Originally created as a Department of Biochemistry, the faculty has
retained a strong emphasis in this area. Biochemical research in the
department addresses key questions using a wide range of systems and
applying a variety of approaches and techniques. The central theme
that brings these diverse interests together is a fundamental interest
in biochemical mechanisms of molecular and cellular function.
Images showing the mitochondrial localization of Human Escort Protein (HEP) from the Silberg Lab
Bonnie Bartel: Molecular genetic studies of peroxisome biogenesis and functions in Arabidopsis; roles of auxin precursors in plant growth and development (lab home page).
Kathleen M. Beckingham: Calcium signaling in Drosophila; gravitational sensing in Drosophila.
George N. Bennett: Response of microbes to stress and use of metabolic engineering to generate strains with beneficial properties (lab home page).
Regulation and functions of genes encoding calmodulin-related proteins
and cell wall modifying enzymes of plants; control of gene expression
in response to mechanical force (lab home page).
Expression and function of cell surface components involved in
embryonic development and tumor cell models. Study of the heparan
sulfate proteoglycan perlecan.
Pamela Constantinou: The study of membrane bound glycoproteins, mucins, as targets for cancer therapies.
Mary C. (Cindy) Farach-Carson:
The role of extracellular matrix in the progression of cancer; the use of proteoglycans in the engineering of connective tissues.
Michael C. Gustin:
Molecular genetics and biochemistry of signal transduction by stress-sensing pathways in the yeasts Saccharomyces and Candida; control of stress resistance by the reproductive system of Drosophila.
Daniel Harrington: Design of biocompatible materials with engineered features that can influence cell phenotype. Tissue engineering of salivary glands, and 3D tumor engineering of cancer models.
Seiichi P. T. Matsuda:
Recombinant biosynthetic approaches to natural product biosynthesis; directed evolution and DNA shuffling to generate new oxidosqualene cyclases; metabolic engineering to produce terpenes.
Kathleen S. Matthews: Functional characterization of hinge domain of lactose repressor proteins.
Model for atlastin-mediated membrane fusion from the McNew Lab
James A. McNew:
Molecular mechanism of biological membrane fusion; membrane protein
expression and reconstitution, intracellular vesicular transport;
functional reconstitution of exocytosis; role of SNARE proteins in
yeast sporulation and cytokinesis; analysis of cell-cell fusion (lab home page).
Edward P. Nikonowicz:
NMR spectroscopy of RNA and RNA-protein interactions - correlation of structure, function, and dynamics; biophysical studies and engineering of RNA regulatory elements; small molecule-RNA interactions; biophysical and functional studies of tRNA base modification.
John S. Olson:
Biochemical, biophysical, and physiological properties of myoglobins,
hemoglobins, and red blood cells; genetic engineering of heme protein
based blood substitutes; application of rapid kinetic techniques to
biological problems (lab home page).
George N. Phillips, Jr.: Prof. Phillips and his laboratory members are actively engaged in the characterization of enzyme mechanisms, including those of carbohydrate degrading enzymes and the phosphotransferase, adenylate kinase.
Yousif Shamoo: The evolutionary and molecular basis for antibiotic resistance, directed evolution of protein structure-function, and the underlying biophysical and physiochemical principles of adaptation within bacterial populations (lab home page).
Jonathan Silberg: Investigation
of the processes controlling molecular evolution, particularly the
evolution of protein structure, function, and molecular recognition
using biochemical, computational, and molecular biological methods (lab home page).
Michael Stern: Signalling mechanisms regulating the timing of the Drosophila larval metamorphosis.
Yizhi Jane Tao: Structure and function of RNA viruses; RNA virus genome replication and genome packaging; influenza A virus; dsRNA viruses; astroviruses (lab home page).