News Archive – 2017

Microbiology alumna wins the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Joanne Chory (PhD Microbiology '84) is currently a plant biologist at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences.

December 11, 2017


The Grosman and Tajkhorshid labs collaborate on "Chasing the open-state structure of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels." Their findings are presented as the cover story in the December Issue of The Journal of General Physiology.

December 05, 2017


MCB graduate students present "Science on Tap"

The MCB Graduate Student Association (GSA), known as the MCBees, inaugurated a new outreach event, “Science on Tap,” on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Zach Costliow (Degnan Lab) presented, “Homebrewed Vitamins: What B1 and B. thetaiotaomicron are doing in your gut” at Riggs in Urbana.

November 30, 2017


The Drosophila Duox maturation factor is a key component of a positive feedback loop that sustains regeneration signaling

Regenerating tissue must initiate the signaling that drives regenerative growth, and then sustain that signaling long enough for regeneration to complete. Drosophila imaginal discs, the epithelial structures in the larva that will form...

November 27, 2017


Shape-shifting agent targets harmful bacteria in the stomach

A new shape-shifting polymer can target and kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach without killing helpful bacteria in the gut. Such a treatment could improve the digestive health of billions of people worldwide who contract H. pylori infections.

November 13, 2017


Study reveals how bacteria steal nutrients from the host

A new study, published in mBio, exposes a zinc-import system in bacteria that could contribute to their ability to cause infection.

October 31, 2017


Alumnus Thomas Cycyota Receives American Association of Tissue Banks Award

Cycyota received the Jeanne C. Mowe Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution in tissue banking or transplantation, whether in research, education, or laboratory improvement, or who has served the Association or the field of...

October 23, 2017


Cholesterol byproduct hijacks immune cells, lets breast cancer spread

The study, reported in Nature Communications, identifies new potential drug targets that could inhibit the creation or actions of the dangerous cholesterol byproduct.

October 12, 2017


Dr. Susan Martinis, Head of biochemistry, named interim vice chancellor for research

Martinis started role on Oct. 16, 2017

September 29, 2017


Dr. Thomas Kehl-Fie Named 2017 Vallee Scholar

The Vallee Foundation supports original, innovative, and pioneering work by early career scientists. Kehl-Fie is one of five scientists chosen from an international pool of candidates.

September 13, 2017


Study reveals how thiamine affects the gut microbe, B. thetaiotaomicron

A new study, reported in the journal mSystems, contributes to understanding how vitamins may be used to modify or influence the microbial composition of the human gut.

September 07, 2017


Satish Nair named I.C. Gunsalus Professor in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Nair, a professor of biochemistry in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and director of the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, is a leader in studying how bacteria can make antibiotics and other medicinally relevant...

September 07, 2017


The School of MCB wishes to reiterate the sentiments of Chancellor Jones, "Intolerance, racism and violence...will never be condoned" in MCB or at Illinois.

August 28, 2017


Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor signaling inhibits development of the prostate gland

A new study published in Development by Assistant Professor Eric Bolton and Research Associate Hyun-Jung Park reveals that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), which signals through activation of RET tyrosine kinase, inhibits androgen-induced development of the mouse prostate...

August 25, 2017


Brooke lab and colleagues working to develop evolving antiviral therapeutics

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding the multi-investigator group focusing on eliminating influenza virus.

August 23, 2017


Professor Satish Nair, postdoctoral researcher, Shi-Hui Dong, and colleagues find that slowing dangerous bacteria may be more effective than killing them

The findings are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

August 17, 2017


Study identifies two proteins necessary for epithelial cell-cell junctions

Epithelial cells build specialized cell-cell junctions to separate two different compartments. Many of these cell-cell junctions depend on the actin cytoskeleton for their assembly and maintenance. Graduate student Hui-Chia Yu-Kemp and colleagues identified CRMP-1 and EVL as novel factors necessary for assembling...

August 10, 2017


Cell and Developmental Biology graduate student Yu-Kemp and colleagues identify two proteins necessary for epithelial cell-cell junctions

The work is the cover story of the August issue of The Journal of Cell Biology.

August 10, 2017


Auinash Kalsotra Awarded MDA Grant for Studying Myotonic Dystrophy

The grant to Prof. Kalsotra provides $300,000 over a three-year period to study the molecular basis for cardiac arrhythmias in Myotonic Dystrophy, a multi-systemic disease that affects about 1 in 8000 people with no cure.

August 03, 2017


The program aims to form new insights on the brain and expand participation in field of brain science.

The National Science Foundation recently granted the University of Illinois $3 million for an interdisciplinary graduate student training program to help form new insight on the brain—and to expand participation in the field...

August 01, 2017


NSF awards Illinois $3 million for interdisciplinary graduate student training

Professor Martha Gillette will lead the program to form new insight on the brain and expand participation in field of brain science.

July 31, 2017


Study: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fight Inflammation via Cannabinoids

Professor Aditi Das and biochemistry student Josephine Watson published findings in PNAS.

July 18, 2017


Study identifies key player in heart enlargement

The findings, reported in the journal eLife, could assist in the development of therapeutics that promote healthy heart growth and prevent disease. Biochemistry professor Auinash Kalsotra, led the new study with postdoctoral researcher Sandip Chorghade and graduate student Joseph Seimetz.

June 27, 2017


Rachel Whitaker Receives Allen Distinguished Investigator Award from The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group

The Allen Distinguished Investigator program supports early-stage research with the potential to reinvent entire fields.

June 20, 2017


Milan Bagchi appointed new director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Professor Bagchi is the Deborah Paul Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and current Head of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Bagchi is an accomplished scholar and leader, and has provided a clear strategic vision statement for the research...

June 02, 2017


Llano Becomes Professorial Scholar

Dan Llano, associate professor in molecular and integrative physiology and member of Beckman's Neurotechnology of Memory and Cognition Group, was recently appointed the Benjamin R. and Elinor W. Bullock and Edwin E. and Jeanne Bullock Goldberg Professorial Scholar in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology in...

May 30, 2017


The Department of Cell and Developmental Biology recognizes her dedication, talent, and effectiveness in teaching.

Dr. Prasanth’s primary teaching responsibility has been the creation and delivery of MCB 400 Cancer Cell Biology, one of the most popular undergraduate elective courses. She is consistently ranked as excellent by her students each...

May 25, 2017


Professor John Gerlt named the 2017 Gordon Hammes Lectureship winner

The lectureship is sponsored by the Division of Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society and the American Chemical Society’s “Biochemistry” journal. The objective is to recognize and honor a single individual whose scientific contributions have had a major impact on...

May 22, 2017


Researchers uncover a nutrient-sensing epigenetic pathway that controls autophagy

Molecular and Integrative Physiology Professor Jongsook Kemper, postdoctoral fellow Sangwon Byun (leading author of the study), research scientist Young Kim, and colleagues publish results in The EMBO Journal

May 17, 2017


John Cronan elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Election to the NAS is one of the highest professional honors a scientist can garner. Chosen by their peers, the 2,290 members and 475 foreign associates are an elite group distinguished by their outstanding contributions to the fields of science and...

May 12, 2017


Chris Seward's image "Clear Mind" takes 2nd place in Image of Research contest

Inhibitory neurons in green and neuron bundles expressing a protein that is triggered by a social experience in red.

May 11, 2017


Dennis Dalby wins the 2017 Staff Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) bestows a Staff Award to identify and honor selected staff members for their outstanding contributions to the college. Recipients receive a $2000 award and a commemorative plaque that...

May 10, 2017


Professor Jongsook Kemper’s group uncover a nutrient-sensing epigenetic pathway that controls autophagy

Lysosome-mediated autophagy is essential for cellular survival by recycling cytoplasmic components under nutrient-deprived conditions and removing damaged organelles in cells, but must be suppressed in nutrient-rich conditions to prevent unnecessary breakdown of cellular components. Molecular and Integrative Physiology...

May 09, 2017


Dr. Supriya Prasanth, associate professor of cell and developmental biology, awarded the Lynn M. Martin Award for Distinguished Women Teachers

Dr. Prasanth’s primary teaching responsibility has been the creation and delivery of MCB 400 Cancer Cell Biology, one of the most popular undergraduate elective courses. She is consistently ranked as excellent...

May 09, 2017


Inhibitory neurons in green and neuron bundles expressing a protein that is triggered by a social experience in red.

Novel imaging techniques are necessary for examining whole brain protein expression patterns. Animal brains are large, complex structures that are difficult to image comprehensively. Neurons can be several inches long, while only...

May 03, 2017


Emad Tajkhorshid named the J. Woodland Hastings Endowed Chair in Biochemistry

A world leader in developing and applying advanced computational techniques to understand proteins, Tajkhorshid has been named the J. Woodland Hastings Endowed Chair in Biochemistry.

May 01, 2017


Study offers new insight into powerful inflammatory regulator

Biochemistry professor Lin-Feng Chen, right, with, from left, postdoctoral researchers Xiangming Hu, Yan Bao and Jinjing Chen, study proteins that regulate the inflammatory response. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

May 01, 2017


Mobile Summer Institute (MoSI) on Scientific Teaching

Students and faculty are invited to attend workshops, June 5-8, 2017 on the UIUC campus.

April 07, 2017


Assistant Professor Nien-Pei Tsai’s lab has published a study in PLOS Genetics on how a novel epilepsy-associated gene controls neuronal excitability

Epilepsy is a medical condition characterized by spontaneous seizures due to hyperexcitability of brain neurons. Assistant Professor Nien-Pei Tsai, graduate student Jiuhe Zhu and colleagues uncovered that an insufficient...

February 28, 2017


Dr. Jin's lab solves atomic structure of stalled ribosome by cryoEM

This is the first atomic structure of a ribosomal complex solved by cryoEM on the U of I campus.

February 23, 2017


Dr. Jin's lab solves atomic structure of stalled ribosome by cryoEM

Dr. Hong Jin’s lab has solved the atomic structure of a stalled ribosome using state-of-art electron cryo-microscopy. This structure is used to understand how stalled ribosomes are rescued in the cell. The findings were published in Nature in January 2017.

February 02, 2017


Kehl-Fie and team discover how bacteria exploit a chink in the body’s armor

Scientists have discovered a new type of bacterial enzyme that can blunt the body’s key weapons in its fight against infection.

January 19, 2017