Biochemistry

BIO Contact Info

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
4301 Jones Bridge Road, C1094
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799
Phone 301-295-3550
Fax 301-295-3512

Uniformed Services University

Biochemisty & Molecular Biology (BIO)

Research in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at USU encompasses diverse interests and employs a wide variety of approaches, experimental systems, and techniques. Driving our research is the desire to understand how biological molecules interact to orchestrate highly complex cellular processes.

The diverse environment in the department provides a broad spectrum of expertise that benefits everyone. Research programs include investigations on sphingolipid metabolism, human multi-drug transporters, unusual metalloenzymes in anaerobic metabolism, RNA splicing, mRNA turnover, the function and regulation of cytoplasmic dynein, the mechanisms controlling the distribution of homologous recombination events in meiosis, mitochondrial quality control, structure and function of the PhoP-PhoR proteins important for Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence, mitochondrial RNA processing and structural enzymoly of B12 proteins.

Much of the departmental major equipment is shared. This allows students and postdoctoral fellows from different laboratories to be intermixed and enhances interactions at all levels. In addition, the department has available modern instrumentation for DNA/protein sequencing and synthesis as well as state-of-the-art genetic and proteomic analysis through access to the University's Biomedical Instrumentation Center (BIC).

News

Rachel Cox was awarded an R21 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) entitled "Elucidating the mechanism of mitochondrial quality control in Drosophila".

Galina Petukhova won the USUHS 2013 Henry Wu award for excellence in the basic sciences, which recognizes her recent work "PRDM9 directs genetic recombination away from functional genomic elements" published in Nature.

Markos Koutmos received the Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association (National Center) on "B12-dependent enzymes and B12-transport proteins in homocysteine metabolism".

Jun Zhang, Rongde Qiu in Xin Xiang's lab and their collaborators published in the Journal of Cell Biology (March 17, 2014) their finding of a protein that links dynein to early endosomes. The results are highlighted by JCB.

Teresa Dunn obtained the R21 grant "Orm protein regulation of sphingolipid biosynthesis in yeast and mammals" from NICHD/NIH (April 2014)

Xuanli (Lia) Yao (Xiang lab) et al. published in Mol. Biol. Cell (MBoC) "FHIP and FTS proteins are critical for dynein-mediated transport of early endosomes in Aspergillus", and the paper is highlighted by MBoC (July 15, 2014)

Dr. Aditya Sen et al from Dr. Rachel Cox's lab recently published in Disease Models and Mechanisms their finding that the protein Clueless physically and genetically interacts with the Parkin-PINK1 mitophagy pathway.  This work was featured on the journal's cover.