October 2016 News

Josie Chandler (assistant professor) is a co-investigator on two recently funded grants.  First, she will be working with Mario Rivera (PI, chemistry), Blake Peterson (medicinal chemistry) and Richard Bunce (Oklahoma State) on a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease research project grant entitled “Chemical tools for perturbing iron homeostasis is P. aeruginosa.”  Josie and Mario will also be working on “Protein interactions regulate iron storage and utilization in bacteria,” a Division of Molecular and Cellular Bioscience award from the NSF.  Josie’s contribution to both projects will be to provide consultation on genetics and molecular biology approaches to evaluate some of the consequences of disrupting iron homeostasis in P. aeruginosa. 


Joanna Slusky (assistant professor) is the recipient of a Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease NIH Center for Biomedical Research Excellence junior investigator award for her project entitled “Targeting TolC oligomerization to potentiate antibiotics.”  The goal of this work is to design peptides and peptidomimetics to disrupt TolC oligomerization thereby disabling antibiotic resistance.



Rob Unckless (assistant professor) is the recipient of two recently funded grants.  First, his proposal entitled “Pathology, host defense and population of Drosophila innubial Nudivirus” has been awarded by the Center for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathway NIH Center for Biomedical Research Excellence.   The goal of this work is to develop an understanding of a recently discovered virus so that it may be used as a model to study DNA virus infection.  He is also the recipient of an Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for his project entitled “Antimicrobial peptides as models for the evolution of gene duplication.”  The goal of this work is to understand the forces that lead to differences in the copy number of individual genes using the immune system as a model.


Berl Oakley (Irving S. Johnson Distinguished Professor) has been named to the advisory board for the Fungal Genetics Stock Center.  The FGSC is the largest repository of mutant fungal strains and is a resource for fungal researchers around the world.




Liang Xu (professor) and Co-PI Danny Welch (Cancer Biology, KUMC) were awarded a Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Breakthrough Award Level 2 Grant entitled “Blocking breast cancer metastasis by targeting RNA-binding protein HuR.” They will explore the RNA-binding protein HuR as a novel target for blocking breast cancer metastasis.



The Lamb lab welcomes a new postdoctoral fellow.  Catie Shelton joins the lab as a postdoctoral researcher after completing her PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine earlier this summer.  Catie is part of the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award program, and will be investigating the enzymes of siderophore biosynthesis with structural biology and mechanistic enzymology approaches.

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October 2016 Presentations

Josie Chandler (assistant professor) gave an invited lecture entitled “Making friends to make war: Quorum sensing, cooperation and interspecies competition” in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University in Montreal Quebec on August 23.

Tom Hill (postdoc, Unckless lab) gave a seminar in the Department of Biology at the University of Rochester entitled “Hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila simulans associated with a rapid global invasion of the P element” on September 30th.


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October 2016 Publications

Hackett JL, Wang X, Smith BR, Macdonald SJMapping QTL Contributing to Variation in Posterior Lobe Morphology between Strains of Drosophila melanogasterPLoS One. 11: e0162573

Huang W, Beer RL, Delaspre F, Wang G, Edelman HE, Park H, Azuma M, Parsons MJ.  Sox9b is a mediator of retinoic acid signaling restricting endocrine progenitor differentiationDevelopmental Biology 418, 28-39.

Li J, Wehmeyer G, Lovell S, Battaile KP, Egan SM. 1.65 Å resolution structure of AraC family transcriptional activator ToxT from Vibrio choleraActa Cryst.  F72:726-731.

Meneely KM, Ronnebaum TA, Riley AP, Prisinzano TE, Lamb AL. (2016)  Holo structure and steady state kinetics of the thiazolinyl imine reductases for siderophore biosynthesis.  Biochemistry 55, 5423-33.

Slone S, Anthony SR, Wu X, Benoit JB, Aube J, Xu L, Tranter M.  Activation of HuR downstream of p38 MAPK promotes cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Cellular Signaling 28, 1735-1741.

Xu B-Q, Fu Z-G, Meng Y, Wu X-Q, Wu B, Xu L, Jiang J-L, Li L, and Chen Z-N. Gemcitabine enhances cell invasion via activating HAb18G/CD147-EGFR-pSTAT3 signaling. Oncotarget [Epub ahead of print]


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Molecular Biosciences

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