News

Antibodies from original strain COVID-19 infection don't bind to variants, study finds

People infected with the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 early in the pandemic produced a consistent antibody response, making two main groups of antibodies to bind to the spike protein on the virus’s outer surface. However, those antibodies don’t bind well to newer variants, a new...

September 20, 2021


In Memoriam: Albert Feng, professor and former head of molecular and integrative physiology

Albert Feng, a passionate and beloved scholar who studied the neural basis of sound communication, has passed away. A virtual memorial service will be held Sept. 18. His obituary may be viewed here. A video featuring a 2011 interview with Professor Feng talking about his research...

September 15, 2021


Researchers find new control mechanism for sugar metabolism in gut microbes

The gut microbiome plays an important role in human health because it controls digestion and influences the immune system. The microbiome is also highly dynamic and can be influenced by dietary changes. Due to this dynamic nature, gut microbes often use complex regulatory mechanisms to cope with shifting nutrient...

August 31, 2021


U of I president honors MCB researchers for their work on COVID-19 response

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen on Monday honored 28 key leaders of the system’s COVID-19 response with the Presidential Medallion. The medallion is the highest honor that the system president can bestow.

August 24, 2021


Light can trigger key signaling pathway for embryonic development, cancer

Blue light is illuminating new understanding of a key signaling pathway in embryo development, tissue maintenance, and cancer genesis.

August 17, 2021


Researchers discover widespread, specific lipid binding by a large family of human proteins

Phospholipid-protein interactions play an essential role in the regulation of many important cellular processes. The largest family of putative lipid-binding proteins contain the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Previous studies in the field estimate that approximately 10 percent of the PH protein family binds to phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) with...

August 17, 2021


Meet new faculty member Patrick Sweeney, who explores neural circuitry at the intersection of feeding, motivation, and emotion

The Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology in the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology is pleased to welcome new faculty member Patrick Sweeney!

August 16, 2021


Seeing is believing: Image of primary visual cortex in a mouse wins second place in NIH research image contest

Congratulations to the Tajkhorshid lab and collaborators who created a stunning research image recently highlighted by the National Institutes of Health.

August 11, 2021


Study offers insight into underlying causes of seizure disorder in babies

Researchers report that infantile spasms, a rare but serious seizure disorder in babies, appear to be the result of a molecular pathway gone awry. In their study of a mouse model of the disorder, the researchers discovered that genetic mutations associated with the disease impair a pathway that is involved...

August 03, 2021


New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice

A new approach to treating breast cancer kills 95-100% of cancer cells in mouse models of human estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers and their metastases in bone, brain, liver and lungs. The newly developed drug, called ErSO, quickly shrinks even large tumors to undetectable levels.

July 20, 2021


Cancer Center at Illinois awards two MCB PhD students scholarships for research projects

Congratulations to two School of Molecular & Cellular Biology PhD students who have been awarded Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) Graduate Cancer Scholarships to pursue cancer research projects under the mentorship of Illinois scientists.

July 13, 2021


PhD graduate wins Sternberg Thesis Prize for microbiology research

Congratulations to Maryam Khademian, a recent Illinois PhD graduate in microbiology, whose thesis was chosen for the Sternberg Thesis Prize. The award will be presented to Khademian at the 2021 Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages Conference.

July 09, 2021


Alumna and pioneering scientist Carrol Foxall establishes fellowship for undergraduates pursuing summer research

On the first day of a chemistry lecture in Fall 1951, Carrol Foxall recalls the instructor informing the class, which included a handful of women, that he’d never given an A to a woman before, nor did he intend to that semester. “I’m sorry, Charlie,” Carrol said to...

July 06, 2021


Susan Brennan (BS, ’85, microbiology) has built a career in sustainability, solving problems

Growing up in the Illinois steel town of Granite City, Susan Brennan was certain once she left, she would never live near a factory again. However, in the years after graduating from the University of Illinois, she would become a leading voice in rethinking and transforming American manufacturing....

July 06, 2021


Frequent COVID-19 testing key to efficient, early detection, study finds

The chance of detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 increases with more frequent testing, no matter the type of test, a new study found. Both polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, paired with rapid results reporting, can achieve 98% sensitivity if deployed at least every three days.

June 30, 2021


Neuroscientists uncover new neuronal circuitry that controls auditory sensory perception

A team of University of Illinois neuroscientists led by Baher Ibrahim and Daniel Llano recently published a study in eLife that furthers our understanding of how the brain perceives everyday sensory inputs.

June 28, 2021


Synergistic Toxicity of Nitric Oxide and Hydrogen Peroxide Triggers Catastrophic Chromosomal Fragmentation

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is highly toxic inside most cells and is used by our immune system to kill infecting bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide produces highly reactive hydroxyl radicals via Fenton’s reaction. Reduced iron Fe(II), which is found only inside cells, donates an electron to H2O2 and splits the molecule...

June 24, 2021


MCB faculty among recipients of Cancer Center at Illinois seed grants

Nine interdisciplinary projects designed by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty, including several from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, were selected for the Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) annual seed grant awards.

June 23, 2021


Kai Zhang receives 2021 Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award to study the gut-brain axis

Congratulations to Kai Zhang, professor of biochemistry, whose team was selected for a 2021 Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award. The project is entitled, “Engineering Enteric Neuron Activity to Enhance Antimicrobial Immunity in the Gut.”

June 23, 2021


Congratulations to Supriya Prasanth, who has been named a University Scholar

Supriya G. Prasanth, professor and head of the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology in the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, has been chosen as a University Scholar. The University Scholars Program, established in 1985, aims to support outstanding University of Illinois faculty members and...

June 22, 2021


Effort to curb COVID-19 leads to a deeper understanding of communities and the disease

Several faculty from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, including microbiology professor Rachel Whitaker, are collaborating to help and learn from a town struck by the pandemic.

June 22, 2021


New early career seminars launching Fall 2021

The School of Molecular & Cellular Biology is pleased to announce two new seminars from the Departments of Microbiology and Cell & Developmental Biology. Both series are focused on bringing early career scientists to campus. Speakers from historically marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.

June 16, 2021


Cholesterol metabolite induces production of cancer-promoting vesicles

Scientists working to understand the cellular processes linking high cholesterol to breast cancer recurrence and metastasis report that a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism causes some cells to send out cancer-promoting signals to other cells. These signals are packaged in membrane-bound compartments called extracellular vesicles.

June 09, 2021


Study assesses consequences of environmental contaminants on developing auditory system

A recent study characterized the physiological changes a common environmental chemical, polychlorinated biphenyls, induces on the developing brain and auditory systems. In contrast to the mechanisms that drive most hearing loss, PCBs are capable of restructuring parts of the central nervous system.

June 07, 2021


Researchers characterize natively bound lipids of a pentameric ligand-gated ion-channel in intact fragments of membrane

Many researchers have postulated that the lipid composition of the membrane containing ion channels is critical for function. However, there are limited data about the structure and function of natively bound lipids. Some molecular simulation experiments have provided some insight; but, data from wet lab experiments...

June 07, 2021


Five MCB students selected as Mayo Clinic’s 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows

Each year, Mayo Clinic invites around 180 undergraduates from across the nation to participate in its Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. We are pleased to share the news that five students from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology will conduct research this summer as part of this...

June 03, 2021


Jana Radin named LAS Honors Faculty Mentor of the Year

Congratulations to Jana Radin on being chosen as the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Honors Faculty Mentor of the Year!

May 11, 2021


Congratulations to the 2021 student award winners!

The School of Molecular & Cellular Biology is pleased to announce the winners of its 2020-2021 student awards, fellowships, and scholarships. These awards recognize academic achievement, research accomplishments, and excellence in teaching. We’re proud to have so many outstanding students. Congratulations to all our school and department award winners and thank you to our...

May 06, 2021


Investigating the role of Brd4 in diet-induced obesity

A new study, published in JCI insight, looks at how Brd4, a regulator of the innate immune response, influences diet-induced obesity. The researchers believe that Brd4 could be used as a target for obesity and insulin resistance.

May 04, 2021


Jie Chen receives campus award for graduate student mentoring

Congratulations to Jie Chen, professor of cell and developmental biology, who was honored with the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring. The award recognizes faculty members for their sustained excellence in graduate student mentoring, innovative approaches to graduate advising, and their impact on graduate student scholarship and...

May 04, 2021


Piecing together the LanCL puzzle

Researchers from the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, including several faculty in the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, in collaboration with scientists at Oxford University have published a paper in Cell reporting the function of LanCL proteins. These proteins are found in eukaryotic cells but their function was previously unknown. The study is the first step...

May 03, 2021


MCB PhD student selected for Beckman Institute Fellowship

Seven graduate students, including one from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, have been awarded 2021 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowships. The program offers University of Illinois graduate students at the MA, MS, or PhD level the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research at the institute.

April 29, 2021


Geographies of death: Study maps COVID-19 health disparities in Greater Santiago

People up to age 40 living in economically depressed municipalities in the Greater Santiago, Chile, metropolitan area were three times more likely to die as a result of the infection than their counterparts in wealthier areas, researchers report in the journal Science. People ages 41-80 in low socioeconomic-status municipalities also...

April 27, 2021


MCB undergrads selected for Community-Academic Scholars Initiative, will pursue community-based research this summer

Congratulations to students in the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology who were chosen to participate in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute’s Community-Academic Scholars Initiative. The initiative offers University of Illinois undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue community-based research projects in Champaign-Urbana over the summer. Scholars...

April 26, 2021


MCB students, faculty, and staff recognized for their extraordinary efforts during COVID-19

We’re proud to share the news that many School of Molecular & Cellular Biology students, faculty, and staff members have received College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Impact Awards. The awards, announced this week, recognize inspiring efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. So many in our community went beyond expectations...

April 20, 2021


Structure matters over sequence for cys-loop cell receptors

Cells communicate with each other by sending, receiving, and decoding signals. Signals that cannot cross the cell membrane directly – such as ions, water-soluble small molecules, and peptides – need to be detected by receptor proteins on the cell’s outer surface.

April 12, 2021


New summer research fellowship for underrepresented students

The University of Illinois School of Molecular & Cellular Biology is pleased to announce that AbbVie and the Black Business Network in partnership with the school have funded a new Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) that provides financial support for a student conducting research on campus. The new fellowship will support an MCB student...

April 09, 2021


Martha Gillette wins Beckman Institute's 2021 Vision and Spirit Award

Congratulations to Martha Gillette, who has been named the Beckman Institute’s 2021 winner of the Vision and Spirit Award. Gillette is director of the Neuroscience Program, Alumni Professor of cell and developmental biology, and a professor of molecular and integrative physiology.

April 09, 2021


MCB undergraduate awarded Goldwater Scholarship

Congratulations to MCB junior Evan Dray, who was awarded the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater scholarship! Dray, of East Peoria, Ill., and a graduate of East Peoria Community High School, is pursuing majors in molecular and cellular biology and chemistry to support his career goals in oncology and pharmacology. He desires to teach and conduct translational research at...

April 06, 2021


Researchers identify mechanisms of controlling regeneration for two chromatin-remodeling complexes of Drosophila

Rachel Smith-Bolton, a professor of cell and developmental biology at the University of Illinois, leads an exciting research program on tissue regeneration. Her recent work uses Drosophila as a model to explore the effects of different chromatin modifiers on initiating, spatially controlling, and ending regeneration in...

April 06, 2021


Researchers characterize the function of PaeA, a protein involved in Salmonella virulence

The regulation of polyamines is essential for the physiological function of organisms. Simplistically, polyamines are organic cations that interact with RNA, including ribosomes and translational machinery. Both the lack of and an excess of polyamines confer lethal phenotypes, though the molecular mechanism behind this is unclear. Despite their critical...

March 26, 2021


Researchers uncover new insights in mechanisms of thymineless death

Andrei Kuzminov, professor of microbiology at the University of Illinois, leads research into the mystery of thymineless death, where mutant cells that cannot synthesize the essential molecule thymine will die unless the growth environment has thymine readily available. With graduate student Pritha Rao, Kuzminov recently explored the “resistance” period...

March 26, 2021


Researchers structurally characterize a dual-function transporter

The regulation of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter abundant in the central nervous system, is critical for maintaining normal brain function. Glutamate regulation is achieved via extracellular transport of the amino acid. There are two primary classes of proteins involved in the transport of materials across the membrane: channel proteins, which provide passive pathways for moving...

March 22, 2021


MCB statement on solidarity with Asian American communities

Dear Members of the MCB Community: We are all shocked, saddened, disappointed, and angered by the shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead. These killings are part of a rise in hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans. The MCB community stands together in denouncing this senseless act, and all acts of...

March 22, 2021


Deciphering the impacts of small RNA interactions in individual bacterial cells

Bacteria employ many different strategies to regulate gene expression in response to fluctuating, often stressful, conditions in their environments. One type of regulation involves non-coding RNA molecules called small RNAs (sRNAs), which are found in all domains of life. A new study by researchers describes, for the first time, the...

March 10, 2021


New study identifies culprit behind onion rot: the chemical pantaphos, which is toxic to some brain cancer cells, could also have biomedical applications

Since 1983, the bacteria Pantoea ananatis has been known to infect several important crops including onions, rice, and corn. It was unclear, however, what molecules were involved. A new study, published in mBio, has identified one of...

March 09, 2021


Division of labor within regenerating liver maintains metabolism, mouse study finds

The liver has a rare superpower among body organs – the ability to regenerate, even if 70% of its mass is removed. It also keeps up its metabolic and toxin-removing work during the process of regeneration, thanks to a subset of cells that expand their workload while the rest focus...

March 02, 2021


Chris Brooke on The 21st radio show: New variants, vaccines and the future of COVID-19

Chris Brooke, assistant professor of microbiology, recently spoke with The 21st public radio show about what scientists know about the virus that causes COVID-19, the emerging variants, and what they still have to learn.

March 01, 2021


Researchers examine the biological role of epigenetic regulator Brd4 in inflammasome activation

Inflammasomes play a critical role in the innate cellular immune response to pathogen infection. The inflammasome, a cytosolic multiprotein complex, recognizes substrates produced during infection or tissue damage, and triggers an inflammatory response by releasing the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β and IL-18. Researchers have recently identified bromodomain-containing protein-4 (Brd4) as...

February 24, 2021


Belmont Lab offers new insights on nuclear speckles, improved mapping method

In a new publication, University of Illinois PhD graduate Liguo Zhang of the Belmont laboratory and colleagues introduce an improved version of TSA-seq and use it to demonstrate how changes in gene association with nuclear speckles correlate with changes in gene expression.

February 23, 2021


Cronan lab uncovers mechanism for synthesis of pimelate moiety, the biotin precursor

Professor John. E. Cronan, Microbiology Alumni Professor and professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois, is a leading researcher and innovator in the field of lipid metabolism. His recent work focuses on the synthesis of biotin and its building blocks across different species of bacteria....

February 22, 2021


Cari Vanderpool elected Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology

Congratulations to Cari Vanderpool, professor of microbiology, who was recently elected a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology.

February 18, 2021


Wu and collaborators develop new molecules which attack the virus that causes COVID-19 and resist 'escape' mutations

An international team of researchers including Nicholas Wu, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, has published a new study which developed highly potent molecules that can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 by simultaneously targeting multiple sites of vulnerability on the virus.

February 15, 2021


New study: MCB faculty among world's most influential researchers

Several faculty from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology were among the most-cited researchers in the world in a new, widely hailed analysis designed to provide a clearer view of scientific and scholarly impact.

February 12, 2021


Unraveling mechanisms of FXR in protection against liver diseases

Obesity is rising in prevalence and poses a major concern for the health of our general population. Currently affecting over one-third of the population of the United States, obesity is often comorbid with other diseases, such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. The bile acid (BA)-sensing nuclear receptor...

February 10, 2021


Gut bacteria help digest dietary fiber, release important antioxidant

Dietary fiber found in grains is a large component of many diets, but little is understood about how we digest the fiber, as humans lack enzymes to break down the complex molecules. Some species of gut bacteria break down the fiber in such a way that it not only becomes digestible, but...

January 27, 2021


Researchers explore skeletal muscle regeneration at the molecular level

In a new study, University of Illinois professor Jie Chen and collaborators have uncovered novel molecular mechanisms of regulation in skeletal muscle regeneration.

January 21, 2021


Welcome to Professor Xinzhu Yu

Professor Yu was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Yu is an assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology and is an affiliate of the Beckman Institute.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Nicholas Wu

Professor Wu was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Wu is an assistant professor of biochemistry and is an affiliate of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Beth Stadtmueller

Professor Stadtmueller was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Stadtmueller is an assistant professor of biochemistry, assistant professor of Biomedical and Translational Sciences with the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, and is an affiliate of the Beckman Institute.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Anna Marie Sokac

Professor Sokac was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Sokac is an associate professor of cell and development biology. She is also a SCIALOG Fellow with Research Corporation for Science Advancement, a Master Facilitator/Consultant with National Research Mentoring Network, and a...

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Joe Sanfilippo

Professor Sanfilippo was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Sanfilippo is an assistant professor of biochemistry.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Paola Mera

Professor Mera was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Mera is an assistant professor of microbiology, and is also an affiliate of the Microbial Systems Initiative.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Pamela Martinez

Professor Martinez was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Martinez is an assistant professor of microbiology and statistics and is an affiliate of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, as well as the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and...

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Collin Kieffer

Professor Kieffer was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Kieffer is an assistant professor of microbiology, and is also an affiliate of Infection Genomics for One Health (IGOH) theme at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB).

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Asma Hatoum

Professor Hatoum was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Hatoum is an assistant professor of microbiology and is part of the Microbial Systems Initiative.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Benjamin Auerbach

Professor Auerbach was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Auerbach is an assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology, and is also an affiliate of the Beckman Institute.

January 20, 2021


Accelerating biomedical research at UIUC: MCB accomplishes 10 new faculty hires in three years

The School of Molecular & Cellular Biology is proud to have accomplished ten new faculty hires over the last three years! These strategic hires have been made in areas of brain plasticity, virology and immunology, developmental biology, and microbiology. These outstanding new recruits, together with our current...

January 20, 2021


New NIH grant to fund U of I research on Fragile X Syndrome

Recent clinical trials involving Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), a genetic disorder that causes mild to severe intellectual disability, indicate that potential drug treatments are not as effective as researchers initially hoped. This lack of therapeutic potential suggests there are some gaps in our understanding of the neural mechanisms...

January 05, 2021


What is the new variant of coronavirus in the UK?

New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including one in the United Kingdom with higher infection rates that has sparked new travel bans. Erik Procko, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been studying mutations in the spike protein, the part of the...

December 23, 2020


Microbial Systems Initiative positions Illinois as center for cutting-edge, collaborative research

With support and leadership from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, the Microbial Systems Initiative (MSI) aims to harness the existing and emerging strengths of the microbial sciences community and establish the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as a leading center that will continue to attract and nurture a diverse,...

December 21, 2020


Stadtmueller Lab determines the structure of our predominant mucosal antibody

It has been over 60 years since scientists first identified the molecule that we know today as immunoglobulin (Ig) A. IgA is the predominant class of antibody found in human mucus where it is known as secretory (S) IgA. SIgA functions to bind microbes in extracellular regions such as the gut...

December 17, 2020


Following Drg: Curiosity Drives Scientist’s Protein Synthesis Research

Current cancer treatments include drugs that target standard protein synthesis in cells, which can kill cancer cells, but also targets healthy cells. To address this issue, associate professor of biochemistry and Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) member, Hong Jin, is focusing on a non-canonical protein translation pathway, which will allow researchers...

December 14, 2020


Microbiology professor Rachel Whitaker named a University Scholar

Congratulations to Rachel Whitaker for being chosen as a University Scholar. Whitaker, a professor of microbiology, conducts groundbreaking research on the dynamics of microbes and their viruses and how they evolve in clinical and natural environments.

December 11, 2020


Mouse model of epilepsy may yield insights into relationship between seizures and reproductive cycle in women

One of the first steps in creating treatments for a medical condition is to make an accurate model of it, in which to identify targets for investigation and test potential therapeutic candidates. Without such a model, a condition can be very difficult to study, let...

December 10, 2020


Researchers uncover the role of a noncoding RNA in cell proliferation

Kannanganattu V. Prasanth, professor of cell and developmental biology, and members of his lab investigate the regulation of gene expression and RNA biology with a focus on cancer. In a new article published in eLife, “The S-phase-induced lncRNA SUNO1 promotes cell proliferation by controlling YAP1/Hippo signaling pathway,” Prasanth...

December 08, 2020


School of MCB hosts second annual undergraduate research symposium

During the first week of November 2020, the School of MCB hosted its second annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Given that the event could not be safely held in person, the symposium was reorganized to be conducted virtually.

December 02, 2020


Researchers study how biotin affects mycobacteria growth

Alumni Professor of Microbiology John E. Cronan at the University of Illinois recently published work on the biotin synthesis pathway and its role in mycobacterium and tuberculosis. Cronan’s lab primarily works on lipid metabolism and fatty acid synthesis. In his recent publication, Cronan takes a deeper dive into the role of biotin...

December 02, 2020


Microbiology grad leverages her Illinois research training into career at Abbott

On January 9, 2020, the World Health Organization announced the discovery of a mysterious string of pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China, which they believed could be caused by a novel coronavirus. At the same time in Illinois, executives at the medical device and healthcare company Abbott Laboratories were activating their...

November 30, 2020


Study: Gut hormones' regulation of fat production abnormal in obesity, fatty liver disease

Gut hormones play an important role in regulating fat production in the body. One key hormone, released a few hours after eating, turns off fat production by regulating gene expression in the liver, but this regulation is abnormal in obesity, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found...

November 24, 2020


In Memoriam: Physiology Professor Dennis Buetow, 1932-2020

Professor Emeritus Dennis E. Buetow, a respected physiology researcher and educator, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, at home in Champaign with family.

November 23, 2020


The lessons of a Nobel Laureate

Phillip Sharp recalls a key moment on campus as he renews support for the U of I

November 23, 2020


New optogenetics study shows promising results for neuronal regeneration

Although researchers have been able to achieve many advances in regenerative medicine, repairing damage in the nervous system of the human body has stubbornly eluded scientists and doctors. The nervous system and the brain present many obstacles that, until recently, have had few effective solutions. Neuronal cells are notoriously slow to multiply...

November 20, 2020


UIUC biology alumna appointed to Biden's COVID-19 advisory panel

Congratulations to University of Illinois biology alumna Dr. Julie Morita, who was recently named to President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory panel.

November 11, 2020


Tyramide signal amplification mass spectrometry (TSA-MS) ratio identifies nuclear speckle proteins

Proximity labeling of cell structures followed by mass spectrometry has become an increasingly popular proteomics approach to identify what proteins localize to different cell structures. In practice, however, results are typically confusing, with long lists of hundreds of proteins identified, among which only a small fraction are bona fide components...

November 10, 2020


Erik Nelson receives $4.5M grant to study prevention and treatment of metastatic breast cancer

Erik Nelson, professor of molecular and integrative physiology, has won a $4.5 million Era of Hope Scholar Award from the United States Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.This prestigious award supports individuals early in their careers who have demonstrated significant potential to effect meaningful...

November 04, 2020


Four MCB alumni honored with 2020 LAS alumni awards

The winners are being honored during LAS Impact 2020, a weeklong celebration of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences starting on Oct. 26.

October 26, 2020


Microbiology alumni collaborate on COVID-19 wastewater tests

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, University of Illinois alumnus David Townsend (BS ’88, microbiology) and members of his team at IDEXX Laboratories have developed a test to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater that rapidly detects the virus’ genetic material.

October 23, 2020


Brian Freeman named a fellow of Cell Stress Society International

Congratulations to Brian Freeman, professor of cell and developmental biology at the University of Illinois who has been selected as a fellow of the Cell Stress Society International.

October 23, 2020


Christopher Brooke named Man of the Year by Central Illinois Business Magazine

This announcement was made as part of The News-Gazette’s 13th annual Forty Under 40 Awards. Professor Brooke is an assistant professor of microbiology and is an affiliate of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

October 20, 2020


New study explores complex phage-host interactions in human gut

Danielle Campbell, a microbiology PhD graduate of the Whitaker Lab, recently studied the interaction of the active prophage, Bacteroides phage BV01, in its tractable host strain, B. vulgatus ATCC 8482. Bacteroides, known to degrade complex carbohydrates and interact with host immune cells, are one of the most common bacterial types...

October 20, 2020


New work provides broader understanding of how bacteria obtain essential nutrients in soil and during infection

In a recently published study from the University of Illinois, researchers have identified a new class of bacterial importers in over 250 species.

October 19, 2020


New NIH grants will fund research on cell nuclei structure and dynamics

URBANA—University of Illinois professor Andrew Belmont has received two new grants from the National Institutes of Health that will advance his work in understanding nuclear structure and dynamics and gene expression.

October 15, 2020


A major catastrophe for actin: University of Illinois researchers uncover new insights on actin disassembly

New research from University of Illinois professor William Brieher has uncovered new insights on actin disassembly.

October 07, 2020


Cancer compound originating from U of I scientists leads to major licensing deal

University of Illinois researchers are leading the science behind a new global licensing agreement between the pharmaceutics company Bayer AG and the cancer drug development company Systems Oncology for a new breast cancer drug called ERSO.

September 30, 2020