Congratulations Dr. Jim Janetka

Dr. Jim Janetka

Drs. Jim Janetka and Makedonka Mitreva received two grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling more than $5.5 million to develop new treatments for two types of devastating parasitic infections common in sub-Saharan Africa and Central and South America: river blindness and intestinal worm infections.

You can read the press release by clicking here (

Congratulations to Melanie Ernst for being selected for the 2021 MilliporeSigma Fellowship

Melanie ErnstMelanie Ernst is a fourth-year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology (BBSB) program. She is completing her Ph.D. thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Janice Robertson, Associate Professor in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics department, where she uses single-molecule techniques to study the folding of ion channels in membranes.

Melanie joined the BBSB program after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biological Chemistry from Mannheim University of Applied Sciences in Mannheim, Germany. During her undergraduate studies, Melanie studied red blood cell physiology and the biocompatibility of artificial red blood cells. (more…)

Congratulations to Matthew Cruz for being selected for the 2021 MilliporeSigma Fellowship

Matthew CruzMr. Matthew A. Cruz joined the lab of Dr. Gregory Bowman, Associate Professor, in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, where he studies the relationship between an ebolavirus protein’s structural dynamics and its function. Through computational and experimental techniques he is measuring how changes in protein dynamics affect RNA binding. Matthew is applying this research to find drugs that disrupt protein dynamics to combat ebolavirus infections. (more…)

Congratulations Dr. Natalie Niemi

Dr. Natalie Niemi

Dr. Natalie Niemi’s publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry about mitochondrial phosphorylation function has been chosen by the journal as one of the best of 2021!

You can view it be clicking here (

Congratulations to Jasmine Cubuk for being selected for the 2021 Elson Fellowship in honor of Dr. Elliot Elson

Jasmine_CubukJasmine is a fifth-year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology (BBSB) program. She is doing her PhD thesis work in the lab of Dr. Andrea Soranno, where she studies how sequence composition of intrinsically disordered regions within a protein can affect interactions with both proteins and nucleic acids using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy.

Jasmine joined the BBSB program after receiving her B.S. from Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey with a major in biochemistry & molecular biology and a minor in holistic health. Prior to starting her Ph.D. work, Jasmine studied polymer synthesis and how polymer interactions contribute to optimized hydrogel formation. (more…)

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Wellness Session – Krista Jarvis

On April 28th, 2021, the Department hosted a special session entitled “Evidence-based Practices that Support Mental and Emotional Well-being”. Mrs. Krista Jarvis, Clinical Case Manager and Program Manager in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University, walks the group through five different evidence-based practices for our mental and emotional well-being. These practices are designed to help each individual feel empowered to utilize a variety of simple techniques for stress-reduction in these challenging times.

If you would like to view this, just click here.

Working Smarter – Strategic Planning & Time Management Basics

On March 5th, 2021, Dr. Thi Nguyen presented on “Working Smarter – Strategic Planning & Time Management Basics”. To watch this presentation, please click here.

Career Panel Discussion – 2021

On January 22nd, 2021, the department hosted a Career Panel Discussion on how to apply for jobs in academia and industry. Panelist included: Dr. Erin Heckler, Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs; Dr. Alex Holehouse, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics; Dr. Ron Dolle, Chemistry Director, Center for Drug Discovery; Dr. Michael Kinch, Director, Center for Drug Discovery.

If you would like to view this panel discussion, please click here.

Tom Rapoport 2020 Cori Lecture

Tom Rapoport, PhD

Tom Rapoport, PhD, from Harvard Medical School, presented the 2020 Carl and Gerty Cori Lecture on November 12, 2020, via Zoom.
Dr. Rapoport’s seminar was entitled “Mechanism of ER-Associated Protein Degradation (“ERAD”)”.

For more information on Dr. Tom Rapoport, please click here.

To see a recording of Dr. Rapoport’s lecture, please click here.

Ms. Megan Cohan and Dr. Jonathan Lin awarded the 2020 Ceil M. DeGutis Prize

On June 12, 2020, Ms. Megan Cohan and Dr. Jonathan Lin were awarded the 2020 Ceil M. DeGutis Prize in Chemical Biology/Medicinal Chemistry.

Ms. Cohan presented her research entitled “Small but mighty! Intrinsically disordered domains as key regulators of bacterial processes” followed by Dr. Jonathan Lin who presented his research entitled “The Role of NAD+ in Retinal Neurodegeneration”. If you want to learn more about these fellows please click here.

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Research Awards

October 22nd, 2021 – Alex Holehouse, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, received a one year renewal grant award from Longer Life Foundation for his research entitled “Predicting the functional impact of genetic variation within intrinsically disordered protein regions”

September 30th, 2021 – Jim Janetka, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Makedonka Mitreva, Professor of Medicine and Genetics, and Sara Lustigman, Professor and Head, Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology Member, Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center have received a new multi-PI R01 award from the National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute entitled “Integrative approach for accelerating filarial worm drug discovery to treat river blindness”.

September 17th, 2021 – Roberto Galletto, PhD, Associate Professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biophysics was awarded a new five year MIRA grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for his research entitled “Functions of DNA helicases at hard-to-replicate sites and telomere regulation”.

September 15th, 2021 – Daniel Griffith, BS, Pre-Doc Trainee in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and the laboratory of Alex Holehouse, PhD, received a new three-year Graduate Research Fellowship award from the National Science Foundation for his research entitled “Investigating the molecular grammar driving the assembly of membraneless-organelles”.

August 24th, 2021 – Benjamin Garcia, PhD, Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished Professor and Head of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, along with Matthew D. Weitzman, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received a five year grant renewal from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for their research entitled “Viral modulation of epitranscriptomic mechanisms”.

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Recent Publications

Jie Sun, Xiaoran Roger Liu, Shuang Li, Peng He, Weikai Li, & Michael L. Gross (2021). “Nanoparticles and photochemistry for native-like transmembrane protein footprinting” Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 14;12(1):7270. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-27588-8. (Abstract)

Vishnu C. Damalanka, Jorine J. L. P. Voss, Matthew W. Mahoney, Tina Primeau, Shunqiang Li, Lidija Klampfer, & James W. Janetka (2021). “Macrocyclic Inhibitors of HGF-Activating Serine Proteases Overcome Resistance to Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors and Block Lung Cancer Progression” J Med Chem. 2021 Dec 13. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.1c01671. Online ahead of print. (Abstract)

Maya Topf, Edina Rosta, Gregory R. Bowman, & Massimiliano Bonomi (2021). “Editorial: Experiments and Simulations: A Pas de Deux to Unravel Biological Function” Front Mol Biosci. 2021 Nov 29;8:799406. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2021.799406. eCollection 2021. (Abstract)

Matthew Mahoney, Vishnu C. Damalanka, Michael A. Tartell, Dong Hee Chung, André Luiz Lourenco, Dustin Pwee, Anne E. Mayer Bridwell, Markus Hoffmann, Jorine Voss, Partha Karmakar, Nurit Azouz, Andrea M. Klingler, Paul W. Rothlauf, Cassandra E. Thompson, Melody Lee, Lidija Klampfer, Christina Stallings, Marc E. Rothenberg, Stefan Pöhlmann, Sean P. Whelan, Anthony J. O’Donoghue, Charles S. Craik, & James W. Janetka (2021). “A novel class of TMPRSS2 inhibitors potently block SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV viral entry and protect human epithelial lung cells” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Oct 26;118(43):e2108728118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2108728118. (Abstract)

Samantha K. Barrick & Michael J. Greenberg (2021). “Cardiac myosin contraction and mechanotransduction in health and disease” J Biol Chem. 2021 Nov;297(5):101297. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101297. Epub 2021 Oct 9. (Abstract)

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