May 2019 News

David Davido (professor) has been promoted to full professor. Dr. Davido earned his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. Following postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Würzburg, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty in the Department of Molecular Biosciences in 2005.  The Davido Laboratory studies the roles that viral and host factors play in controlling the lytic and latent phases of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) life cycle. 


Cindy Ly (graduate student, Davido Lab) received an Honorable Mention from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her Graduate Research Fellowship application entitled “Identifying Ubiquitinome Profiles and Pathways Targets by HSV-1 ICP0.”



Nikola Kenjic (pictured) and Jeff McFarlane (graduate students, Lamb lab) won travel awards from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to attend the Experimental Biology conference in Orlando, FL (April 6-9).  Both participated in the career development programming and presented posters.  Nikola’s poster was titled “3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase (RibB) of riboflavin biosynthesis has a mononuclear magnesium active site,” and Jeff’s poster was “An opine on opines: the biosynthesis of opine metallophores.”

Haifa Alhadyian (graduate student, Ward lab) moderated the Undergraduate Panel of the New Faculty Forum at the 60th Drosophila Research Conference in Dallas, TX on March 27, 2019. She also presented her work in a poster format.



Congratulations to the incoming 2018 graduate student class!  As their first year winds down, we are pleased to announce that home labs have been secured and research projects have begun.

Sahida Afroz has joined the Dixon lab and will be studying the role of exosomes in colorectal cancer.

Jennifer Amrein has joined the Dixon lab and will be studying how RNA decay impacts the intestinal microbiome and immune function in colorectal cancer.

Wendy Aquino Nunez has joined the Ackley Lab, and will study the mechanisms of how tau aggregation results in neuronal dysfunction in vivo.

Kelsey Ferguson has joined the Lundquist lab and will investigate the role of the axon guidance cue UNC-6/Netrin on growth cone behavior in C. elegans.

Paul Ikujuni has joined the Slusky lab and will be studying how efflux pumps can be disabled to make resistant bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics.

Catherine Kerr has joined the Fehr Lab and will be studying how cellular PARP enzymes impact coronavirus replication and pathogenesis.

Kent Mulkey has joined the Unckless Lab and will be studying the mechanisms of DNA virus infection and virulence in Drosophila.

Parker Sperstad has joined the Richter lab working on directed evolution of a nicotine sensing enzyme for monitoring nicotine levels in the brain.

Sutton Stegman has joined the Timmons lab where he will investigate environmental contributions to gene regulatory mechanisms using Caenorhabditis elegans.

Nicholas Wagner has joined the Macdonald lab and will be working on an array of computational biology projects that seek to investigate the genetic basis of complex trait variation in Drosophila.

Qi Zhang has joined the Xu Lab and will be studying the role of RNA-binding proteins in resistance to cancer immunotherapy.


Bailey Huser (undergraduate, Davido Lab) received a K-INBRE undergraduate scholarship to study how HSV-1 alters the stability of cellular proteins during productive infection.




Mariaelena Nabors (undergraduate, Unckless Lab) was named a Kansas IDEA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (KINBRE) Star Trainee. This program identifies outstanding biomedical researchers and provides financial support during their senior year.


Cara Davis (undergraduate, Lamb lab) will be entering the Biological Chemistry graduate program at the University of Michigan in the fall.


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May 2019 Presentations

Erik Lundquist (professor) presented the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Biological Sciences Alumni Lecture entitled “Axon Guidance in neural Circuit Formation” on April 11, 2019.

Christian Ray (assistant professor) gave an invited talk entitled “Identifying determinants of cell cycle variability during a stress response” at the Kansas State University Department of Anatomy and Physiology on April 2, 2019.

Yinglong Miao (assistant professor) gave three invited talks at the 2019 Spring American Chemical Society Meeting in Orlando, Florida: (1) "Activation dependent G-protein-coupled receptor-membrane interactions", (2) "Enhanced molecular dynamics simulations of G-protein-coupled receptor-G protein interactions", and (3) "Gaussian accelerated molecular dynamics (GaMD): Enhanced sampling of ligand binding and protein-protein interactions".

Yinglong Miao (assistant professor) gave an invited talk entitled "Accelerated Simulations and Drug Design of G-Protein-Coupled Receptors" at the Kansas State University Department of Anatomy & Physiology on April 9, 2019.

Elizabeth Everman (postdoc, Macdonald lab) gave a talk entitled "Dissecting the genetic architecture of copper resistance" at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Missouri Academy of Science at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri on April 13, 2019.

David Ingham (graduate student, Gamblin lab) and Nikola Kenjic (graduate student, Lamb lab) gave invited talks about their dissertation research at the 2019 Biomedical Sciences Symposium on April 19.  They were part of a full day program that included a poster competition and keynote talks from Adam Cohen (Harvard) and David Keire (FDA).  The one day symposium is organized by the Chemical Biology and Biotechnology Graduate Training Programs here at KU.


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May 2019 Publications

Everman, E. R., McNeil, C. L., Hackett, J. L., Bain, C. L. and Macdonald, S. J. (2019) Dissection of complex, fitness-related traits in multiple Drosophila mapping populations offers insight into the genetic control of stress resistance. Genetics 211: 1449-1467.

New, J., Subramaniam, D., Ramalingam, S., Enders, J., Sayed, A.A.A., Ponnurangam, S., Standing, D. Ramamoorthy, P., O'Neil, M., Dixon, D.A., Umar, S., Jensen, R.A., Thomas, S.M. and Anant, S. Pleotropic role of RNA binding protein CELF2 in Autophagy Induction. Molecular Carcinogenesis. 2019; 1-10.

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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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