Biochemistry professor Phil Romero
Jun 05, 2018

University of Wisconsin–Madison biochemistry assistant professor Philip Romero and neuroscience assistant professor Ari Rosenberg are the recipients of 2018 Shaw Scientist Awards from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The awards come with $200,000 in seed funding to support innovative research approaches and the career development of young investigators.

Romero’s work uses new technologies to understand how proteins work and how to design new ones. Using computational methods, he is able to analyze large amounts of data that help him investigate the relationships between protein...

Biochemistry professor Michael Sussman
May 24, 2018

Biochemistry professor Michael Sussman is the principal investigator on a recently awarded UW2020 Round 4 project. Numerous other Biochemistry faculty are serving as co-principal investigators or collaborators on this and other UW2020 projects.

The awards represent the fourth round of UW2020 funded projects since the initiative was launched by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. The goal of UW2020 is to stimulate and support cutting edge, highly innovative, and groundbreaking research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the acquisition of...

Photo of biochemistry professor Robert Landick
May 17, 2018

Biochemistry professor Robert Landick has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of three faculty from the University of Wisconsin–Madison that make up the 2018 class of members.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy honors leaders in science, the arts, business and American life. Other members elected this year include former president Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and actor Tom Hanks. Alexander Hamilton, Charles Darwin and Martin Luther King Jr. are among those previously recognized by the Academy.


The bacterial...

Biochemistry undergraduate researcher Will Flanigan
May 11, 2018

For years, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Biochemistry has sent undergraduates to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) annual meeting to participate in its undergraduate research poster contest. The students are always successful and bring home numerous awards, and the 2018 annual meeting in San Diego, Calif. was no exception.

Under the tutelage of Professor Michael Cox, fifteen promising undergraduate researchers made the trip to present research posters this year. Will Flanigan took the top prize in the Cell and Developmental...

Biochemistry professor Aaron Hoskins
May 08, 2018

Assistant professor of biochemistry Aaron Hoskins has received the 2018 Pound Research Award from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The award is supported by an educational development fund created to honor CALS Dean Glenn S. Pound upon his retirement in 1979. It is given to honor an outstanding, early-career CALS research scientist and to promote continued excellence in research.

“It is a great honor to be recognized with this award for young investigators,” Hoskins says. “A lot of credit for this goes to the...

 Eric Montemayor, an associate scientist in the Butcher and Brow labs
May 01, 2018

The RNA transcripts of virtually all human genes must be processed by one cellular machine: the spliceosome. The mind-boggling array of proteins and RNAs that make up the spliceosome allow it to control how genes are expressed. Many researchers are interested in the dynamic interplay between these components of the spliceosome and how they evolved, likely from a parasitic RNA that invaded eukaryotic cells at around the same time eukaryotic and bacterial cells became distinct from one another approximately two billion years ago.

The spliceosome is also a reason that complex organisms...

Congrats with UW–Madison crest
Apr 30, 2018

The Department of Biochemistry is excited to announce its 2018 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 have the opportunity to support our best and brightest students,” says department chair Brian Fox. “These awards are a testament to both our talented young scientists and our generous supporters.”

The awards include the Undergraduate Summer...

Mark Keller, Distinguished scientist in the UW–Madison Department of Biochemistry
Apr 19, 2018

People who eat a high-fat, high-sugar “Western” diet typically exhibit physiological changes associated with type 2 diabetes. However, not everyone responds the same way to the Western diet; genetics plays a strong role in determining one’s susceptibility to develop diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes, islet cells in the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin and other hormones that control blood glucose (sugar). If left uncontrolled, this leads to dangerously high levels of glucose in the blood that may result in tissue and organ damage and early death.

Professor Elizabeth Wright, director of the cryo-EM facility at UW–Madison
Apr 12, 2018

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Biochemistry will welcome Elizabeth Wright in July as a faculty member and director of the department’s newly established cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) facility.

Wright is an expert in cryo-EM, a technique able to obtain atomic or near-atomic level resolution images of biological molecules by imaging with electrons. It is a burgeoning technology that can help UW–Madison researchers make significant new contributions to many areas of structural biology, including enzymology, virology, cell biology, and medicine.

Photo of biochemistry professor Jill Wildonger
Mar 28, 2018

Think of neurons like cities, which need to be able to transport goods and services throughout themselves. In cities this is done on highways by cargo trucks. In neurons it’s done on microtubules by motor proteins. To direct traffic, cities have signals like lights and road signs, while in neurons these signals are thought to come in the form of post-translational modifications.

Photo of biochemistry professor Michael Cox
Mar 22, 2018

Biochemistry professor Mike Cox has received the 5th annual Award for Mentoring Undergraduates in Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The award recognizes Cox’s decades-long dedication to expanding opportunities for undergraduates in the Department of Biochemistry.

Biochemistry professor Richard Amasino
Mar 15, 2018

Biochemistry professor Richard Amasino has been awarded a Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Named Professorship. Support for the award is provided by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) with funding from WARF.

“It’s an honor to be recognized with this award,” Amasino says. “Because it’s a university-wide award it is even more humbling to receive it given all of the great faculty at this outstanding university.”

Illustration of protein engineering from the Romero Lab in Biochemistry
Mar 09, 2018

Proteins are an impressive bunch. Starting with amino acids as their basic building blocks, these complex molecules fold into intricate 3D structures and control just about every biological process that keeps us alive.

Phil Romero wants to understand how proteins accomplish that job so that he can eventually apply their power to important problems in medicine, agriculture, chemistry and bioenergy.

“Describing how proteins perform a vast array of biological functions is tremendously challenging for two reasons,” says Romero, an assistant professor of biochemistry at the...

Photo of biochemistry professor John Markley
Feb 23, 2018

The Department of Biochemistry and Department of Biomolecular Chemistry invite you to the 39th annual Steenbock Symposium on May 29-June 2, 2018. Registration is now open, and early discounted registration ends April 15.

This year’s symposium, entitled “Iron-Sulfur Proteins—Biogenesis, Regulation and Function,” will bring together scientists from across UW–Madison, the country, and the globe to discuss this unique class of proteins.

Patricia Kiley, professor and chair of Biomolecular Chemistry, and John Markley, biochemistry professor and director of the National Magnetic...

Photo of Amy Prunuske, former biochemistry postdoc
Feb 08, 2018

Amy Prunuske’s career is a healthy and happy mix of research, teaching, and community outreach — and she credits her time as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Biochemistry with helping shape that diverse career.

After earning an undergraduate degree in zoology and doing cancer research in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research on campus, she went to the University of Utah for a Ph.D. in oncological sciences. An interest in the work of biochemistry professor Elizabeth Craig’s laboratory brought her back to the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 2007 to 2011.

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