- John L. Spudich, PhD, Professor & Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry was awarded an NIH S10 Shared Instrumentation Grant for the acquisition of a High-Throughput Automated Patch Clamp System – Total award $600K
The acquisition of the SyncroPatch 384i a high-throughput, fully automated patch clamp system. The system will enable researchers in the Houston-Galveston area to characterize ion channel function and screen drugs for efficacy and safety at an unprecedented pace. The anticipated results are better understanding of pathological mechanisms of many human diseases involving ion channel disfunction, such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmias, and blindness, and the development of new therapies to prevent and cure them.
- Irina Serysheva, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Director of Structural Biology Imaging Center was awarded NIH S10 Shared Instrumentation Grant for the acquisition of a High-Throughput 200kV CRYO-TEM – Total award $2 million
The acquisition of a new transmission electron cryo-microscope will enable a large group of investigators in the Houston area to advance structural knowledge of key biological systems. The topics being studied span a wide range of health related projects including the structure and mechanisms of protein nanomachines related to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, vision, neurodegeneration and virus infection. The new cryo-microscope will be housed in CryoEM Core Facility at UTHealth.
- Irina Serysheva, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology was awarded a Welch Foundation Grant – Total award $300,000 for 3 years.
Title: Cryo-EM Analysis of Ion Channels in a Lipid Membrane
- William Dowhan, PhD, and Mikhail V. Bogdanov PhD, Professors, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology were awarded an NIH Multi-PI R01 Grant – Total award $1,891,151 for 4yrs
The study will address how changes in lipid composition/asymmetry and phosphorylation/dephosphorylation cycles affect the function of FtsK as an example of a physiologicalfunction potentially governed by the Charge Balance Rule. By focusing on interfacial protein-lipid interactions in lipid bilayers with different lipid compositions and asymmetry, measuring electric forces acting on nascent MPs during and after assembly, and characterizing physiologically important roles for CL (as we have for phosphatidylethanolamine), we will enhance our understanding of the forces that define MP structure and function and the role membrane lipids play in cell processes.
Diseases such as cystic fibrosis, all forms of dementia, prion/scabies diseases, and diabetes result in dysfunctional proteins due to aberrant folding events involving lipid-protein interactions. Understanding the underlying principles governing lipid-dependent folding and assembly of proteins in cell membranes will provide information necessary to modulate the seriousness of genetic defects or pathophysiological states resulting from such aberrant protein folding.
- Vasanthi Jayaraman, PhD, Professor and John S. Dunn Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology was awarded an NIH R35 Grant – Total award $3,478,502 for 5 years.
Glutamate receptors are the main mediators of excitatory synaptic transmission. These receptors are involved in learning and memory and a number of other physiological processes, and over or under stimulation of the receptors leads to neurological disorders such as stroke, seizures, Parkinson’s disease etc. Here we will study the mechanism of activation and modulation of these receptors using biochemical, imaging and functional methods.
- Wenbo Li, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology was awarded a Welch Foundation Grant – Total award $300,000 for 3 years.
Title: Elucidating the Role of RNA m6A Methylation in Enhancer and Chromatin Control.
- Seung-Hee (Sally) Yoo, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology was awarded NIH R35 Grant – Total award $1,939,415 for 5 years.
Title: Mamalian circadian rhythms: from genes to mechanisms
Circadian clocks are biological timers that govern physiology and behavior; however the underlying regulatory mechanisms are not fully understood. Utilizing an integrative approach, the proposed research will reveal novel genetic regulators of circadian rhythms and decipher molecular and physiological mechanisms governing tissue physiology. The fundamental insights will advance our understanding of biological timing and may ultimately lead to novel chronotherapies against clock-related diseases.
- Seung-Hee (Sally) Yoo, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology was awarded a Welch Foundation Grant – Total award $300,000 for 3 years.
Title: Regulatory Role of the CRYPTOCHROME-FAD Axes in Mitochondrial Bioenergetic Oscillation
- Tingting Weng Mills, PhD, Assistant Professor and Zheng Chen, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology was awarded an NIH R56 Grant – Total award $319,703 for one year.
Title: Regulatory role of APA in pulmonary fibrosis during aging