Recent News

Lila M. Gierasch was awarded the Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry for her seminal contributions to peptide structure and function, peptide models for protein folding and function, and roles of peptide and protein aggregation in disease.

Gierasch stated, “The environment in a cell is extremely complex and challenging for the process of protein folding, leading to a need for a network of species that protect protein states that are susceptible to aggregation—the protein homeostasis network. We are working with colleagues and collaborators to understand the underlying mechanisms of protein homeostasis from the level of the molecular chaperone machines that act on protein clients to the coordinated action of the network in all of its complexity. We would love to witness and contribute to new discoveries related to these questions, both because of the fascinating basic science involved and because failures in these systems are implicated in a wide array of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases.”

Thompson Awarded NIH Grant to Study Chemotaxis Receptor Signaling Complexes

Lynmarie Thompson, chemistry and M2M, was awarded a two year, $615,000 NIH grant entitled, "Assembly and Function of Bacterial Chemotaxis Receptor Signaling Complexes.” The goal of this project is to assemble native-like functional nanoarrays of chemotaxis receptor complexes and determine how the proteins change their structure and dynamics during signaling. Understanding signaling in this system may be useful for the development of novel antibiotics targeting similar signaling systems that are widespread in bacteria.

Dhandapani Venkataraman, with Ph.D. student and first author Seung Pyo Jeong, Ph.D. students Larry Renna, Connor Boyle and others, report that they have developed a polymer-based system that can yield energy storage density more than two times higher than previous polymer systems.

“The twist in the story is that we thought that the distance between the lights in the string was the most important. It is important, but what is more important is the way that multiple strings and their lights are carefully arranged. It turns out that the processing solvent we used acts to arrange and regulate the architecture, so the azobenzene molecules attached to the polymer are arranged very neatly and compactly. It basically acts to ensure that there can be maximum packing density.” says Venkataraman. Details appear in the current issue of Scientific Reports.

Graduate student Elizabeth (Libbie) Haglin from the Thompson group, Chemistry, and M2M, has been featured on the November 2017 cover of Biochemistry for her work on chemotaxis receptors.  "His-Tag-Mediated Dimerization of Chemoreceptors Leads to Assembly of Functional Nanoarrays." Biochemistry 56 (44), 5847-5966 (2017).

Upcoming Events

Prof. Peng Yin
Harvard University
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

Nanoscale Construction and Imaging with DNA

Mingxu You
4:00 PM (Light refreshments will be served starting at 3:45 PM)
ISB 221
Xuni Li
Dissertation Defense
Friday, January 26, 2018

“Hydrogen Exchange Identifies Protein Interfaces and Signaling-Related Changes in Functional Chemoreceptor Arrays”

10:30 am
Goessmann 153
Research Adviser:
Lynmarie Thompson
Michael D. Johnston, Jr.
Dissertation Defense
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

“Photofragment Imaging Fast Ion Beams”

3:00 pm
Goessmann 153
Research Adviser:
Ricardo B. Metz
Prof. J.D. Tovar
University of Michigan
Thursday, February 8, 2018

“Repurposing aromaticity for organic electronics: making, breaking and stacking pi-circuits”

Trisha Andrews
11:30 am
LGRT 1634
Priyaa Prasad
Dissertation Defense
Friday, February 9, 2018

“Design and Development of Redox-Responsive Nanocarriers for Therapeutic Delivery”

2:00 pm
Goessmann 153
Research Adviser:
S. Thayumanavan