APRIL 2019



Dr. Mingyi Xie @ Yale

On March 6, Dr. Mingyi Xie, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Cancer Center, gave a presentation at Yale School of Medicine entitled Early Career Perspective at a conference in which his mentor, Dr. Joan Steitz, was the keynote speaker. The title of the conference was "Metamorphosis: Perspectives on Science and Mentorship Along the Career Trajectory".

Before coming to UF, Dr. Xie was privileged to spend six years as a postdoc in Dr. Steitz's lab.

Dr. Joan Steitz is Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She is the recipient of the 2018 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science for her pioneering role in expanding our understanding of RNA biology and her lifelong advocacy for inclusion of women in the sciences.

In addition to his 30-minute presentation, Dr. Xie served on a panel for which Dr. Steitz was the moderator. This panel responded to questions from the MD/PhD student body on mentor/mentee expectations throught career phases and how these expectations change over time.

Dr. Xie felt honored to be chosen to be a part of this conference. The legacy of Dr. Steitz's impact on Dr. Xie, both personally and professionally, will have an impact on his lab and the students that he mentors for years to come. At the end of Dr. Stetz's lecture, she highlighted the importance of diverse viewpoints and the need to take on the most challenging questions. But most importantly, "If making discoveries in science brings you joy, go for it!"



Congratulations to graduate students, Jana Jenquin and Casey Chamberlain, on receiving the 25th annual Wanda and Richard Boyce Award for their outstanding graduate research presentations given in the BMB Journal Club on March 12.

Casey's research topic title was "Characterizing Intestinal Oxalate Secretion by Gut Bacteria Metabolomic Profiling", and Jana presented her research entitled "Small Molecule Approaches to Reduce the Effects of Toxic Repeat RNA in Myotonic Dystrophy Models".

Congratulations Jana and Casey in earning this award!

Jana will move forward to give a 15-minute presentation with a 5-minute Q&A session at the upcoming 45th annual Medical Guild-sponsored graduate student research competition which will be held Wednesday, April 11th, starting at 1:30pm in the auditorium of the Cancer and Genetics Research building (CGRC room 101). For this competition, each Biomedical Sciences advanced concentration nominates one graduate student for participation in this competition.

These presentations will be evaluated by a panel of faculty judges who will rank them in terms of excellence.  Additionally, the students submit an abstract of their research and curriculum vitae because the awards are also based on the overall research accomplishments including publications, presentations, awards, and academic performance.

And, to our BMB "family"...we would love to see a strong representation from the BMB concentration at the Medical Guild competition to show your support of Jana on April 11!



Zoe Fisher family photo

Zoë Fisher

Dr. Zoë Fisher, a 2006 graduate from Dr. Rob McKenna's lab, is currently the group leader for the Deuteration and Macromolecular Crystallization (DEMAX) platform at the European Spallation Source (ESS). Since 2016, she has held an adjunct position as Senior Lecturer at Lund University (Department of Biology) and since 2017 has also served as Deputy Division Leader for the Scientific Activities Division at ESS. DEMAX is a user support lab that focuses on chemical and biological deuteration, as well as support for large crystal growth. Prior to ESS Dr. Fisher was a Research Scientist II in the Bioscience Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory. During this time, she served as the instrument scientist and also coordinated the user program for both the Protein Crystallography Station (PCS) instrument and user support labs at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Outside of her core duties related to the ESS, she is also engaged in collaborative research on the structure-function of carbonic anhydrases, biodeuteration strategies, neutron-based drug design, and large crystal growth for neutron studies. 

Read more about her journey »

"The experiences and opportunities that UF and the Biochemistry Department gave me have set me up with right training and tools for my current adventure and whatever else life may bring in the future."



Thursday, April 11
2nd Annual Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Undergraduate Research Poster Session

4:00 - 6:00pm          ARB 3rd Floor 

To highlight the work of the outstanding undergraduates currently working in labs in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, we are planning the second annual Undergraduate Research Day (poster presentations). Last year's event, under the direction of Dr. Susan Frost, was very successful, and we are planning on an even greater experience this year. Our faculty, postdocs and grad students will judge the submitted posters. Refreshments will be served following the presentations, and awards will be given to the five highest scoring posters.

Contact Teresa White (teresawhite@ufl.edu) if you would like to participe.
For more information about the event, contact Dr. Susan Frost (sfrost@ufl.edu).



Diversity and inclusion are core values at the UF College of Medicine. The Celebration of Diversity Week was designed to honor those values and explore opportunities to work within our community to promote cross-cultural understanding and address health care disparities. Please see a full list of events for the 2019 celebration, taking place April 1-6, below.

Full List of Events


To register, log into GIMS and follow the steps below:

Registration Instructions

• Login to GIMS using your GatorLink ID and Password
• Once you login, on the top of the page click on the “Workshops” tab
• Under “Register” click the box and then “Submit”
• After you complete this process, you will receive an email confirmation.

If your schedule changes and you are unable to attend the event, repeat the steps above to remove yourself from the list of workshop attendees






Monday, April 15
Stephen Bell, PhD
Professor and Chair
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Department
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN

4:00pm     LG-101A
McKnight Brain Institute - DeWeese Auditorium



Monday, April 29
Jennifer Trowbridge, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
The Jacksonville Laboratory
Bar Harbor, Maine

4:00pm     CGRC-451A
Cancer Genetics Research Complex



                 Wednesdays     4:00pm     ARB R3-265

                          April 3     Dr. Jianrong Lu
    Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

                        April 10     Dr. Melike Caglayan
    Assistant Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

                        April 17     Dr. Linda Bloom
                     Professor and Associate Chair

                  Biochemistry & Molecular Biology



Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Tuesdays    11:45am    ARB R3-265

                                  April 2        Cancelled
                                  April 9        Jared Richardson
                                  April 16      Anusha Kota
                                  April 23      Qingqing (Emily) Peng

Structural Biology

Mondays     3:00pm     ARB R3-265     

                                    April 1 Anusha Kota                     
                       April 8th, 15th and 22nd
Nikea Pittman
               Nikea will be giving presentations on various papers 
                                associated with cryo-EM.


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