BMB News and Events



Recent 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…)

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.

Megan Cohan selected as 2020 Ceil M. DeGutis Prize Fellow

Megan Cohan

Ms. Cohan is a Ph.D. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering. Ms. Cohan was nominated for this award by her thesis mentor, Dr. Rohit Pappu. In her thesis work, she utilizes a variety of computational and experimental techniques to understand how intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) might impact the molecular functions of bacterial proteins.

Remembrance of Dr. Drysdale

George R. DrysdaleDr. George Drysdale, emeritus faculty member of our department, died March 17, 2020. We are saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague. Dr. Drysdale was a member of our department from 1954, when he arrived as a postdoctoral fellow to work with Mildred Cohn. He joined the faculty of the department in 1957 and continued as a member of our department faculty for the rest of his life.

Several of his colleagues, including his close friend Carl Frieden, have provided remembrances. To read them, click here. If you wish to add your remembrances, feel free to send us a message at torresm@wustl.edu or jacooper@wustl.edu.

Greenberg Lab Publication Highlighted in Circulation

A recent publication in PNAS (Clippinger et al.) from the Greenberg lab was highlighted in Circulation. The Greenberg lab demonstrated how a mutation that causes genetic heart failure affects not only how the proteins in the heart generate force, but also how heart cells respond to changes in their mechanical environment. This work has important implications for the development of new precision medicine therapies for heart failure.

The highlight can be found here and the PNAS article can be found here.

2020 John E. Majors Award Recipients

On January 30, the John E. Majors award was presented to Drs. Sarem Hailemariam, Brian Lananna and Elizabeth Mathyer. Each recipient presented their research, teaching and mentorship accomplishments.
For more information on each recipient, please click here

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Recent 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.

2019 MilliporeSigma Fellowship Seminar

On July 19th, 2019, the department held a special seminar to recognize the recipient of the 2019 MilliporeSigma Fellowship. Mr. Sukrit Singh shared his research on “Allostery in cellular signaling: Capturing biological switches in action”. For more information on Sukrit Singh, please click here.

You can click here to view photos from the event.

Mr. Josh Rackers was awarded the 2019 Ceil M. DeGutis Prize in Chemical Biology/Medicinal Chemistry.

On June 7, 2019, Dr. Josh Rackers was awarded the 2019 Ceil M. DeGutis Prize in Chemical Biology/Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Rackers presented his research entitled “HIPPO: A physics-based model for biomolecular interactions”. Dr. Rackers was a graduate student in the Computational and Molecular Biophysics Program. Mr. Rackers was nominated by his thesis mentor Dr. Jay Ponder. In Dr. Ponder’s lab, Josh’s work focused on using the tools of applied quantum mechanics to predict the behavior and interactions of biological molecules. This work is motivated by a deeply held belief that physics holds the answers to many of biology’s most important problems. (more…)

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