One of the key objectives of the LightDyNAmics training programme is to provide 15 ESRs with unique multidisciplinary and intersectoral training. In recent months three of our ESRs successfully defended their doctoral theses! Maria Elena Castellani (ESR9), Evangelos Balanikas (ESR7) and Davide Avagliano (ESR10) were all successful in their doctoral defenses.
The thesis of Maria Elena Castellani (ESR9), titled "Low-energy electron damage in DNA", exploits Photo-Electron Spectroscopy (PES) and Photo-Electron Imaging (PEI) to study low-energy electron and photon-driven damage in DNA derivatives.
Evangelos Balanikas (ESR7) describes in his thesis, entitled "Low-energy photoionization of guanine quadruplexes" the low-energy photoionization of DNA guanine quadruplexes (G-quadruplexes) in an aqueous solution.
A third ESR, Davide Avagliano (ESR10), has also successfully defended his thesis which addresses "Simulation of Light-Control DNA Binding and Damage".
On behalf of the entire LightDyNAmic consortium, we would like to congratulate our three ESRs on their great success. We are more than proud of Maria, Davide and Evangelos and wish them only the best for the future!
The entire LightDyNAmics consortium is delighted to congratulate Haritha Asha (ESR4) on her publication in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. The publication is on the quantum mechanical and molecular dynamics analysis of a human telomeric sequence with ionised guanine.
The Publication titled "Early steps of oxidative damage in DNA quadruplexes are position-dependent: Quantum mechanical and molecular dynamics analysis of human telomeric sequence containing ionized guanine" was published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.
From 15 to 17 November, the third LightDyNAmics week takes place at the Institut de Chimie Physique (Université Paris-Saclay). It’s the first event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with in-person participation making it an exceptional occasion for ESRs to be involved in many different activities the programme offers, including training, meetings and workshops.
Some of the many programme highlights:
Wider Horizon Days:
To explore potential applications and fully exploit the LightDyNAmics innovations, during Wider Horizon Day 3, our ESRs get insight into imaging the dynamics of protein nucleic acid interactions provided by David Rueda (Imperial).
Day of Light & Matter:
All our ESRs have been working on the organisation of the "Day of Light and Matter" under the leadership of Prof. Dimitra Markovitsi (CNRS), whose keynote lecture “A European pathway between order and disorder in the search of light” closes the session on 16 November. During the "Day of Light and Matter", researchers and research projects from related fields are brought together to discuss potential applications of the LightDyNAmics results in their topics.
Science Slam Workshop
As part of the Science Slams, all our ESRs have developed a 5-minute Science Slam on their research topic. The pitches will be recorded and later published to not only provide an educational resource for a wide range of end-users but to raise awareness on MSCA and LightDyNAmics research.
Stay tuned to our news on the 3rd LightDyNAmics week’s outcomes and Science Slam videos!
The exciting second LightDyNAmics webinar took place yesterday, 22 July 2020 over Zoom. All ESRs and PIs were able to enjoy three interesting talks from three of our ESRs. Elena (ESR9) started the webinar with her talk on "Site-specific phot-oxidation of the isolated adenosine-5'-triphosphate dianion determined by photoelectron imaging". The talk was based on research she performed in collaboration with Davide (ESR10). Eveliina (ESR11) then gave an interesting update on her research titled "Damage and repari of DNA containing new epigenetic bases fC and caC". Mark (ESR8) rounded off the webinar with his discussion of the Archer et al. paper "A dinuclear ruthenium (ii) phototherapeutic that targets duplex and quadruplex DNA".
The LightDyNAmics training concept includes online modules, one of which are webinares, in which a team of ESRs present either their work or a recently published peer-reviewed paper which is of interest to the network. The aim is to train the presentation skills of the ESRs and share knowledge within the network.
The first of these webinars was held on 23 April 2020 and drew attendance not only from the immediate network but also from other interested scientists and colleagues of the beneficiaries. The webinar was organised by Piotr (ESR1), Davide (ESR10) and Vangelis (ESR7) and supported by James Green from the coordinator's side. Piotr and Davide both provided an update on their recent research on "excited state deactivation of uridine and 5-methyluridine" and "quinolizidine-spiropyran isomerisaton and G-Quadruplex binding" respectively, while Vangelis provided a review of a recent paper on G-Quadruplexes of broad interest to the network. The webinare was very well by the 44 participants and we are already looking forward to the next one.
Last Week, from 17-21 February 2020, the first Technology Training Camp for ESRs took place in Vienna, Austria. The event was hosted Leticia Gonzalez' team of the University of Vienna. The Technology Training Camp has been designed to establish a common ground in experimental and computational approaches to explore light-DNA interaction. Establishing such common ground enables the ESR’s to better collaborate and successfully integrate computational and experimental approaches in their work.
While the consortium originally had planned to organise two seperate events, one for computational and one for the experimental approaches, we decided to merge the two trainings into one. This allowed for the better integration of computational and experimental training with significant pedagogical benefits. The event included lectures in the morning and laboratory exercises in the afternoon. The ESRs enjoyed not only the off state-of-the-art training but also the social aspects which are never forgotten in any of our meetings. Thanks to Leticia and Davide and the entire team at UNIVIE, the ESRs and PIs alike got to experience the city of Vienna at its best.
LightDyNAmics ESR Elena Castellani (ESR9) has won the first prize for best presentation at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s RSC Spectroscopy & Dynamics Group Meeting 2020. Elena’s talk focused on a photoelectron spectroscopy study showing the viability of dipole-bound state in the presence of a molecular fragment. Many congratulations to her!
Steadliy the ESR's are participating in workshops and conferences, contributing with poster and oral presentations to the following events:
17th International Conference on Chiroptical Spectroscopy
CFF 2019 - Chemistry for the Future International Conference
9th edition of the JED PhD Students day in Toulouse
La fédération de Chimie-Physique de Paris Saclay CPPS
The first annual LightDyNAmics week has been a great success and was enjoyed by ESRs and PIs alike. The week was kicked-off by the Wider Horizon Day lead by our Scientific Advisory Board member Prof. Johannes Gierschner of IMDEA. The scientific skills of the ESRs were further trained through lectures on methodological and technical skills such as "Excited state dynamics simulations using SHARC" or "Ultrafast Optical Spectroscopy". Following our training concept, the 1st LightDyNAmics week also included trainings on transferable and business skills with lectures on science communication and entrepreneurship. Next to the training activities, the ESRs also got to meet with the REA Project Officer as part of the successful mid-term check meeting - a new format introduced by the EC. An exciting and formative city tour and mountains of the very best Italian food rounded off the event.
In a month from now, the first LightDyNAmics week will be held from the 17-21 June at the Department of Industrial Chemistry "Toso Montanari" in Bologna, Italy. The programme includes the Wider Horizon Day: "Future Lighting: Changes an Challenges of OLEDs" and lectures to improve Methodological & Technical skills as well as Transferable & Business skills. The last day of the meeting will be dedicated to the midterm check with the EC project officer.