Meet our faculty logo
Oct 16, 2020
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

I grew up in Delaware, in the suburbs south of Wilmington. I spent twelve years in Catholic schools. The schools were good academically but I shed the Catholic part in college. My childhood was spent wading in creeks, catching frogs and snakes, and planting seeds to see what happened. Only later did I realize how many important things were happening in the world around me. Attended college at the University of Delaware and then did graduate work in the Biochemistry Department at...

Packard Foundation logo
Oct 14, 2020

Scott M. Coyle, a University of Wisconsin–Madison assistant professor of biochemistry, has been named a 2020 Packard Foundation Fellow in Science and Engineering.  

Coyle, whose research focuses on understanding and engineering microscale molecular and cellular machines, is one of 20 early career scientists from across the United States to be awarded this year’s Packard Fellowship. The fellowship provides $875,000 in flexible funding over five years.

Oct 09, 2020

Ophelia Venturelli (Biochemistry) in collaboration with Philip Romero (Biochemistry) and Federico Rey (Bacteriology) were awarded an R01 grant through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Logo for National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease
Oct 01, 2020

Professor Alan Attie has been awarded an RC2 grant through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease to explore the role of genetic variation in the response to two popular human diets.

Obesity and related metabolic disorders have reached a historic high worldwide. While health experts have long debated the benefits of two disparate diets, high-fat/low-carb vs. low-fat/high-carb, clinical studies have not determined which diet achieves optimal metabolic health.

Distribution of rescuing mutations diagram from figure 2B
Sep 30, 2020

Biochemistry Assistant Professor Vatsan Raman and IPiB graduate student Megan Leander have published findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on how proteins work. The findings are key to allostery, a property of proteins which is central to biology. Allosteric proteins play critical roles in cellular function, including signal transduction, metabolism, and gene regulation. Understanding how allostery works is a fundamental question in protein biophysics, and has high relevance to disease.

For instance, cancer genomes contain mutations in allosteric...

Image of Apoferritin at 1.9 Angstrom
Sep 22, 2020

MADISON — A national research initiative announced today will place the University of Wisconsin–Madison at the forefront of a revolution in imaging fostered by cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography — technologies that can illuminate life at the atomic scale.

The National Institutes of Health will provide $22.7 million over six years to create a national research and training hub at UW–Madison that will give scientists across the country access to this game-changing technology.

Photo of Hezouwe Walada
Sep 15, 2020

Reposted with permission from the Continuing Studies program.

In his village of Koumea in Togo, Africa, 8-year-old Hezouwe Walada watched nearly half of his community—including three of his young cousins—die of malaria in early 2000. He decided then and there he wanted to become a doctor.

But his dream seemed unattainable—his family was poor, the nearest school was far from his village and he didn’t even have shoes.

After 20 years, nearly 6,000 miles and a host of trials and tribulations, Walada started at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as a first-year student...

IPiB logo 2020
Sep 04, 2020

The Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) is pleased to welcome its newest class of incoming students. The 2020 cohort is comprised of 14 students from across the country. Students hail from such undergraduate institutions as Smith College, Texas A&M, and Boston College, and bring with them diverse experience to adapt to the changes that come with 2020.

“It is always great to see and welcome a new IPiB incoming class,” said IPiB Program Director, Ivan Rayment. “This year the introduction to our program is more than a little bit different with masks, physical distancing, and...

Phi Beta Kappa key logo and award text
Aug 24, 2020

The Department of Biochemistry is pleased to announce six undergraduates as 2020 inductees to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society

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 Joins (Joined) Biochemistry Faculty, Morgridge Institute for Research

You may have missed Tim Grant’s arrival on campus earlier this year: he joined the Biochemistry faculty and the Morgridge Institute for Research at a historic time, on the brink of campus-wide shutdown due to COVID-19.

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...

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...