Logo for the Wolf Foundation
Mar 11, 2021

Biochemistry alum Lynne Maquat has been awarded the 2021 Wolf Prize in Medicine. The international award is given to outstanding scientists from around the world for achievements that benefit mankind.

Maquat was a graduate student in the lab of now emeritus professor William Reznikoff, and conducted a postoc in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer under now emeritus professor Jeffrey Ross. She is the founding director of the Center for RNA Biology at the University of Rochester.

Illustration of a Phage
Mar 10, 2021

Researchers have developed a new method that reveals the molecular code governing bacteriophage-bacteria interactions. Bacteriophages (phages) – viruses that infect and kill bacteria – have emerged as a promising new frontier due to potential use in antibacterial therapeutics.

In a paper released March 9 in eLife, Biochemistry Assistant Professor Vatsan Raman and microbiology graduate student Phil Huss present their new method, dubbed ORACLE (Optimized Recombination, Accumulation and Library Expression), for systematically mapping how sequence changes affects the interaction of a...

Cantor graphical abstract section from Cell Metabolism paper
Mar 05, 2021

Biochemists have utilized a new cell culture medium to ask how critical genes are to the survival and reproduction of human cells under different growth conditions. The technique could have important ramifications for the treatment of human diseases.

Cell culture media are designed to provide a sheltered and nutritive environment to support cell survival and rapid growth, but until now, these media have not closely resembled the biochemical conditions encountered by cells in the human body. Researchers previously designed a new medium that more closely reflects the nutrient...

Photo of Talos Arctica
Mar 02, 2021

The Department of Biochemistry is home to two new facilities conducting groundbreaking work in Cryo-EM and Cryo-ET. The UW–Madison Cryo-EM Research Center (CEMRC) is set to open in spring 2021, and the opening of the Midwest Center for Cryo Electron Tomography (MCCET), a national hub, is anticipated in early 2022. Both centers are housed in the Hector F. DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Complex, and directed by biochemistry professor Elizabeth Wright.

Read more about Biochemistry’s deep involvement in this revolutionary technology in the Spring 2021 issue of Grow:

Meet our faculty logo
Mar 02, 2021
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

I grew up in and around London in the UK, in Wimbledon (I’m still a big tennis fan) until I was about ten, then a place called Kingston. I went to Hampton school, which was famous for rowing: I was small so they tried to convince me to cox, but you had to get up too early in the morning.

Where did you carry out your postdoctoral research?

I did my first postdoc in the UK at the National Institute for Medical Research, I then did a second postdoc in the US, at Janelia Research Campus...

Feb 25, 2021

Professors Katie Henzler-Wildman and Chad Rienstra, co-directors of the National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison (NMRFAM), have been awarded a P41 grant to pioneer new methods for solid-state NMR. The research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and provides $6.5 million over 5 years.

The project builds on existing NMR technology to extend its reach to the broader scientific community. It includes collaborations between NMRFAM and leading experts in the study of Parkinson's disease, antifungal drug development, blood coagulation, and the function of ion channels...

Meet our faculty logo
Feb 15, 2021
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

I grew up in Clinton, MA, a small mill town near Worcester. I went to public school in Clinton and to MIT for undergraduate studies in chemistry. I got my Ph.D. in Chemistry under the guidance of Dr. Michelle Chang at the University of California, Berkeley. (go Bears!)

Where did you carry out your postdoctoral research?

I did a postdoc with Dr. Jim Wells at the University of California, San Francisco.

Molecule illustration for article
Feb 04, 2021

In a paper published in Nature Chemical Biology, Assistant Professor Vatsan Raman describes a new computation-guided method to optimize the design of split protein systems that can be used to monitor and regulate biological activity.

Split protein systems are biochemical tools that can be used to monitor and regulate biological activity. A protein of interest is broken into two inactive pieces that, under user-defined conditions, can rejoin to form a functional protein. However, it can be difficult to engineer a split such that the protein will reconstitute effectively only under...

NMR Structure image from figure 5B
Feb 03, 2021

Biochemistry Professor Katie Henzler-Wildman and her team of researchers have published findings on the structure and dynamics of EmrE, utilizing a new method to determine the protein’s structure in greater detail than had been previously available. EmrE is a membrane protein that may provide key insight into antibiotic resistance, a rising public health concern.

Congrats over UW shield logo
Feb 02, 2021

The Department of Biochemistry is pleased to announce Benjamin Minkoff as the winner of the 2020 Boyer Award for Postdoctoral Excellence in Biochemistry. The award recognizes and rewards excellence in research accomplishments in the Department of Biochemistry.

Minkoff was part of a team of researchers who invented a new technique to perform protein 'footprinting,' or ‘protein painting.’ The technique, called Plasma-Induced Modification of Biomolecules (PLIMB), uses a machine invented by the team that allows researchers to gather data on protein structure, assembly, and interactions...

Meet our faculty logo
Feb 01, 2021
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

I grew up in western Michigan, attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and then MIT for grad school with Robert Griffin at the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory. My PhD is in Chemistry (specializing in Physical Chemistry) but I also got an education in practical engineering there by building a variety of instrumentation, especially NMR probes along with machinists, electronics technicians, and physicists in the facility.

Photo of John Suttie
Jan 28, 2021

John W. Suttie, celebrated scientist and professor of Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences at University of Wisconsin-Madison, died on December 21, 2020 in Green Valley, Arizona, at 86. He was a nationally recognized and influential researcher, scholar, and advocate for the scientific community, and to his peers and colleagues, a cherished friend, storyteller, collaborator and pioneer.

Congrats over UW shield logo
Jan 27, 2021

Biochemistry Professor Aaron Hoskins has been selected as a 2021-2022 Vilas Associate, awarded by the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. The Vilas Associates award recognizes new and ongoing research of the highest quality and significance.

Hoskins’s research focuses on RNA splicing, a biological process requiring assembly of large RNA-protein complexes, or spliceosomes, from dozens of individual components. RNA splicing is fundamental and essential to gene expression in all eukaryotes, from plants to humans.

Meet our faculty logo
Jan 19, 2021
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

I grew up in southern California near Huntington Beach where I spent a lot of time in the ocean. I went to UC Davis.  After graduating I worked as a technician for Gilead Sciences and after that I decided I wanted to live in Burlington, Vermont so I did my PhD at UVM.

Where did you carry out your postdoctoral research?


As a child, who was your biggest influence?

My grandfather, who worked on box cars for the Santa Fe railroad in Chicago

Photo of John Suttie
Jan 08, 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce Biochemistry Professor Emeritus John Suttie died on December 21, 2020 in Arizona, where he had been living for the past several years. John was a faculty member in Biochemistry from 1961-2001 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was known scientifically for his outstanding work on blood clotting including the metabolism and mode of action of vitamin K; he was also a great mentor and dedicated teacher. We will miss him dearly. A full written tribute from the Biochemistry community will be shared on our website in the coming days.