FOCUS on RESEARCH

BMB NEWS

Garcia to head Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Ben GarciaBenjamin A. Garcia, PhD, a noted leader in the field of biochemistry, especially for his work advancing mass spectrometry techniques, has been named head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Garcia, whose appointment tentatively is set to begin July 1, also will become the Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished Professor. (more…)

Gregory Harrison selected as 2021 Ceil M. DeGutis Prize Fellow

Gregory Harrison

Gregory Harrison is a 5th year PhD student in the Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis program. His current research in the lab of Dr. Christina Stallings focuses on drug resistance and drug tolerance in the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He grew up just outside of Chicago and moved to St. Louis to attend Washington University in St. Louis for his undergraduate degree in molecular biology. During his undergraduate studies, he joined the lab of Dr. Barbara Kunkel, where he studied mechanisms by which the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae senses and responds to the molecular signals within the plant. (more…)

Dr. Elliot Elson elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Elliot Elson Elliot L. Elson, PhD, an emeritus professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Elson is among 120 new members and 30 international associates elected to the National Academy of Sciences this year. Election to the academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be awarded to a U.S. scientist or engineer. The newest members, announced April 26, bring the total number of active members to 2,461 and the number of international members to 511. International members hold citizenship outside the U.S. and are nonvoting members of the academy. (more…)

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BMB EVENTS

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.

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Research Awards

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”.

August 23rd, 2021 – Jhullian Jamille Alston, BA, Pre-Doc Trainee in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and the laboratories of Alex Holehouse, PhD and Andrea Soranno, PhD, received a Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award from the National Cancer Institute for his research entitled “Single Molecule Biophysics of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins in Disease”.

August 18th, 2021 – Alex Holehouse, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, along with Shahar Sukenik, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at University of California, Merced, and Thomas Boothby, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, University of Wyoming, received a new four year grant award from the National Science Foundation through the new “Integrative Research in Biology” mechanism for their research entitled “Collaborative Research: Functional Synergy Between Disordered Proteins and their Environment in Desiccation Protection”.

August 17th, 2021 – Matthew A Cruz, BS, Pre-Doc Trainee in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and the laboratory of Gregory Bowman, PhD, received a new three-year fellowship award from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for his research entitled “Leveraging protein dynamics to drug filovirus protein-nucleic acid interactions using simulations and experiments”.

August 17th, 2021 – Andrea Soranno, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Carl Frieden, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and Rui Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics will collaborate in the Project named “ApoE isoform-specific structure: insights on biology and pathobiology”. The Project is part of the newly awarded five-year U19 Research Program from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Aging, entitled “Biology and pathobiology of apoE in aging and Alzheimer’s disease”, helmed by Dr. David Holtzman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at Washington University, in St Louis, and Dr. Guojun Bu, Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic.

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Recent Publications

Maxwell I. Zimmerman, Justin R. Porter, Michael D. Ward, Sukrit Singh, Neha Vithani, Artur Meller, Upasana L. Mallimadugula, Catherine E. Kuhn, Jonathan H. Borowsky, Rafal P. Wiewiora, Matthew F. D. Hurley, Aoife M. Harbison, Carl A. Fogarty, Joseph E. Coffland, Elisa Fadda, Vincent A. Voelz, John D. Chodera, & Gregory R. Bowman (2021). “SARS-CoV-2 simulations go exascale to predict dramatic spike opening and cryptic pockets across the proteome” Nat Chem. 2021 Jul;13(7):651-659. doi: 10.1038/s41557-021-00707-0. Epub 2021 May 24. (Abstract)

Samantha K. Barrick, Lina Greenberg, & Michael J. Greenberg (2021). “A Troponin T Variant Linked with Pediatric Dilated Cardiomyopathy Reduces the Coupling of Thin Filament Activation to Myosin and Calcium Binding” Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Jun 23;mbcE21020082. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E21-02-0082. Online ahead of print. (Abstract)

Elias A. Tannous & Peter M. Burgers (2021). “Novel insights into the mechanism of cell cycle kinases Mec1(ATR) and Tel1(ATM)” Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2021 Jun 20;1-14. doi: 10.1080/10409238.2021.1925218. Online ahead of print. (Abstract)

George R. Heath, Ekaterina Kots, Janice L. Robertson, Shifra Lansky, George Khelashvili, Harel Weinstein, & Simon Scheuring (2021). “Localization atomic force microscopy” Nature. 2021 Jun;594(7863):385-390. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03551-x. Epub 2021 Jun 16. (Abstract)

Melanie Ernst & Janice L. Robertson (2021). “The Role of the Membrane in Transporter Folding and Activity” J Mol Biol. 2021 Jun 15;167103. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2021.167103. Online ahead of print.

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