Highlights

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 function or mutations of a novel epilepsy-associated gene Nedd4-2 leads to neuronal hyperexcitability caused by an uncontrolled level of a neurotransmitter receptor named AMPA receptor. These findings provide critical information to the development of therapies for epilepsy patients who carry mutations of Nedd4-2.

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Computational Biophysics Workshop April 17-21 at UIUC

The workshop will be presented by members of the NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling & Bioinformatics at Urbana-Champaign. Topics will cover instruction in state-of-the-art molecular dynamics simulation and free energy techniques using NAMD, bacterial cells simulation with Lattice Microbes (LM) and biomolecular visualization and analysis with VMD.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Two Molecular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Students Make Final Round of Graduate College’s Research Live! Competition

Janelle Mapes won Second Place, and Jessica Saw was one of the finalists.

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A study published in PNAS by Prof. Claudio Grosman and Dr. Gisela D. Cymes has revealed the elusive link between amino-acid sequence and charge selectivity in the superfamily of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

A commentary on the article is available here.

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High-Risk, High-Reward Research award goes to Illinois biomedical researchers

University of Illinois professors Chad Rienstra (Chemistry), Emad Tajkhorshid, and James Morrissey (Biochemistry) have been awarded a Director’s Transformative Research Award from the National Institutes of Health for their highly creative approach to the study of cell membrane lipids.

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GPCRs Direct Germline Development and Somatic Gonad Function in Planarians

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Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

Professors Ning Wang and Andrew Belmont led a team that found the pathway by which physical forces drive gene expression in cells.

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Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

Professors Ning Wang and Andrew Belmont led a team that found the pathway by which physical forces drive gene expression in cells.

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Dr. Kris Jenner endows professorship to honor his undergraduate mentor Professor Stephen G. Sligar; Susan A. Martinis is named to new School of Molecular and Cellular Biology professorship

To recognize the importance of faculty contributions to science and education and to acknowledge Dr. Sligar’s mentorship, Dr. Jenner created the Stephen G. Sligar professorship in 2016. The Investiture was held on October 28, 2016 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

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Professor Milan Bagchi named Deborah Paul Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology is honored to announce that Professor Milan Bagchi, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, has been named the Deborah Paul Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology. An official investiture ceremony was held in the fall semester of 2016.

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Graduate student Harini Iyer publishes two studies characterizing genes required for proper spermatogonial stem cell development.

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MCB Faculty and Staff named Scientific Teaching Fellows and Mentors

The Schools of MCB and IB recently hosted an NSF- and HHMI-sponsored Mobile Summer Institute (MoSI) for Undergraduate Biology Education.

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David Rivier wins LAS Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching is chosen by the LAS Awards Committee.

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Jennifer Brandyberry and David Rivier Win LAS Awards

Ms. Brandyberry is the recipient of the College Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising; Professor Rivier is the recipient of the LAS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

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Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellowships

A number of current and recent graduate students and postdoctoral scholars have applied for and won prestigious awards and fellowships. The awardees reflect the breadth of outstanding research at UIUC and the quality of students and researchers attracted to the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

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Department of Microbiology Honored as New Milestones Site by American Society for Microbiology

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) was officially named a Milestones in Mi­crobiology site by ASM on 16 October 2015, in recognition of the many major accomplishments of UIUC microbiologists whose seminal discoveries significantly increased biological under­standing, advanced the science of microbiology, and continue to impact the discipline.

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