Benjamin 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…)
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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…)
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…)
The 2020 John E. Majors Award goes to two individuals – Sarah Clippinger and Emma Winkler.
Ms. Sarah Clippinger was nominated by her advisor, Dr. Michael Greenberg. Ms. Clippinger is a graduate student in the Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program. She is completing her thesis work on the study of mutations in the protein troponin T that lead to familial cardiomyopathies.
Ms. Emma Winkler was nominated by her advisor, Dr. Michael Diamond. Ms. Winkler is an MSTP student in the Immunology program. She is completing her thesis work on understanding how the intestinal microbiome modulates systemic immune responses to virus infection, specifically mosquito-born alphaviruses such as Chikungunya virus. (more…)
Dr. Linda Kurz, emeritus research faculty member of our department, died on December 17, 2020, at home in rural Franklin County. She was 74.
Dr. Kurz worked with Drs. Carl Frieden and George Drysdale for many years, investigating enzyme mechanisms. She was true biochemist, as hard-core as they come. She retired a few years ago, and many of us overlapped with her for a substantial period of time. I believe she gets credit for the sign on the Frieden lab door saying “if we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be research.”
To read more, including remembrances from colleagues click here.
Congratulations to Matthew Cruz for being selected for the 2020 Elson Fellowship in honor of Dr. Elliot Elson
Mr. Matthew A. Cruz joined the lab of Dr. Gregory Bowman 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…)
On October 16th, 2020, Dr. Michael Greenberg was an expert guest on the American Journal of Physiology podcast talking about “DCM Mutations Alter Intracellular Ca2+ and Signaling”. To listen, click here.
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.