April 2018 News   

David Davido (associate professor), and Andrea Bertke (assistant professor, Virginia Tech University) are the recipients of a two-year National Institutes of Health Exploratory/ Developmental Research Grant (R21) entitled “Identification of novel HSV-1 ICP0 E3 ligase targets by mass spectrometry in neurons.”  Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) causes recurrent cold and ocular sores and has the capacity to infect sensory neurons; the viral protein, ICP0, plays an important role in HSV-1 pathogenesis.  The goal of this grant is to identify cellular proteins ICP0 destabilizes that contribute to HSV-1 lytic replication in neurons.


Rob Unckless (assistant professor) received a Genetics editor’s choice award in Population and Evolutionary Genetics. The article is featured in Genes to Genomes.





Liang Xu (professor) published the paper "Time-lapse live cell imaging to monitor doxorubicin release from DNA origami nanostructures" in Journal of Materials Chemistry B that featured as the front cover image, and was selected as “hot paper” of 2018.




Josie Chandler (assistant professor) was invited to teach in an international short course entitled “Microbial Signaling” held from March 19th to 23rd at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The course was supported by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and attended primarily by students in the Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Oswaldo Cruz and the Microbiology Graduate Program at the Federal University in Rio de Janairo (Brazil). The seminar series covered basic and advanced aspects of microbial signaling within and between microbes and is based on the book chapter “Microbial Signaling” co-authored by Dr. Chandler and others published recently in the book “Molecular Diversity of Environmental Prokaryotes" (CRC Press 2016, pages 147-175).


Taybor Parker (graduate student, Neufeld lab) was selected to represent the University of Kansas at the 15th Annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit  in Topeka, KS on March 27, 2018. Parker and twelve other graduate students from KU and KU Medical Center joined peer students from other Kansas universities, including Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, and Wichita State University.  Each participant presented a research poster ​for State government and education officials, as well as for the general public.  Parker won the KU Presentation Award for his poster, “Stopping Colorectal Cancer Before it Starts: The Many Roles of the APC Protein.”


Cara Davis (undergraduate, Lamb lab) is the recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship,  the nation’s premier undergraduate award for academically gifted students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Cara will be studying enzymes involved in metal ion acquisition in the bacterial pathogen that causes plague.  Read more about KU’s nominees in KU Today article.




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April 2018 Presentations

Josie Chandler (assistant professor) gave a talk entitled, “Making friends to make war: quorum sensing, cooperation and interspecies competition” at Fio Cruz University March 21 and at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro on March 22, both in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Yinglong Miao (assistant professor) gave a talk entitled, "Computer-Aided Drug Discovery Targeting G-Protein-Coupled Receptors" and a hands-on tutorial entitled "Gaussian Accelerated Molecular Dynamics" at the Frontiers in Computational Drug Discovery (FCDD) Symposium, in Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan on March 16-20.  Yinglong also gave a talk entitled, “Accelerated Computer Simulations and Drug Discovery of G-Protein-Coupled Receptors” at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas on March 7.

Mizuki Azuma (associate professor) gave a talk entitled, “Role of Ewing sarcoma proteins in Tumorigenesis” in Bethesda, MD at the Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS)-National Institute of Health (NIH) Forum on March 9.

David Davido (associate professor) gave an invited talk entitled “To be lytic or not to be lytic: a question of HSV-1-host interactions” in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University on March 16. 

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April 2018 Publications

CL Shelton, Lamb ALUnraveling the structure and mechanism of the MST(ery) EnzymesTrends Biochem Sci.  [Epub ahead of print]

Huang YM, McCammon JA, Miao Y. Replica exchange Gaussian accelerated molecular dynamics: Improved enhanced sampling and free energy calculation. J Chem Theory Comput, 2018 Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.7b01226. 

Miao Y, McCammon JA Mechanism of the G-Protein Mimetic Nanobody Binding to a Muscarinic G-Protein-Coupled Receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2018 In Press, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1800756115.

Y Zeng, J Liu, S Yang, W Liu, L Xu, R Wang. Time-lapse live cell imaging to monitor doxorubicin release from DNA origami nanostructures. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2018.


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Molecular Biosciences

We are an interdisciplinary group of faculty who perform cutting edge research in a wide range of areas including biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, bioinformatics, cancer biology, genetics, genomics, immunology, microbiology, virology, neurobiology, molecular, cellular and developmental biology.  We work closely with postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates to investigate fundamental biological problems on all levels from molecules to cells to organisms.  The Department of Molecular Biosciences, located on the Lawrence campus of the University of Kansas system, is an excellent environment for research and education.

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