Congratulations to Dr. Daisuke Urano (recently in the Alan Jones Lab, now Assistant Professor at the National University, Singapore) whose paper was published in the journal Science Signaling and was featured on the journal cover. The paper is entitled: “Saltational evolution of the heterotrimeric G protein signaling mechanisms in the plant kingdom”. Daisuke’s work describes the evolution and function of two distinct families of Gα proteins in plants. The XLG family is similar to the hare, rapidly evolving to enable adaptation to living on land; whereas the canonical Gα family is similar to the tortoise, slowly evolving and maintaining interactions with binding partners. [Image: Ivy Close Images/Alamy Stock Photo] READ MORE >>
Congratulations to Associate Professor Amy Gladfelter, who has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Faculty Scholar. “This designation is awarded to early-career scientists who have great potential to make unique contributions to their field. With the HHMI Faculty Scholar award, Gladfelter will continue her research on how the physical properties of molecules lead to cell organization and function. Her research focuses on two areas: How multinucleate cells are organized in time and space, and how cells perceive their shape and use geometry to inform signaling and decision-making. Although her passion is for understanding the fundamental properties of cells, this work brings insight at the molecular level to triggers of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. For example, proteins and molecules under investigation in her lab have been shown to have aberrant function in different disease contexts.” READ MORE >>
Congratulations to Meredith Corley (Alain Laederach’s Lab) for her paper in eLIFE titled “Selecting against accidental RNA interactions.” In the manuscript, she discusses a novel concept for bacterial mRNAs, specifically that they evolve sequences to avoid accidental interactions with abundant non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). This presents a novel molecular paradigm to consider when studying the structure of ncRNAs and mRNAs, since accidental interactions can in some cases significantly reduce protein expression. READ THE PAPER >>
Congratulations to Zack Nimchuk, who was part of a 4-lab consortium with Cold Spring Harbor and UMass Amherst, for being awarded a $5M Plant Genomes Grant from the National Science Foundation. This NSF grant focuses on understanding the conservation of regulatory networks in plant stem cell regulation across species using genome editing. The Nimchuk lab/UNC receives a $1.1M share of the grant.