December 2015 News

Erik Lundquist and Ilya Vakser (professors) have been elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  According to AAAS, election as an AAAS Fellow is meant "to recognize members for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications".  This prestigious recognition honors their contributions to “innovation, education and scientific leadership,” with only 347 Fellows elected in 2015.   In particular, Erik (left) was recognized “for distinguished contributions to understanding molecular mechanisms of nervous system development, including axon guidance, using modern genetic and in vivo approaches.” Ilya (right) was honored “for distinguished contributions to the field of computational structural biology, particularly for theoretical studies of molecular recognition and methodology development for protein docking.”


Scott Hefty (associate professor) served as mentor and poster judge at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Seattle, Washington, November 11-14.





Stuart Macdonald (associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies) wrote a proposal on behalf of the Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program that was selected to receive three 9-month University Graduate Fellowships for the 2016-2017 Academic Year from the University of Kansas Graduate Studies. Two of the fellowships will be used to recruit new graduate students to our programs, with one designated for a domestic, underrepresented minority student.  The third is a dissertation fellowship that will support a current student.



Jenn Klaus (graduate student, Chandler lab) won a Best Poster Award at the University of Kansas Chemical Biology Training Grant Annual Symposium poster session for her poster entitled, “Regulation of an antibiotic-induced virulence gene cluster in Burkholderia pseudomallei” on November 20.




Andrew McShan (graduate student, De Guzman lab) received a Best Poster Presentation Award at the 2015 Great Plains Regional Annual Symposium on Protein and Biomolecular NMR held at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas on Nov 13-14, 2015.  Andrew (left) received a certificate and a gift card from the sponsor of the award, Cambridge Isotope Laboratories, represented by Dr. Andrew Merithew (right).




Andy Wolfe (graduate student, Neufeld lab) won first place and a travel award for his poster entitled Suppression of intestinal tumorigenesis in Apc mutant mice by Musashi-1 deletion” at the KU Cancer Center Research Symposium and Multi-Disciplinary Oncology Conference held at the KU-Edwards Campus on November 13.

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December 2015 Presentations

Josie Chandler (assistant professor) gave two invited lectures recently.  At the Great Plains Infectious Diseases Conference on October 7 she spoke about “Quorum sensing-controlled antibiotics and antibiotic-resistance factors and their role in interspecies competition."  On October 1, Josie spoke at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, School of Biological Sciences about “Making friends to make war: quorum sensing, cooperation and interspecies competition."

David Davido (associate professor) gave a presentation in the department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Florida School of Medicine entitled “To be lytic or not to be lytic: a question of HSV-1-host interactions” on November 2.​

Berl Oakley (Irving S. Johnson Distinguished Professor) gave the Roger E. Koeppe Endowed Lecture in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University on November 20.  The lecture was entitled “A new/old path to drug discovery: Reengineering the Aspergillus genome for natural product discovery and production.”

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December 2015 Publications

Chiang Y-M, Ahuja M., Oakley CE, Entwistle R, Asokan A, Zutz C, Wang CC, Oakley BR. Development of genetic dereplication strain in Aspergillus nidulans results in the discovery of Aspercryptin. Angew Chem Int Ed Eng [Epub ahead of print]


LaFayette S, Houle D, Beaudoin T, Wojewodka G, Radzioch D,  Hoffman L, Burns J, Dandekar A, Smalley N, Chandler JR, Zlosnik J, Speert D, Bernier J, Matouk E, Brochiero E, Rousseau S, Nguyen D. Cystic fibrosis-adapted Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing lasR mutants cause hyper-inflammatory responses. Science Adv 1: e1500199

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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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