February 2017 News 

Audrey Lamb (professor) is a member of the team assembled by Liskin Swint-Kruse (KUMC) and Aron Fenton (KUMC) that recently was funded by the W. M. Keck Foundation for their proposal entitled “Defining the Rules for Rheostatic Modulation of Protein Function.”  The goal of this project is to understand the functional consequences of amino acid variation at non-conserved sites in membrane and intrinsically unstructured proteins, and soluble proteins that are not allosterically regulated.



Berl Oakley (Irving S. Johnson distinguished professor) is the recipient of an award from Acidophil for his proposal entitled “Heterologous expression of a fungal Non-ribosomal peptide synthetase gene.”  This grant provides support for the transferral of a biosynthetic gene from another fungus into Aspergillus nidulans with the goal of expressing it at high levels. The gene is involved in the production of an agriculturally and medically important compound.  Dr. Oakley’s contract with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory entitled “Expression of Polyketide Synthase Genes and Terpene Synthases and Cyclases in Aspergillus nidulans” was also renewed.  The goal of this work is to stimulate the expression of compounds that are useful as biofuels or as cost-effective starting materials for synthesis of high value compounds.


Joanne Chapman joined the Unckless lab in January 2016 as a postdoctoral researcher.  She will study the evolution of antimicrobial peptides via gene duplication and loss in Drosophila.  Joanne is originally from New Zealand, but completed her PhD at the University of Oxford and was previously a postdoc at Lund and Linnaeus Universities in Sweden.



Won Suk Lee has joined the Lundquist lab as a post-doctoral researcher. Won Suk completed his Ph.D. at Rutgers University/UMDNJ. He will study the roles of guidance receptors in axon outgrowth in the developing nervous system using C. elegans.



Trey Ronnebaum (graduate student, Lamb lab) was the recipient of a Graduate Scholarly Presentation Travel Fund award from the KU Office of Graduate Studies.  Trey presented a poster entitled “Investigating ‘Stuffed’ Domains of NRPS Assembly Lines: PchF and PchE of Pyochelin Biosynthesis” at the 25th Enzyme Mechanisms Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida, January 4-8.



Adam Reeves (undergraduate, Mcdonald lab) won the outstanding oral presentation award for his invited presentation “Patterns of Transposable Element Expression in Heads During Drosophila Aging” at the 2017 K-INBRE Symposium, Manhattan Kansas, January 13-15.


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February 2017 Presentations

Mizuki Azuma (associate professor) gave three invited lectures recently, each entitled “Function of Ewing sarcoma EWS protein in skeletogenesis and tumorigenesis”. On December 19, she spoke in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and on January 26, in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, both at KU Medical Center.  On January 13, she presented at the Retirement Symposium for Dr. Igor Dawid at the NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development - Division of Developmental Biology, Bethesda Maryland.

Yoshi Azuma (associate professor) gave a seminar entitled ” SUMO Wrestles at the Mitotic Centromere to Protect the Integrity of Genome” at the Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics & Immunology, KUMC on January19.


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February 2017 Publications

Gao FJ, Shi L, Hines T, Hebbar S, Neufeld KL, Smith DS.  Insulin signaling regulates a functional interaction between Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) and cytoplasmic dynein.  Molecular Biology of the Cell. [Epub ahead of print]

Josephson MP, Aliani R, Norris ML, Ochs ME, Gujar M, Lundquist EAThe Caenorhabditis elegans NF2/Merlin Molecule NFM-1 Non-autonomously Regulates Neuroblast Migration and Interacts Genetically with the Guidance Cue SLT-1/SlitGenetics [Epub ahead of print]

Nussinov R, Papin JA, Vakser IComputing the dynamic supramolecular structural proteomePLoS Computational Biology 13: e1005290.

Sung CT, Chang S-L, Entwistle R, Ahn G, Lin T-S, Petrova V, Yeh H-H, Praseuth MB, Chiang Y-M, Oakley BR, Wang CCC.  Overexpression of a three-gene conidial pigment biosynthetic pathway in Aspergillus nidulans reveals the first NRPS known to acetylate tryptophan. Fungal Genetics and Biology [Epub ahead of print]

Wolfe AR, Ernlund A, McGuinness W, Lehmann C, Carl K, Balmaceda N, Neufeld KLSuppression of intestinal tumorigenesis in Apc mutant mice by Musashi-1 deletion.  Journal of Cell Science [Epub ahead of print]


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