Nanion Corporate Blog

 

11.10.2021: Meet Jonai Pujol - Recipient of the 2021 SURFE²R N1 Research Grant

Meet Jonai Pujol

Earlier this year, Nanion announced the SURFE²R N1 research grant, which gave applicants the opportunity to acquire a SURFE²R N1 instrument for a 9-month period; inclusive of consumables, training and consultation.

After a lenghty and throughout evaluation of the rather extensive number and variety of applications, the SURFE²R N1 grant evaluation committee Dr. Andre Bazzone, Dr. Cecilia George, and Dr. Maria Barthmes (Nanion Technologies) have come to a decision:

2021 SURFE²R N1 Research Grant Committe
(Dr. Andre Bazzone, Dr. Cecilia George, and Dr. Maria Barthmes)

We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of the proposals this year and we thank all of the applicants for putting in such a lot of time and effort in their applications. We had a very difficult job but we thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every one of the proposals. As such, we took the bold initiative to award an unprecedented four total winners! We would like to congratulate Jonai Pujol (Winner - Europe), Edmund Kunji (Winner - UK), Lei Zheng (Winner - North America), and Ronald Clarke (Winner - Australia)

We have created a plan to deliver the systems to their respective labs, which we hope will be later on this year and are excited for their respective research initiatives to begin. Additionally, we aim to provide external support to all applicants in the near future and have created a plan to provide local support from our offices in Europe, North America, Japan and China.

We look forward to supporting the Membrane Transporter Community and leading the way with all of your innovative ideas in the months to come.


Interview with Jonai Pujol, University of Bern, Switzerland

211028 blog image Jonai Pujol Bern

Nanion:
Hi Jonai, congratulations on your win! What are you planning to do with SURFE²R N1 in your laboratory?

Jonai Pujol: “I am planning to use SURFE²R to characterize the function of the solute carrier membrane transporters (SLCs) which are difficult to measure by the two-electrode voltage clamp (TEVC) method, such as SLCs with low turnover rate or expressed in intracellular compartments. Hopefully, the advantages that offer SURFE²R approach, such as working with membrane preparations and the signal amplification power of the solid-supported membrane- (SSM-) sensor, will allow me to overcome the issues that limit the electrophysiological characterization of this kind of targets.”

Nanion: Why did you apply for the SURFE²R N1 Grant?

Jonai Pujol: “I saw in this call a great opportunity to get access to a tool which has the potential to complement and even overcome the limitations of some of my current research projects. Furthermore, having the chance to get the training and the feedback of the experts working in Nanion it is a huge advantage in order to make things work as expected. For a young researcher like me it can be very challenging to get access to new resources. Thus, getting awarded with such grant is not only an amazing help to improve the outcome of my research, but also an impulse towards the next steps in my career.“

Nanion: Which properties of the SURFE²R will be of benefit to your research?

Jonai Pujol: “In my view, working with membrane preparations it is an advantage when aiming to work with intracellular targets. Normally, to perform the TEVC method, intracellular transporters need to be genetically modified to get them expressed on the plasma membrane, which not always provides satisfying results. Furthermore, combining membrane preparations, which will allow to concentrate large amounts of transporter in the sample, together with the high sensitivity of the SSM sensor, will definitively increase the chances to record the currents triggered by low turnover rate transporters.”

Nanion: Other comments or information you would like to share?

Jonai Pujol: “I expect that the SURFE²R will allow me to deal with the most challenging SLCs I am currently facing. Thus, in my view, getting the chance to get access and training to the use of the SURFE²R it is a unique opportunity for scientists interested in electrophysiological methods and SLCs.”

Read more about Jonai Pujol's research here


Watch The Video Announcement - Jonai Pujol (University of Bern)

Meet Lei Zheng - 2021 SURFE²R N1 Grant Recipient [North America]
Meet Edmund Kunji - 2021 SURFE²R N1 Grant Recipient [UK]
Meet Ronald Clarke - 2021 SURFE²R N1 Grant Recipient [Australia]

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