Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology Newsletter  

April 2009
In This Issue
CBST Director Letter
Research Highlights
Education Highlights
KT Highlights
Awards and Recognitions
Calendar of Events
Grants and Funding

Tech Corner

I'm pretty intrigued by this "obviousness" question that has come up over the last couple of years.   The recent US Supreme Court case on obviousness was KSR International versus Teleflex et al. and was discussed in Nature Rev. Drug Disc. 6, 426; 2007.   The attention that it received demonstrated how tricky it is to define "obviousness" in patent law. Recently, the highest court of appeals in the UK, the House of Lords, also considered this concept, and clarified it somewhat.
The patent at issue was granted to Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. by the European Patent Office (the "EPO") on June 25, 1997.  It involved the coating of aortic stents with the anti-angiogenic drug paclitaxel to prevent restenosis.  At the EPO, five different companies opposed the patent. After over nine years of legal battles their challenge proved unsuccessful and the validity of the patent was maintained. On February 1, 2005, Angiotech commenced suit against Conor Medsystems Inc. in the Netherlands. Conor responded by commencing proceedings in the UK to revoke the patent. Conor argued that, as of July 1993 (the priority date), the claims in the patent lacked inventive step (i.e., were obvious) under UK law.
Both the UK trial court and the UK Court of Appeal decided that the patent was invalid in view of several publications. The Court heard the case in order to examine obviousness, and what constitutes the inventive step. Two lower courts had previously regarded the invention (i.e. coating the stent with paclitaxel) as obvious. In these cases, the courts decided that what makes the invention non-obvious and hence patentable relied on whether the invention would have a reasonable expectation of success and whether there was evidence in the patent that the invention would work. Because the patent did not say how or why paclitaxel would be efficacious, the courts had asked the question: "is it obvious that it might have a beneficial effect?" - and concluded yes it was obvious, and thus struck the patent down.  The House of Lords disagreed, saying it is an "oxymoronic concept" of what is required to show inventiveness. The correct question should have been, in their view, whether it was obvious to use a paclitaxel-coated stent to prevent restenosis.  No.  
In concluding that the previous verdicts were incorrect, the Court noted that their decision was in line with the opinion of a Dutch court in parallel proceedings, and the decision helped bring uniformity between how national courts within Europe and the European Patent Office (EPO) interpret the European Patent Convention. Following this important decision, there is now more certainty in the EPO at least, regarding what the inventive step is that decides obviousness.  This could result in more patents being upheld because of non-obviousness
~Summary by Tod Stoltz, Industry Relations Manager at CBST
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Work supported by the National Science Foundation
Cooperative Agreement No. PHY-0120999.
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I'm happy to report that we've had some exciting developments in the month of March.   CBST researchers at UC Davis (Thomas Huser, Greg McNerney, Frank Chuang, Xiao-Dong Li, and David Asmuth), together with collaborators at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York (Benjamin Chen, Wolfgang Hübner, Benjamin Dale, Ping Chen, and Ronald Gordon) recently published a report in Science, characterizing the direct transfer of HIV between live T cells, using 3D spinning disk confocal video microscopy.  As well, we are very pleased about Dr. Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu's recent design and development of a portable camera-based microscopy device for telemedicine and other applications.  In other exciting news, the CBST management team traveled to Washington, D.C. at the end of March to participate in the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Day in support of life sciences research and education.  I would also like to extend my appreciation to the continued efforts of all our faculty, staff and students and thank our invited speakers, Dr. Javeed Siddiqui, Dr. William Ristenpart and Mr. Tom Dudley (speaking on behalf of Dr. Thomas Bifano), for their participation in our recent CBST Spring Science Workshop.  In closing, we're looking forward to the next few months of exploring new economic stimulus opportunities and hope to garner some of this funding as a means to further our on-going research and education programs in the field of Biophotonics.  
~Dennis Matthews, Ph.D. CBST Director
CBST Research Highlights
Quantitative 3D Video Microscopy of HIV Transfer Across T Cell Virological Synapses 
HIV Transfer Across T Cell
Researchers at the Center for BiophotonicsMount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and the UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine have recently published a report in Science, characterizing the direct cell-to-cell transfer of HIV between live T cells, using 3D spinning disk confocal video microscopy.  Their research was recently published in
 Science 323, 1743-1747 (2009).  Pictured above is a single frame image of snapshots taken from a video sequence with a Jurkat T cell transferring iGFP-Gag to a primary T cell after image splitting allowing for image overlay of white light micrographs with fluorescence micrographs (shown in green false color).  To read more, please click on
W. Hübner, G.P. McNerney, B.M. Dale, P. Chen, R.E. Gordon, F.Y.S. Chuang, X.-D. Li, D.M. Asmuth, T. Huser, and B.K. Chen.  Science 323, 1743-1747 (2009).
"We should be developing vaccines that help the immune system recognize proteins involved in virological synapse formation and antiviral drugs that target the factors required for synapse formation," explained Huser, who is also an associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine.
"Direct T-cell to T-cell transfer through a virological synapse is a highly efficient avenue of HIV infection, and it could be the predominant mode of dissemination," said study senior author Benjamin Chen, assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. 
To read more, please click on
UCD Case #2004-500 - Dr. Thomas Huser; "Single-Cell Raman Spectroscopy for Non-destructive, Non-invasive analysis of cells".  Please contact Nancy Rashid via email ( or phone (530.754.8621) if interested in obtaining more information.
Meet the Researcher - Dr. Clark Lagarias and his laboratory
Professor Clark LagariasDr. Clark Lagarias is a Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Davis.  His laboratory studies phytochromes, which are biliprotein switchable photosensors.  The following are three projects within Dr. Lagarias's laboratory: (1) Molecular Mechanisms of Phytochrome Signaling, (2) Molecular and Structural Biology of Phycocyanobilin:Ferredoxin Oxidoreductases, and (3) Phytochrome Engineering: A Versatile Class of Red and Near Infrared Fluorescent Protein Probes.  To read more about Dr. Lagarias and his current research projects, please click on
Current group members: Nathan C. Rockwell, Project Scientist; Wei Hu, postdoctoral researcher; Lixia Shang, postdoctoral researcher; Timothy Butterfield, graduate student researcher; Sindy Liao Chan, undergraduate researcher; Alexander King, undergraduate researcher; Louis Chaw, undergraduate researcher; Shelley Martin, research support; Keenan Taylor, research support; and Gaganjoat Sidhu, research support.  To read more, please click on
Available technologies from UCD's InnovationAccess:
Case #2001-274 - Functional Phytochrome Assemblies in Living Cells and Light
                          Mediated Gene Expression
Case #1996-037 - Phytochrome-Derived Fluorescent Markers
Case #2006-571 - Phytochromes as Fluorescent Markers
Case #2006-571 - Biological Activity of Constitutively Active YX Alleles of
                          Phytochrome in Plants
To read more, please contact

To read more, please click on
9th International Conference on Tetrapyrrole Photoreceptors of Photosynthetic Organisms
Co-chairs, Dr. J. Clark Lagarias and Dr. R. David Britt, from the Departments of Molecular & Cellular Biology and Chemistry at the University of California, Davis are currently organizing the 9th International Conference on Tetrapyrrole Photoreceptors of Photosynthetic Organisms (ICTPPO), which is scheduled to be held at Asilomar Conference Center in Monterey, CA from July 26 to July 31, 2009.  This is the ninth in a series of ad hoc conferences focusing on the structure, function and biotechnological applications of tetrapyrrole photoreceptors.  Daily symposia and poster sessions have been arranged for participants, as well as free time for informal discussion and mentoring for young investigators.  
Registration rates will be $350 ($250 for students) up until April 15, 2009, after which rates will increase to $450 ($300 for students).  Abstracts need to be received online no later than May 15, 2009, which will then be evaluated and if accepted, the form of presentation (oral or poster) will be communicated on/or before June 15th, 2009
To read more information and register for the conference, please click on 
3rd Annual CBST Spring Science Workshop -     March 30th, 2009 at UC Davis
A total of 34 CBST scientific research posters were presented with topics spanning from x-ray diffraction imaging of single molecules and structured-illumination microscopy; to engineered fluorescent phytochromes, Raman spectroscopy of single cells, and 3D video microscopy of HIV transfer; to advances in (micro)endoscopy, nanoparticle technologies, and in vitro diagnostic sensors and assays.

The invited speakers included Dr. Javeed Siddiqui, who gave a lively presentation about the urgent need to update technology for healthcare in the United States; Dr. Bill Ristenpart, who presented his work on Shear-Induced ATP Release from Red Blood Cells; and Thomas Dudley (speaking in place of Dr. Thomas Bifano) introduced the Boston University Photonics Center, which will soon be collaborating with CBST on new projects.
We look forward to seeing everyone again in May 2009 for the NSF Site visit.

To view the agenda and overview, please click on
CBST Education Highlights
Partnership Between CBST and NCI-CURE Leads to Greater Opportunities for Under-represented Students
ET-CURE Program photoIn September of 2008, CBST Education, in partnership with the UC Davis Cancer Center, received an award from the National Cancer Institute for the Emerging Technologies Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (ET-CURE) program.  The ET-CURE program recruits highly talented underrepresented high school students from the Northern California area to engage in emerging technology research related to diagnosing and treating cancer.  The ET-CURE students engage in summer research experiences alongside the well-regarded CBST Summer Internship Program, additionally receiving year-long training and multiple presentation opportunities at national conferences.  Research and professional development experiences abound and are aimed at preparing the next generation of highly diverse, cancer researchers capable and confident to use emerging technology. 
ET-CURE was recently highlighted in the UC Davis Health System's Vice Chancellor and Dean's 2008 Annual Report
CBST Knowledge Transfer Highlights
CBST Traveled to Washington, D.C. to Participate in CNSF Day
CBST Exhibit at NSF Day - March 2009The Coalition for National Science Funding's (CNSF) Annual Advocacy Day was held on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 in Washington, DC.  Reseachers and staff from UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA and UC San Diego participated in the CNSF reception that evening presenting STEM-based projects (Science, Technology, Engineering,  Mathematics) supported through funding by the National Science Foundation.  Drs. Marco Molinaro, Dennis Matthews, Stephen Lane, and Mr. Tod Stoltz (Industry Relations Officer) (pictured above from left to right),from the Center for Biophotonics, as well as Mr. Karl Engelbach (Director of Federal Government Relations) traveled from UC Davis to present an exhibit table Tuesday evening.  CBSTs exhibit showcased a new hand-held microscopy device (designed by CBST researcher Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu) that caught the attention of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Marco Molinaro pictured with Nancy Marco Molinaro with Speaker of the House Nancy PelosiPelosi), as well as an infrared thermometer educational activity, a keynote presentation highlighting CBST's science and education projects, and informational quick screens and brochures describing the "Shedding Light on Life" mission of the center, which has been made possible through NSF funding.  
UCD Case #2009-312 - Dr. Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu; "Portable microscopy for telemedicine and other applications".  Please contact Nancy Rashid via email (  or phone (530.754.8621) if interested in obtaining more information.  To read more, please click on
CBST Participates in SARTA's Tech Index Celebration - March 23, 2009
CBST Exhibit at SARTA Tech Index CelebrationTwo members of CBST's Knowledge Transfer Team, Amy L. Gryshuk, PhD   and Gabriela Lee, MS, MBA (pictured from Left to Right), attended SARTA's 6th Annual Tech Index Celebration at the Hyatt in Sacramento, CA on Monday, March 23rd, 2009 that honored the top 50 Tech companies on SARTA's Technology Index™ leading the growth of Sacramento's technology economy.  The event was well attended with more than 450 participants.  CBST was one of the many organizations hosting an exhibit table highlighting their mission and technologies related to the field of Biophotonics.  The luncheon featured two keynote addresses by Diarmuid O'Connell of Tesla Motors ( and Shel Israel a social media expert and author of "Naked Conversations" and "Twitterville" ( 
2009 California Life Sciences Day at the State Capitol
BayBio, BIOCOM and CHI along with more than 140 patient advocates, industry executives, and academic leaders traveled to the State Capitol on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 to meet with legislators and state government officials as a means to build support for the issues surrounding life science innovation.  Participants were placed in groups led by government affairs experts from various life sciences firms in California.  The groups had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with 80 members of the CA Legislature, as well as network at a luncheon featuring Honorable Willie L. Brown Jr. as the keynote speaker.  After a successful day of building support for the issues that matter most to California's life sciences innovators, participants, lawmakers and staff attended an evening reception at The Sutter Club.  
Awards and Recognitions
CBST graduate student accepts position as a LLNL postdoctoral researcher 
Postdoctoral Researcher Rajesh RamanDr. Rajesh Raman from CBST at UC Davis will be joining the Condensed Matter and Materials Division (CMMD) in the Physical & Life Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).  Dr. Raman will conduct research in two areas: (1) Elucidate the mechanisms of high laser energy-induced damage and its propagation in optical materials and (2) Advance the design of a fiber optic probe, which will monitor tissue ischemic injury and reperfusion as a means to assist in tissue assessment.    
Calendar of Events
April 16 - SARTA's CleanStart's PowerSurge - Annual clean 
                energy networking mixer
 Location - City Hall, West Sacramento 
To read more, please click on
April 16 - BayBio2009 Conference - Navigating the Storm
When: 8:30am - 5:30pm, Thursday, April 16, 2009
Where: South San Francisco Conference Center, 255 South Airport Blvd., South San Francisco, CA 
Attire: Business Attire Suggested 
To read more, please click on
April 23 - TECHCOIRE's Energy Efficiency : Too much talk  
                and not enough action? 
Sacramento Marriott - 11211 Point East Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA
Cost: Members free; Guests - $50 before 04/18 and $60 after; $70 at the door
Networking & Reception: 6:00 to 7:00 PM 
Panel Discussion: 7:00 - 8:30 PM
To read more, please click on
May 12 - Medical Device Breakfast Series - Human Factors 
              in Medical Device Design
When: 8:00am - 10:00am
Where: Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, 3175 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA
Attire: Business Attire Suggested
Cost: BayBio Members - $10.00; Non-Members - $20.00 (early bird rate)
To read more, please click on
June 3-5 - Body Sensor Networks 2009 (Berkeley, CA)
This is the 6th BSN workshop that will discuss the key issues and innovative solutions in current BSN research. The conference "will feature a number of invited lectures by leading academic researchers and industrial experts and include a showcase and demonstration of healthcare and other technologies".  To read more, please click on
June 1-10 - International Summer School on   
                   Neurophotonics - CRULRG in Quebec City 
An international summer school on advanced imaging techniques.  Limited registration available.  Application deadline due April 10, 2009. 
To read more, please click on
Grants and Funding Opportunities
Grants of Interest & UCD Limited Submissions
For additional information regarding grant opportunities and deadlines, please contact Gabriela Lee at CBST -
To read more, please click here for a Grants Calendar 
UC Discovery - UCOP IUCRP Matching Grants with Industry
- UC Discovery grants provide funds to match research funding from companies located in California or with substantial presence in the state to collaborate with university researchers.  To read more, please click on
Notice of Intent due: May 1st, 2009
Full proposal submission: May 15, 2009
NSF Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) -Promotes university-industry partnerships by making project funds or fellowships/traineeships available to support an eclectic mix of industry-university linkages.
To read more, please click on proposals may be accepted anytime, but check with the program officer in the specific field of the proposed research for acceptable submission period.
NIH ARRA FUNDS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPLEMENTS PROVIDING SUMMER RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS AND SCIENCE EDUCATORS (NOT-OD-09-060) - IC-specific (Institute/Center-specific).  Application Receipt Date:  April 27, 2009.  Investigators with active NIH research grants may request administrative supplements to encourage students to pursue research careers in the health-related sciences, as well as provide elementary, middle, and high school teachers, community college faculty, and faculty from non-research institutions with short-term research experiences in NIH-funded laboratories.  To read more, please click on
NIH ARRA FUNDS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPLEMENTS - Grantees with active NIH research grants may request administrative supplements to accelerate the tempo of scientific research on active grants. Specific areas of interest include: equipment purchases, increasing clinical trials enrollment and capacity for data analysis, research employment opportunities, and comparative effectiveness research.  To read more, please click on
NIH ARRA FUNDS FOR COMPETITIVE REVISIONS (NOT-OD-09-058) - Investigators with active NIH research grants may submit competitive revision applications to support a significant expansion of scope or research protocol.  To read more, please click on  Application Receipt Date: April 21, 2009.

RECOVERY ACT LIMITED COMPETITION FOR NIH GRANTS: RESEARCH AND RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE "GRAND OPPORTUNITIES" (RC2) - Purpose of the "GO" grants program is to support high impact ideas that lend themselves to short-term funding, and may lay the foundation for new fields of investigation.  To read more, please click on Letter of Intent Receipt Date: April 27, 2009.  Application Due Date: May 27, 2009.
Thank You - Please Pass Along
We'll be sending out our CBST Newsletters once/month.  You can also access our archived newsletters by clicking on  
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Amy L. Gryshuk, Ph.D.
Associate Director of New Ventures
NSF Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology (CBST)
2700 Stockton Blvd., Suite 1400, Sacramento, CA 95817  
TEL (916)734-0785; FAX (916)703-5012