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…)

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…)

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.

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…)

Congratulations to Jasmine Cubuk for being selected for the 2020 MilliporeSigma Fellowship

Jasmine CubukJasmine is a fourth-year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology (BBSB) program. She is doing her PhD thesis work in the lab of Dr. Andrea Soranno, where she studies how sequence composition of intrinsically disordered regions within a protein can affect interactions with both proteins and nucleic acids using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy.

Jasmine joined the BBSB program after receiving her B.S. from Stockton University in Galloway NJ with a major in biochemistry & molecular biology and a minor in holistic health. Prior to starting her Ph.D. work, Jasmine studied polymer synthesis and how polymer interactions contribute to optimized hydrogel formation. (more…)

Dr. Greg Bowman Featured in The Source

Folding@home’s fight against COVID-19 enlists big tech, gamers, pro soccer

When the crowdsourced supercomputing project Folding@home first announced a shift to coronavirus research and asked for new volunteers to run its software and expand its computing capacity, organizations and citizen scientists from all walks of life heeded the call. Now, about four months later, the number of volunteers has increased a hundredfold. To continue reading, click here.

Jonathan Lin selected as 2020 Ceil M. DeGutis Prize Fellow

Josh Rackers

Jonathan Lin completed his PhD thesis in the lab of Dr. Rajendra Apte in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. His research led to the discovery that NAD+ intermediate molecules can enhance the metabolism of the neurosensory retina and thus has therapeutic potential for preventing photoreceptor neurodegeneration. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis this past May with an MD/PhD as a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). He will pursue postgraduate education in the Transitional Year Residency at MetroWest Medical Center followed by Ophthalmology Residency at Harvard Medical School/Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary.

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Recent Events

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.

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.

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