News

Study reveals neuronal response following chronic activation of an epilepsy- and autism-linked receptor

Group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (Gp1 mGluRs) are essential for neuroplasticity, neurodevelopment and cognition, but chronically active Gp1 mGluRs has been linked to many pathologic conditions including epilepsy and autism spectrum disorders. To characterize the effects of chronically active Gp1 mGluRs on neuroplasticity, recent graduate students Dai-Chi Liu,...

March 30, 2020


Prof. Stephen Sligar receives the Christian B. Anfinsen Award

The Christian B. Anfinsen Award, sponsored by The Protein Society, recognizes technological achievement or significant methodological advances in the field of protein science. The recipient of this award in 2020 is Professor Stephen Sligar, professor of Biochemistry and former director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

March 13, 2020


MCB virologist addresses the novel coronavirus

The best methods to prevent coronavirus infection are the same as for influenza or other respiratory viruses: frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with sick people, says MCB virologist Christopher Brooke.

March 06, 2020


CDB Professor receives campus teaching award

David Rivier, Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, has been selected as the recipient of the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

February 27, 2020


Love, science, and a drink remedy for space travel

A unique and lifelong pursuit of knowledge for Carol Greenleaf and her late husband, John, began at Illinois.

February 24, 2020


Brenda Wilson named Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Brenda Wilson, Professor of Microbiology and Associate Director for MCB Undergraduate Education has been elected to the 2020 Class of Academy Fellows.

February 21, 2020


Erik Nelson named Gunsalus Scholar

Erik Nelson, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, has been named the 2020-2021 Gunsalus Scholar by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for his work on cholesterol metabolism and cancer.

February 20, 2020


The Freeman laboratory has discovered a pathway for reorganizing select chromosome sites

The Freeman laboratory (Cell and Developmental Biology) delineates a molecular chaperone-dependent mechanism for selectively mobilizing gene loci through the nuclear actin matrix. Their findings were published in Developmental Cell.

February 10, 2020


Researchers find a fasting-induced epigenetic pathway that promotes autophagy and lipid degradation

Autophagy or “self-eating” is a fundamental biological process by which cells digest and recycle cellular components for survival of the cells under nutrient-deprived conditions. Autophagy must be tightly controlled since deficient autophagy is associated with many diseases and aging, while excessive autophagy is also harmful because it promotes cell...

February 10, 2020


Helping epithelial cells stand tall

Many epithelial tissues are classified as being squamous, cuboidal, or columnar based upon the height of their lateral membranes. CDB researchers Yuou Wang and Bill Brieher identified a protein known as CD2AP as a key factor necessary for building up the lateral membrane.

February 06, 2020


Nuclear speckle contact amplifies gene expression

Recent work from the Belmont Laboratory in Cell and Developmental Biology was featured in the Journal of Cell Biology.

February 05, 2020


Protruding actin microspikes mend failing adhesive contacts

Epithelial cells use an adhesion molecule known as E-cadherin to help build extensive cell-cell adhesive contacts leading to cohesive sheets of cells that separate two different environments. But what happens if the adhesive bonds holding the cells together fail? CDB researchers John Li, Vivian Tang, and Bill Brieher discovered an actin dependent...

February 04, 2020


MCB faculty collaborate on NSF grants at Beckman

ChBE professor Hyunjoon (Joon) Kong recently received two grants from the NSF to fund interdisciplinary research at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, including a look at how neurons and muscle cells communicate with each other and also to develop a drug delivery system for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He will...

January 30, 2020


Multiscale imaging shines light on the unique importance of bone marrow during HIV infection

HIV-1 affects and kills millions of people globally, but not enough information exists regarding the types of cells that HIV-1 targets in different tissues or the virus’s mechanism of spreading throughout the body. Viruses often ride the body’s circulatory systems to scatter throughout an organism and appear...

January 16, 2020


New cryo-EM structures of a lipid-sensitive ligand-gated ion channel

In biology, it is generally believed that a protein’s sequence determines its structure, which in turn determines its function. However, in the case of membrane proteins, the reality is more complicated than this simple statement. “In recent years, the importance of a protein’s local environment has been increasingly recognized, but the molecular-level...

January 13, 2020


School of MCB celebrates at winter holiday party

On December 12, 2019, the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology held its annual Winter Holiday Party. Faculty, staff, and graduate students came together in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center to celebrate and recognize our successes throughout the year. Coordinated by Shawna Smith and Holly Mansfield, all were treated to a night of...

January 10, 2020


William Metcalf receives Faculty Excellence Award for Research

William Metcalf (Microbiology) was presented with this award by Dr. Milan Bagchi, Director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, at the 2019 MCB Holiday Party.

January 09, 2020


Faculty Excellence Award in Service given to John Cronan

John Cronan (Microbiology) was presented with this award by Dr. Milan Bagchi, Director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, at the 2019 MCB Holiday Party.

January 09, 2020


Lori Raetzman given Faculty Excellence Awards in Service and Teaching

Lori Raetzman (Molecular and Integrative Physiology) was presented with these awards by Dr. Milan Bagchi, Director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, at the 2019 MCB Holiday Party.

January 09, 2020


New compounds block master regulator of cancer growth, metastasis

Scientists have developed new drug compounds that thwart the pro-cancer activity of FOXM1, a transcription factor that regulates the activity of dozens of genes. The new compounds suppress tumor growth in human cells and in mouse models of several types of human breast cancer.

January 07, 2020


Using computational microscopy to study lipid-protein interaction

The Tajkhorshid lab used computational microscopy to investigate how lipids can influence the structure and function of protein channels in cells. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

December 17, 2019


Biochemistry Professor David Kranz named an NAI Fellow

David Kranz, the Phillip A. Sharp Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Kranz will be formally inducted at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 10, 2020.

December 13, 2019


MIP Graduate Student Daphne Eagleman Awarded a Predoctoral Fellowship from American Heart Association

Graduate Student Daphne Eagleman in Dr. Nien-Pei Tsai’s lab has been awarded a 2-year Predoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association. This fellowship will support her thesis project to decipher the role of a ubiquitin E3 ligase Nedd4-2 in cellular stress-induced neuronal degeneration following ischemic stroke.

December 10, 2019


Catherine Christian Awarded a 2020-2021 Center for Advanced Study Fellowship

Catherine Christian (Molecular and Integrative Physiology) has been awarded a 2020-2021 Center for Advanced Study Fellowship. The Center for Advanced Study sheds light on interdisciplinary thought that starts conversation, inspires action, and transforms the world. Read more about the Center for Advanced Study here.

November 22, 2019


Simulation reveals how bacterial organelle converts sunlight to chemical energy

Scientists have simulated every atom of a light-harvesting structure in a photosynthetic bacterium that generates energy for the organism. The simulated organelle behaves just like its counterpart in nature, the researchers reported in a recent publication in Cell. The work is a major step toward understanding how some biological structures...

November 15, 2019


Multiple Positions in Microbial Systems

The University is hiring six or more tenure-track faculty studying microbial systems or microbiomes, coordinated hires that will expand interdisciplinary microbial research and education across campus.

October 16, 2019


Neurons’ response to seizure-induced stress reduces seizure severity

In response to seizures, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a network of flattened tubes in the cell that packages and transports proteins, triggers a stress response that reduces brain activity and seizure severity. The new findings, reported by Nien-Pei Tsai (Assistant Professor in Molecular and Integrative Physiology) on 26th September in PLOS Genetics, may...

September 30, 2019


Welcome to our first cohort of BEST Scholarship recipients!

The Biology, Experience, Scholarship, and Training (BEST) Program was established to attract exceptionally talented students to our undergraduate biology program. As a BEST recipient, incoming freshmen receive a scholarship and mentorship from the Director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Director of the School of Integrative Biology.

September 09, 2019


Prof. Emad Tajkhorshid has been awarded the 2020 Thomas E. Thompson award

Emad Tajkhorshid (Biochemistry) has been awarded the 2020 Thomas E. Thompson award for his seminal contributions to advancing our understanding of membrane structure and function. The Thomas E. Thompson award recognizes an outstanding contribution in the field of membrane structure and function. The award will be presented...

September 03, 2019


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


Daniel Llano Receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Daniel Llano (Molecular and Integrative Physiology) has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers. The young scientists and engineers receive up to...

July 29, 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


Multi-university Research Initiative (MURI) awarded to Rhanor Gillette's team

Rhanor Gillette (Molecular and Integrative Physiology) is part of a team that has received a Multi-university Research Initiative (MURI) award. According to the Coordinated Science Laboratory at Illinois, this $7.5 million award is for building a Cyberoctopus, a software equivalent to the marine animal that will help understand and leverage...

June 29, 2019


Office of the Provost honors Auinash Kalsotra and Supriya Prasanth

Auinash Kalsotra (Biochemistry) and Supriya Prasanth (Cell and Developmental Biology) received 2019 Campus Distinguished Promotion Awards from the University of Illinois Office of the Provost. These awards celebrate scholars whose contributions have been extraordinary in terms of quality of work and overall achievement.

May 29, 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