BMB News and Events



Recent 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…)

2020 John E. Majors Award Recipients

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…)

Remembrance of Dr. Linda Kurz

Linda J. Kurz

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

Matthew CruzMr. 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…)

Dr. Burgers featured in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Work by Dr. Burgers on cancer research has been featured in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

You can view the article by clicking here: Making cancer cells more susceptible to dying

Michael Greenberg Features as Expert Guest on the American Journal of Physiology

Michael GreenbergOn 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. 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.

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Recent 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.

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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