Tag Archive for biochemistry

Taylor, Hingorani, Grad Students Co-Author Paper on Protein Function

Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of environmental studies; Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; molecular biology and biochemistry graduate student Shreya Sawant and chemistry graduate student Daniel Czyzyk co-authored “E. coli Heptosyltransferase I: Exploration of Protein Function and Dynamics” published in Biochemistry, 52, 5158–5160 in 2013. They presented the paper at the 23rd Enzyme Mechanisms Conference held in Coronado Bay, Calif. in January 2013 and at the 57th Biophysical Society Conference held in Philadelphia, Pa. in February 2013.

Students, Faculty Host DNA Workshop for Area Children

Wesleyan students and faculty participated in a Minds in Motion event at Snow Elementary School on March 8. Ishita Mukerji, dean of the Natural Sciences and mathematics Division, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, hosted a DNA workshop with nine middle school students.

Wesleyan students and faculty participated in a Minds in Motion event at Snow Elementary School on March 8. Ishita Mukerji (not pictured), dean of the Natural Sciences and mathematics Division, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, hosted a DNA workshop with nine middle school students.

Mukerji Elected to Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering

Ishita Mukerji

Ishita Mukerji

Ishita Mukerji, dean of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics division, is one of 50 local scientists to be elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. Mukerji also is professor of molecular biology and biochemistry and is an expert on fluorescence and vibrational spectroscopy.

Mukerji is the 10th Wesleyan faculty to be elected into the academy. She will be introduced at CASE’s 39th annual meeting and dinner on June 5 at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, Conn.

Election to the Academy is on the basis of scientific and engineering distinction achieved through significant contributions in theory or applications, as demonstrated by original published books and papers, patents, the pioneering of new and developing fields and innovative products, outstanding leadership of nationally recognized technical teams, and external professional awards in recognition of scientific and engineering excellence.

“I’m thrilled and honored to join the academy! This is a great recognition of the hard work my research group, consisting of undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs have put in over the years and the strong support that Wesleyan gives to scientific research. This type of recognition really underscores the excellence of the sciences at Wesleyan and the scholar-teacher model that we embrace,” Mukerji said. “I look forward to working and networking with other scientists throughout the state and helping the academy do it’s work to advise the people and government of Connecticut on scientific issues.”

Mukerji’s research interests focus on the use of spectroscopic tools to investigate challenging problems in biology

Wesleyan Students Teach Local Children about Science

On Nov. 9, Wesleyan’s informal science education class in conjunction with the Wesleyan Science Outreach Club presented Science Saturday, a semi-annual fun afternoon of hands-on science for the whole family. Activities took place inside the Exley Science Center.

Wesleyan students taught science lessons that they have been working on this semester, with experiments involving dissections of biological specimens, roller coaster models, and an explosions demo. More than 50 local children and their parents attended.

Andrea Roberts, visiting assistant professor of chemistry; Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; and students from the CHEM 241 Informal Science Education course coordinated the event.

Photos of the event are below:

sciencesat9

Hingorani’s DNA Repair Studies Published in Journals

Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, is the author of “Distinct structural alterations in proliferating cell nuclear antigen block DNA mismatch repair,” published in Biochemistry on Aug. 20, 2013. Read an abstract of the paper online here.

She’s also the author of “Slow Conformational Changes in MutS and DNA Direct Ordered Transitions between Mismatch Search, Recognition and Signaling of DNA Repair,” published in The Journal of Molecular Biology on Aug. 20, 2013. Her former students, F. Noah Biro ’09 and Christopher Doucette ’11 co-authored the paper. Read the abstract online here.

MacQueen Wins Grant from NIH for Synaptonemal Complex Research

Amy MacQueen, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, has received a three-year grant for $372,445 from the National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award program to support her research on “Structure and Dynamics of the Synaptonemal Complex.” The grant was awarded in August 2013.

Taylor, Hingorani, Students Co-Author Paper in Biochemistry Journal

Two faculty members and two graduate students co-authored a paper published in the July 18 edition of the academic journal, Biochemistry.

Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of environmental studies; Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; chemistry graduate student Daniel Czyzyk; and molecular biology and biochemistry graduate student Shreya Sawant wrote the paper, “Escherichia coli Heptosyltransferase I: Investigation of Protein Dynamics of a GT-B Structural Enzyme.”

It appears online here.

Biochemistry is a publication of the American Chemical Society.

Faculty, Staff Compete in Local Triathlon

Pictured, from left, are Mike McAlear, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Tom DiMauro, analyst programmer in ITS; James Taft, assistant director of technology support services in ITS; Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry; and Luke Granato, a former assistant basketball coach.

Pictured, from left, are Mike McAlear, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Tom DiMauro, analyst programmer in ITS; James Taft, assistant director of technology support services in ITS; Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry; and Luke Granato, a former assistant basketball coach at Wesleyan.

Four Wesleyan faculty and staff members completed the Litchfield Hills Olympic Triathlon held July 14 in New Hartford, Conn.

The triathlon featured a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike course, and a scenic, rural back road 10K run.

Wesleyan participants included Mike McAlear, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Tom DiMauro, analyst programmer in ITS; James Taft, assistant director of technology support services in ITS; and Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry.

Northrop came in third place overall.

NSF Supports Holmes’ Gene Expression Research

Scott Holmes, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, received a $5,125 National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates supplement to enhance his current grant, which supports research titled, “Epigenetic Silencing of Gene Expression in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.”

Mukerji Receives NSF Grant for Holliday Junctions Study

Ishita Mukerji, dean of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics division, and professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, has received a $6,750 National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates supplement to enhance her current grant supporting research, “Structure and Function of Holliday Junctions Complexed With Proteins Probed by Fluorescence and UV Raman Spectroscopic Methods.”

Olson, Levan ’12 Published in Molecular Biology Journal

A paper co-authored by Rich Olson, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, and Sophia Levan ’12 was published in The Journal of Molecular Biology, March 2013. The article is titled, “Vibrio cholerae Cytolysin Recognizes the Heptasaccharide Core of Complex N-Glycans with Nanomolar Affinity.”

The human intestinal pathogen Vibrio cholerae secretes a pore-forming toxin, V.cholerae cytolysin (VCC), which contains two domains that are structurally similar to known carbohydrate-binding proteins. Olson and Levan used a combination of structural and functional approaches to characterize the carbohydrate-binding activity of the VCC toxin.

At Wesleyan, Levan was the recipient of the Butterfield Prize, the Graham Prize and she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She’s currently a student at Harvard University.