TechAccel Initiates Protein Engineering Project with UC Davis to Improve Wheat Yield

KANSAS CITY, MO, and DAVIS, CA – February 22, 2018–TechAccel LLC, a Kansas City-based technology and venture development company, today announced it has initiated a protein engineering research project with The Siegel Lab in the Genome Center of the University of California, Davis.

The project will determine if specific mutations in a wheat enzyme can produce plants capable of thriving in warmer temperatures.

“The Siegel lab, with its advanced enzyme design and engineering capabilities, is the perfect partner for this important research,” said Brad Fabbri, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer of TechAccel. “If we are successful in demonstrating the enzyme’s effectiveness, the next step will be to employ gene editing to produce a non-GMO wheat with significantly improved yield.”

It has been recently reported that global warming is already slowing wheat yield gains, with global wheat production expected to fall by six percent for each degree Celsius increase. The optimum temperature for wheat during the development of the grain is about 15-20 degrees Celsius (59-68 degrees Fahrenheit), but yield diminishes as temperatures increase–a big problem as growing seasons become warmer as a consequence of climate change.

At The Siegel Lab, researchers will use advanced techniques in protein structure prediction to construct and test a handful of enzyme variants that TechAccel has been studying. The ultimate goal is to create a “recipe” for enzyme improvement to produce wheat that can thrive in warmer growing seasons–up to 10 degrees Celsius above the ideal range.

“We are excited to bring the cutting-edge technologies of computational protein design and synthetic biology to tackle this important problem,” said Justin B. Siegel, Ph.D., Faculty Director of the Innovation Institute for Food and Health, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine at UC Davis Genome Center. “The unique combination of technologies and discoveries brought together in this endeavor by TechAccel and UC Davis has the potential to build wheat varietals that we need in a world with an ever-changing climate.”

TechAccel is a technology and venture development organization focused in agriculture, animal health and food technology. The company invests in innovative technology and funds science advancement programs to accelerate readiness for commercialization. Financial terms and additional project details were not disclosed.

TechAccel began its collaboration with UC-Davis in 2016 with its participation in the UC-Davis Venture Catalyst STAIR-PlusTMprogram, an expansion of the Venture Catalyst Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIRTM) grants, which are in their fifth year of enabling the commercial translation of UC Davis research and technologies through proof-of-concept funding. The STAIR-Plus program offers additional support to STAIR grant recipients who have successfully achieved their projected commercialization milestones and are poised for commercial impact pending completion of specific targeted activities.

About TechAccel

TechAccel LLC was founded in 2014 as a first-of-its-kind technology and venture development company in the agriculture, animal health and food technology sectors. TechAccel sources, invests in and acquires early-stage innovations. Through collaborations with universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for commercialization. For more information, visit www.techaccel.net. Follow us on Twitter at @Tech_Accel.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 35,000 students, an annual research budget of over $780 million and a comprehensive health system. The university offers 102 undergraduate majors and 99 graduate programs through four colleges and six professional schools.

About Venture Catalyst

Venture Catalyst is one of three units within the Technology Management & Corporate Relations division of the UC Davis Office of Research. Venture Catalyst furthers the university’s educational, research and public mission by supporting UC Davis students, faculty and researchers in translating science, engineering and innovative research, through well-resourced startups, into societal impact.

Media Contacts:

TechAccel
Michael Kellner 512.960.8223
techaccel@treblepr.com

UC Davis
AJ Cheline
530.219.8739
acheline@ucdavis.edu

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Upcoming Talks and Events

Events on January 14, 2019
WCMC: Hands-on LC-MS Data processing and Statistics
Starts: 12:00 am
Ends: January 19, 2019 - 12:00 am
Location: UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Ln, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Description: Registration: http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=15575

This course will feature hands-on training with real-world metabolomics data covering LC/MS compound identification, data processing, statistical analysis, network mapping and data interpretation.

We will instruct using a variety of software, workflows, and algorithms but also give theoretical background information and overviews. We will focus on utilizing open source software and only refer to commercial or vendor software when necessary.

All participants will be trained on laptops that were specifically purchased for course training, with all software already installed and data available to use.

The course will include:

untargeted data processing and exercises on MS-DIAL software (in comparison to XCMS)
exercises on identification of unknowns by cheminformatics software workflows (incl MS-FINDER, CFM-ID, and various databases and small software routines)
data normalization and transformation with and without internal standards and quality controls
multivariate and univariate statistics (incl MetDA in comparison to MetaboAnalyst)
pathway mapping (incl MetaBox consisting of MetDA, ChemRICH and MetaMapp in comparison to MetaboAnalyst)
The course fees are $ 2,500 per participant to cover expenses for instructors, organization, materials and meals.

more Info:

Jeannette Martins

email: jmartins@ucdavis.edu

phone: +1-530-754-5357

Cancellation policy
Requests for refunds will be honored when received 2 month prior to the program. Refund requests can be only accepted in a written form. However, another person may be substituted at any time for this program, unless it requires issuing a new travel visa for international scholars.

A $150 administrative fee and the credit card fee will be deducted for cancellations.
In the unlikely event that this program is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the WCMC will fully refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including cancellation or change charges assessed by airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations.
Events on May 16, 2019
WCMC: Best practice in operating mass spectrometers in Metabolomics
Starts: 12:00 am
Ends: May 20, 2019 - 12:00 am
Location: Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility, 451 Health Science Dr, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Description: Registration: https://goo.gl/forms/TGeuALrTMfTpGh0O2

This course will enhance your standing and expertise to prepare and successfully run samples in a metabolomic laboratory. It is designed to provide hands-on practical exercises using gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS & LC-MS). The course will focus on untargeted data acquisition in metabolomics with both nominal mass and accurate mass instruments. You will learn how to operate the instruments, how to collect metabolite profiles on complex samples and how to prepare and derivatize samples, troubleshoot instruments, acquire data and perform data quality control routines (QA/QC). Overall, you will receive comprehensive understanding of the current best practices in the metabolomics laboratory.

The course will include:


1. Fundamentals of mass spectrometry, chromatography, and metabolomics.
2. hands-on exercises on sample preparation, including extraction and derivatization
of complex samples for untargeted metabolomics profiling
3. Hands-on exercises to learn how to operate both gas and liquid chromatography
coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS & LC-MS).
4. quality control routines (QA/QC) in order to ensure comparable data, reproducibility, and instrument performance.
Events on August 19, 2019
International Summer Sessions in Metabolomics
Starts: 12:00 am
Ends: August 31, 2019 - 12:00 am
Location: UC Davis Alumni Center
Description: Registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeVnMXxhkMtlET-RGDgW99jA3lr1wS4hypU0kI6O1yGV0GqBg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Contact: Jeannette Martins jmartins@ucdavis.edu

Please, contact us now if you need letters of support to obtain funding from your home institutions.

The West Coast Metabolomics Center organizes an instructional course for researchers for researcher which need a deeper and broader understanding in the field of Metabolomics. This course will span 12 days from August 19-30, 2019.

In order to serve the group interests best and have interesting open discussions we have a small class of 22 participants. The participants come always from all over the world and have a very diverse research background.

The course will include:

study design, including pitfall analysis and hidden biases in studies from microbial, plant, mouse and human cohort research
sample preparation and quality control
in-laboratory detailed discussions standard operating procedures for GC-MS and LC-MS data acquisitions
targeted metabolomics, including monitoring charts and use of isotope labeled internal standards
exercises on flux analysis in cancer cells by isotope tracer analysis
untargeted data processing and exercises on MS-DIAL software (in comparison to XCMS)
exercises on identification of unknowns by cheminformatics software workflows (incl MS-FINDER, CFM-ID, and various databases and small software routines)
data normalization and transformation with and without internal standards and quality controls
multivariate and univariate statistics (incl MetDA in comparison to MetaboAnalyst)
pathway mapping (incl MetaBox consisting of MetDA, ChemRICH and MetaMapp in comparison to MetaboAnalyst)
Past course participation:
2018 course: 25 researchers from USA, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Norway, Germany, Poland, Canada
2017 course: 24 researchers from USA, Saudi-Arabia, China, , Korea, Italy, Denmark, Iran, United Kingdom
2016 course: 23 researchers from USA, Saudi-Arabia, China, Thailand, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Chile, Korea, and Canada.
2015 course: 21 researchers from USA, China, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, Korea, Malaysia, and Netherlands.
2014 course: 20 researchers from USA, New Zealand, Italy, Denmark, China, Canada, Turkey and Switzerland
2013 course: 20 researchers from USA, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Denmark, Luxembourg, Brazil, Columbia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
For questions, please contact our program representative Jeannette Martins (jmartins@ucdavis.edu).

Visiting Scientists
Participation in this course is mandatory for visiting international researchers who want to engage in collaborative research projects.
The minimum time span for such collaborative visits is 3 months, preferred is 12 months.
An additional payment of $500 for the visa has to be paid prior to arrival at UC Davis.

Each year, up to five international researchers have started such research visits, funded by agencies in their home countries.
Please contact us at least 6 months in advance to help you with letters of support, booking your course, and obtaining a visa for you.
Cancellation policy
Requests for refunds will be honored when received 2 month prior to the program. Refund requests can be only accepted in a written form. However, another person may be substituted at any time for this program, unless it requires issuing a new travel visa for international scholars.

A $150 administrative fee and the credit card fee will be deducted for cancellations.
In the unlikely event that this program is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the WCMC will fully refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including cancellation or change charges assessed by airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations.

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