March 2019 News
Erik D. Holmstrom (assistant professor) joins the Department of Molecular Biosciences faculty. Dr. Holmstrom received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado working in the Nesbitt lab where he studied the kinetics and thermodynamics of RNA folding. Afterwards, he traveled to the Schuler lab in Zurich, Switzerland for his postdoctoral training where he investigated interactions between intrinsically disordered proteins and nucleic acids. While there, he was awarded a Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) This allowed him to build a research program that aims to use state-of-the-art single-molecule fluorescence techniques to probe RNA-protein interactions that regulate viral nucleocapsid assembly. The Holmstrom lab will continue to develop this program at KU. Welcome Dr. Holmstrom!
Josie Chandler (assistant professor) was awarded a Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Bridging Award for her proposal entitled: “Quorum sensing evolution and function in mixed microbial communities.” The goal of this work is to provide a fundamental understanding of how bacterial communication systems regulate interactions between and among members of a population in complex microbial communities, such as those found in many infections.
Rob Unckless (assistant professor) served as a discussion leader in the “Mining peptide diversity and functionality across species” session of the 2019 Antimicrobial Peptide Gordon Research Conference in Tuscany, Italy in February.
Sanjana Sundararajan (graduate student, Yoshi Azuma lab) won the “People’s Choice Award” for KU’s first participation in the 3-minute Thesis Competition for her talk on her work, “Because Small Things Do Go a Long Way!”