Eyleen J. O’Rourke Awarded the 2016 Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences

    From the Pew Charitable Trusts website: "The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level." Please visit the site to read about Dr. O'Rourke's award winning research.   The Pew Scholars Program "My lab plans to uncover the complete network of … [Read more...]

Published in Nature: Jochen Zimmer’s observation of cellulose biosynthesis and translocation

Abstract Many biopolymers, including polysaccharides, must be translocated across at least one membrane to reach their site of biological function. Cellulose is a linear glucose polymer synthesized and secreted by a membrane-integrated cellulose synthase. Here, in crystallo enzymology with the catalytically active bacterial cellulose synthase BcsA-BcsB complex reveals structural snapshots of a complete cellulose biosynthesis cycle, from substrate binding to polymer translocation. Substrate- and product-bound structures of BcsA provide the basis for substrate recognition and demonstrate … [Read more...]

Peter Kasson’s Wallenberg Academy Fellowship

Computer model of how the influenza virus invades cells Every year, influenza vaccines save many lives, but no effective medicines are available to those who have already been infected. Wallenberg Academy Fellow Peter Kasson will develop a computer model with atomic-level resolution showing how the influenza virus infects cells. Improved understanding of this process may lay the foundation for new treatments....Read more: http://www.wallenbergacademyfellows.se/en/List-of-scientists/Peter-Kasson/ … [Read more...]

Ebola’s ‘Fist’: U.Va. Unlocks How Deadly Virus Smashes Into Human Cells

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered how the deadly Ebola virus punches its way into the cytoplasm of cells. The finding identifies an important target for blocking the infection process of this incurable disease that many fear may be used for bioterror. Outbreaks of this extremely dangerous, highly contagious virus are now under way in the African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola kills up to 90 percent of people who contract it. In addition to the toll on human life in the areas already affected, there is significant concern that it … [Read more...]

Gratitude expressed towards UVA Scientific Community in May, 2014 issue of Annual Review of Biochemistry

Dr. Philip Yeagle, of Rutgers University, has publicly thanked the University of Virginia community of scientists in an open letter in the May 2014 issue of the Annual Review of Biochemistry, ASBMB Today.  Dr. Yeagle was a former postdoc at UVA in the mid to late 70’s and is leading an impressive career, now thanking UVA for the stimulating community that gave him his start. “The cluster of immensely talented faculty members, most of whom were in the biochemistry department, was dedicated to understanding the structure and function of biological membranes.” “…this is an overdue letter of … [Read more...]

New Publication from Dr. Zimmer’s Lab-Congratulations!

Congratulations to Dr. Zimmer, Jacob Morgan and Joshua McNamara for their recent publication in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. In this paper they describe how the bacterial signaling molecule cyclic di-GMP stimulates the biosynthesis of bacterial cellulose. Zimmer and colleagues crystallized a complex of c-di-GMP with membrane-bound cellulose synthase and by comparison with their previously published apo-enzyme (Nature 493:181) found an allosteric mechanism of catalysis. This work represents the first molecular description any c-di-GMP-activated enzyme. For the new NSMB paper … [Read more...]

Congratulations to Center Director Dr. Lukas Tamm, Recipient of the 2014 Humboldt Research Award

Congratulations to Center for Membrane and Cell Physiology Director, Lukas Tamm, PhD, Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, for being elected to receive a Humboldt Research Award. This honor is awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a group dedicated to promoting academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from within Germany. According to the foundation’s website, “The award is granted in recognition of a researcher’s entire achievements to date to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a … [Read more...]

CMCP Linda Columbus has received the 2014 Outstanding Faculty Award.

University of Virginia chemist Linda Columbus and infectious diseases researcher and physician Dr. William A. Petri have received the state’s highest honor for professors, the Outstanding Faculty Award. - See more at: http://news.virginia.edu/content/columbus-petri-named-2014-outstanding-faculty-schev#sthash.tqfGdhV8.dpuf … [Read more...]