News Archive – 2019

Using computational microscopy to study lipid-protein interaction

The Tajkhorshid lab used computational microscopy to investigate how lipids can influence the structure and function of protein channels in cells. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

December 17, 2019

Biochemistry Professor David Kranz named an NAI Fellow

David Kranz, the Phillip A. Sharp Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Kranz will be formally inducted at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 10, 2020.

December 13, 2019

MIP Graduate Student Daphne Eagleman Awarded a Predoctoral Fellowship from American Heart Association

Graduate Student Daphne Eagleman in Dr. Nien-Pei Tsai’s lab has been awarded a 2-year Predoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association. This fellowship will support her thesis project to decipher the role of a ubiquitin E3 ligase Nedd4-2 in cellular stress-induced neuronal degeneration following ischemic stroke.

December 10, 2019

Catherine Christian Awarded a 2020-2021 Center for Advanced Study Fellowship

Catherine Christian (Molecular and Integrative Physiology) has been awarded a 2020-2021 Center for Advanced Study Fellowship. The Center for Advanced Study sheds light on interdisciplinary thought that starts conversation, inspires action, and transforms the world. Read more about the Center for Advanced Study here.

November 22, 2019

Simulation reveals how bacterial organelle converts sunlight to chemical energy

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...

November 15, 2019

Multiple Positions in Microbial Systems

The University is hiring six or more tenure-track faculty studying microbial systems or microbiomes, coordinated hires that will expand interdisciplinary microbial research and education across campus.

October 16, 2019

Neurons’ response to seizure-induced stress reduces seizure severity

In response to seizures, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a network of flattened tubes in the cell that packages and transports proteins, triggers a stress response that reduces brain activity and seizure severity. The new findings, reported by Nien-Pei Tsai (Assistant Professor in Molecular and Integrative Physiology) on 26th September in PLOS Genetics, may...

September 30, 2019

Welcome to our first cohort of BEST Scholarship recipients!

The Biology, Experience, Scholarship, and Training (BEST) Program was established to attract exceptionally talented students to our undergraduate biology program. As a BEST recipient, incoming freshmen receive a scholarship and mentorship from the Director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Director of the School of Integrative Biology.

September 09, 2019

Prof. Emad Tajkhorshid has been awarded the 2020 Thomas E. Thompson award

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...

September 03, 2019

Study: Heterozygous loss of KCNQ2 potassium channel gene induces autism-associated behaviors

Molecular and integrative physiology professor Hee Jung Chung (left), her postdoctoral fellow Eung Chang Kim (middle), Psychology professor Justin Rhodes (right), and their colleagues discovered that heterozygous loss of KCNQ2 potassium channel gene induces autism-associated behaviors in mice including social avoidance, repetitive behaviors, and obsessive and compulsive-like behaviors.

August 21, 2019

Vanderpool Lab: Small RNAs fine tune how bacteria change their membranes to resist environmental stress

Graduate student Colleen Bianco (left) and Professor Carin Vanderpool (right) spearheaded a study that centered on how E. coli and Salmonella bacteria use RNA-based regulatory mechanisms to modify their membrane lipids in response to different stimuli. Their findings, with collaborator Kathrin Frölich (Ludwig Maximilian University of...

August 14, 2019

Researchers in MIP Explore Link Between Ovarian Cancer and Cholesterol

Led by Sisi He from the Erik Nelson lab, researchers have found that a metabolite of cholesterol (27-hydroxycholesterol; 27HC) was essential for the growth of ovarian tumors in mice. Paradoxically, 27HC seemed to inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells when grown in a dish. They subsequently found that the enzyme...

July 31, 2019

Daniel Llano Receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Daniel Llano (Molecular and Integrative Physiology) has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers. The young scientists and engineers receive up to...

July 29, 2019

MCB and other units contribute to purchase of animal MRI

A Bruker 9.4 Tesla preclinical animal MRI system will be sited at the Beckman Institute. The addition of the system to the institute’s Biomedical Imaging Center will aid in research in many areas, including brain development and function, and cellular mechanisms in cancer. The installation project will begin this fall and...

July 03, 2019

Multi-university Research Initiative (MURI) awarded to Rhanor Gillette's team

Rhanor Gillette (Molecular and Integrative Physiology) is part of a team that has received a Multi-university Research Initiative (MURI) award. According to the Coordinated Science Laboratory at Illinois, this $7.5 million award is for building a Cyberoctopus, a software equivalent to the marine animal that will help understand and leverage...

June 29, 2019

Office of the Provost honors Auinash Kalsotra and Supriya Prasanth

Auinash Kalsotra (Biochemistry) and Supriya Prasanth (Cell and Developmental Biology) received 2019 Campus Distinguished Promotion Awards from the University of Illinois Office of the Provost. These awards celebrate scholars whose contributions have been extraordinary in terms of quality of work and overall achievement.

May 29, 2019

Mark Nelson's research demonstrates the success of interdisciplinary approaches

From weakly electric fish to a robotic cockroach to a novel approach to using wireless networks for emergency response, Mark E. Nelson’s research career exemplifies the success of an interdisciplinary approach through his work in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and the Beckman Institute.

May 13, 2019

Researchers find protein that suppresses muscle repair in mice

Researchers report that a protein known to be important to protein synthesis also influences muscle regeneration and regrowth in an unexpected manner. The discovery, reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could one day lead to new methods for treating disorders that result in muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass, the...

May 13, 2019

Professor William Brieher receives LAS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Professor William Brieher has been selected by an awards committee to receive the LAS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, alongside four other professors at Illinois. This honor grants the recipients $1,000 to support their teaching and research, while a one-time increment of $2,000 will be added to...

April 24, 2019

Kuzminov lab: What causes thymineless death?

The latest paper by the Kuzminov lab investigates the mechanism of thymineless death, which is a common mode of action of anti-cancer and anti-bacterial drugs. The findings were published in a paper titled "Sources of thymidine and analogs fueling futile damage-repair cycles and ss-gap accumulation during thymine starvation in Escherichia coli" in DNA Repair.

April 22, 2019

Shapiro lab: Investigating breast cancer metastasis

The latest paper by the Shapiro lab looks at the effect of mutations in the estrogen receptor on the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. The findings were published in a paper titled "Estrogen-independent Myc overexpression confers endocrine therapy resistance on breast cancer cells expressing ERαY537S and ERαD538G mutations" in Cancer Letters.

April 08, 2019

Ralph S. Wolfe, who helped discover new domain of life, dies at 97

Microbiologist Ralph Wolfe contributed to a study of microbes that led to the discovery of a third superkingdom, or domain, of life: the archaea. Wolfe, a professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of Illinois, died March 26 in Urbana. He was 97.

April 03, 2019

Mutations in noncoding genes could play big role in regulating cancer, study finds

Professor Kannanganattu Prasanth led a team that found that certain genes that don’t code for proteins could play an important regulatory role in breast cancer.

March 14, 2019

A new light on learning

School of Molecular and Cellular Biology creates an inspiring new space for instruction and advising

March 12, 2019

Govindjee: A pioneer in photosynthesis

A career spanning six decades, over 400 papers, 25 graduate students, and numerous awards surely means a relaxing retirement? Not quite. Govindjee, at 86 years, is still dissecting the mechanisms of photosynthesis. He also collaborates with researchers across the globe to improve crops for food and energy production.

February 19, 2019

Kuzminov lab: Reconciling a historical contradiction

The latest paper by the Kuzminov lab describes the development of a highly sensitive method to probe the nature of DNA replication in E. coli. The findings were published in a paper titled “Near-continuously synthesized leading strands in Escherichia coli are broken by ribonucleotide excision” in the Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences.

February 05, 2019

Brooke lab: How does a viral infection ward off subsequent infections in host cells?

The latest paper by the Brooke lab investigates the mechanism through which an Influenza A-infected host cell can be rendered resistant to subsequent viral infections. The findings were published in a paper titled “Influenza A Virus Superinfection Potential Is Regulated by Viral Genomic Heterogeneity” in mBio.

January 18, 2019

Kai Zhang lab: Using light to dissect neuronal development

The Zhang lab recently published a paper in Cell Chemical Biology titled "Optogenetic delineation of receptor tyrosine kinase subcircuits in PC12 cell differentiation."

January 17, 2019

Researchers discover another role for cell protein

Discovery provides deeper insight into DNA and the fight against cancer

January 15, 2019