Biochemistry

In the Biochemistry Department, we are a vigorous group of scientists and trainees dedicated to the expansion and transmission of knowledge about the biological world. Our particular focus is the characterization of macromolecules and biological processes at the molecular level. Research groups in the department address the structure of biological macromolecules, the mechanisms by which they function, and the possible applications to research technology and to medicine.

Positions Open

We are searching for multiple talented new investigators as Assistant Professors in the tenure-track. Our goal is to achieve transformative excellence in the molecular life sciences by recruiting innovative colleagues to our collaborative community. The scope of this search is broad, and includes Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Chemical Biology, Imaging and Protein Design. Opportunities exist for considerable synergy with institutional initiatives in: Biophysics, Cancer, Inflammation/Infection/Immunity, Metabolism, Neuroscience, and Translational Research.
Quicklink for applicants 
Administrative contact:  Jill Wilson

We are also seeking a Facility Manager for the new Beckman Center for Cryo-EM that will house an FEI Titan Krios equipped with a K2 detector, energy filter, and Volta phase plate. The successful candidate will report directly to the Director of the EM Core Facility and will primarily be responsible for overseeing day-to-day facility operations.  Read more...

Latest News

Read More Biochemistry News
A Viral “Bait-and-Switch” Boosts Infection
Research
Oct 04, 2017

A Viral “Bait-and-Switch” Boosts Infection

herpes, virus

Assistant professor of Biochemistry, Demián Cazalla, PhD, and lead author Carlos Gorbea, PhD, have published in Nature a mechanism of infection that makes use of viral non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in previously unreported ways. As its name suggests, ncRNAs do not carry information to make proteins. In this instance, Cazalla’s team shows that a single viral ncRNA, called HSUR2, fools the host’s biology into interfering with its own genes.... Read More

Biochemistry
Janet Iwasa on PBS News Hour
Education, Research
Sep 22, 2017

Janet Iwasa on PBS News Hour

animation

These 3D animations could help you finally understand molecular science. Art and science have in some ways always overlapped, with early scientists using illustrations to depict what they saw under the microscope. Janet Iwasa of the University of Utah is trying to re-establish this link to make thorny scientific data and models approachable to the common eye. View the two-minute story.... Read More

Biochemistry
Biochemistry's Rising Star Symposium (Sept 21-22)
Education
Sep 12, 2017

Biochemistry's Rising Star Symposium (Sept 21-22)

The 2017 Rising Star Symposium will take place on September 21st & 22nd from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Erik Jorgensen, a Distinguished Professor of Biology from the University of Utah. The symposium will include 4 sessions: Chemical Biology, Protein Design, Metabolism, & Structure/Imaging. The speakers are composed of 23 talented scientists from all over the country. The symposium will take place in the HSEB, the first session will be in 3515B. More info coming soon!... Read More

Biochemistry
Claudio Villanueva featured in Medical News Today
Research, Education
Sep 07, 2017

Claudio Villanueva featured in Medical News Today

Dietary supplement may help older adults to keep warm. Recently, a study using aging mice - conducted at the University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City - investigated whether or not there was something that could be done to reduce this risk. Led by senior author Claudio Villanueva, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biochemistry, the team focused particularly on fats.... Read More

Biochemistry
Wes Sundquist Awarded the U’S Highest Honor
Recognition
May 04, 2017

Wes Sundquist Awarded the U’S Highest Honor

Wesley I. Sundquist, distinguished professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah, was honored with the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the U’s most prestigious faculty award. The $40,000 gift is presented annually to a faculty member who displays excellence in teaching, research and administrative efforts.... Read More

Biochemistry

Faculty Spotlight

Janet M.Shaw, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she earned her PhD and carried out postdoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the recipient of the Scherbaum Award for Outstanding Graduate Research and the UCLA Distinguished Scholar Award. She joined the faculty of the University of Utah in 1993 as a member of the Biology Department and moved to the Biochemistry Department in 2004. As a faculty member, she served as a member and chair of numerous committees at the Department, College and University levels, and also served as Associate Leader and Leader of the Cell Response and Regulation Program for the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Shaw has spent the majority of her career breaking new ground in mitochondrial biology. Her early studies focused on RNA editing, a novel form of mitochondrial RNA processing that adds and removes uridines to create start codons, stop codons and new coding regions in mitochondrial mRNAs. At the University of Utah, Shaw’s research defined new pathways regulating mitochondrial fission, fusion and movement. Her lab is currently studying the functions of these pathways in healthy and diseased cells and tissues. In 2010, her contributions were recognized by appointed as a Keith R. Porter Fellow by the Porter Endowment for Cell Biology. For more than 20 years, her scientific work has been generously and continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, The National Science Foundation, The American Cancer Society, the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and the CMT Foundation.   
An active champion of basic and biomedical research, Shaw worked nationally for many years as a member of public policy committees for the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She was also a member of the national Coalition for the Life Sciences. Dr. Shaw currently spends part of her time in the Washington DC area, serving as a Senior Scientific Officer for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Janet M.Shaw, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she earned her PhD and carried out postdoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the recipient of the Scherbaum Award for Outstanding Graduate Research and the UCLA Distinguished Scholar Award. She joined the faculty of the University of Utah in 1993 as a member of the Biology Department and moved to the Biochemistry Department in 2004. As a faculty member, she served as a member and chair of numerous committees at the Department, College and University levels, and also served as Associate Leader and Leader of the Cell Response and Regulation Program for the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Shaw has spent the majority of her career breaking new ground in mitochondrial biology. Her early studies focused on RNA editing, a novel form of mitochondrial RNA processing that adds and removes uridines to create start codons, stop codons and new coding regions in mitochondrial mRNAs. At the University of Utah, Shaw’s research defined new pathways regulating mitochondrial fission, fusion and movement. Her lab is currently studying the functions of these pathways in healthy and diseased cells and tissues. In 2010, her contributions were recognized by appointed as a Keith R. Porter Fellow by the Porter Endowment for Cell Biology. For more than 20 years, her scientific work has been generously and continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, The National Science Foundation, The American Cancer Society, the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and the CMT Foundation.   

An active champion of basic and biomedical research, Shaw worked nationally for many years as a member of public policy committees for the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She was also a member of the national Coalition for the Life Sciences. Dr. Shaw currently spends part of her time in the Washington DC area, serving as a Senior Scientific Officer for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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