News:

18th October, 2016: Tom Collier has joined the group as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome Tom!

5th September, 2016: Dasha has sadly left us to return to finish her MSc at Southampton. We miss her already!

1st September, 2016: Jane gave a talk at the Institute of Fundamental Sciences at Massey University in Palmerston North titled "From viral evolution to functional foods: molecular dynamics simulations in the real world".

31st August, 2016: Jane and William attended the Drug Discovery satellite meeting at Queenstown Research Week (in Nelson), where William won the poster prize. They also attended the main Queenstown Molecular Biology meeting, which Jane helped to organise. Jane gave a talk there titled "From physical chemistry to viral evolution" as the winner of the Thermofisher Award for Excellence in Molecular Biology.

29th August, 2016: Shamim Shadfar has officially joined the group as a PhD student. Welcome Shamim.

26th August, 2016: Jane gave a talk at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury, titled "From viral evolution to functional foods: molecular dynamics simulations in the real world".

24th August 2016: Jane and Ivan were among a large cohort of chemists who descended on Queenstown for the NZ Institute of Chemistry meeting this week. Jane gave an invited talk, and Ivan presented a poster.

15th - 17th June 2016: Tom Piggot, from DTSL in the UK, spend three days visiting the group to discuss lipid and membrane simulations, as well as all manner of tricks and tips for simulating biomolecules.

13th June 2016: Another new group member! Dasha Draper from Southampton University (UK) is spending three months working with the group as part of her MSc research project. She'll be working on the parameterisation and simulation of film formation by naphthalimides.

5th - 10th June 2016: Jane, Ivan, Ashar and Shamim spent the week at the Quaccs Computational Chemistry Student workshop at the University of Canterbury field station at Cass, along with some other members of CTCP. Jane and Ivan ran workshops on force fields surrounding computational models and introductory sessions to shell and python programming. Ashar and Shamim gave talks on their respective PhD projects and also participated in the copious discussions. There was fresh snow about coupled with sunny weather - perfect for the afternoon hikes.

30th May - 1st June 2016: We had Jen Crowther, a PhD student from Ren Dobson's group at the University of Canterbury, visiting this week to learn how to run and analyse molecular dynamics simulations.

26th May 2016: We have a new member! Shamim Shadfar has joined us to study towards her PhD. She will be working on conformational selection of bullvalenes (at least to start with), and will be co-supervised by Thomas Fallon.

Women in STEM

29th April 2016: Jane has been featured in the Nation of Curious Minds Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) profile series talking about why STEM is so important to New Zealand and why it is important to have more women working in STEM.See complete article here.

The Future for Scientists in New Zealand

26th April 2016: Jane was a member of the discussion panel at the NZ Association of Scientists meeting, where the topic of "The Future for Scientists in New Zealand" was debated. The conference brought together some of New Zealand's best thinkers to discuss the future for scientists in New Zealand, and what we can learn from the past. What do scientific careers look like in 2016, how have they changed, and how should they change in order to keep pace with international trends? Are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, or can we learn from what has - and has not - worked in the science system of the past? What does success in science look like, and how can we evaluate it? We'll discuss the answers to these questions, and more, with an emphasis on what early career researchers think of the funding system that will make - or break - their careers within the next 75 years.

22nd April 2016: New publication out: Zare, D., Allison, J.R. and McGrath, K.M. Molecular dynamics simulation of beta-lactoglobulin at different oil/water interfaces. Biomacromolecules, doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b01709

30th March 2016: Jane gave a talk at the Crystal30 meeting in Hobart entitled 'Towards simulation of proteins in realistic biological environments'.

18th March 2016: Today was the official launch of the RSNZ Early Career Researcher Forum, which seeks to support NZ's ECR community. The forum aims to provide a place for the discussion of issues relevant to ECRs, including providing advice and leadership in resolving structural issues that impact the development and careers of ECRs in NZ, as well as development and networking opportunities for ECRs. Jane is a member of the steering committee of the forum, which will organise events and liaise with RSNZ, as well as forming a hub to bring together the various ECR groups scattered around the country. See http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/organisation/ecr-forum/, follow the forum on Facebook ("Royal Society of New Zealand Early Career Researcher Forum"), or join the conversation on other forms of social media via #RSNZECR.

12th/13th March 2016: Jane attended the KiwiFoo unconference (http://www.baacamp.org/), an invitation-only gathering of ~170 people for two days with no agenda - sessions are largely discussions rather than formal talks, and the topics are only decided after the meeting begins. The attendees came from areas including neuroscience, psychology, open source programming, internet applications and security, art, business, politics, and various different types of science and technology, and were from a range of small to large businesses, schools, universities and research institutes. It was an amazing and stimulating weekend, with loads of interesting discussions on an eclectic range of topics such as creating false memories (and the possible applications of this - for good and for evil!), Donald Drumpf, charging electric cars, Figure.NZ's project to make all government (and ultimately scientific) data available for the public, and the amazingly realistic human avatars being produced by the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and what we should use them for (and the moral implications of some of these ideas...).

Marsden Grant

4th November 2015: A team comprising Dr Jack Flanagan (PI, Auckland), Dr Jane Allison, Prof. Thomas Huber (ANU), Prof. Peter Shepherd (Auckland) and Dr Roger Williams (LMB, Cambridge, UK) have been awarded a Marsden Grant for their proposed work on "Probing the protein membrane interface of an oncogenic cell signalling system", which builds on the preliminary work done by William Irvine.

Dr. Jane Allison receives a prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship

17th September 2015: Twelve of New Zealand's most talented early- to mid-career researchers have been awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowships for 2015, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce announced today. One of the new fellows is Dr Jane Allison, CTCP, Massey University, for her research in "Deciphering molecular choreography". The Fellowships foster the development of future research leaders by providing funding of up to $800,000 each over five years to cover salary and research costs. The funding is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The selection decision was informed by an independent panel, following a two stage assessment process. For details see The Royal Society of New Zealand web page.

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