Photo of Tucker Carrocci
Jan 25, 2017

Human messenger RNA — the intermediate step between DNA and protein — is a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure book. Any book contains chapters arranged to tell a story. However, in a choose-your-own adventure, random chapters can be removed and the remaining sections stitched together in different combinations — and all of these new combinations tell a new story.

Photo of Ron Raines
Jan 18, 2017

Ronald Raines, the Henry Lardy Professor of Biochemistry, earned two national awards over the holiday. He was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and also received the Vincent du Vigneaud Award from the American Peptide Society (APS).

Jan 06, 2017

Science students, like those majoring in biochemistry, aren’t just tucked away in research labs. They also participate in making their college a better and more welcoming place for current and potential students. Gina Luu and Ryan Rebernick, both biochemistry undergraduates, are serving as College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Ambassadors for the 2016-17 academic year.

CALS Ambassadors serve as a bridge between current students and incoming and prospective students. They serve as CALS-focused tour guides for interested students coming to check out the college. They also...

Photo of Asuka Eguchi
Dec 05, 2016

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have developed a novel strategy to reprogram cells from one type to another in a more efficient and less biased manner than previous methods.

The ability to convert cells from one type to another holds great promise for engineering cells and tissues for therapeutic application, and the new Wisconsin study could help speed research and bring the technology to the clinic faster.

Photo of Hazel Holden
Nov 30, 2016

With at least 20 articles published in the journal in the last five years, biochemistry professor Hazel Holden was named a selected highly prolific author by the journal Biochemistry. To mark the publication of the one-millionth article in its many journals, the American Chemical Society, which runs Biochemistry, has honored researchers in different categories.

The Holden Laboratory studies the structures and functions of enzymes involved in unusual sugar biosynthesis. These types of sugars are found, for example, on antibiotics, antifungals, and antitumor agents.

Photo of Ann Palmenberg
Nov 21, 2016

Professor of Biochemistry Ann Palmenberg, known for her work in molecular virology, has been elected a 2016 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is one of five faculty from the University of Wisconsin–Madison named a Fellow this year.

Election as a AAAS Fellow, a tradition begun in 1874, is recognition by peers for distinguished contributions to advance science or its applications.

“It is indeed an honor to be elected as a Fellow of such an illustrious Academy,” says Palmenberg, who is also part of the Institute for Molecular Virology...

Photo of biochemistry professor Aseem Ansari
Nov 08, 2016

Biochemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have created the first atlas that maps where molecular tools that can switch genes on and off will bind to the human genome. It is a development they say could enable these tools to be targeted to specific parts of an individual’s genome for use in precision medicine, developing therapies and treating disease.

The study is published this week (Monday, Nov. 7) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The tools are polyamides, engineered DNA-binding molecules that are an important component of artificial transcription...

WiSciFest Logo
Oct 25, 2016

Extracting DNA from wheat germ and talking about the science of sugar — just a few ways students in the Department of Biochemistry embody the Wisconsin Idea by participating in science outreach. Biochemistry undergraduates and graduate students from the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) took part in activities at the Wisconsin Science Festival on Oct. 20-23.

Photo of Svante Pääbo holding skull
Oct 18, 2016

UPDATE: To see the video of this talk click here. 

How much of your DNA comes from ancient humans? Where do you think humans originated and how did we spread across the globe? The Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison invites you to a campus-only talk on Thursday, Dec. 8 and a public talk Friday, Dec. 9 by esteemed researcher Svante Pääbo to explore his answers to these questions.

Pääbo, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, is known as one of the founders of paleogenetics, which is the study of ancient DNA and...

Photo of John Ralph
Oct 17, 2016

When scientists reported in 2014 that they had successfully engineered a poplar plant “designed for deconstruction,” the finding made international news. The highly degradable poplar, the first of its kind, could substantially reduce the energy use and cost of converting biomass to a number of products, including biofuels, pulp, and paper.

Now, more than two years later, some of those same researchers are reporting a surprising new revelation. As University of Wisconsin–Madison professor of biochemistry John Ralph puts it, “Nature was already doing what we thought we’d laboriously...

Photo of Pagliarini Lab member with test tube
Sep 27, 2016

Proteins are the hammers and tongs of life, with fundamental roles in most of what happens in biology. But biologists still don’t know what thousands of proteins do, and how their presence or absence affects the cell.

The intellectual black hole extends to mitochondria, the cells’ energy machines, which falter in more than 150 diseases, including cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s and numerous genetic disorders.

To fill in the blanks on mitochondria, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison deleted 174 genes, one by one, in yeast. They then subjected the yeast to high-...

Sep 15, 2016

Biochemistry undergraduates have a new and improved student organization to join this year, as the Undergraduate Biochemistry Student Organization (UBSO) has morphed into a student chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

The organization’s first meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22 in Room 1116 of the Hector F. DeLuca Biochemistry Building (420 Henry Mall). The UW­–Madison Chapter of ASBMB will give students numerous resources, such as career path exploration and peer-to-peer networking. Sam Tesch, the president of the student...

IPiB student with their poster during retreat poster session
Sep 12, 2016

The 2016 Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) Retreat brought new students together with current students, faculty, post doctoral scientists, and researchers to connect with each other both personally and about the research taking place in the program. 

The event was held Friday, Sept. 9 at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and is put together by the program's Student Faculty Liaison Committee, particularly the organizing chairs Brian Carrick and Dana Dahhan. IPiB is the joint graduate program of the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry...

Photo of HF DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Building
Sep 06, 2016

The Department of Biochemistry is excited to welcome back its students for the Fall 2016 semester. The department wants to wish its undergraduate and graduate students the best of luck in their classes this semester and hopes those who took classes or spent time in the lab this summer had a successful and inspiring time. 

Have questions as you start the semester? See the information below about how to make this semester your best yet.

How do I find out more information about the undergraduate program?

See this link for information about Biochemistry’s undergraduate...

Ron Raines
Aug 25, 2016

Collagen makes up the cartilage in our knee joints, the vessels that transport our blood, and is a crucial component in our bones. It is the most abundant protein found in the bodies of humans and many other animals. It is also an important biomaterial in modern medicine, used in wound healing, tissue repair, drug delivery and more.

Much of the clinical supply comes from animals like pigs and cows, but it can cause allergic reactions or illness in some people. Functional human collagen has been impossible to create in the lab. Now, in a study published this month in Nature Chemistry...