Study: Heterozygous loss of KCNQ2 potassium channel gene induces autism-associated behaviors

Molecular and integrative physiology professor Hee Jung Chung (left), her postdoctoral fellow Eung Chang Kim (middle), Psychology professor Justin Rhodes (right), and their colleagues discovered that heterozygous loss of KCNQ2 potassium channel gene induces autism-associated behaviors in mice including social avoidance, repetitive behaviors, and obsessive and compulsive-like behaviors.

August 21, 2019

Vanderpool Lab: Small RNAs fine tune how bacteria change their membranes to resist environmental stress

Graduate student Colleen Bianco (left) and Professor Carin Vanderpool (right) spearheaded a study that centered on how E. coli and Salmonella bacteria use RNA-based regulatory mechanisms to modify their membrane lipids in response to different stimuli. Their findings, with collaborator Kathrin Frölich (Ludwig Maximilian University of...

August 14, 2019

Researchers in MIP Explore Link Between Ovarian Cancer and Cholesterol

Led by Sisi He from the Erik Nelson lab, researchers have found that a metabolite of cholesterol (27-hydroxycholesterol; 27HC) was essential for the growth of ovarian tumors in mice. Paradoxically, 27HC seemed to inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells when grown in a dish. They subsequently found that the enzyme...

July 31, 2019

MCB and Other Units Contribute to Purchase of Animal MRI

A Bruker 9.4 Tesla preclinical animal MRI system will be sited at the Beckman Institute. The addition of the system to the institute’s Biomedical Imaging Center will aid in research in many areas, including brain development and function, and cellular mechanisms in cancer. The installation project will begin this fall and...

July 03, 2019

Mark Nelson's research demonstrates the success of interdisciplinary approaches

From weakly electric fish to a robotic cockroach to a novel approach to using wireless networks for emergency response, Mark E. Nelson’s research career exemplifies the success of an interdisciplinary approach through his work in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and the Beckman Institute.

May 13, 2019

Researchers find protein that suppresses muscle repair in mice

Researchers report that a protein known to be important to protein synthesis also influences muscle regeneration and regrowth in an unexpected manner. The discovery, reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could one day lead to new methods for treating disorders that result in muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass, the...

May 13, 2019

Professor William Brieher receives LAS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Professor William Brieher has been selected by an awards committee to receive the LAS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, alongside four other professors at Illinois. This honor grants the recipients $1,000 to support their teaching and research, while a one-time increment of $2,000 will be added to...

April 24, 2019

Kuzminov lab: What causes thymineless death?

The latest paper by the Kuzminov lab investigates the mechanism of thymineless death, which is a common mode of action of anti-cancer and anti-bacterial drugs. The findings were published in a paper titled "Sources of thymidine and analogs fueling futile damage-repair cycles and ss-gap accumulation during thymine starvation in Escherichia coli" in DNA Repair.

April 22, 2019

Shapiro lab: Investigating breast cancer metastasis

The latest paper by the Shapiro lab looks at the effect of mutations in the estrogen receptor on the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. The findings were published in a paper titled "Estrogen-independent Myc overexpression confers endocrine therapy resistance on breast cancer cells expressing ERαY537S and ERαD538G mutations" in Cancer Letters.

April 08, 2019

Ralph S. Wolfe, who helped discover new domain of life, dies at 97

Microbiologist Ralph Wolfe contributed to a study of microbes that led to the discovery of a third superkingdom, or domain, of life: the archaea. Wolfe, a professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of Illinois, died March 26 in Urbana. He was 97.

April 03, 2019

Mutations in noncoding genes could play big role in regulating cancer, study finds

Professor Kannanganattu Prasanth led a team that found that certain genes that don’t code for proteins could play an important regulatory role in breast cancer.

March 14, 2019

A new light on learning

School of Molecular and Cellular Biology creates an inspiring new space for instruction and advising

March 12, 2019

Govindjee: A pioneer in photosynthesis

A career spanning six decades, over 400 papers, 25 graduate students, and numerous awards surely means a relaxing retirement? Not quite. Govindjee, at 86 years, is still dissecting the mechanisms of photosynthesis. He also collaborates with researchers across the globe to improve crops for food and energy production.

February 19, 2019

Kuzminov lab: Reconciling a historical contradiction

The latest paper by the Kuzminov lab describes the development of a highly sensitive method to probe the nature of DNA replication in E. coli. The findings were published in a paper titled “Near-continuously synthesized leading strands in Escherichia coli are broken by ribonucleotide excision” in the Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences.

February 05, 2019

Brooke lab: How does a viral infection ward off subsequent infections in host cells?

The latest paper by the Brooke lab investigates the mechanism through which an Influenza A-infected host cell can be rendered resistant to subsequent viral infections. The findings were published in a paper titled “Influenza A Virus Superinfection Potential Is Regulated by Viral Genomic Heterogeneity” in mBio.

January 18, 2019

Kai Zhang lab: Using light to dissect neuronal development

The Zhang lab recently published a paper in Cell Chemical Biology titled "Optogenetic delineation of receptor tyrosine kinase subcircuits in PC12 cell differentiation."

January 17, 2019

Researchers discover another role for cell protein

Discovery provides deeper insight into DNA and the fight against cancer

January 15, 2019

Dr. Hong Jin selected as an LAS 2019-2020 Helen Corley Petit Scholar

"It is my pleasure to inform you that Dr. Hong Jin, UIUC Biochemistry Assistant Professor, was selected as an LAS 2019-2020 Helen Corley Petit Scholar," said Dr. Emad Tajkhorshid, Interim Head Department of Biochemistry. "The scholarship is provided by an endowment for development of the scholarship and teaching...

December 21, 2018

MCB Magazine: Small but Mighty; Tiny Organisms that Make a Big Impact

Our fall issue of the MCB magazine focuses on the diverse ways in which microbes affect our health.

December 17, 2018

Anakk Lab: The consequences of losing a scaffold

The Anakk lab has investigated the metabolic repercussions of deleting the scaffolding protein IQGAP1. These findings were published in a paper entitled "Identification of IQ motif-containing GTPase Activating Protein 1 as a regulator of long-term ketosis" in JCI Insight.

December 12, 2018

Christian Lab: Effects of epilepsy on neural activity in mice fluctuate with reproductive cycle, study finds

Mice with epilepsy have altered patterns of neuron activity in the portion of the brain that controls the reproductive endocrine system, University of Illinois researchers report in a new study.

October 14, 2018

Kehl-Fie Lab: PhoPR plays important role in S. aureus virulence

In work published in Infection and Immunity, graduate student Jessica Kelliher, from the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Kehl-Fie, investigated how the superbug Staphylococcus aureus regulates the acquisition of phosphate.

October 03, 2018

K.V. Prasanth Lab: Uncovering a novel role of a lncRNA during cell proliferation

The Prasanth lab has recently published a paper in Nucleic Acids Research titled “MIR100 host gene-encoded lncRNAs regulate cell cycle by modulating the interaction between HuR and its target mRNAs.”

September 28, 2018

Study: Damaged liver cells undergo reprogramming to regenerate

In Greek mythology, Zeus punishes the trickster Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and sending an eagle to eat a portion of his liver every day, in perpetuity. It was the right organ to target – the liver has the ability to regenerate itself, though not overnight nor for eternity. New research...

September 27, 2018

Study: Kidney stones have distinct geological histories

Using a suite of techniques both common and new to geology and biology, researchers, from left, M.D./Ph.D. student Jessica Saw, geologist and microbiologist Bruce Fouke, microscopy expert and plant biologist Mayandi Sivaguru and their colleagues made new discoveries about how kidney stones repeatedly grow and dissolve as they form inside the kidney.

September 18, 2018

Tajkhorshid Lab: Battling antimicrobial resistance

Update: The article has been featured by an invited commentary in PNAS.

From the commentary by Jana Shen:

“In PNAS, Vermaas et al. report a computational study that combines a battery of state-of the-art modeling and simulation tools to shed new light on the perplexing drug–proton antiport mechanism of EmrE at the...

September 08, 2018

Painting the cell with different colors: A collaborative paper from the labs of Kai Zhang and Dipanjan Pan

The Zhang and Pan labs recently published a joint paper in Nanoscale titled “Carbon dots with induced surface oxidation permits imaging at single-particle level for intracellular studies.”

August 30, 2018

Researchers develop “cytological ruler” to build 3D map of human genome

This research has been featured on the NIH director's blog. It has been almost 20 years since the human genome was first sequenced, but researchers still know little about how the genome is folded up and organized within cells. In a new paper in the Journal of Cell Biology,...

August 28, 2018

Study: Abnormal expression and phosphoinositide regulation of KCNQ/Kv7 channels linked to severe form of genetic epilepsy

Molecular and integrative physiology professor Hee Jung Chung (left), postdoctoral fellow Eung Chang Kim (right), and their colleagues discovered that abnormal expression and phosphoinositide regulation of KCNQ/Kv7 potassium channels underlie neuronal hyperexcitability and injury in early-onset epileptic encephalopathy characterized by drug-resistant seizures and severe psychomotor...

August 25, 2018