Photo of Ci Ji Lim
Aug 10, 2020

Ci Ji Lim’s first impression of UW-Madison’s campus: “amazing!” He was struck not only by the surrounding lakes – in stark contrast to the mountains in Colorado he was used to – but even moreso by the deeply meaningful interactions he had with UW-Madison’s people, its faculty, staff, and students.

Now he’ll be among them as the Department of Biochemistry’s newest faculty member.

Lim, who goes by CJ, will use Cryo-EM technology to study how mammalian telomeres are regulated and how they achieve homeostasis. Telomeres act as protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, holding...

Photo of Tim Grant
Aug 07, 2020

Tim Grant joined the UW–Madison faculty in March 2020 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry.

What are the main goal(s) of your current research program?
Cryo-EM has come a long way since I did my Ph.D. and it has been a joy to see it grow and for me to contribute to that growth via methods development. I’m still very much driven by the desire to improve the technique and make it applicable to as wide a range of problems as possible. Despite the massive growth, there are still limitations, especially when it comes to lower molecular weight molecules, and...

Photo of John Ralph
Jul 24, 2020

Biochemistry Professor John Ralph has been awarded the 2020 Groupe Polyphénols Scientific Grand Prize by the Groupe Polyphenols Society. The award recognizes the contributions Ralph has made to the field of plant polyphenols.

Plant polyphenols play a crucial role in basic research and have broad-reaching implications in medicine, nutrition, agriculture, ecology and industrial chemistry. Ralph and his team of researchers and collaborators boast such accomplishments as delineating plant cell wall biochemical processes and the effects of genetic perturbations on them; developing a...

Photo of Amy Betzelberger
Jul 22, 2020

Amy Betzelberger has been awarded the 2020 Early Career Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award. The award, given by the Office for Undergraduate Advising (OUA) at UW-Madison, honors individuals who have been employed at UW–Madison for fewer than 5 years, but in that time have made distinctive contributions to undergraduate advising and/or career services on our campus. 

Betzelberger joined the Department of Biochemistry in January 2018 as Associate Student Services Coordinator, the sole advisor for roughly 600 students in the Biochemistry major. She played a key role in...

photo of maximum occupancy sign outside a lab
Jul 08, 2020

The halls of the Hector F. DeLuca Biochemistry buildings look a little different these days. They’re quiet, like much of campus, but slowly and surely seeing more activity than they have since the start of the pandemic. In late March, on-site access to campus was restricted to essential personnel.

Harriet Saunders, a graduate student in the lab of Associate Professor Jill Wildonger, is one of few who have been in the buildings for the duration, from the closure of campus to Phase 1 of its Research Reboot. Saunders was cleared for access during the initial closure in order to care...

BTP UW Logo
Jul 01, 2020

The Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) was awarded a T32 Predoctoral Training Grant from the National Institutes of Health. The award provides a total of $4.8 million over five years to support 20 doctoral students from across campus.

BTP at UW-Madison, co-directed by Professors Brian Fox and Beth Meyerand, is one of the original BTP T32s in the United States. The program started in 1989, and is now one of the oldest and largest in the country.

Fox took over as director of the program in 2008, before then serving on the steering committee under the leadership of Tim Donohue...

Working from home we are still getting research done
Jun 29, 2020

Despite COVID-19 restrictions on in-person campus operations, undergraduate students continue to further research in Biochemistry faculty labs. In particular, computational work is well-suited to being conducted remotely.  

This brand of telecommuting, coined “tele-science” by Associate Professor Aaron Hoskins and carried out largely by undergraduate students across the department, is vital to research in biochemistry.

“All of my undergraduates are given their own, independent research projects – all of which are exciting and make contributions to my lab and the field at...

Photo illustration of SARS CoV-2 Spike-alignmen
Jun 29, 2020

Dr. Jean-Yves Sgro, Distinguished Senior Scientist and director of the Biochemistry Computational Research Facility, has released a new bioinformatics tutorial to assist researchers in understanding the SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein sequence while performing multiple sequence alignments with closely related SARS coronaviruses spike sequences. Starting with the retrieval of sequences from NCBI, the new tutorial shows all the steps to preparing sequence files and obtaining& multiple sequence alignments with the clustal-omega and TCoffee software. Most steps are performed within a text...

National Science Foundation logo
Jun 22, 2020

IPiB Students Recognized by National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Revised June 25, 2020

Three students in the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) have been recognized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

NSF logo
Jun 08, 2020

Professors Katie Henzler-Wildman and Chad Rienstra, co-directors of the National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison (NMRFAM), have been awarded a grant to study coronavirus proteins of direct relevance to COVID-19. The research is funded by a National Science Foundation EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) award, and carried out in collaboration with Assistant Professor Robert Kirchdoerfer.

The research will quickly contribute new insights into the structure and function of two important SARS-coronavirus-2 proteins: nsp8 and the membrane protein M. These...

logo from UW BIRCWH webpage
Jun 05, 2020

Biochemistry Assistant Professor Judith Simcox has been named a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Scholar at UW-Madison. The BIRCWH program supports highly-qualified early-career faculty whose research focuses on women’s health or sex and gender differences.

Simcox’s lab uses liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis to characterize lipids and understand their role in metabolic diseases. In particular, Simcox studies lipids as predictive markers for metabolic disease in African American women.

Congratulations winners
Jun 03, 2020

The Department of Biochemistry is pleased to announce its 2020 undergraduate and graduate student departmental awards and fellowships. These awards and fellowships celebrate talented students in the department and are made possible by generous gifts to the department to fund graduate and undergraduate research.

“We are always honored to celebrate and support our best and brightest students. We’re especially happy to spread the good news this year in particular,” said department chair Brian Fox. “These awards highlight the hard work of these students, mentorship of their faculty...

Jun 01, 2020

IPiB Announces 2020 Teaching, Mentoring Awards and New GDLC Officers

The Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) is pleased to continue its commitment to teaching and mentorship by announcing the 2020 graduate student awards that celebrate these important aspects of the program.

Megan Dowdle, from the lab of Michael Sheets, and Harriet Saunders, from the lab of Jill Wildonger, received the 2020 Denton Award for Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring. Josie Mitchell, from the lab of Jill Wildonger, received the 2020 Sigrid Leirmo Memorial Award in...

Photo of Ophelia Venturelli
May 18, 2020

Microbial communities perform diverse chemical and physical transformations in every environment on Earth. These communities exhibit tremendous spatial and temporal variability. Abiotic (e.g. nutrient, pH) and biotic interactions shape the spatial distribution of microbes in natural environment such as the gut microbiome and plant rhizosphere. However, we do not fully understand how spatial arrangements influence microbial community metabolic activities, diversity or stability, or how to manipulate these spatial and temporal parameters to program community properties.

Biochemistry...

Image of a hand writing out the word diabetes
May 12, 2020

Biochemistry Assistant Professor Judith Simcox is the co-principal investigator on a recently awarded UW2020 Round 6 project. Dudley Lamming, assistant professor of endocrinology, will serve as principal investigator.

Biochemistry professor Alan Attie and Honorary Biochemistry faculty member David Pagliarini are serving as co- investigators on this project.

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