News Archive

2011

Brian Freeman receives Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award

Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Brian Freeman has been awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. This award is given to "scientists and scholars, internationally renowned in their field, who completed their doctorates less than 18 years ago and who in future are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements which will have a seminal influence on their discipline beyond their immediate field of work."

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation     
Posted April 04, 2011
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Three Professors Make List of Most Prolific Writers

This year is the 50th Anniversary of the journal Biochemistry, sponsored by the American Chemical Society. As part of the celebration, ACS has compiled a prestigious list of the 50 most prolific writers in Biochemistry. Three MCB professors have made the list.

#10 Bob Gennis - 118 papers
#28 John Gerlt - 72 papers
#48 Stephen Sligar - 64 papers

Biochemistry     
Posted January 24, 2011
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Posttranslational Methylation by PRMT5 Increases SHP Repression Activity upon Bile Acid Signaling

The journal Molecular and Cellular Biology has published "Arginine methylation by PRMT5 at a naturally-occurring mutation site is critical for liver metabolic regulation by Small Heterodimer Partner" by corresponding author Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Jongsook Kim Kemper and colleagues.
About the findings, Kemper reports:

"Small Heterodimer Partner (SHP) is critical in maintaining cholesterol and bile acid levels. In response to elevated bile acids, SHP levels are increased by both gene induction and SHP protein stabilization. Kanamaluru et al. now show that SHP activity is also increased by methylation at Arg-57 by PRMT5. Arg-57 methylation increases SHP activity by enhancing interaction with its corepressors, mSin3A/HDAC1and Brm. Adenovirus-mediated expression of Arg-57 mutants suggests that Arg-57 methylation is important for SHP inhibition of lipid and glucose metabolic target genes and subsequent beneficial metabolic outcomes. Interestingly, a natural mutation at Arg-57 is associated with human metabolic disorders. "

The article has been published online, and will appear in print in a special "Spotlight" section of MCB in April.

MCB     
Posted February 25, 2011
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Direct Cellular Peptidomics of Hypothalamic Neurons

Alumni Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Martha Gillette is corresponding author on "Direct Cellular Peptidomics of Hypothalamic Neurons," epub’d (ahead of print) in the February 18, 2011 issue of Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. Other contributors include Dr. Jennifer W. Mitchell, also on staff in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, and graduate of the Neuroscience Program Norman Atkins, Jr.

PubMed     
Posted February 18, 2011
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James Slauch Elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Professor of Microbiology and Director of the Medical Scholars Program James Slauch has been elected to the American Academy of Microbiology, among 78 microbiologists chosen by peers for significant contributions to their field. Slauch studies Salmonella bacteria, particularly the molecular mechanisms that cause Salmonella infections and allow the bacteria to elude the immune system. The American Academy of Microbiology now has more than 2,500 fellows “representing all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service,” according to a news release from the organization. Posted April 21, 2011
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Claudio Grosman and Gisela Cymes published in Nature

"Tunable pKa values and the basis of opposite charge selectivities in nicotinic-type receptors," by Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Claudio Grosman and Research Scientist Gisela Cymes, has been published in Nature.

Nature
University News Bureau     
Posted May 24, 2011
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Hee Jung Chung Receives Carver Charitable Trust Award

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Hee Jung Chung has been awarded the highly competitive 3-year Carver Young Investigator Award. The award pays $300,000 over three years. Posted April 24, 2011
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Kevin Xiang and Jie Chen Published in Nature

Corresponding author Assistant Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Kevin Xiang, lead author Affiliate Professor of Biochemistry Taekjip Ha, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Jie Chen, and colleagues have published "Probing cellular protein complexes using single-molecule pull-down" in Nature. The article was the fourth most-often downloaded article in the month of May 2011, despite having been put online on May 25th.

Nature     
Posted May 31, 2011
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Kannanganattu Prasanth Awarded ACS Research Scholar Grant

Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Kannanganattu Prasanth has been awarded a Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society. The Research Scholar Grant is a four-year, $760,000 grant awarded to independent investigators in the first six years of an independent research career or faculty appointment.

American Cancer Society     
Posted June 21, 2011
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James Morrissey Awarded the Biennial Investigator Recognition Award for Contributions to Haemostasis

In recognition of his distinguished record as teacher and researcher, Professor of Biochemistry James Morrissey was awarded the Biennial Investigator Recognition Award for Contributions to Haemostasis from the International Society on Thrombosis & Haemostasis (ISTH).

The award was presented during the biennial Congress of the Society, held this year in Kyoto, Japan.

According to ISTH, "Initiated in 1982, the Biennial Awards for Contributions to Hemostasis recognize individuals who, in the opinion of their co-workers and peers, have made significant contributions to research and education in blood coagulation...

The Nominating Committee for the Biennial Awards is comprised of the Society's Senior Advisory Council, 99 distinguished and internationally recognized experts who have previously served as elected members of the ISTH Scientific and Standardization Committee. Final election of awardees is made by the current members of the SSC."

In a recent publication in the Journal of Biology Chemistry, Professor Morrissey and colleagues identify a molecular process vital to the mechanism of blood clotting.

University News Bureau     
Posted July 23, 2011
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James Morrissey and Colleagues profiled in LAS News

Professor of Biochemistry James Morrissey, together with colleagues Associate Professor of Biochemistry Emad Tajkhorshid, and Director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology Stephen Sligar, are featured in an article on blood clotting mechanisms in LAS News.

LAS News     
Posted September 06, 2011
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James Slauch Recognized as University Scholar

Professor of Microbiology James Slauch has been recognized as a University Scholar. The program recognizes the university’s most talented teachers, scholars and researchers.

Begun in 1985, the program provides $10,000 to each scholar for each of three years to use to enhance his or her academic career. The money may be used for travel, equipment, research assistants, books or other purposes.



According to the University News Bureau, "James M. Slauch, a professor of microbiology, is internationally recognized for his work on Salmonella virulence, a major cause of food-borne illness. His research focuses on the interplay between the human host and bacterium in disease. His work demonstrated, for example, that an enzyme produced by Salmonella is key to enabling the bacterium to evade the immune system, and to actually live in phagocytes in the body. In a second area of impressive impact, Slauch identified the complex process through which bacteria sense that they are in the phagocyte and should start producing virulence proteins."

University News Bureau
News Gazette     
Posted September 15, 2011
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Linking heterochromatin and gene repression

Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Supriya Prasanth is corresponding author on "A BEN-domain-containing protein associates with heterochromatin and represses transcription," published in Journal of Cell Science.

Kizhakke M. Sathyan, Zhen Shen, Vidisha Tripathi, and Assistant Professor Kannanganattu V. Prasanth of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology are also authors of the findings.

Journal of Cell Science     
Posted September 15, 2011
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Phillip Newmark and Milan Bagchi Appointed as Romano Scholars

Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Milan Bagchi, and Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Phillip Newmark, have each been appointed as a Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholar. The appointment is for a three-year term and will provide a discretionary fund of $25,000 per annum to support scholarly activities.

The award is given to key leaders in Liberal Arts and Sciences for their remarkable accomplishments in research and academic activities, recognizing outstanding research and efforts in support of building excellence on campus. Posted September 21, 2011
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3rd Illinois Symposium on Reproductive Sciences

The 3rd Illinois Symposium on Reproductive Sciences (ISRS) will be held at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on Monday, October 10, 2011. The venue of the meeting is the I-Hotel Conference Center. The organizing committee is composed of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students drawn from the School of MCB, College of Veterinary Medicine and College of ACES. We are expecting approximately 200 scientists from Illinois and adjoining states to attend the meeting this year.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host this rotating annual statewide symposium for the first time. It provides an opportunity to celebrate our strong research and educational heritage, and to foster the exchange of scientific information in the reproductive sciences and women's health-related research. It will also facilitate the career development of the next generation of Illinois reproductive scientists and help establish a promising future for reproductive sciences research in the state of Illinois. We hope to leverage our collective institutional strengths to maintain Illinois in a preeminent nationwide position in this critical research field.

The great importance of this annual meeting is the opportunity it affords for interaction between faculty and trainees at several Illinois institutions, including The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, The University of Illinois, Chicago, and Northwestern University. Pioneers in reproductive sciences, including Andy Nalbandov and Jack Gorski, did groundbreaking discoveries at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and made this institution a forefront center in reproductive sciences. A new generation of scientists has taken up this mantle, succeeding at obtaining a significant fraction of research funded by the NIH and at generating highly respected research programs, including the "Center for Research in Reproduction and Infertility" and "Botanical Research Center".

The student organizing committee members are from several state institutions, and have worked professionally and effectively together to plan an outstanding meeting. We are very pleased to have almost one hundred abstracts, a record number for this meeting, submitted not only from throughout Illinois but also from several neighboring states.

ISRS     
Posted September 20, 2011
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Global Functional Map of the p23 Molecular Chaperone Reveals an Extensive Cellular Network

Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Brian Freeman is corresponding author on "Global Functional Map of the p23 Molecular Chaperone Reveals an Extensive Cellular Network" in Molecular Cell. Frank J. Echtenkamp, Elena Zelin, and Joyce I. Woo of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology are co-authors.

Molecular Cell     
Posted July 23, 2011
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Tyrosine phosphorylation enhances RAD52-mediated annealing by modulating its DNA binding

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, and Biophysics and Computational Biology, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist Maria Spies is corresponding author on "Tyrosine phosphorylation enhances RAD52-mediated annealing by modulating its DNA binding," published in The Embo Journal. Masayoshi Honda and Yusuke Okuno of the Department of Biochemistry are among the coauthors.

The Embo Journal     
Posted July 30, 2011
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Editorial Calls for Carl Woese to be Awarded Nobel Prize

Nature Reviews Microbiology has published an editorial lauding the contributions of Crafoord Prize recipient Professor of Microbiology Carl Woese.

The editorial states, "It is time that the tremendous contribution made by Carl Woese to microbiology, medicine and biology as a whole is rewarded by the Nobel committee."

Nature Reviews Microbiology
University News Bureau     
Posted October 03, 2011
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Lori Raetzman Selected to Present Anita Payne Lecture

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience Lori Raetzman has been selected to present the Anita Payne New Perspectives in Reproductive Biology Lecture at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR). The award is funded by the SSR Anita Payne Endowment Fund and features a plenary lecture at the SSR Annual Meeting by a promising junior investigator.

According to Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Milan Bagchi, "This is indeed a special honor for an outstanding junior faculty in the School and our Reproductive Sciences Program." Posted December 13, 2011
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