GlycoMIP: An NSF Materials Innovation Platform, or GlycoMIP for short, is an NSF-funded national user facility and multidisciplinary research program that addresses scientific and technological bottlenecks in glycomaterials research.
A partnership between Virginia Tech, the University of Georgia, Brandeis University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, GlycoMIP will accelerate glycomaterials discovery and development through leading-edge research and state-of-the-art scientific equipment.
Operated jointly by Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia, the GlycoMIP user facility will offer capabilities and services in
- glycan synthesis—the facility will house two automated glycan synthesizers
- glycomaterial structure determination—through state-of-the-art mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy instruments
- computer modeling of glycomaterials—accessible remotely through a unique virtual user facility
- molecular interaction measurements —the facility will offer a range of interaction analysis methods
- solution-state structure determination — through complementary vibrational optical activity methods
The scope of GlycoMIP is accelerated discovery in glycomaterials science and technology, which is a topic at the convergence of materials research with biological sciences for developing new materials.
GlycoMIP will conduct leading-edge, multi-institutional, and multi-disciplinary research that integrates experimentation, computation, and theory to advance the scientific frontiers in the synthesis, characterization, design, and modeling of glycomaterials. GlycoMIP will build and operate a world-class user facility, comprising state-of-the-art capabilities at Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia, that provides unique and impactful instrumentation, tools, and technical services to a diverse community of users. Through its in-house research and user facility, GlycoMIP will develop and provide unique and impactful experimental and computational tools to support and accelerate, nationwide, the development and characterization of bioinspired glycomaterials, at the molecular, supramolecular, and macroscopic (bulk property) level. GlycoMIP will practice and facilitate efficient and effective sharing of research outputs, including samples, data, tools, code, and know how, to foster a vibrant and diverse community of glycomaterials researchers. GlycoMIP will deliver education and training in glycomaterials science and technology to users and potential users. GlycoMIP will promote diversity and inclusion at all organizational levels and in all aspects of operation.
C. The scope of the in-house research of GlycoMIP is the convergence of scalable synthesis, automated characterization, and advanced modeling of glycomaterials for rational molecular design.
The in-house research of GlycoMIP will employ efficient convergence of physical sciences, engineering, computation, and life sciences to address the grand challenge of rational molecular design of glycomaterials with predefined solution- and gel- state properties, focusing specifically on accelerated development of glycomaterials with predicted binding, conformational, or self-assembly behaviors through computer-guided design of primary structure or molecular architecture. GlycoMIP’s in-house research will meet the national need of the materials research community for advanced tools and techniques for glycomaterials synthesis, characterization, and modeling. GlycoMIP’s in-house research will use a transdisciplinary, iterative, closed-loop approach that integrates glycomaterials synthesis/processing, characterization, and theory/modeling/simulation to surmount scientific and technological barriers in glycomaterials research and innovation. Advancing frontiers in glycomaterial synthesis, characterization, design, and modeling, the in-house research will make GlycoMIP a recognized leader in the field. GlycoMIP’s in-house research will train the next generation of researchers in an integrated team approach to accelerate glycomaterials discovery, development, and commercialization. Research findings and outputs, including
samples, data, tools, code, and know-how, will be shared with the scientific community and general public in a timely, efficient, and effective manner through existing and newly created infrastructures.