Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics
141 Chalmers Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-6121
785-532-7278 fax
biochem@k-state.edu



Biotechnology Core Facility
206 Burt Hall
785-532-5956
785-532-6297 fax



Biomolecular NMR Facility
37 Chalmers Hall
785-532-2345

Recent Department Achievements

Faculty Achievements

  • Tomich, JM., and Fleming SD. have received a US Patent for "b2-Glycoprotein l Peptide Inhibitors." Notice of Allowance dated September 15, 2014.
  • Tomich, JM., Iwanoto, T., Hiromasa, Y., and Gudlar, S. have received a US Patent for "Branched Amphipathic Oligo-Peptides that Self-Assemble into Vesicles." Notice of Allowance dated September 3, 2014.
  • Erika Geisbrecht has received a grant from National Institutes of Heath (NIH) "Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Signaling in Muscle Maintenance." PI: S. Bouyain; co-PI: Erika Geisbrecht, award: $358,240 (total); $90,000 (KSU per year 8/1/14-7/31/16).
  • Timothy Durrett accepted a position as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Oil Chemist’s Society.
  • Jianan Chen has received a grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Theoretical and computational modeling of amyloid aggregation.” PI:Schmit; co-PI: Jianhan Chen, award: $1,425,000 (total); $90,000 (KSU per year 9/1/14 – 8/31/19).
  • Timothy Durrett has received a grant from USDA-DOE Plant Feedstock Genomics “Biofuels in the Arid West: Germplasm Development for Sustainable Production of Camelina Oilseed.” PI: John McKay, Colorado State University; co-PIs: Timothy Durrett (KSU), Edgar Cahoon (Nebaraska), Luca Comai (UC-Davis), Jack Mullen (CSU), award: $1,487,200 (total); $349,405,00 (KSU).
  • Yan Shipelskiy, Sally Newton, and Phillip Klebba were referenced (6/30/14) by Elizabeth M. Adler, in the Journal of General Physiology (JGP) for their article that recently appeared in the JGP, "Concerted loop motion triggers induced fit of FepA to ferric enterobactin."  
  • Michal Zolkiewski received university recognition (5/6/14) for his research on dystonia recently appearing in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, "The BiP Molecular Chaperone Plays Multiple Roles during the Biogenesis of TorsinA, an AAA+ ATPase Associated with the Neurological Disease Early-onset Torsion Dystonia"
  • Larry Davis and Neal Dittmer received awards at the Developing Scholars Symposium for outstanding faculty mentors, April 13, 2014.
  • John Tomich received university recognition (4/2/14) and was featured in the Johnson Cancer Research Center's annual Conquest Magazine for his research recently appearing in the scientific journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, "Branched Amphiphilic Peptide Capsules: Cellular Uptake and Retention of Encapsulated Solutes."
  • Timothy Durrett received university recognition (2/27/14) for his research recently appearing in the journal Nature Communications, "A plant factory for moth pheromone production."
  • Anna Zolkiewska  has been promoted to Professor, effective June 2014.
  • Larry Davis - Book Chapter
    Hudek, Kelly, Lawrence C. Davis, Jwan Ibbini, and Larry Erickson. 2014. "Commercial Products from Algae," In Algal Biorefineries. Volume 1. Cultivation of Cells and Products, Springer, pp 275-295.
  • Anna Zolkiewska, Hui Li (research associate), and Sara Duhachek Muggy (graduate student) had the publication “Metalloproteinase-disintegrin ADAM12 is associated with a breast tumor-initiating cell phenotype” in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment featured on MDLinx, Medical News and Information website on June 21, 2013.
  • Anna Zolkiewska has received a four-year $1.245 million grant from the National Cancer Institute -- at the National Institutes of Health -- to study a promising breast cancer marker called ADAM12. The grant is titled "ADAM12 in breast tumor initiating cells." Press Release

Student Awards and Scholarships

  • Prashant S. Wani (graduate, Roelofs-Biology) has received the Ruby Newhall Scholarship for 2014-2015.
  • Jenny Barriga (graduate, S. Bossmann) received a fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi in May 2014 Press Release
  • Nicole Green (graduate, E. Geisbrecht) is an NSF EIDRoP GK-12 Graduate fellow for 2014-2015.
  • Sara DuhachekMuggy  (graduate, Zolkiewska) and Pinakin Sukthankar (graduate, Tomich) received the 2014 Excellence in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Research Award from the department.
  • Jessica Wheeler (undergraduate) and Weihong Zhang (graduate) were initiated into Phi Kappa Phi collegiate honor society on April 23, 2014. Press Release
  • Gillian Long was selected for 2014-2015 Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society, K-State chapter. April 16, 2014 Press Release
  • Adam J. Schieferecke selected for 2014-2015 Silver Key sophomore leadership honorary. April 7, 2014 Press Release
  • Thuy Cao (undergraduate, Kanost) was nominated for the 2014 Goldwater Scholarship. March 6, 2014 Press Release
  • Weihong Zhang (graduate, Chen) received the 2013 Excellence in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Research Award from the department.
  • James Balthazor (graduate, Reeck) received the 2012-2013 Excellence in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Teaching Award from the department.
  • Elizabeth Ploetz (2010 BS/MS graduate) Chosen to participate in the 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany, June 30 to July 5, 2013. Press Release
Fall 2014 K-State Johnson Cancer Center Undergraduate Cancer Research Awards
  • Muriel Eaton (Roelofs-Biology) Studies into the mechanisms responsible for cellular disposal of the proteasome, a target for the cancer drug Bortezomib.
  • Macy Garcia (Tomich) Design and development of long circulating targeted nano-capsules for cancer radiotherapy.
  • Caitlin Hall (E. Geisbrecht) Do mutations in Drosophila clueless affect cell architecture and cell adhesion?
  • Leah Rettig (E. Geisbrecht) Is transgluatminase required to strengthen integrin-mediated cell adhesion?
  • Steven Stimac (Tomich) Defining the sizes of plasmid DNA that can be effective delivered through complexation with branched amphiphilic peptide capsules.
  • Kayla Wilkinson (Tomich) Studies on the uptake of branched amphiphilic peptide capsules in primary and cancer cell lines.
Fall 2013 K-State Johnson Cancer Center Undergraduate Cancer Research Awards

BMB undergraduate unless otherwise noted.

  • Susan Whitaker (Tomich) Tuning of a peptide capsule based system for timed drug delivery
  • Macy Garcia (Tomich) Alternative transfection protocol for anti-cancer vaccine vector against HPV-16
  • Jonathan Bernard (Biology, Tomich) Directed mutagenesis of Brevibacterium linens for the increased production of fermentation derived B-Cryptoxanthin
  • Michael Mohan (Chen) Effects of T-ALL mutations on mechanical activation of human NOTCH1 protein
  • Jamilah Watkins (Life Sciences, Kanost) Biochemical characterization of a serine protease inhibitor from the Kunitz family
  • Thuy Cao (Kanost) Structure and function of a metalloprotease with a potential role in degrading an extracellular matrix
  • Leiming Tang (Asano) Control of translation initiation stringency by elF5-mimic protein (5MP) during tumorigenesis
  • Cody Simmons (Clem) Characterizing expression of a growth factor gene and evaluating its potential role in virus infection
  • Jenny Barriga (Bossmann) Using non-pathogenic bacteria to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to tumors
  • Madison Caywood (Bossmann) Measuring fluorescence levels of protease activity with different serum samples to find cancer progression markers in hopes of developing a new detection method for breast cancer

Presentations

October
  • Tim Durrett presented a seminar, "Elucidating the Regulation of Storage Lipid Synthesis in Developing Plant Seeds", at KUMC-Illumina NextGen Sequencing Research Symposium, Kansas City, KS, on October 29, 2014
  • Tim Durrett presented a seminar, "From Burning Bushes to Chocolate Vines: Using Sequence Diversity to Explore MBOAT Substrate Specificity and Increase Production of Low Viscosity Oil", at the Department of Biochemistry & Redox Biology Center Fall 2014 Seminar Series, University of Nebraska, Lincoln NE. on October 28, 2014
  • Luz Adriana Avila Flores (graduate, Tomich) presented her PhD. Defense, “Branched Amphiphilic Peptides: An Alternative Non-Viral Gene Delivery System”, October 17, 2014
September
  • Tim Durrett presented a seminar, “Targeted Metabolic Engineering of Oilseed Crops to Produce High Levels of Industrial Lipids”, at the 12th Euro Fed Lipid Congress in Montpellier, France on September 15, 2014.
  • Phillip E. Klebba presented a seminar, "Fluorescence spectroscopic studies of the mechanism of Gram-negative bacterial iron transport", at University of California Berkeley, on Septermber 15, 2014.
  • Jianhan Chen presented a seminar, “Multi-scale enhanced sampling of protein structure and interactions”, in the Department of Physics at Xiamen University, Shanghai, China on September 17-18, 2014.
  • Phillip E. Klebba presented a seminar, "Fluorescence spectroscopic studies of the mechanism of Gram-negative bacterial iron transport", at University of California UCLA, on Septermber 19, 2014.
  • Jianhan Chen presented a seminar, “Multi-scale enhanced sampling of protein structure and interaction”, in the Institute of Natural Sciences at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China on September 21-22, 2014.
  • Jianhan Chen presented a seminar, “Orderly Chaos of Proteins”, in the Department of Chemistry at Fudan University, China on September 23, 2014.
  • Om Prakash, Daisuke Takahashi, Kyeong-OK Chang, Yunjeong Kim, William C. Groutas, presented “NMR Insights into the Ligand Binding and Molecular Function of Norovirus Protease, an Essential Enzyme for Antiviral Drug Designing” at 26th International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological System,Dallas, TX, Aug. 24-29, 2014.
  • Alvaro I. Herrera, Yanjing Xiao, Yugendar R. Bommineni, Jose L. Soulages, Guolong Zhang, Om Prakash, presented “Structural Determinants of Host Defense Peptide Fowlicidin-2 for Antimicrobial Potency and Target  Cell Selectivity” at 26th International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological System,Dallas, TX,  Aug. 24-29, 2014.
  • Timothy Durrett presented a seminar, "Elucidating and Exploiting the Unusual Substrate Specificity of a Membrane Bound O-acyltransferase (MBOAT)" on 9/29/14 at the KSU Entomology Department.
August
  • Jianhan Chen gave a talk on “Accelerate sampling in atomistic energy landscapes using coarse-grained models for implicit solvent optimization” at the 248th American Chemical Society National Meeting, in San Francisco, CA, August 13, 2014.
  • Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan gave an invited seminar presentation, “Functional genomics of chitin metabolism in a model insect, Tribolium castaneum”, at Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, Lioning Province, China on August 1, 2014.
  • Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan gave an invited seminar presentation, “Targeting chitin metabolism for selective pest control”, at China Agricultural University, Beijing, China on August 27-28, 2014.
  • SubbaratnamMuthukrishnan gave an invited seminar presentation, “Enzymes involved in the synthesis, modification and turnover of the extracellular matrix polysaccharide, chitin”, at Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China on August 29 to September 3, 2014
  • Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan gave an invited seminar presentation, “Organization of the insect cuticle a multi-component composite”, at SunYat Sen University, Guangzhou Province, China on September 5-7, 2014.
  • Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan gave a plenary talk, “The molecular target and mode of action of the acylurea insecticide, diflubenzuron”, at the First International Conference on Insect Toxicology in Guangzhou China on August 7, 2014.
  • Jammie Layman (graudate, Tomich) presented her MS. Defense, "Studies on the effect of tryptophan substitutions in a channel-forming peptide", August 22, 2014 
July
  • Jianhan Chen presented a talk, "Electrostatically Accelerated Encounter and Folding of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins", Telluride workshop on "Protein & Peptide Interactions in Cellular Environments", in Telluride, Colorado, on June 27, 2014.
  • Jianhan Chen presented a talk, “Accelerate sampling in atomistic energy landscapes using topology-based coarse-grained models”, at Telluride Workshop on “Advances in Enhanced Sampling Algorithms”, in Telluride CO., on June 30 – July 4, 2014
  • John Tomich gave an oral presentation, “Branched Oligopeptides Form Nanocapsules with Lipid Vesicle Characteristics”, and chaired the session on Membrane Bioengineering and Biotechnology at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology conference on Molecular Biophysics of Membranes in Big Sky, Montana on June 30, 2014.
  • John Tomich gave a presentation, "Lipid-Like Peptide Nano-Capsules" FASEB Meeting on “Molecular Biophysics of Membranes” Big Sky, Montana June 28, 2014 Session Chair and Platform talk.
  • Aashima Khosla gave an oral presentation, “Interaction between GL2, HDG11 and MYB23 in maintenance of trichome cell fate”, at the 25th Interantional Conference on Arabidopsis Research on July 28 – August 1, 2014.
  • A Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program student, Arianna Vessal from Virginia Tech, successfully completed her summer project and presented her work on “Protein Interactions in Cell apoptosis” at the SUROP final event.
  • Sara Peng (graduate, Kanost) presented her Ph.D. Defense, “A multicopper oxidase-related protein plays a role in insect molting, life span and ovary development”, July 28, 2014.
  • Weihong Zhang (graduate, Chen) presented his Ph.D. Defense, “Multi-scale simulations of intrinsically disordered proteins and development of enhanced sampling techniques”, July 7, 2014.
June
  • Brian Geisbrecht presented an invited talk, “Selective Inhibition of Complement and Neutrophil Serine Protease Activity by a Family of Secreted Staphylococcal Immune Evasion Proteins”, at the 7th International Conference on Complement Therapeutics in Olympia, Greece on June 6-11, 2014.
  • Alex Beugelsdijk presented his MS. Defense, “Understanding amyloid fibril growth through theory and simulation”, June 17, 2014.
  • Beibei Li presented her MS. Defense, “Functional genomics and dynamic assembly of cuticular proteins ananlogous to peritrophin and knickkopf into the procuticle of Tribolium Castaneum”, June 25, 2014.
May
  • Matthew Aksamit presented his MS. defense, "Bioinformatic Analysis of Pea Aphid Salivary Gland Transcripts" on May 2, 2014.
  • Jarrod Bechard presented his MS. defense, "Armet Transcript Knockdown in Tribolium Castaneum", May 6, 2014.

Research and Exhibitions

October
  • Karanbir S. Aulakh and Timothy P. Durrett presented a poster, "Elucidating the Regulation of Storage Lipid Synthesis in Developing Plant Seeds", at the KUMC-Illumina NextGen Sequencing Research Symposium, Kansas City, KS. October 29, 2014

August
  • Om Prakash presented a poster, “NMR Insights into the Ligand Binding and Molecular Function of Norovirus Protease, an Essential Enzyme for Antiviral Drug Designing”, at the International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems in Dallas, TX on August 24-29, 2014.
  • Alvaro Herrera (graduate, Prakash) presented a poster, “Structural Determinants of Host Defense Peptide Fowlicidin-2 for Antimicrobial Potency and Target Cell Selectivity”, at the International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems in Dallas, TX on August 24-29, 2014.
July
  • Bridget Biersmith (graduate, E. Geisbrecht) present a poster, “The Differential Roles of Dock Family Members in Development”, at the Society for Developmental Biology 73rd Annual Meeting at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, July 17-21, 2014.
  • Avila, LA., Sukthankar, P., Aps, L., Ferreira, LC. and Tomich, JM. “Branched Amphiphilic Peptide Capsules: Retention of Encapsulated Solutes and DNA Vaccine Delivery Vehicles.” The 13th Annual Koch Institute Summer Symposium, RNA Biology, Cancer and Therapeutic Implications at MIT June 30 – July 4, 2014
June
  • Luz Adriana Avila Flores (graduate, Tomich) presented a poster, “Branched amphiphilic peptide capsules: retention of encapsulated solutes and DNA vaccine delivery vehicles”, at the Drug Discovery & Therapy World Congress 2014, in Boston, MA on June 16-19, 2014.
  • Beibei Li (graduate, Muthukrishnan) presented a poster, “Dynamic assembly of cuticular proteins into the elytral procuticle of Tribolium castaneum”, at the Annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium in Urbana, IL on June 12-14, 2014.
  • Michael Kanost presented a poster, “Hemolymph serine proteases and protease inhibitors in the genome of Manduca sexta”, at the 8th Annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium in Urbana-Champaign, IL on June 12-14, 2014.

Publications

October 
September
August
July
May

Travel awards

October 
  • Sara Duhachek Muggy (graduate, Zoliewska) received the Sarachek Travel Award to attend a workshop entitled Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists in Boston, Massachusetts, October 26-31, 2014.

September
  • Alvaro Herrera (graduate, Prakash) received an Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Research Travel Award to present his research studies at 26th International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological System,Dallas, TX, Aug. 24-29, 2014.

July
  • Bridget Biersmith (graduate, E. Geisbrecht) received a Student/Postdoc SDB Student Travel Award to present a poster, “The Differential Roles of Dock Family Members in Development”, at the Society for Developmental Biology 73rd Annual Meeting at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, July 17-21, 2014.
June
  • Alvaro Herrera (graduate, Prakash) received an Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Research Travel Award to present a poster, “Structural Determinants of Host Defense Peptide Fowlicidin-2 for Antimicrobial Potency and Target Cell Selectivity”, at the International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems in Dallas, TX on August 24-29, 2014.

May
  • Luz Adriana Avila Flores (graduate, Tomich) received the Hageman Graduate Travel award to present a poster, "Branched amphiphilic peptide capsules: retention of encapsulated solutes and DNA vaccine delivery vehicles”, at the Drug Discovery & Therapy World Congress 2014, in Boston, MA. on June 16-19, 2014.
  • Aashima Khosla (graduate, Schrick) received a Johnson Cancer Center travel award and a Hageman Graduate travel award to give an oral presentation, “Interaction between GL2, HDG11 and MYB23 in maintenance of trichome cell fate”, at the 25th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research in Vancouver, Canada on July 28 – August 1, 2014