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Giedroc Lab: Daiana A. Capdevila named 2016 Pew Latin American Fellow


A postdoctoral researcher in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry is one of only 10 scientists named to the 2016 class of Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences, a program of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
A native of Argentina, Daiana A. Capdevila will receive support from the program to spend two years in the lab of Lilly Chemistry Alumni Professor David Giedroc, whose group conducts basic research into the fight against drug-resistant bacterial infection.
Read more about this article at Science at Work here.

Posted 6/9/2016

QCB Trainer Kao receives Johnson Center grant


The Johnson Center for Innovation and Translational Research awarded more than $160,000 in grants to seven researchers at Indiana University Bloomington through the Translational Research Pilot Grant program.
The Johnson Center works with faculty and researchers throughout the IU Bloomington campus to identify discoveries that hold commercial potential. Launched in 2015, the Translational Research Pilot Grant program funds the completion of proof-of-concept projects that will support the development of translational research projects with industry partners and the establishment of new companies or strengthen patent applications based on IU Bloomington discoveries.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 5/23/2016

QCB Trainers Brown, Theilges & Yu receive NSF Career Awards




In a recognition regarded as one of the most prestigious given in support of junior faculty, the National Science Foundation has awarded eight researchers at Indiana University a total of $6.27 million to advance research with applications to areas such as affordable drug development, global climate change, and resilience to terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
The NSF Faculty Early Career Development Awards, known as the NSF CAREER Awards, recognize faculty who "exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research." As an award that supports both research and education, each grant supports cutting-edge research as well as educational activities that benefit students from grade school to the Ph.D. level. All grants are for five years.
M. Kevin Brown, whose funding begins April 1, will receive about $675,000 to conduct research on catalyzing the construction of carbon-carbon bonds, which could advance the ability to synthesize drug molecules with inexpensive non-precious metal catalysts such as copper, lowering the cost of certain drugs. Currently, many drugs on market require expensive precious metals for the preparation of molecules used to treat certain conditions, such as cancer or depression.
Megan Thielges will receive over $966,000 to advance research on the chemical mechanisms that orchestrate protein interactions in cells, focusing on the ways proteins recognize other proteins to which they need to bind.
Although such interactions are crucial to cellular function, they remain notoriously difficult to study since every protein in a cell is a large, complex molecule whose individual interactions take place within a complex and crowded environment. The work will be aided by state-of-the-art methods that allow the placement of "reporter chemicals" at specific locations on proteins, which provides the ability to test how motion at different parts of the molecule affects reaction with binding partners.
Yan Yu, whose grant began Feb. 15, will receive $500,000 to advance research on Janus particles, named for the Roman god with two faces, whose surface possesses two distinct parts with different surface chemistry.
Specifically, the project will investigate Janus particles' ability to enter cells, which could affect their potential as a carrier for multifunctional, programmable drugs. These drugs deliver treatment for multiple symptoms in one package; for example, a single pill that targets cognitive impairment, motor dysfunction and depression in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 3/31/2016

QCB Trainer Yu receives Cottrell Scholar Award


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Yan Yu has been named one of two dozen 2016 Cottrell Scholars, a distinction given to top early career academic scientists by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).
“The Cottrell Scholar program champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy by providing these significant discretionary awards,” said Robert N. Shelton, president and CEO of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, which selected the recipients of its awards based on their innovative research proposals and education programs.
More information on this year’s winners can be obtained here.

Posted 3/28/2016

QCB Trainer Bochman helps craft brewers' sour beer production

Wild Saccharomyces cerevisiae from Upland's "Sky" sampling site.

Indiana University researchers have found that conditions common in the production of certain types of craft beers can inhibit the successful production of these brews, risking a growing segment of an industry whose economic impact was recently estimated at $55 billion.
The conditions, the primary of which is high acidity, threaten yeasts typically used in the production of sour beers, one of the fastest-growing segments of the craft beer industry. The work, which appears in the journal Food Microbiology, also reports a method to overcome the condition, dubbed "terminal acid shock."
The lead author on the paper is Matthew Bochman, an assistant professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and a craft brewing consultant. The research was conducted in collaboration with Upland Brewing Co., a small craft brewery based in Bloomington, Ind.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 3/21/2016

QCB Trainer Douglas group creates 'nano-reactor' for the production of hydrogen biofuel

An artist's rendering of P22-Hyd, a new biomaterial created by encapsulating a hydrogen-producing enzyme within a virus shell.

Scientists at Indiana University have created a highly efficient biomaterial that catalyzes the formation of hydrogen -- one half of the "holy grail" of splitting H2O to make hydrogen and oxygen for fueling cheap and efficient cars that run on water.
A modified enzyme that gains strength from being protected within the protein shell -- or "capsid" -- of a bacterial virus, this new material is 150 times more efficient than the unaltered form of the enzyme.
The process of creating the material was recently reported in "Self-assembling biomolecular catalysts for hydrogen production" in the journal Nature Chemistry.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 1/4/2016

QCB Trainer Ortoleva part of team to study self-assembling molecules, software for next-generation materials

The ring-shaped macromolecule tricarbazolo triazolophane, or "tricarb," self-assembles into highly organized, multilayered patterns.

The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.2 million to three research groups at Indiana University to advance research on self-assembling molecules and computer-aided design software required to create the next generation of solar cells, circuits, sensors and other technology.
This interdisciplinary team in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry is led by Amar Flood, Steven Tait and Peter Ortoleva in collaboration with Mu-Hyun Baik of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, who previously served at IU.
Designing new materials at the molecular level is a key goal of the U.S. government's Materials Genome Initiative, a project launched in 2011 to reduce the cost, and speed the creation, of these materials. As recipients of funds from the NSF's Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer Our Future program, the IU scientists will contribute to this national initiative.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 12/1/2015

QCB Trainer DiMarchi elected as a member of National Academy of Medicine


Indiana University Distinguished Professor Richard D. DiMarchi, one of the world's leading peptide chemists, has been elected as a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine, becoming the 10th IU faculty member to join the organization and the first on the IU Bloomington campus.
Election to the National Academy of Medicine, previously known as the Institute of Medicine, is considered one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 10/19/2015

QCB Trainer Ortoleva receives Grant Linking University-Wide Expertise Award


The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute recently selected three projects to receive $200,000 each in funding for the next two years through the IU Grant Linking University-Wide Expertise Awards. The three projects address issues in psychological and brain sciences and chemistry.
Peter Ortoleva, distinguished professor in physical chemistry and chemical biology at IU Bloomington will conduct a study titled, “Integrated Computational and Laboratory Approach for the Efficient Discovery of Antiviral Vaccines.” Through this study, an integrated program of computational and experimental methods will be developed to facilitate the discovery of vaccines that protect against viral infections. Co-investigators include Aaron Ermel, M.D. and Darron Brown, M.D. of the IU School of Medicine.
Read more about this article at the IUSM Newsroom here.

Posted 9/14/2015

Winkler Lab: QCB Trainee Perez wins best poster at conference


Amilcar Perez (Winkler Lab) won a best poster award for graduate students for his work on functional and genetic relationships of essential cell division proteins in Stretptococcus pneumoniae at the annual Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference (MMPC) held in Indianapolis from August 28-30, 2015, and attended by over 260 scientists.

Posted 8/31/2015

QCB Trainer Cook receives Amgen Young Investigator Award


Professor Silas Cook has been selected as a 2015 winner of the Amgen Young Investigators Award. This prestigious prize is given in recognition of young researchers whose scientific contributions significantly impact the field of drug discovery. Professor Cook will be honored at the 13th annual Amgen Young Investigators Symposium and Award Ceremony in October of this year in addition to the receipt of an unrestricted cash award.

Posted 8/26/2015

QCB Trainers Bochman & Kao win grant from new translational research program



Five Indiana University Bloomington professors will receive $104,230 in total awards through the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology’s newly established Translational Research Pilot Grant Program.
Launched in February, the program funds the completion of proof-of-concept projects that support research with the potential to translate from the laboratory to commercial use. Such development occurs by collaborating with industry partners, establishing new companies or strengthening patent applications based on discoveries at IU Bloomington.
Matthew L. Bochman, assistant professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, IU College of Arts and Sciences. Bochman’s project involves the bio-prospecting, selection and analysis of wild yeasts for use in ethanol fermentation.
Cheng Kao, professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, IU College of Arts and Sciences. Kao is developing an antimicrobial peptide to decrease bacterial infection in medical devices.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 6/1/2015

QCB Trainer Bell elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology


Two Indiana University scientists have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group of the American Society for Microbiology. It is a major honor for scientists in the field.
Stephen D. Bell, a professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, and David M. Kehoe, a professor in the Department of Biology, will join a select number of their peers in the society
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 5/7/2015

Kao Lab: Emma Winkler received the Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award


Indiana University Bloomington recognized students for exceptional achievement during the annual Founders Day Honors Convocation, one of the traditional activities that mark the celebration of IU's founding in 1820.
Several dozen students were accorded special recognition during the event for receiving university awards for scholarship, leadership and service and for earning nationally competitive scholarships and honors. Also honored were approximately 4,100 Founders Scholars, the campus's most academically distinguished undergraduates, who have earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8 or higher.
Senior Wells Scholar Emma Winkler, a Barry Goldwater Scholar, was the student speaker at the event. The evening before, Winkler received the Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award at the annual Wells banquet.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 5/5/2015

QCB Trainers Baker & Bochman receive IU Collaborative Research Grants



Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José has announced over $1 million in collaborative research grants to be shared among 15 newly formed research teams. Members of the teams represent 21 departments from eight schools on three IU campuses.
“The idea behind the program was to create incentives for researchers to initiate new collaborations to address important problems in transformative ways,” José said. “While we can fund only about 15 percent of the applications, just the process of preparing applications has created some new partnerships across the university. The program has been a success so far, and we believe it will continue to be in the future.”
Single Cell Studies With Scanning Sniffer Patch Microscopy Lane Allen Baker, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; and Theodore Cummins, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine.
Mechanism of the Regulation of DNA Replication by PIF1 Family Helicases Matthew L. Bochman, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; Yuichiro Takagi, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine; and Amber Mosley, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 4/27/2015

Brun Lab: Radhika Agarwal receives Provost Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity


Six Indiana University Bloomington students have been chosen to receive the Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. The award recognizes undergraduates who collaborate on or spearhead excellent or original academic work.
Recipients of the 2014-15 awards are Radhika Agarwal, in the category of Natural and Mathematical Sciences; Rachel Cooper and Neil Craney, Professional Inquiry; Ryan Galloway, Creative and Performing Arts; Jordan Goodmon, Humanities; and Gabrielle Malina, Social and Applied Sciences.
Radhika Agarwal, from Carmel, Ind., is a senior majoring in biochemistry and biology. Her career goals include conducting research in bacterial antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation and teaching medical students. Her mentor is Yves Brun, Clyde Culbertson Professor of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 4/21/2015

QCB Trainer Brown awarded Sloan Research Fellowship


Indiana University Bloomington chemist M. Kevin Brown has been awarded a 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today.
The Sloan fellowships, awarded every year since 1955, honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements suggest they will be among the next generation of scientific leaders.
He is one of 126 researchers and scholars from 57 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada to be named Sloan Research Fellows this year. Fellows receive $50,000 to further their research.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/23/2015

QCB Trainers Brun, VanNieuwenhze & Winkler receive NIH R01 Multiple PI award

Regions of active cell wall synthesis shown by high-resolution imaging of the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae. Long-term labeling is revealed with blue FDAA and short-time labeling with red FDAA.

The alarming increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses health and economic threats worldwide, with more than 2 million Americans infected by the bacteria each year. Now, a team of Indiana University chemists and biologists has been awarded a major grant to develop and use a chemical tagging method to better understand how bacteria build their cell wall, which is still the best target for new antibiotics.
About two years ago, an IU team led by chemist Michael VanNieuwenhze and microbiologist Yves Brun discovered what they saw as a new weapon in the arms race against antibiotic-resistant bacteria: a nanoscale, fluorescent chemical probe that pinpoints where bacterial cells build their peptidoglycan, the mesh-like polymer that provides shape and strength to cell walls.
Now the National Institutes of Health has agreed with their assessment and awarded them $3.3 million to form a team with four other IU chemists and biologists who plan to improve upon their method of exploring the dynamics of the peptidoglycan building process.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/9/2015

QCB Trainer McKinlay's lab partner bacterium with nitrogen gas to produce more, cleaner bioethanol

Biomass being crushed using liquid nitrogen causes ice to form outside the bowl. The researchers later realized that crushing the biomass in these conditions was unnecessary.

Indiana University biologists believe they have found a faster, cheaper and cleaner way to increase bioethanol production by using nitrogen gas, the most abundant gas in Earth’s atmosphere, in place of more costly industrial fertilizers. The discovery could save the industry millions of dollars and make cellulosic ethanol – made from wood, grasses and inedible parts of plants – more competitive with corn ethanol and gasoline.
The raw materials for cellulosic ethanol are low in nitrogen, a nutrient required for ethanol-producing microbes to grow, so cellulosic ethanol producers are estimated to spend millions of dollars annually on nitrogen fertilizers like corn steep liquor and diammonium phosphate. But an IU team led by biologist James B. McKinlay has found that the bioethanol-producing bacterium Zymomonas mobilis can use nitrogen gas (N2) as a nitrogen source, something that the more traditional ethanol-producer, baker’s yeast, cannot do.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/2/2015

QCB Trainers Brun and VanNieuwenhze recognized for outstanding collaboration

This image is from a collaboration by Roger Hangarter and Margaret Dolinsky for the Imag(in)ing Science exhibition.

Two teams of Indiana University Bloomington faculty have been awarded the inaugural Outstanding Faculty Collaborative Research Award, jointly offered by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. This new award was created to recognize collaborative faculty teams for their accomplishments in research, scholarship and creative activities.
“These new awards are an example of the immediate steps we are taking as a campus to encourage and support meaningful faculty collaborations,” said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. “The faculty members involved with these cross-disciplinary projects are tangibly demonstrating the way shared research and observation from different perspectives leads to innovation and discovery.”
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 9/25/2014

QCB Trainer Zlotnick helps new company focus on potential hepatitis B Cure

A reconstructed image of the hepatitis B capsid as calculated from data delivered by IU's cryo-electron microscope.

An Indiana University biochemist’s discovery of a class of anti-viral small molecules that target the function of a virus DNA hidden in the infected livers of hepatitis B patients may lead to a cure for this viral infection that kills more than 600,000 people annually.
Despite the early stage of its pipeline, the promise of Assembly’s novel approach attracted the interest of Nasdaq-listed Ventrus Biosciences. Last week, Ventrus stockholders voted to merge with Assembly to form a new company, Assembly Biosciences, which is now trading on Nasdaq under the ticker “ASMB,” catapulting the firm from new start-up to public company in less than two years.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 7/15/2014

QCB Trainer Dragnea named Provost Professor


IU Bloomington also has named three Provost Professors: Bogdan Dragnea, professor in the Department of Chemistry; Barbara Klinger, professor in the Department of Communication and Culture; and Peter Todd, professor in the Cognitive Science Program and Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. The three Provost Professors are in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 5/16/2014

QCB Trainers Brun & Walczak receive Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences grant



Nearly two dozen Indiana University Bloomington scientists have been awarded grants through the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute throughout 2013 and the first part of 2014. The awards are given to facilitate and accelerate research discoveries that may improve the health of people in Indiana and beyond.
The Indiana CTSI is a statewide collaboration of Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame focused on the conversion of scientific discoveries in the lab into new patient treatments. It was established in 2008 with a Clinical and Translational Science Award of $25 million from the National Institutes of Health and additional support from the state, member universities, and public and private partners. The institute received a five-year renewal grant of $30 million from the NIH in late 2013.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 4/9/2014

QCB Trainer DiMarchi inducted into U.S. Patent Office's Inventors Hall of Fame


Indiana University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Richard DiMarchi has been named an inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on the drug Humalog, a synthetic analog of the human hormone glucagon that has been used by millions around the world to address the complications of diabetes.
The Jack and Linda Gill Distinguished Chair at the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Gill Center for Biomolecular Science and professor and chair of the College’s Department of Chemistry, DiMarchi is among a class of 11 inductees announced today by the National Inventors Hall of Fame in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 3/4/2014

Brun Lab: Chao Jiang with Brun study how protein sequence changes drive species evolution


Biologists from Indiana University have uncovered the evolutionary mechanisms by which a group of bacteria synthesize an appendage-like structure at a precise cellular position, analogous to the placement of limbs on an animal. The new research demonstrates how evolutionary changes occurring at the molecular level can lead to dramatic variations in the shape of species.
The groundbreaking work led by IU professor of biology Yves Brun and graduate student Chao Jiang shows how stepwise evolution of a specific protein, the developmental regulator SpmX, led to a new function and localization of the protein. The changes in SpmX function and location led to a sequential transition in the positioning of the appendage-like structure, called a stalk, which is common in aquatic bacteria.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 1/19/2014

QCB Trainer Bochman works with Yeast protein's attributes to study tumor-suppressing work in human enzyme

Using the free software suite EMAN2, the researchers were able to build a two-dimensional reconstruction of what purified Hrq1 looks like when observed by electron microscopy.

An Indiana University biochemist is the lead author on new research identifying two DNA-damaging characteristics in a yeast protein whose human counterpart has been linked to cancer and premature aging.
Using the yeast protein Hrq1 as a model for the human enzyme RecQ4, IU assistant professor Matthew Bochman and a team based out of Princeton University have uncovered two important, yet unrelated, traits in Hrq1 that each promote genetic integrity: The yeast protein protected cells against highly toxic DNA lesions called inter-strand crosslinks and also inhibited an enzyme complex, telomerase, that is activated in about 90 percent of all tumors.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 1/16/2014

QCB Trainer Clemmer receives prestigious academic appointment


Five professors from Indiana University Bloomington’s College of Arts and Sciences have been promoted to the distinguished rank: John Bodnar, Chancellor’s Professor of History; David E. Clemmer, Robert and Marjorie Mann Chair in Chemistry; Krishnan Raghavachari, professor of chemistry; Olaf Sporns, Provost Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Roger Temam, College Professor of Mathematics.
The rank of distinguished professor, the most prestigious academic appointment Indiana University can bestow upon its faculty, was created by the IU Board of Trustees in 1967. The title is conferred by the university president with approval of the board.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 12/17/2013

Brun Lab: Erkin Kuru with Brun and VanNieuwenhze research team discover first approach to label peptidoglycan


Biochemical sleuthing by an Indiana University graduate student has ended a nearly 50-year-old search to find a megamolecule in bacterial cell walls commonly used as a target for antibiotics, but whose presence had never been identified in the bacterium responsible for the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States.
For decades researchers had searched for peptidoglycan -- a mesh-like polymer that forms the cell wall in diverse bacteria -- in the bacterial pathogen Chlamydiae in hopes of studying the megamolecule’s structure and synthesis as a path to drug development against a class of bacteria responsible for 1 in 10 cases of pneumonia in children and over 21 million cases of the blindness-causing disease trachoma.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 12/11/2013

QCB Trainer Cook receives Eli Lilly Grantee Award in Organic Chemistry


Congratulations to Professor Silas Cook on his receipt of the 2013/2014 Eli Lilly Grantee Award. The Eli Lilly award has honored young synthetic organic chemists for their excellence in research for the past 40 years. Professor Cook will receive a $100K research grant over two years and will present the results of his work at the Lilly Grantee Symposium, to be held in Indianapolis.

Posted 11/29/2013

QCB Trainer DiMarchi's research indicates that two endocrine hormones is an effective treatment for diabetes


Researchers at Indiana University and international collaborators have published results in Science Translational Medicine showing that a molecule combining the properties of two endocrine hormones is an effective treatment for adult-onset diabetes. The research included clinical trials with human subjects as well as detailed laboratory studies with rodents and monkeys.
The drug candidate, designed in the laboratory of Indiana University Bloomington chemist Richard DiMarchi and clinically tested by Roche, targets receptors for two naturally occurring peptide hormones, known as GLP-1 and GIP, that are instrumental to the body's regulation of metabolism.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 10/30/2013

QCB Trainer Dann's work will aid drug design to target cancer and inflammatory disease

From left, Soca Wibowo, Mirage Singh and Charles Dann III examine a slide tray at IU Bloomington's Crystallization Automation Facility.

Chemists at Indiana University Bloomington have produced detailed descriptions of the structure and molecular properties of human folate receptor proteins, a key development for designing new drugs that can target cancer and inflammatory diseases without serious side effects.
The researchers, from the lab of Charles Dann III, assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dann said the results should help chemists create more effective antifolate drugs, which act by interfering with the ability of folates -- also called folic acid or vitamin B9 -- to perform tasks that are essential for cell growth.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 8/8/2013

QCB Trainer Bell co-lead author on research into the evolution of the relationship between hosts and viruses

HIV budding from an infected cell. Similar versions of HIV infect other nonhuman species, such as feline immunodeficiency virus in cats and simian immunodeficiency virus in monkeys and other nonhuman primates.

Biologists from Indiana University and Montana State University have discovered a striking connection between viruses such as HIV and Ebola and viruses that infect organisms called archaea that grow in volcanic hot springs. Despite the huge difference in environments and a 2 billion year evolutionary time span between archaea and humans, the viruses hijack the same set of proteins to break out of infected cells.
"The new work yields insight into the evolution of the relationship between hosts and viruses and, more importantly, presents us with a new and simple model system to study how viruses can hijack and utilize cellular machineries," said Stephen D. Bell, professor in the IU Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and Department of Biology. Bell is co-lead author on the paper that appears today in early online editions of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 6/10/2013

QCB Trainer Cook receives Outstanding Junior Faculty award


Indiana University Bloomington's 2012-13 Outstanding Junior Faculty awards will support the creation of innovative textile art and research on public investments in energy, the worldwide loss of coastal mangrove forests, the development of anti-malarial drugs, the relationship between vision and balance, and the appropriateness of cancer screenings.
"As I am each year when we co-present these awards, I am once again excited by the innovation and excellence of the work accomplished by these young faculty members," said Sarita Soni, vice provost for research at IU Bloomington. "We're very pleased to honor their efforts."
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 3/25/2013

Walczak Lab: Jane Stout wins GE Healthcare Life Sciences 2012 Cell Imaging Competition

A metaphase epithelial cell stained for microtubules (red), kinetochores (green) and DNA (blue), was the winning image, submitted by IU, in the 2012 GE Healthcare Life Sciences Cell Imaging Competition. The DNA here is fixed in the process of being moved along the microtubules that form the structure of the spindle.

With crisp resolution to 100 nanometers -- a typical germ is about 1,000 nanometers -- the DeltaVision OMX imaging system is considered one of the world's finest microscope systems. Upon its arrival to Indiana University Bloomington's Light Microscopy Imaging Center in 2010, researchers quickly renamed it the "OMG" microscope for the amazing images it produced and for its ability to do super-speed imaging of multiple-labeled proteins in cells.
Stout conducts research in the laboratory of Claire Walczak, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in IU Bloomington's Medical Sciences Program, a branch of the IU School of Medicine. Walczak is also executive director of the Light Microscopy Imaging Center in Myers Hall, where the $1.2 million OMX microscope system resides. IU purchased the super-resolution microscope with funds provided solely through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/27/2013

Clemmer Lab: Kent Griffith awarded Churchill Scholarship


Indiana University Bloomington student Kent Griffith has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Scholarship, enabling him to pursue one year of graduate study in chemistry leading to a Master of Philosophy degree at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
He is one of only 14 U.S. students to receive a Churchill Scholarship this year, and one of only three recipients from public universities. He is one of five IU students to have ever been awarded the scholarship and the first to receive the honor since 2001-02.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 1/28/2013

QCB Program Director Giedroc along with Trainers Dann & Winkler uncover protein's job protecting pneumonia

A ribbon diagram depicts the three-dimensional structure of the copper-binding protein CupA found in the respiratory pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.

A team of chemists and biologists led by Indiana University chemistry professor David Giedroc has described a previously unknown function of a protein they now know is responsible for protecting a major bacterial pathogen from toxic levels of copper. The results were published Jan. 27 in Nature Chemical Biology.
Bacterial pathogens like Streptococcus pneumoniae -- responsible for infections that include pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis -- have evolved various strategies to limit copper levels in their cells to prevent toxicity.
Giedroc and co-workers describe the structure and function of the protein CupA as a chaperone that buffers copper to very low concentrations -- in turn protecting S. pneumoniae from damage.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 1/28/2013

QCB Trainers Brun, Fuqua & Geidroc selected as AAAS Fellows




For the second straight year, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has awarded the distinction of fellow to a record number of Indiana University faculty members.
The new fellows, a dozen in total and two more than the previous record set last year, include 10 faculty members from the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences and two from the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis.
"The fact that 10 new AAAS Fellows from the College of Arts and Sciences were chosen in a single year illustrates the remarkable strength of our faculty in the sciences," said Larry Singell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "I am delighted that they have been honored for their exceptional contributions and international leadership in their fields."
Yves Brun, Clyde Culbertson Professor, Department of Biology, "For contributions to the understanding of bacterial cells, particularly their internal organization and their mechanisms of division, differentiation and surface adhesion."
William "Clay" Fuqua, Professor, Department of Biology, "For outstanding research contributions in microbiology, specifically for the study of mechanisms of bacterial interactions, and the articulation of this area in publications and presentations."
QCB Program Director: David Giedroc, Professor and chair, Department of Chemistry, "For multidisciplinary contributions to the understanding of the determinants of metal homeostasis in bacterial pathogens."
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 11/29/2012

QCB Trainer DiMarchi's lab finds peptide-estrogen combination effective and safe for treating obesity in mice


Scientists at Indiana University and international collaborators have found a way to link two hormones into a single molecule, producing a more effective therapy with fewer side effects for potential use as treatment for obesity and related medical conditions.
The studies were carried out in the laboratories of Richard DiMarchi, the Standiford H. Cox Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and the Linda & Jack Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, and of Matthias Tschöp, professor of medicine and director of the Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, Helmholtz Center Munich, Germany. Results were published online this week by the journal Nature Medicine.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 11/13/2012

QCB Trainer Clemmer recognized for his discoveries by Center of Innovation


A symposium this week at Indiana University will mark the establishment of a Waters Corp. Center of Innovation recognizing the work of IU Bloomington chemist David Clemmer in inventing and developing ion mobility mass spectrometry, a key technology for biochemical analysis.
Clemmer, the Robert and Marjorie Mann Chair in Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, pioneered the development of ion mobility mass spectrometry in the 1990s and has continued to refine the approach through multiple generations. The technology, referred to as IMS-MS, combines ion mobilization spectrometry with time-of-flight mass spectrometry, resulting in fast, detailed analysis of the properties of complex proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and polymers.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 11/5/2012

QCB Trainers Brun & VanNieuwenhze develop new tool for the development of new antibiotics

Spatio-temporal labeling of bacterial growth in the bacterium Streptomyces venezuelae, which grows from the tips of its multiple branches. When the cell is successively exposed to fluorescent D-amino acid probes of different colors, each new probe indicates the location and extent of cell wall synthesis during the respective labeling periods. The final labeling pattern, far right, then provides a chronological account of shifts in cell wall synthesis of individual cells over time.

An international team of scientists led by Indiana University chemist Michael S. VanNieuwenhze and biologist Yves Brun has discovered a revolutionary new method for coloring the cell wall of bacterial cells to determine how they grow, in turn providing a new, much-needed tool for the development of new antibiotics.
Discovery of the new method is expected to broadly impact both basic and applied research tied to understanding, controlling or preventing bacterial cell growth in specific environments, said the two scientists in IU Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 10/9/2012

QCB Trainer Cook develops new synthesis of antimalarial drug


In 2010 malaria caused an estimated 665,000 deaths, mostly among African children. Now, chemists at Indiana University have developed a new synthesis for the world's most useful antimalarial drug, artemisinin, giving hope that fully synthetic artemisinin might help reduce the cost of the live-saving drug in the future.
Effective deployment of ACT, or artemisinin-based combination therapy, has been slow due to high production costs of artemisinin. The World Health Organization has set a target "per gram" cost for artemisinin of 25 cents or less, but the current cost is about $2.40 per gram, and production of low-cost semi-synthetic artemisinin has yet to materialize.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 11/13/2012

QCB Trainer Dragnea awarded grant for HIV-1 research


A team led by Indiana University Bloomington chemist Bogdan Dragnea has been awarded a three-year research grant by the international Human Frontier Science Program for study of processes involved in the self-assembly of HIV-1.
Dragnea, a professor of chemistry in the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, explained that, to understand and interfere with the stages of the virus life cycle, researchers must gain knowledge of the structural properties of virus assembly intermediates.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 6/7/2012

QCB Trainer Dragnea receives IU Collaborative research grant


Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José has announced that 17 teams of researchers have been awarded IU Collaborative Research Grants, ranging from $13,000 to $70,000.
The program, in its second year, will provide close to $1 million in seed funding to teams of researchers from different departments, schools and campuses for transformative research projects that have a substantial chance of external funding.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/29/2012

QCB Trainers Brun and Fuqua study polar growth at bacterial scale that reveals new targets for antibiotic therapy

Outer membrane proteins of an Agrobacterium tumefaciens cell were labeled in red, with images taken every 50 minutes as the cell grew. In panels three and four it is clear that the cell on the left (red) has kept all the labeled proteins, whereas the other cell has all new surface proteins.

An international team of microbiologists led by Indiana University researchers has identified a new bacterial growth process -- one that occurs at a single end or pole of the cell instead of uniform, dispersed growth along the long axis of the cell -- that could have implications in the development of new antibacterial strategies.
Based on past detailed studies of rod-shaped bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, it has been assumed that most bacteria grow by binary fission, a dispersed mode of growth involving insertion of new cell wall material uniformly along the long axis of the cell. Growth requires breaking the cell wall at numerous places along the cylinder to allow insertion of new cell wall material, enabling uniform elongation of the cell, with the process culminated by cleavage at the mid-point of the cell to create two symmetric new cells.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 1/17/2012

QCB Trainers Bauer, Clemmer & Ortoleva receive Fellow distinction from AAAS, world's largest scientific society




The American Association for the Advancement of Science has awarded the distinction of Fellow to a record 10 Indiana University faculty members this year. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.
Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year, 539 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Feb. 18 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
"This is a superb achievement by our outstanding faculty, and this recognition far exceeds any that IU faculty have received in the past from this prestigious association," said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. "Indiana University is delighted that this group of distinguished scholars, representing a full spectrum of disciplines, is being acknowledged by their peers for the quality and diversity of their work and for their sustained record of achievement. Recognition by the AAAS confirms their leadership and impact in their fields, and it reinforces the excellence of Indiana University's faculty."
Carl Bauer, Professor and chair, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Department, "For distinguished contributions in the field of microbial physiology especially for defining an understanding of the origin, evolution and regulation of photosynthesis genes."
David Clemmer, Robert and Marjorie Mann Chair Professor, Department of Chemistry, "For distinguished contributions to the field of analytical chemistry, particularly the development of ion mobility/mass spectrometry instrumentation and techniques for the analysis of complex biological mixtures."
Peter Ortoleva, Distinguished professor, Department of Chemistry, "For distinguished contributions to the theory of the self-organization of matter across scales from nanometers to kilometers as understood through the basic laws of physics."
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 12/7/2011

QCB Trainer Brun studies mechanism that may aid in development of infection-fighting drugs

Caulobacter crescentus with the holdfast at top and the propelling flagellum at the opposite end.

In the human world of manufacturing, many companies are now applying an on-demand, just-in-time strategy to conserve resources, reduce costs and promote production of goods precisely when and where they are most needed. A recent study from Indiana University Bloomington scientists reveals that bacteria have evolved a similar just-in-time strategy to constrain production of an extremely sticky cement to exactly the appropriate time and place, avoiding wasteful and problematic production of the material.
Indiana University biologists and two physicists at Brown University with IU connections have shown that certain bacteria wait until the last minute to synthesize the glue that allows them to attach permanently to surfaces. Binding efficiently to surfaces is extremely important to bacteria in the environment and for bacterial disease agents during the infection process.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 11/29/2011

QCB Program Director Giedroc's group discovers two new genes provide hope for stemming Staph infections

Staphylococcus aureus encodes a DNA binding copper-sensitive operon repressor (CsoR, bottom) and a CsoR-like sulfur transferase repressor (CstR, top), which are very similar to one another. Unlike CsoR, the repressor CstR does not form a stable complex with copper, Cu(I). Instead, operator binding is inhibited by attaching a second repressor to the first, possibly via a disulfide or even trisulfide bridge.

The discovery of two genes that encode copper- and sulfur-binding repressors in the hospital terror Staphylococcus aureus means two new potential avenues for controlling the increasingly drug-resistant bacterium, scientists say in the April 15, 2011 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
"We need to come up with new targets for antibacterial agents," said Indiana University Bloomington biochemist David Giedroc, who led the project. "Staph is becoming more and more multi-drug resistant, and both of the systems we discovered are promising."
MRSA, or multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is the primary cause of nosocomial infections in the United States. About 350,000 infections were reported last year, about 20 percent of which resulted in fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. One to two percent of the U.S. population has MRSA in their noses, a preferred colonization spot.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 4/12/2011

QCB Trainer Ortoleva awarded IU Collaborative Research grant


Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José has announced that 18 projects involving IU faculty members have been awarded IU Collaborative Research Grants, ranging from $30,000 to $70,000.
The IUCRG program, in its inaugural year, offers seed funding to collaborative projects that cross disciplinary, school, or campus boundaries. More than 160 proposals were received from research teams involving more than 400 IU faculty members. Proposals were reviewed by IU faculty members, who evaluated them on the basis of their excellence, transformative potential, and likelihood for future external funding.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 3/3/2011

QCB Trainer Brun explores the adhesion attributes of the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus

Fluorescence image of a Caulobacter crescentus biofilm. Cells are labeled in red, holdfasts are labeled in blue, and eDNA is labeled in green (appears yellow when superimposed within the red band of cells). Around the biofilm, individual cells can be seen, in some cases attached to each other by holdfasts coated by eDNA (green).

The deaths of nearby relatives have a curious effect on the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus -- surviving cells lose their stickiness.
Indiana University Bloomington biologists report in an upcoming issue of Molecular Microbiology that exposure to the extracellular DNA (eDNA) released by dying neighbors stops the sticky holdfasts of living Caulobacter from adhering to surfaces, preventing cells from joining bacterial biofilms. Less sticky cells are more likely to escape established colonies, out to where conditions may be better.
Harmless Caulobacter live in nutrient-poor, aqueous environments like lakes, rivers, and even tap water. Like many other bacteria, Caulobacter form biofilms, aggregations of cells held in place by a sticky matrix produced by the bacteria themselves. Bacteria in biofilms are more resistant to predators and to antibiotics, and are less affected by environmental stress. However, if environmental conditions worsen, it becomes advantageous for the bacteria to get away.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 6/29/2010

Brun Lab: Ellen Weinzapfel receives Provost Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity


The deaths of nearby relatives have a curious effect on the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus -- surviving cells lose their stickiness.
Five Indiana University Bloomington seniors, Nicole Beckage, Juliana Dumas, Rebeca Hernandez, Shannon McEnerney and Ellen Weinzapfel, have been named recipients of the Provost's Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.
Ellen Weinzapfel (Natural and Mathematical Sciences) worked for four years at IU in the laboratory of her mentor Yves Brun, the Clyde Culbertson Professor in the Department of Biology. She contributed to efforts to sequence the genomes of bacteria and made the critical finding that a mutant bacterium produces holdfast in solution, a breakthrough featured prominently in a proposal to renew funding for the research. She won prestigious Beckman and Goldwater research scholarships and presented her paper "Characterization of Adhesion and Motility in the Differentiating Stalked Bacterium Asticcacaulis biprosthecu," at national conferences.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 5/12/2010

QCB Trainer Brun elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

IU Bloomington biologist Yves Brun has made seminal contributions to microbiology largely through his work with Caulobacter crescentus, an unusual and important bacterial species.

Yves Brun, an Indiana University Bloomington microbiologist who has brought multidisciplinary rigor to the study of bacteria, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. It is a major honor in Brun's field.
Brun is invited to attend a special event at the American Society of Microbiology's annual meeting in San Diego (May 2010). The American Academy of Microbiology is a division of the Society.
Fellows are elected each year "through a highly selective, peer-review process based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology," according to the Academy.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/16/2010

QCB Trainer Kearns receives Outstanding Junior Faculty Award


Recipients of the Indiana University Outstanding Junior Faculty Award this year are Brian D'Onofrio (Psychological and Brain Sciences), Christiane Gruber (Art History and International Studies), Ho-fung Hung (Sociology and East Asian Languages and Culture), Daniel Kearns (Biology) and Marissa Moorman (History).
Each faculty member has received a total of $14,500 from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. This annual award enables faculty to enhance their research and recognizes junior faculty members who have devoted considerable time to IU's teaching, research and service missions.
Read more about this article at the IU Newsroom here.

Posted 2/10/2010