Biochemistry professor Michael Sussman
Jul 10, 2018

Biochemistry professor Mike Sussman, longtime director of the UW-Madison Biotechnology Center, has announced that he is stepping down from that position to serve as director of the Genome Center of Wisconsin, located within the Biotechnology Center.

"With DNA analysis now permeating all aspects of research, our economy and our lives, aggressive attention to changes in the technology and its applications on campus is needed to ensure that we stay at the forefront of genomic sciences," Sussman says. "Moving forward, together with the excellent faculty already present in the center and...

Photo of biochemistry undergraduate Leah Johnson
Jun 26, 2018

University of Wisconsin–Madison biochemistry undergraduate students claimed three national awards and scholarships this spring. Clare Cimperman won a Fulbright Scholarship, Leah Johnson brought home a Udall Scholarship, and Nathan Wang earned a Goldwater Scholarship.

Cimperman, who graduated from UW–Madison in 2017, studied both biochemistry and Chinese. Her Fulbright will take her to Taiwan to teach English. She will be teaching in the city of Kaohsiung.

“I was so surprised and honored to win,” she says. “I thought my plans to be a science researcher put me behind students...

Photo of biochemistry professor Ophelia Venturelli
Jun 21, 2018

The human gut is teeming with microbes, each interacting with one another in a mind-boggling network of positive and negative exchanges. Some produce substances that serve as food for other microbes, while others produce toxins – antibiotics – that kill their neighbors.

Scientists have been challenged trying to understand how this collection of gut microbes – known as the microbiome – is formed, how it changes over time and how it is affected by disturbances like antibiotics used to treat illnesses. A new study from Ophelia Venturelli, a biochemistry professor at the University of...

Photo of UW–Madison Chancellor Becky Blank
Jun 18, 2018

Twenty-five undergraduate students in the Department of Biochemistry have received 2018 campus awards for research and scholarly excellence.

“The Department of Biochemistry is quite fortunate that many of the most outstanding undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have chosen to major in biochemistry and to participate in research in our labs and in labs of our colleagues in other departments,” says Professor Richard Amasino, who serves on the department’s undergraduate committee.

The students are a mix of talented biochemistry majors and students who perform...

Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) logo
Jun 13, 2018

The Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) — the joint graduate program of the Department of Biochemistry and Department of Biomolecular Chemistry — is excited to announce its 2018 awards that celebrate teaching and mentoring. The awards were given out at the IPiB Summer Reception on Friday, June 8.

"We had a large number of nominations for both of our awards, a testament to our talented students," says biochemistry professor Ivan Rayment, who heads the IPiB Steering Committee. "Congratulations to all of the award winners and their mentors, and many thanks to all of the faculty...

Distinguished alumnus and Nobel Laureate Paul Boyer
Jun 12, 2018

University of Wisconsin–Madison biochemistry Ph.D. alumnus and UCLA Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry Paul Boyer died on June 2 at the age of 99. Boyer carried out groundbreaking research in the department as a young scientist and earned a Nobel Prize in chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997.

“Paul Boyer was clearly one of the best products of our department at UW–Madison not only because of his awesome achievements in science but also because of his modesty and his willingness to be of assistance to anyone requesting it,” says Biochemistry Professor...

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.