Congratulations to Lianjie ‘Jerry’ Wei for receiving the 2024 John E. Majors Award

Lianjie ‘Jerry’ Wei
Mr. Lianjie ‘Jerry’ Wei is a forth-year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology (BBSB) program. He is currently working in the Laboratory of Dr. Natalie Niemi in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics to complete his Ph.D. studies. His research is focused on understanding how protein post-translational modifications regulate mitochondrial organellar homeostasis.

Prior to joining BBSB, Jerry completed his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. During his undergraduate studies, Jerry conducted research to understand structural-function relationship of a class of gut microbial enzymes and to discover novel pathways in eukaryotic membrane protein quality control.

In the laboratory of Dr. Natalie Niemi, Jerry has been studying how PPTC7 regulates mammalian receptor-mediated mitophagy by controlling the proteasomal turnover of mitophagy receptors BNIP3 and NIX as well as how phosphorylation impacts the function of BNIP3 and NIX. Utilizing a combination of biochemical and cell-based assays, Jerry hopes to unravel the regulatory network for BNIP3 and NIX protein turnover.

Jerry served on the WUSTL Biochemistry and Biophysics Community Committee from 2021-2023 and is currently serving as a co-Chair for the BBSB Graduate Student Committee to better the student experience in the BBSB program.