Faculty

Spotlights

CMB Chair, David Wassarman, and CMB faculty member, Barry Ganetzky are featured in a Badger Herald article that outlines the use of fruit flies to study traumatic brain injury.  Check out the article here: http://badgerherald.com/news/2014/10/27/uw-researchers-look-at-fruit-flies-to-study-traumatic-brain-injury/#.VFI2Nry26X1

Source: PBS
CMB faculty member, Sean Carroll is the Executive in Charge for Tangled Bank Studios' (HHMI's production company) NOVA special titled, "Vaccines-Calling the Shots" that will air on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014.  For more information, visit: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/vaccines-calling-shots.html
 
Photo Credit: HHMI

Source: UW-Madison News
A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers is digging into the inner workings of the tiny cellular machines called spliceosomes, which help make all of the proteins our bodies need to function. In a recent study published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, UW-Madison's David BrowSamuel Butcher and colleagues have captured images of this machine, revealing details never seen before.
Click here to read the full article

Source: UW-Madison News
A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, identified eight genes from influenza viruses isolated from wild ducks that possessed remarkable genetic similarities to the genes that made up the 1918 pandemic flu virus. The 1918 or “Spanish flu” pandemic was one of recorded history’s most devastating outbreaks of disease, resulting in an estimated 40 million deaths worldwide.
The new work was published today (June 11, 2014) in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. It shows that “there are gene pools in nature that have the potential to cause a severe pandemic in the future,” says Kawaoka, an international authority on influenza and the senior author of the new report. 
Click here to read the full article. 

Source: UW Health Sciences, School of Public Medicine and Public Health, News and Events 
 
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) report that a new class of tumor-targeting agents can seek out and find dozens of solid tumors, even illuminating brain cancer stem cells that resist current treatments.
 
What’s more, years of animal studies and early human clinical trials show that this tumor-targeting alkylphosphocholine (APC) molecule can deliver two types of “payloads” directly to cancer cells: a radioactive or fluorescent imaging label, or a radioactive medicine that binds and kills cancer cells.
 
 
 
Click here for the full article. 

 
CMB Faculty, Chris Hittinger, and his team have confirmed that Saccharomyces eubayanus, a native yeast of Patagonia, is the parent yeast of the hybrid lager yeast used to make lager or cold stored beer. Follow the link below to read the article featured on University of Wisconsin - Madison News. 
http://www.news.wisc.edu/22725
 
Photo Caption: Patagonian galls such as these harbor a parent of the hybrid yeast used to make lager or cold-brewed beer. A Wisconsin team recently isolated the yeast, although at low frequency, near Sheboygan, Wis. — the first time it has been found in nature in North America.
Photo: Diego Libkind, Institute for Biodiversity and Environment Research
 

 

 

Ann Palmenberg, Professor of biochemistry at UW-Madison and CMB faculty member, was recently featured in an article from the UW-Madison News. Palmenberg's team, which includes CMB student, Holly Basta, have constructed a three-dimensional model of the pathogen that shows why there is no cure yet for the common cold. Palmenberg and her team have published their findings in the journal Virology.  Check out the article here and learn more! 

Transplanted brain cells in monkeys light up personalized therapy
March 14, 2013
by David Tenenbaum
For the first time, scientists have transplanted neural cells derived from a monkey's skin into its brain and watched the cells develop into several types of mature brain cells, according to the authors of a new study in Cell Reports. After six months, the cells looked entirely normal, and were only detectable because they initially were tagged with a fluorescent protein.
Because the cells were derived from adult cells in each monkey's skin, the experiment is a proof-of-principle for the concept of personalized medicine, where treatments are designed for each individual.
Read more here at: http://www.news.wisc.edu/21595

Photo: Jeff Miller, UW Communications

 Photo: Jeff Miller, UW Communications

New form of cell division found
Dec. 17, 2012
by Dian Land

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center have discovered a new form of cell division in human cells.
They believe it serves as a natural back-up mechanism during faulty cell division, preventing some cells from going down a path that can lead to cancer.
"If we could promote this new form of cell division, which we call klerokinesis, we may be able to prevent some cancers from developing," says lead researcher Dr. Mark Burkard, an assistant professor of hematology-oncology in the department of medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
Burkard presented the finding on Monday, Dec. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.
Check out the full UW news story: http://www.news.wisc.edu/21364

Designing microbes that make energy-dense biofuels without sugar
June 27, 2012
by Renee Meiller

Watch a video about Pfleger's work with next generation biofuels at https://vimeo.com/44758794.

With metabolically engineered microorganisms hungry for levulinic acid rather than sugar, a UW-Madison chemical and biological engineer aims to create more sustainable, cost-effective processes for converting biomass into high-energy-density hydrocarbon fuels.  Read the full article here: http://www.news.wisc.edu/20827

Nov. 1, 2012
by Chris Barncard
For babies, the trip from the womb to the outside world is a transition from a blank, sterile slate to host for what will eventually be trillions of microscopic organisms.
Unfortunately, the demographics of a burgeoning microbial community can easily tip in favor of dangerous bacteria.
"While that microbial environment in the gut is still developing, the introduction of one of many of the wrong kinds of bacteria may cause a severe immune response," says Douglas Weibel, biochemistry professor at UW-Madison. "In an infant, the immune system could just ravage the intestines."
Read the full article http://www.news.wisc.edu/21225

CMB Faculty Trainer, Doug Weibel

Congratulations to two outstanding new faculty trainers in CMB who were recently named Shaw Scientists by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation!  Both Dr. Mehle and Dr. Pagliarini are currently training CMB grad students in their labs.  Read the full UW news article here: http://www.news.wisc.edu/20736

Dr. Mehle on the left, Dr. Pagliarini on the right.

University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemist Judith Kimble has been selected to serve on President Obama's Committee on the National Medal of Science.
As a committee member, Kimble will help choose the next winners of the National Medal of Science, the nation's most prestigious science award. Established in 1959 and administered by the National Science Foundation, the award is given to about eight individuals each year who have made outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical and engineering sciences. To continue reading, visit http://www.news.wisc.edu/20205.

On a beautiful summer day in Madison, the Kalejta lab poses for a new lab photo.  What a fun idea!  They study the replication and pathogenesis of the beta-herpesvirus called Human Herpesvirus Type 5 (HHV-5) or Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV).  More information about their lab can be found  here: http://kalejta.virology.wisc.edu/

A recent article by CALS Communications Program member, Nicole Miller, focuses on the use of Amoeba biotherapy in the Filutowicz lab.  The full article is available on the CALS http://news.cals.wisc.edu/departments/featured-articles/2012/01/17/the-infection-eaters/

CMB faculty trainer and alumni, Grace Boekhoff-Falk is featured for her work on fruit flies and how they detect the sense of smell.  The full article can be found on the UW Madison School of Medicine and Public Health website: http://www.med.wisc.edu/news-events/news/researchers-find-gene-critical-to-sense-of-smell-in-fruit-fly/35873

The research projects in our laboratory are focused on molecular imaging, molecular therapy, and nanotechnology. Molecular medicine is the future of 21st century patient management. Molecular imaging, “the visualization, characterization and measurement of biological processes at the molecular and cellular levels in humans and other living systems”, can play pivotal roles in disease diagnosis, treatment efficacy assessment, drug discovery, and the understanding of fundamental biology.

Interests include HIV/SIV genetics, virology, immunology, and pathogenesis. Lab Website.
 

The Jorgensen lab uses cell and molecular biology tools to identify genes that are sexually dimorphic during sex differentiation, characterize their functional significance, and finally, understand how they are regulated.  Currently, we are focusing on two genes: steroidogenic factor 1 (Sf1) and Iroquois homeobox factor 3 (Irx3).

The Smith group is an interdisciplinary group of researchers working on the development of novel methods and approaches for the analysis and manipulation of bio-molecules. Major interest areas include biological mass spectrometry, DNA computing, surface chemistry, surface detection methods (fluorescence, surface plasmon resonance), and the analysis of genetic variations.

The research projects in the Raines laboratory are designed to reveal how biological phenomena can be explained with the principles of chemistry. The hypotheses are far-reaching, and testing them requires the use of techniques and ideas from diverse disciplines. This broad/deep training is appropriate for scientists who want to perform innovative and meaningful research at the widening chemistry - biology interface.

Dr. Burkard is interested in targeted therapy directed at protein kinases. His laboratory seeks to link therapies with their targets within cancer cells using genetic tools, and to identify patients whose cancers are most likely to benefit from particular drugs. These studies will be used to inform clinical development of novel agents. Dr. Burkard is part of the breast cancer disease oriented working group.

Picture description: Melissa Martowicz (Scientist), Amber Lasek (CMB 2010), Hyunjung Kim (CMB 2007), Rob Lera (CMB 2009), Mark Burkard (PI)

Why do we get sick?  This simple question underpins all research in my laboratory.  Our overarching goal is to understand why immune responses sometimes fail to protect us from acute and chronic viral diseases.  We study innate and adaptive immune responses to acute and chronic viral infections and the mechanisms viruses have evolved to subvert them.  Through our discoveries, we hope to contribute to the global campaigns against pandemic influenza and AIDS.

This photo was taken with my technician Jason Weinfurter when our building was holding its "Mustaches of Science" competition.

Congratulations to CMB faculty trainer, Dave Pagliarini, who was recently selected for a $300,000 Searle Scholar Award!  CurrentCMB students Josh Carson and Jarred Rensvold are conducting their research in the Pagliarini lab.  The UW news article features the full length story at http://www.news.wisc.edu/19608

 

The CMB Program at UW-Madison is highly visible in the latest NRC survey data collected in 2006 and just recently released in 2010.  CMB comes in second (in a three way tie with Johns Hopkins and MIT) with a ranking in the range of 2-6 for large graduate programs in cell and developmental biology according to PhDs.org.  To view the specific rankings and results, check out the PhDs.org website for more information.