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

Biochemistry alumus, Dr. Seyed Torabi, who did his PhD in the lab of Dr. Yi Lu, has published his dissertation research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sodium ions (Na+) play diverse and important roles in biological processes, and yet few sensors with high sensitivity and selectivity for Na+ over other competing metal ions have been reported. In this study, the authors reported the first highly selective, sensitive, and efficient Na+-specific catalytic DNA and its conversion into a sensor for imaging Na+ in living cells. Their findings have recently been published in PNAS. Read more...

Biochemistry graduate student wins NSF pre-doctoral fellowship

The Department of Biochemistry congratulates first-year graduate student Mara Livezey on winning a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship provides three years of pre-doctoral funding, which will support her work in Professor David Shapiro’s lab. Read more...

A new RNA repair complex employing a “one-stop shopping” repair mechanism

Biochemistry graduate student Pei Wang and Associate Professor Raven Huang have discovered a new bacterial RNA repair complex. The structure of the 270-kDa RNA repair complex revealed that it is built like a shopping mall, and RNA repair can be achieved having the damaged RNA visiting four active sites with a minimum travelling distance. The findings are published in Nature Communications. Read more...

New drug stalls estrogen receptor-positive cancer cells and shrinks tumors

Biochemistry researchers in Dr. David Shapiro's lab, and a study team including researchers from the department of food science and human nutrition, the department of molecular and integrative physiology, the College of Medicine and the Cancer Center, have developed a new drug that kills estrogen receptor-positive cancers in mice. The findings are published in a recent edition of PNAS. Read more...

In Memoriam

Remembering Dr. Lowell Hager