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Satish Nair


Biochemistry at Illinois has a long tradition of excellence in biochemical research. Many of our undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral research associates have used their experiences at Illinois to establish careers of responsibility in both academia and the private sector.

I hope that you will take the time to explore our department by investigating our undergraduate and graduate programs so that you can learn about the intellectual opportunities now possible by breakthroughs in this postgenomic era of biology. The future of biochemistry has changed, and we believe that our department is well-positioned to provide training for your future.

Satish Nair, Head

Biochemistry News

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 details have not been quite clear”, says Dr. Yuhang (“Steven”) Wang, co-author of a recent paper from the Grosman and Tajkhorshid labs published earlier this month in PNAS.
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 convert sunlight into chemical energy, a biological innovation that is essential to life.
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 at the Membrane Structure and Function Subgroup (MSAF) symposium during the Annual Meeting. The winner will receive a $1000 cash prize and will be invited to present an award lecture at the symposium. Goals of the Award: Promote excellence in research in membrane structure and assembly. Increase the visibility of MSAF members within the Biophysical Society. Celebrate the legacy of Thomas E. Thompson, a pioneer in the field of membrane structure and assembly, and a former president of the Biophysical Society and Editor-in-Chief of the Biophysical Journal.