitting on an ice bank
Eufemio ‘chills’ on ice bank, photo by Konrad Meister
Konrad Meister working at a computer station in the Science Hub aboard the National Geographic ship Endurance
Konrad Meister in the Endurance’s Science Hub

Another Boise State article talks more about Konrad’s research on how fungal proteins efficiently make ice. His results were published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Working with an international research team, Meister has now been able to show what exactly enables ice formation and how special ice-nucleating substances are structured. Studying a fungus of the genus Fusarium that is particularly efficient at driving ice formation, the team was able to show that small proteins are involved in the ice formation, which can aggregate outside the fungus to form larger protein aggregates. This could be confirmed by Meister and colleagues experimentally and with theoretical calculations of an American team of colleagues working with Professor Valeria Molinero of the University of Utah. An article written by Brian Maffly for the University of Utah gives more information on the research and Molinero’s contributions.

For the past few months, Konrad has collaborated with other faculty and the Center for Visual Arts to create the Boise State Arts and Sciences Hub (BASH). They held a Meet and Greet event on November 17, hosted in the Keith and Catherine Stein Luminary, where they showcased the convergence of science, art and creativity with 3D chemical structures projected on the Luminary’s one-of-a-kind interactive screens.

Keaton Poe interacting with the 3D chemical structure touchscreen displays in the Boise State Luminary
BASH visitors interacting with the 3D chemical structure touchscreen displays in the Boise State Luminary

Konrad Meister interacting with the 3D chemical structure touchscreen displays in the Boise State Luminary

On January 8, 2024, at 5pm, Konrad will be presenting during the “Science on Tap” series at Lost Grove Brewing. “Science on Tap” was organized to bring the exciting research done at Boise State and elsewhere in the community to the general public in an accessible way. Everyone is welcome to attend and ask questions of the researchers.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is lucky to have Konrad Meister on the team! We’re very excited about all of Konrad’s contributions to the department and the University, and we can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future.