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Kristen Lynch is appointed chair of the Department.

The Department created the Ruth Keris Award for Departmental Service "to honor a graduate student, postdoc, staff member or faculty who has contributed conspicuously to the community spirit of the department or graduate group”. This award honors the work of Ruth Keris and the invaluable imprint she has left on the department, the BMB graduate group, and the University after many decades of service.

Ben Garcia represented the US Human Proteome Organization at FASEB's Capitol Hill Day, where he spoke to congress about continued support for scientific research, including US District 2 Representative Dwight Evans.



2016 Holiday Card

View the 2016 Departmental and Johnson Foundation holiday card.

Togetherness in 2017!


The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Pennsylvania a $24 Million, five-year grant to establish a Science and Technology Center (STC) focused on engineering mechanobiology to be lead by Yale Goldman of Physiology and Biochemistry & Biophysics, and Vivej Shenoy of SEAS. Read more


Ben Garcia has been elected to the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) Governing Council. More info


A team of scientists led by Stephen C. Harvey, reports in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B that DNA may go through a repetitive cycle of contraction and elongation, or “scrunching”, to generate forces needed to drive DNA into a virus during replication. Link to article | Penn News Press Release


Mark Lemmon was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society. Founded in 1660, the Royal Society has three roles: as a provider of independent scientific advice, as a learned society, and as a funding agency. Its fellowship includes renowned scientists from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, plus foreign members from around the world. Read more


Ben Garcia has won the 2016 Protein Science Young Investigator Award from the Protein Society. This award recognizes a scientist in the first eight years of an independent career who has made an important contribution to the study of proteins. It will be presented this summer at the 29th Annual Symposium of the Protein Society in Barcelona, Spain.


Kushol Gupta was promoted to Research Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics.



2015 Holiday Card

View the 2015 Departmental and Johnson Foundation holiday card. Let it SNO!

To read the science behind the image, click HERE


The Departmental and BMB Graduate Group Retreat was held November 12-13, 2015 at Skytop Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. PHOTOS


Takashi Yonetani won a Proteomass Scientific Society Award given at the 4th International Conference on Analytical Proteomics (ICAP) to honor his "Distinguished Research Career".

Ben Garcia has won the Ken Standing Award. The Ken Standing Award is presented by the sponsors of the Enabling Technologies (ETP) Symposium biennially to honor a young scientist who has made a significant contribution to technology development in support of research in the life sciences.


Jim Shorter and his lab have published two articles detailing ways to combat AIDS by targeting HIV in semen.

Penn News Release

Castellano LM, Bart SM , Holmes VM, Weissman D, Shorter J (2015) Repurposing Hsp104 to antagonize seminal amyloid and counter HIV infection. Chemistry & Biology 22(8):1074–1086.

Lump E, Castellano LM, Meier C, Seeliger J, et al (2015) A molecular tweezer antagonizes seminal amyloids and HIV infection. eLife eLife 2015;4:e05397


Jeremy Wilusz was named a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar to support his work on circular RNAs.


July 7, 2015 issue of Science Signaling  

Science Signaling | July 7, 2015

Cover image provided by Kim Sharp

Regulation of brain glutamate metabolism by nitric oxide and S-nitrosylation

By Karthik Raju, Paschalis-Thomas Doulias, Perry Evans, Elizabeth N. Krizman, Joshua G. Jackson, Oksana Horyn, Yevgeny Daikhin, Ilana Nissim, Marc Yudkoff, Itzhak Nissim, Kim A. Sharp, Michael B. Robinson, and Harry Ischiropoulos

Science Signaling 8(384):ra68


A paper from the lab of Eiko Nakamaru-Ogiso titled Apoptosis Inducing Factor (AIF) and its family member, AMID, are rotenone-sensitive NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductases (NDH-2) has been published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.


A paper from Ben Black's lab has been published in the May 8, 2015 issue of Science: CENP-C reshapes and stablizes CENP-A nucleosomes at the centromere. PubMed ID: 25954010


Kristen Lynch and her lab were highlighted in Penn News Today. The Lynch lab’s paper focusing on how splicing is controlled and regulated in T cells was recently published in PNAS.


Josh Wand was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society.


Ben Garcia received a Scholar Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This award is given to investigators in the early phase of their careers to help support their research in better understanding and diagnosing cancer in the blood and lymph system, along with developing new options for prevention and treatment.


Jim Shorter and colleagues investigate the importance of the N-terminal domain of Hsp104 in dissolving prions and misfolded conformers that cause disease. This research may lead to new therapies for brain disorders and has recently been published in Molecular Cell. PennNews Release



Holiday Card 2014

View the 2014 Departmental and Johnson Foundation holiday card.

Get a grip on entropy in 2015!

Jim Shorter received a grant from the ALS Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association for research aimed at finding potential therapies for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. This award was made possible in part by Major League Baseball’s “Ice Bucket Challenge”

The Perelman School of Medicine Class of 2017 has selected Mitch Lewis for one of the Preclinical Teaching Awards. This award, given by second year medical students, recognizes faculty that rise above the call of duty in their dedication to preclinical education.


The Department and BMB Graduate Group Retreat was held November 20-21, 2014 at Skytop Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. Photos from the event can be found here.

A collaborative study between University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been published online in Cancer Cell. The authors look for more effective treatments against childhood cancers by targeting mutations of the ALK gene. Mark Lemmon and his lab worked with Yaël P. Mossé of CHOP and Ravi Radhakrishnan of the Department of Bioengineering on the project.

PENNMedicine profiled Les Dutton in its Fall 2014 issue. The article entitled "Man of Many (P)arts" highlights his science and his artwork.


Jeremy Wilusz's work describing how a cell “decides” to make circular RNAs was recently published in Genes and Development and highlighted on the Penn Medicine News Blog site.


JAC cover 2014  

Journal of the American Chemical Society | October 8, 2014

Cover article by Tommos Lab

Photochemical tyrosine oxidation in the structurally well-defined α3Y protein: Proton-coupled electron transfer and a long-lived tyrosine radical

By Starla D. Glover, Christine Jorge, Li Liang, Kathleen G. Valentine, Leif Hammarström, and Cecilia Tommos

Journal of the American Chemical Society 136:14039-14051.


JMB Cover 2014  

Journal of Molecular Biology | October 23, 2014

Cover article by Wand Lab

Dynamic and thermodynamic response of the Ras protein Cdc42Hs upon association with the effector domain of PAK3

By Veronica R. Moorman, Kathleen G. Valentine, Sabrina Bédard, Vignesh Kasinath, Jakob Dogan, Fiona M. Love, A. Joshua Wand (2014)

Journal of Molecular Biology 426:3520–3538.


This year's recipient of the ASBMB Mildred Cohn Award in Biological Chemistry is Judith Klinman from the University of California, Berkeley. Previous recipients were Lila Gierasch and Jennifer Doudna. The award was established to honor the pioneering scientific accomplishments and the spirit of the late Professor Cohn. More information.


Ben Garcia's article on ‘A quantitative atlas of histone modification signatures from human cancer cells has won the BioMed Central Molecular and Cellular Sciences category Research Award and will now be shortlisted for the prestigious BioMed Central Research Award


Ben Garcia recently won two awards: The 2014 Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award, sponsored by the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP) and The Arthur F. Findeis Award for Achievements by a Young Analytical Scientist, sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Kristen Lynch has been promoted to Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics effective July 1, 2104.

Two new faculty members have recently joined the Department:
Ronen Marmorstein has been appointed Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
Jeremy Wilusz has been appointed Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics.


The Department premiered a short descriptive video that premiered at the Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco.


Academic Radiology Feb 2014

The Britton Chance tribute issue of Academic Radiology is pubished. The papers included in this issue were contributed following the International Symposium on Metabolic Imaging and Spectroscopy honoring the 100th birthday of Britton Chance.

The symposium, organized by Professors Lin Z. Li and Arjun Yodh, focused on scientific contributions and strategic reviews of methods to study cell and tissue function. It was held on the Penn campus in June of 2013.



Nucleic Acids Research

Cover article by Black Lab

DAXX co-folds with H3.3/H4 using high local stability conferred by the H3.3 variant recognition residues

By Jamie E. DeNizio, Simon J. Elsässer, Ben E. Black (2014) Nucleic Acids Research 42(7):4318-4331.

Nucleic Acids Research 42(7):4318-4331.




View The Departmental and JF holiday card.

A new portal on the Penn Medicine News Site brings together basic research finding and discoveries emerging from Penn Medicine's laboratories. These advances will impact the treatment of a wide varieties of diseases and provide the foundation on which many of medicine's next cures will be based. Highlighted in the RNA section is work done by the Gideon Dreyfuss, James Shorter, Kristin Lynch, and Yale Goldman.


Les Dutton won a 2013 John Scott Award. This award dates back to 1822 and has been given to men and women who, by their inventions, have contributed in some outstanding way to the “comfort, welfare, and happiness of mankind”. Les was chosen for his work on the “elementary processes of oxidation-reduction and the diverse biological events coupled to it.”
WHYY/Newsworks article by Faye Flam
Penn Medicine News Release
Renaissance Biochemist (Penn Medicine News Blog)

Rahul Kohli, and his team lead by BMB student Charlie Mo, won one of the first GlaxoSmithKline "Discovery Fast Track" Awards, designed to translate academic research into starting points for new potential medicines.

Department and BMB Graduate Group Retreat was held November 7 - 8, 2013 at Skytop Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. Photographs from the 2-day event are online.


Departmental photograph was taken on October 31.

Jim Shorter is the recipient of a prestigious research grant from the the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) for his work on generating therapeutic disaggregases for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Read more

Mark Lemmon was awarded funding from the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation for his work focusing on HER family kinases and oncogene addiction in brain cancer.

Gideon Dreyfuss, Isaac Norris Professor of Biochemistry & BIophysics, and HHMI Investigator, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine. Membership in the IOM is considered to be one of the highest honors in biomedicine.


Les Dutton has won a 2013 John Scott Award. This award dates back to 1822 and has been given to men and women who, by their inventions, have contributed in some outstanding way to the “comfort, welfare, and happiness of mankind”. Les was chosen for his work on the “elementary processes of oxidation-reduction and the diverse biological events coupled to it.” The John Scott Award ceremony will be held in November 2013.


The International Symposium on Imaging and Metabolic Spectroscopy honoring the Centennial of Britton Chance's birth held at the University of Pennsylvania on June 18-19, 2013


Jim Shorter promoted to Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics effective July 1, 2013.

The life of Paul Mueller, who was Research Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics from 1981 - 1992, was remembered at a "Meeting of the Friends of Paul Mueller" on Friday, May 10, 2013. Dr. Mueller was one of the pioneers of the field of lipid bilayers, as well as neuromorphic engineering, bioinspired smart electronics and biomimetic systems. Penn Alamanac Obituary



A Retrospective of Annemarie Weber by Clara Franzini-Armstrong published in ASBMB Today. (See page 16-18)


Jim Shorter won 2012 Michael S. Brown New Investigator Research Award, which recognizes emerging faculty engaged in innovative discoveries.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation includes Mildred Cohn in their video series, Women in Chemistry. Dr. Cohn was highlighted on the Penn Medicine blog site: What would Mildred Do?


Rahul Kohli received a NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.


Annemarie Weber (1923-2012). Read more

cell cover  


Cell | July 6, 2012

Cover article by Dreyfuss Lab

U1 snRNP Determines mRNA Length and Regulates Isoform Expression

By Michael G. Berg, Larry N. Singh, Ihab Younis,Qiang Liu, Anna Maria Pinto, Daisuke Kaida, Zhenxi Zhang, Sungchan Cho, Scott Sherrill-Mix, Lili Wan, and Gideon Dreyfuss


cell cover  


Trends in Biochemical Sciences | June, 2012

Cover article by Black Lab

Molecular Underpinnings of Centromere Identity and Maintenance

by Nikolina Sekulic and Ben Black
Trends in Biochemical Sciences 37(6):220-229.

link to article


Mitch Lewis received a 2012 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Penn's highest teaching honor.