News and Events

Dr. Wladek Minor receives award from University of Warsaw and American Friends of the University of Warsaw

The annual UW-AFUW award is given to UW graduates who are active in the development of Polish science in the USA. This year’s award goes to Dr. Wladek Minor of the University of Virginia. (;jsessionid=FAA96350EA82E2BB3621D360D10F6DBF.cmsap5p)

Dr. Owen Pornillos Has Been Elected a Pinn Scholar

Congratulations to the 2019 Class of Pinn Scholars, named this month.  Pinn Scholars are selected on the basis of their scientific expertise and contributions to the School of Medicine and to the greater research community. Pinn Scholars are expected to develop a new project or direction in their research and share their results at an annual symposium.

The new Pinn scholars and their projects are:

Mazhar Adli, PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
“Identifying synthetic lethal partners of recurrent cancers mutations through massively parallel combinatorial double knockout genetic screens”

Charles Farber, PhD
Public Health Sciences/Center for Public Health Genomics
“Developing a Predictive Gene Regulatory Network for Osteoporosis”

Maria Luisa Sequeira-Lopez, MD
“The fate of renin and renin progenitor cells in the bone marrow”

Owen Pornillos, PhD
Molecular Physiology & Biological Physics
“Molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 replication”

The new scholars will be introduced at the Annual School of Medicine Symposium on Research Excellence on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, from 2:00-5:30 PM in the Pinn Hall Conference Center Auditorium.  The symposium will feature the work of the first two classes of Pinn Scholars, as well as some recent faculty recruits.

Dr. Wladek Minor and Dr. Lukas Tamm Elected Fellows of the American Society for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science on Tuesday named five University of Virginia professors among its 2018 class of fellows. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

The faculty members are: Craig H. Benson, professor of civil and environmental engineering and dean of the School of Engineering; Douglas W. DeSimone, professor and chair of cell biology; Wladek Minor, professor of molecular physiology and biological physics; Brian A. Nosek, professor of psychology; and Lukas K. Tamm, professor and chair of molecular physiology and biological physics.

The latest elections bring to 38 the number of UVA faculty members named as AAAS fellows … read more


Congratulations! Excellence of Teaching Award for Dr. Barbie Pornillos

Dr. Barbie Ganser-Pornillos is one of this year’s recipients of the University of Virginia School of Medicine Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Dean David S. Wilkes will recognize Dr. Ganser-Pornillos’ receipt of this award on the evening of Thursday, November 8, 2018.

Dean David S. Wilkes announces that Lukas Tamm, PhD, has been appointed as chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, effective July 1, 2018.

Dr. Tamm received his basic training in molecular biosciences at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, Switzerland. He spent a year at Cornell University studying microtubules by electron microscopy as part of his Master’s thesis (1978). He then joined the group of Joachem Seelig at the University of Basel where he earned his PhD in biophysics (1982). After postdoctoral training with Harden McConnell at Stanford University (1982-1984), he became a junior faculty member at the University of Basel.

Dr. Tamm joined the University of Virginia in 1990. He also continues as the director of the Center for Membrane and Cell Physiology.

Dr. Tamm’s lab is at the forefront of solving membrane protein structures by NMR, developing single molecule tracking and single vesicle fusion technology in cell entry of enveloped viruses and in synaptic vesicle release, and developing methods to measure lipid and protein targeting in supported membranes and lipid “rafts” of cell membranes. He has published more than 170 research and review articles; and served as an associate editor of Biophysical Journal and as a member of the editorial boards of several other biological sciences journals. He has trained a large number of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows many of whom now hold faculty positions, work in industry or in public policy in the US and across the world. He has served on and chaired multiple US and foreign grant review and advisory panels. He served as Secretary and is Past-President of the Biophysical Society.


Team led by Wladek Minor, PhD creates guide for the submicroscopic world inside us

Wladek Minor’s group has “established new guidelines for scientists mapping out the body molecule by molecule to help us better understand how our cells use metals such as iron and magnesium to maintain good health. The guidelines ultimately will benefit the battle against diseases such as cancer, assist in the development of new drugs, and ensure scientific results are accurate and can be reproduced.”

Minor and his colleagues said their research “will improve the quality and reliability of research that involves handling metal-containing samples.” More about this research in UVA TODAY and also here

Minor Lab’s publication has been featured on the cover of Nature Protocols!

Metals play a variety of essential roles in biological processes, but are often improperly modeled or misidentified in protein structures determined by various methods. The Minor Lab’s publication outlining the best practices of treating metals in macromolecular structures has been featured on the cover of Nature Protocols. The paper provides a guidelines for handling metal-containing macromolecules and presents potential pitfalls to avoid.

C-ville article: Researching Ebola cure

“Ebola. The flu. The common cold. None of them have cures, or even adequate prevention drugs because they evolve and splay into thousands—possibly millions—of varying strains each year.”  Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics faculty Lukas Tamm and Cell Biology faculty Judy White are featured in the Cville Weekly. Read the full article in the C-ville.

We welcome Dr. Stefanie Redemann!

Stefanie Redemann, Assistant Professor is joining our department and the Center for Membrane and Cell Physiology.
The Redemann Lab is interested in uncovering and understanding the underlying principles of spindle assembly, the structure function relation and the basics of the huge variability of spindle size, architecture and mechanics between different tissues as well as different species. In particular we are very interested in the adaptation of spindle architecture and function during cell differentiation. Take a look at this research.

Congratulations to Dr. Huiwang Ai!

Dr. Ai is the winner of the 2017 American Chemical Society, Division of Toxicology,  Young Investigators Award.  Dr. Ai joined the Center for Membrane & Cell Physiology in August of this year. His award was for “applying innovative chemical technologies to the solution of important toxicology problems“.

For further details on this honor, please click here to see the Division of Chemical Toxicology ACS website.