Display Accessibility Tools

Accessibility Tools


Highlight Links

Change Contrast

Increase Text Size

Increase Letter Spacing

Readability Bar

Dyslexia Friendly Font

Increase Cursor Size

BMB Weekly #13: March 29, 2024

Vol. 57, No.13Horizontal banner with MSU helmet displaying College of Natural Science Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Twitter link iconFacebook link iconWeb site link icon



Noteworthy News

Erich Grotewold receives 2023-2024 William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award


On the brink of breakthrough: The Kuo Lab begins collaborative research on innovative Alzheimer's disease treatment

"Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is often described as a cruel disease because it strips away memories, personality, cognitive functioning and autonomy... “There is no real cure or prevention of this devastating disease,” states Min-Hao Kuo, Ph.D., professor in the Michigan State University Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and head of the Kuo Lab at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) and the College of Natural Science (NatSci). The drugs available to treat AD offer “only modest benefits to the cognitive function of a limited group of patients,” he said. “Innovative approaches are desperately needed.” This need for innovation is the driving force behind Kuo’s latest research project. He and his research partners are embarking on a joint research project that could lead to a breakthrough in AD treatment."
Read the full article here.




Upcoming Seminars

Spring Colloquium Series: Jon Draper
Please note location and time changes:
Location: BCH 101 & Zoom
April 4, 2024 — 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Jon Draper from the Stem Cell Network will be presenting "A career beyond academia: charting a path".

To join us on Zoom, click this link. Password: bmbseminar

The Spring BMB Seminar Series will run through April 18, 2024. The complete schedule is available on the BMB Spring Seminar Series website. If you are interested in meeting with any of these speakers please email Leslie Williams, glady@msu.edu. Many speakers are planning to visit in-person. A zoom option will continue to be offered for all seminars.



Mark Your Calendar

Graduate & Professional Student Appreciation Week 2024
April 1, 2024 – April 5, 2024
Attention: Graduate Students

To celebrate Graduate & Professional Student Appreciation Week, the Graduate School is hosting a number of events throughout the first week of April, including meet & greets with the MSU leadership, professional development opportunities, contests, and more. Join us in celebrating our amazing students by participating in some of these events. Learn more here.

Luncheon with Molecular Plant Sciences Speaker Hailing Jin
April 1, 2024 12:00 p.m.

Join us for MPS speaker Hailing Jin from University of California, Riverside. The seminar will be held at 4:00 p.m. in BCH room 101.

Hailing’s talk is titled “Cross-Kingdom RNA trafficking between plants and fungal pathogens”. We would like to invite graduate students and postdocs to join the speaker for a lunch and discussion. Lunch will be provided at 12:00 p.m. in PLB 168. This is a great opportunity to meet our outside speaker in an informal environment. If you would like to participate in the luncheon, please RSVP to Keri Morris (morrisk@msu.edu) with any dietary restrictions by Friday, March 29, 2024 at noon. All students and post docs who are interested in this week’s seminar topic are welcome to attend. You do not need to be in the MPS program or affiliated with an MPS faculty member.

2024 Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Undergraduate Poster Session
April 1, 2024 — 2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Molecular Plant Sciences Atrium (Across the street from the Biochemistry building)

Please mark your calendar to attend the 2024 Biochemistry Undergraduate Poster session. Come network with your department colleagues and support our amazing Biochemistry undergraduate students, as they present their research. Light refreshments will be available.

Cookies and Careers
April 3, 2024 — 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Student Services Building 113

Stop by Student Services Building room 113 from 12 to 2 p.m. to take a professional headshot, get feedback on your resume or cover letter, chat about career goals, and discuss any other career-oriented topics on your mind. Cookies and swag will be available as well. Learn more here.

Graduate Women in Science: Symposium of Errors
April 5, 2024 — 4:30 p.m.
BPS 1400

Join Graduate Women in Science for an exciting night of commiseration and camaraderie as we celebrate the challenges we face (and hopefully overcome) in doing research! Pursuing new knowledge is difficult, and all too often we place value on the success without acknowledging the effort, obstacles, and failures along the way. We don't have to suffer alone, so bring your stories of failure, confusion, and facing the unexpected to share with new friends across STEM disciplines and enter and vote in two different contests to win (consolation) prizes:

  • Ugly Figure Contest: Enter a single image of data gone awry: the survey data that went contrary to plan, the gel with a pretty but completely unwanted pattern, the time you set up an experiment wrong and found out well after the fact, etc. Include a short caption that explains the image for attendees outside your discipline.
  • Un-Progress Talks: Do you have a story about the worst mistake you've ever made, unfortunate lab accidents, or a perplexing problem? Share your tragic, humorous (or both) story in a short presentation - 5 min max, can have a slide or two for visuals.

Anyone training in STEM, undergrad/grad/postdoc/etc., is welcome to join and present their story, or just come for moral support! If you have any questions or ideas about the event, reach out to Natasha George (georg217@msu.edu). Please RSVP here.

First International Summit on Plant Resilience
Registration Deadline: April 15, 2024
Event Dates: May 16, 2024 —May 17, 2024

The Plant Resilience Institute's first International Plant Resilience Summit will convene an international cohort of world-class plant science researchers at Michigan State University from May 16-17, 2024. A detailed schedule is available online. The event is FREE and open to all MSU community members. Please register using the online form. Registration closes on Monday, April 15, 2024, at 5 pm ET. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Gaëlle Cassin-Ross (cassin@msu.edu).


Awards, Grants and Fellowships

Lyman Briggs Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellowship Program
Application Deadline: April 7, 2024
Attention: Doctoral Students

Ph.D. students selected for this 12-month program will work with an LBC faculty member on a disciplinarybased education research (DBER), scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), or action research project. SUTL research topics may include developing and assessing various curricular interventions such as inquiry-based labs, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, science ethics, teaching with case studies, and efforts to increase the retention and success of a diverse STEM population. Each SUTL Fellow will work closely with their LBC faculty mentor to contribute to a DBER/SoTL/action research project and will be encouraged and supported to disseminate project results via peer reviewed journals, conferences, and pedagogyrelated venues. Learn more and apply here.

Neogen Land Grant Prize
Application Deadline: April 25, 2024
Attention: Graduate Students

This endowed award program seeks to advance the work of an MSU graduate student whose research has the potential to contribute to economic and scientific improvements in society, with a promise of practical applications that benefit U.S. economic interests. Applicants must be graduate students in good standing who have successfully passed their preliminary exam, have a track record of research accomplishment, and a project that is ripe for translation to impact through a commercialization/dissemination pathway. Learn more and apply here.

2024 Outstanding Mentoring Awards
Attention: Faculty, Graduate Students

Application Deadline:

  • Outstanding Doctoral Student Mentor Award: April 15, 2024
  • Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award: May 15, 2024
  • Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award: May 15, 2024

Nominations for this year’s Graduate School Outstanding Mentoring Awards are now open. These awards recognize graduate programs, faculty, and doctoral students who exemplify mentoring best practices. Learn more about the various awards and how to nominate a person or program by following this link.



How to Complete Your Grad Student or Nonresident/International Student Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!)
Event Date: Asynchronous
Attention: Graduate Students

This Personal Finance for PhDs workshop is provided to you for free by the Graduate School Office of Well-Being, Council of Graduate Students, and the Graduate School at Michigan State University. This workshop teaches you the federal higher education tax benefits available to you, including how to tabulate, calculate, and report your funding and education expenses. Learn more and register here.

Online Active Violence Incident Training
Attention: Students, Faculty, Staff

The MSU Department of Police and Public Safety has released an online Active Violence Incident Awareness Training program that is available for students, faculty, and staff. This training includes a presentation explaining how to respond during an active violence situation. Throughout the training, knowledge checkpoint questions will appear on screen to evaluate participants’ understanding of the content. In addition, a video is in development, which will be included in the training at a later time. Learn more here.

MSU Food Bank

Eligible to undergraduates, graduates, and professional students enrolled in Fall/Spring semester and without a dining plan. Fruits, soups, pasta, rice, protein, cereal, bread, and fresh produce available year-round! To learn more about visiting the MSU Foodbank, or to donate, visit here.


Job Postings

Postdoctoral Position — UC Davis, College of Biological Sciences   New!

Dr. Xiaosa (Jack) Xu Lab in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of California, Davis is seeking a highly motivated and independent individual who is interested in pursuing an academic career in plant developmental genetics and single-cell genomics research. The postdoctoral scholar who secures this position will use cutting-edge single-cell genomics, spatial transcriptomics, and genome editing approaches to identify and characterize key genes in plant development and evolution, and inform crop improvement. The successful applicant will be responsible for conducting single-cell genomics and spatial transcriptomics experiments and data analysis, followed by genome editing validation. The applicant will work closely with a team in the Xu lab, as well as with collaborators at UC Davis and other institutions. They will have the opportunity to mentor graduate and undergraduate students, participate in the preparation and writing of manuscripts and grants. The candidate will also have opportunities to attend workshops/courses as required by ongoing and future research projects, such as the Frontiers and Techniques in Plant Science course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Contact Dr. Xiaosa (Jack) Xu for further information. Learn more about this listing by following this link.

Research Associate, Fixed Term — College of Osteopathic Medicine
Attention: Graduate Students

The College of Osteopathic Medicine is seeking a highly motivated and productive chemical biologist/biochemist to conduct daily research on exciting recently funded projects to 1) investigate how lipid metabolites affect neurodegeneration and 2) discover novel molecules to treat diseases with no effective intervention. Learn more about this MSU Careers posting and apply at this link.

Research Associate, Fixed Term — Balbach Lab
Application Deadline: June 30, 2024

A Postdoctoral Research Associate position is available in the laboratory of Melanie Balbach. The Research Associate will focus on the metabolic changes and underlying regulatory pathways in the male germ cell during activation and during zygote development. The position requires the development and application of advanced omics tools in combination with sperm motility, capacitation and fertilization read-outs as well as high-throughput screening assays. Research findings are expected to be reported in the form of written publications as well as oral presentations within MSU and at scientific meetings. Opportunities for professional development include participation in grant proposal writing, attending and presenting at scientific research symposiums and conferences, networking with other scientists within and outside MSU as well as mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students. Learn more about this MSU Careers posting and apply at this link.

Research Associate, Fixed Term — Lundquist Lab   

Applications are invited for a Post-Doctoral (Research Associate) position available in plant biochemistry at Michigan State University in the laboratory of Dr. Peter K. Lundquist. We study the function and formation of plastoglobule lipid droplets of chloroplasts which are highly relevant to plant stress responses and play an active role in membrane remodeling and numerous lipid metabolic pathways. Duties of the incumbent will include gene cloning and heterologous protein expression, protein purifications, in vitro assays, phosphoproteomic analyses, manuscript writing, and training of other lab personnel. Learn more about this MSU Careers posting and apply at this link.


Recent Publications

Bibik, J. D., Sahu, A., Kim, B., Unda, F., Andersen, T. B., Mansfield, S. D., Maravelias, C. T., Sharkey, T. D., & Hamberger, B. R. (2024). Engineered poplar for bioproduction of the triterpene squalene. Plant biotechnology journal, 10.1111/pbi.14345. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.14345

Fiesel, P. D., Kerwin, R. E., Daniel Jones, A., & Last, R. L. (2024). Trading acyls and swapping sugars: metabolic innovations in Solanum trichomes. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2023.06.05.542877. https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.06.05.542877

Jin, H., & Merz, K. M., Jr (2024). Modeling Fe(II) Complexes Using Neural Networks. Journal of chemical theory and computation, 20(6), 2551–2558. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jctc.4c00063

Saha, S., & Kroos, L. (2024). Regulation of late-acting operons by three transcription factors and a CRISPR-Cas component during Myxococcus xanthus development. Molecular microbiology, 10.1111/mmi.15252. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/mmi.15252



To provide feedback or submit content, please email bmb.web@msu.edu.

Don't forget to follow us on social media!

Web site link iconFacebook link iconTwitter link icon

College of Natural Science | BMB Weekly | Vol. 57, No.13