October 2014 News

The Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Kansas invites applications for a faculty position at the tenure-track Assistant or Associate level in Genomics. We are seeking applications from outstanding scientists with experience in genome-level, quantitative approaches to understanding any area in modern experimental biology.  A complete announcement and application procedures can be found on the KU Employment Webpages.  Inquiries can be directed to Stuart Macdonald, chair of the search committee.


Dr. David DavidoDavid Davido (associate professor) has agreed to serve a three year term on the editorial board for Journal of Virology starting 2015.  




Stuart Macdonald (associate professor) had his recent article entitled “Fine-mapping nicotine resistance loci in Drosophila using a multiparent advanced generation intercross population” highlighted by the journal Genetics.




Kristi Neufeld (associate professor) had her research highlighted by KU News for her article entitled “Human Cancer Xenografts in Outbred Nude Mice Can Be Confounded by Polymorphisms in a Modifier of Tumorigenesiswhich appears in the journal Genetics.  Read the KU Today article entitled “Genetic modifier affects colon tumor formation.”



Dr. Liang XuLiang Xu and Kristi Neufeld (associate professors) along with Jeff Aube (professor in Medicinal Chemistry) were awarded a Research Project Grant (R01) from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The aim of this three year project entitled “Small molecules modulating RNA-binding protein Msi1” is to design and synthesize novel small molecule inhibitors targeting RNA-binding protein Musashi-1 (Msi1), as new chemical probes and eventually novel molecular cancer therapy that inhibit cancer with Msi1 overexpression.



Dr. Steve BenedictSteve Benedict (professor) was named a Chancellor’s Club Teaching Professor, a prestigious recognition for a distinguished career in teaching, at the Annual Celebration of the Chancellors Club on Friday, September 26th and a reception at the Chancellors home on Saturday the 27th.  Read all about Dr. Benedict’s teaching accolades in the article entitled, “Prestigious Chancellors Club Teaching Professorships awarded to faculty.”



Patricia Martins da Silva (postdoc, Chandler lab) is the recipient of  a travel award from the American Society of Microbiology to present her poster entitled "Acyl-homoserine lactone-independent activation of an orphan LuxR in B. thailandensis and B. pseudomallei" at the 5th ASM Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria meeting in San Antonio, TX, to be held October 18-21.



We welcome the following new graduate students to our program:

1st Row: Jennifer Klaus, Nan Bai, Haifa Alhadyian, Anupama Kante, Sikta Patnaik
2nd Row: Thelma Chiremba, Jin Niu
3rd Row: Robert Wilkerson, Bryce Blankenfeld, Kelly Harrison, Nootan Pandey
​4th Row: Nikola Kenjic, Aaron Bart, Sudeep Shakya, Olivia Arizmendi


Rana AlianiRana Aliani (undergraduate, Lundquist lab) is the recipient of a KU Undergraduate Research Award for the 2014 fall semester to pursue her project “The Effects of nfm-1 on Migration of Q Neuroblasts in Caenorhabditis elegans.”




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October 2014 Presentations

Roberto De Guzman (associate professor) gave a talk entitled "PRE studies of assembly of bacterial nanoinjectors" at the 26th International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems (ICMRBS), in Dallas, Texas, August 24-29, 2014

Sriram Varahan (graduate student, Hancock lab) presented a platform presentation entitled “Deletion of an RNPP family protein results in hyper biofilm formation in Enterococcus faecalis” at the 13th Annual Great Plains Infectious Disease meeting held in Columbia, Missouri, September 26-27, 2014

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October 2014 Publications

Barta ML, Thomas K, Yuan H, Lovell S, Battaile KP, Schramm VL, Hefty PSStructural and Biochemical Characterization of Chlamydia trachomatis Hypothetical Protein CT263 Supports that Menaquinone Synthesis Occurs through the Futalosine PathwayJ. Biol. Chem.  [Epub ahead of print]

Conlin PL, Chandler JR, Kerr B.  Games of life and death: antibiotic resistance and production through the lens of evolutionary game theoryCurr Opin Micro 21: 35-44.

Liu H, Li K, Lan L, Ma J, Zeng Y, Xu L, Wu D.  Double-layered hyaluronic acid/stearic acid-modified polyethyleneimine nanoparticles encapsulating (−)-gossypol: a nanocarrier for chiral anticancer drugs. Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 2014, 2(32):5238-5248.

Marriage TN, EG King, AD Long, SJ MacdonaldFine-mapping nicotine resistance loci in Drosophila using a multiparent advanced generation intercross population. Genetics 198: 45–57

Rathinavelan T, Lara-Tejero M, Lefebre M, Chatterjee S, McShan AC, Guo DC, Tang C, Galan JE, De Guzman RN. NMR model of PrgI-SipD interaction and its implications in the needle-tip assembly of the Salmonella type III secretion system.  J Mol Biol.  426: 2958-69.

Varahan S, Harms N, Gilmore MS, Tomich JM, Hancock LEAn ABC Transporter Is Required for Secretion of Peptide Sex Pheromones in Enterococcus faecalis.  MBio. 2014 Sep 23;5(5). pii: e01726-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01726-14.

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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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46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
Kara Hinshaw (graduate student, Chandler lab) presented a poster entitled "Quorum sensing promotes defense and self-preservation during interspecies competition" at the Great Plains Infectious Disease meeting in Columbia, MO, on September 26-27.