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BMB NEWS

Dr. Jim Janetka promoted to Professor.

Jim JanetkaCongratulations to Dr. Jim Janetka, whose promotion to Professor was officially approved on September 11, 2020.

For more information on Dr. Jim Janetka, click here.

The BMB Departments welcomes two new faculty members.

Dr. Natalie Niemi joined the Department on July 1, 2020, as an Assistant Professor on the Investigator Track. Her lab will investigates how mitochondria are built, regulated, and maintained across physiological contexts. We blend biochemistry, systems biology, and physiology to understand mechanisms of mitochondrial regulation and how they influence metabolism and organellar function. Using insights gained from our molecular studies, we aim to understand how mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to mammalian pathophysiology, with the long-term goal of translating our discoveries into new therapeutic options to restore mitochondrial function in human disease.

For more information on Dr. Natalie Niemi, click here.

Dr. Alex Holehouse joined the Department on January 1, 2020, as an Assistant Professor on the Investigator track. His lab will explore how intrinsically disordered protein regions confer biological function and how this goes wrong in disease. The lab integrates physics-based models (all-atom and coarse-grained simulations) with informatics and machine learning to develop sequence-specific predictions. They then test those predictions either within the lab or with collaborators around the world.

For more information on Dr. Alex Holehouse, click here.

Congratulations to Jhullian Alston for being selected for the 2020 MilliporeSigma Fellowship

Jhullian AlstonJhullian Alston (JJ) is a fourth-year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology (BBSB) program. He is completing his Ph.D. thesis work jointly between the labs of Dr. Andrea Soranno and Dr. Alex Holehouse, where he combines computational biophysics with single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy to understand how intrinsically disordered regions within a protein can affect interactions with both proteins and nucleic acids.

Jhullian joined the BBSB program after receiving his B.A. in Biology from The University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he was a Meyerhoff and MARC Scholar. Prior to starting his Ph.D. work, Jhullian had a diverse research background, studying nerve injury after radical prostatectomy, developing mouse models of prostate cancer, using CRISPR to develop fusion proteins in P. falciparum and C. elegans, and investigating the effects of O-GlcNAcylation. (more…)

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BMB EVENTS

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.

2020 BMB Department Retreat

On March 5th the Department held a half day retreat at the Eric P. Newman Center located on the WU Medical Campus. All of the labs in the department introduced their lab members and questions their lab is working on in their lab.

You can click here to view photos from the event.

2019 Elliot Elson Fellowship Seminar

On September 20th, 2019, the department held a special seminar to recognize the recipient of the 2018 Elliot Elson Fellowship. Ms. Sarah Clippinger shared her research on “Dissecting the Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Familial Cardiomyopathy”. For more information on Sarah, please click here.

You can click here to view photos from the event.

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Research Awards

August 21st, 2020 – Carl Frieden, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, received a new one year grant award from BrightFocus Foundation for his research entitled “Understanding apoE”.

July 10th, 2020 – Rui Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics received a new five year grant award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for his research entitled “Structural and functional studies of axonemal microtubule inner proteins (MIPs)”.

April 24th, 2020 – Timothy M. Lohman, PhD, Marvin A. Brennecke Professor of Biophysics and professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics received a new five year MIRA grant award from National Institute of General Medical Sciences for his research entitled “Mechanisms of Helicases, Translocases and SSB Proteins involved in Genome Maintenance”.

January 17th, 2020 – Weikai Li, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, along with Laura Schuettpelz, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, received an Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives grant award from the Children’s Discovery Institute for their work entitled “Regulation of normal and malignant B cells by the tetraspanin CD53”.

September 16th, 2019 – Jim Janetka, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and Co-Founder of ProteXase Therapeutics, Inc., along with Lidija Klampfer, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of ProteXase Therapeutics, Inc., received a one-year SBIR grant award from the National Cancer Institute for their research entitled “Inhibitors of pro-HGF activation overcome resistance to anti-EGFR therapy”.

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Recent Publications

Melanie A. Sparks, Peter M. Burgers, & Roberto Galletto. (2020). “Pif1, RPA and FEN1 modulate the ability of DNA polymerase δ to overcome protein barriers during DNA synthesis” J Biol Chem. 2020 Sep 10;jbc.RA120.015699. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA120.015699. Online ahead of print. (Abstract)

Kory J. Lavine & Michael J. Greenberg. (2020). “Beyond genomics-technological advances improving the molecular characterization and precision treatment of heart failure” Heart Fail Rev. 2020 Sep 3. doi: 10.1007/s10741-020-10021-5. Online ahead of print. (Abstract)

Mathivanan Chinnaraj, David A. Barrios, Carl Frieden, Tomasz Heyduk, Robert Flaumenhaft, & Nicola Pozzi. (2020). “Bioorthogonal Chemistry Enables Single-Molecule FRET Measurements of Catalytically Active Protein Disulfide Isomerase” Chembiochem. 2020 Aug 28. doi: 10.1002/cbic.202000537. Online ahead of print. (Abstract)

Weikai Li, Russell E. Bishop, & Filippo Mancia. (2020). “Integral Membrane Enzymes (2020)” J Mol Biol. 2020 Aug 21;432(18):4943-4945. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2020.07.022. Epub 2020 Jul 30. (Abstract)

Yihu Yang, Xiaoran Roger Liu, Zev J. Greenberg, Fengbo Zhou, Peng He, Lingling Fan, Shixuan Liu, Guomin Shen, Takeshi Egawa, Michael L. Gross, Laura G. Schuettpelz, & Weikai Li (2020). “Open conformation of tetraspanins shapes interaction partner networks on cell membranes” EMBO J (2020) e105246. 2020-08-16. doi: 10.15252/embj.2020105246. (Abstract)

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