Biochemistry banner Susan Martinis


Biochemistry at Illinois has a long tradition of excellence in biochemical research. Many of our undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral research associates have used their experiences at Illinois to establish careers of responsibility in both academia and the private sector.

I hope that you will take the time to explore our department by investigating our undergraduate and graduate programs so that you can learn about the intellectual opportunities now possible by breakthroughs in this postgenomic era of biology. The future of biochemistry has changed, and we believe that our department is well-positioned to provide training for your future.

Susan Martinis, Head

Biochemistry News

Scientists engineer human T cell receptors against cancer antigens

Graduate student Sheena Smith and Professor David Kranz of the Department of Biochemistry have developed an approach to discover T cell receptors that could be therapeutically useful against different cancers. In collaboration with graduate students Yuhang Wang and Javier Baylor and Professor Emad Tajkhorshid, molecular dynamics simulations revealed plausible mechanisms for the “switch” in specificities. Read more...

A radical reaction utilizes two of the most popular cofactors for tRNA modification

In the latest issue of Nature Chemical Biology, biochemistry graduate student Kiruthika Selvadurai and associate professor Raven Huang reported their findings that the chemistry of eukaryotic tRNA modification at the “wobble” position is performed entirely by a single subunit of the six-subunit Elongator complex, and involves formation of a highly unusual radical intermediate on acetyl-CoA. Read more...

In Memoriam

Remembering Dr. Lowell Hager