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

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...

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...

In Memoriam

Remembering Dr. Lowell Hager