Tulips in front of budig hall

KU 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.


Open Faculty Positions

The Department of Molecular Biosciences is excited to announce that we have 3 open faculty positions:

  • Assistant Professor in Genomics
  • Assistant Professor in Immunology
  • Assistant Professor in Infectious disease

See our Job Opportunities page for more information about each position, details on how to apply, and contact emails for the Search Committee Chairs.

Initial review of applications for each position will begin November 15, 2021.


Yinglong Miao

Yinglong Miao received a competitive NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant with Brian Laird (PI, Chemistry), Ward Thompson (Chemistry), and Suzanne Shontz (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). It will allow us to purchase a high-performance computing cluster nicknamed “BigJay” for science and engineering research at the University of Kansas.


Yinglong Miao
Assistant Professor
Joanna Slusky

Joanna Slusky was named an associate editor for PloS Computational Biology.


Joanna Slusky
Associate Professor
Rob Unckless

The KU Office of Research recently established the KU Center for Genomics. The mission of the center is to coalesce genomic researchers from across the campus. Activities include seminars, symposia, a postdoctoral fellowship, early career mentoring, and pilot grants. Rob Unckless (associate professor) will be the director of the center and Erik Lundquist (professor) will serve on the advisory board. A website will be published soon at genomics.ku.edu.


Rob Unckless
Associate Professor
David Davido

David Davido and Rob Unckless were awarded an NSF EAGER grant entitled “Toward a tractable genetic model of a DNA virus – Drosophila interaction”.


David Davido
Professor
Scott Hefty

The Center for Biomedical Research Excellence in Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease (COBRE CBID) funding has been renewed for the next five years. Scott Hefty was recently awarded the competitive renewal grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He will work in association with John Tunge (professor) of the Department of Chemistry, as well as with other researchers from KU and other academic institutions in Kansas. Together, they will continue to encourage research scientists to conduct research in the chemical biology of infectious disease field.


Scott Hefty
Professor
Erik Lundquist

Erik Lundquist is recipient of The Grant Goodman Undergraduate Mentor Award, recognizing faculty members who are selfless with their time and experience, and continue to have lasting mentoring relationships with students long after they leave the classroom.


Erik Lundquist
Professor
Berl Oakley

Berl Oakley has been elected an American Society for Cell Biology Fellow.


Berl Oakley
Professor
Elizabeth Everman

Elizabeth Everman is Principal Investigator on a new NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) entitled “Linking Genomic, Physiological and Behavioral Responses using a Drosophila Model of Heavy Metal Stress”. This highly competitive NIH program provides independent support to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers transition to an independent academic research career. Dr. Everman also received matching funds provided by the KU Office of Research to support her K99/R00 project. Dr. Everman will continue her investigations into the effects of copper toxicity, assisted by Dr. Macdonald, and leverage several genetic and genomic resources available in the Macdonald group.


Elizabeth Everman
Postdoc, Macdonald lab
Jessie Perlmutter

Jessie Perlmutter received a DeLill Nasser award for Professional Development in Genetics from the Genetics Society of America (GSA).


Jessie Perlmutter
Postdoc, Unckless lab

Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program

Graduate Program

Our graduate program in life sciences research is designed to provide world-class training in both the classroom and research laboratory to prepare students for the next stage of their careers.

Degrees Offered

Undergraduate Biology Programs

Undergraduate Programs

We sponsor several undergraduate degrees covering a variety of current topics in the life sciences, from single molecules, to cells, development, and disease. Find more information regarding our majors.

Degrees Offered

Presentations

Dan Dixon (professor) gave an invited talk entitled “Control of extracellular vesicle secretion in colon cancer” for theDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, October 24, 2021 (Virtual)

Tony Fehr (assistant professor) gave a talk entitled “The impact of ADP-ribosylation on Coronavirus Infection and Immunity” to the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at KU, Sept. 28, 2021

Catherine Kerr (graduate student, Fehr lab) gave a virtual talk at the Midwest Women In STEM Conference (September 18-19) hosted by the University of Chicago entitled “PARP12 is required for the attenuation of ADP-ribosylhydrolase deficient mouse hepatitis virus in primary macrophages”.  

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Publications

Draper-Joyce CJ, Bhola R, Wang J, Bhattarai A, Nguyen ATN, Cowie-Kent I, O’Sullivan K, Venugopal H, Valant C, Thal DM, Wootten D, Panel N, Carlsson J, Christie MJ, Scammells P, May LT, Sexton PM, Danev R, Miao Y, Glukhova A, Wendy L I, & Christopoulos A (2021) Positive allosteric mechanisms of adenosine A1 receptor-mediated analgesia. Nature, 597(7877): 571–576.

Höring C*, Conrad M, Söldner CA, Wang J, Sticht H, Strasser A, & Miao Y* (2021) Specific Engineered G Protein Coupling to Histamine Receptors Revealed from Cellular Assay Experiments and Accelerated Molecular Dynamics Simulations.International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(18):10047.

He X, Smith SE, Chen S, Li H, Wu D, Meneses-Giles PI, Wang Y, Hembree M, Yi K, Zhao X, Guo F, Unruh JR, Maddera LE, Yu Z, Scott A, Perera A, Wang Y, Zhao C, Bae K, Box A, Haug JS, Tao F, Hu D, Hansen DM, Qian P, Saha S, Dixon DA, Anant S, Zhang D, Lin EH, Sun W, Wiedemann L, Li L. (2021) Tumor-initiating stem cell shapes its microenvironment into an immunosuppressive barrier and pro-tumorigenic niche. Cell Reports.

Dharmendra Puri , Keerthana Ponniah, Kasturi Biswas, Atrayee Basu, Swagata Dey, Erik A Lundquist , Anindya Ghosh-Roy (2021) Wnt signaling establishes the microtubule polarity in neurons through regulation of Kinesin-13J Cell Biol, 220(9):e202005080.doi: 10.1083/jcb.202005080. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

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