Congratulations to undergraduate Celine Slam (Sigala Lab) who was awarded a 2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to study malaria transmission at the Centre Pasteur in Cameroon!... Read More
What's Your Story?
Each month, we feature a short bio from one of our trainees. The full interview, along with archived stories (once accrued) appear here.
What drew you to science?Growing up I always loved biology. Since middle school biology was everything and, during high school, I learned I hated computers. So, I knew I didn’t want to go into engineering no matter what. I did study biology as my major and then I aimed to become a doctor, but then with all the reservation systems in India I did not get the cutoff to get into medical school. Based on that, I decided to try other things and that’s when I stumbled onto biotechnology as a major. I just googled what biotechnology university options there were and joined the school that Google told me was the best in Biotechnology. During my undergrad, I got an Indian Academy of Sciences Fellowship which was my first ever research experience and that’s where I decided research was for me.
See more stories for the full story.
Congratulations to Megan Okada (Sigala Lab), who won first place in the Immunology, Inflammation, & Infectious Disease (3i) Initiative's Annual Symposium Art Contest. Her 'Braided Helix' won both the popular vote and 1st place in the Art of Science category! Click the 'Read More' link to see the impressive competition, including Shraddha Nayak's 'Vaccinate - A New Year Wish' animation.... Read More
Some of our trainees have started a well-being program with a mission is to promote mental health and wellness awareness. They have planned various events and activities, information for which will be posted soon. Pictured left to right: Helen Donelick (Bass Lab) Chair of the committee, Shraddha Nayak (Iwasa Lab) Post-doc representative, Laura McCullough (Formosa Lab) Staff representative, Supraja Ranganathan (Bass Lab) Graduate student representative, Ben Schmitz (Sundquist Lab) Graduate student representative, Deirdre Mack (Shen Lab) Graduate student representative, and Tim Formosa, Faculty representative (not pictured). ... Read More
Three of our graduate students, Deidre Mack (Shen Lab), Paul Spaltenstein (Kay Lab), and Michael Stewart (Miller Lab) received honorable mentions for National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) for 2021. ... Read More
Tianyao Xiao selected for the 2021-2022 University of Utah Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). ... Read More
Raushan Singh's paper, "Transient kinetic studies of the antiviral Drosophila Dicer-2 reveal roles of ATP in self•nonself discrimination", has been accepted for publication in eLife. Raushan is the first author and co-corresponding author with Brenda on this paper. ... Read More
Congratulations to Lara Rheinemann, who was just selected to receive the von Schwedler Prize for Retrovirology, which is awarded “with the purpose of honoring the accomplishments of a distinguished graduate student as he or she completes a dissertation in retrovirology….and is awarded directly to the student based on their scientific accomplishments and promise”... Read More
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI) Interest Group started by Julio Fierro and Sangeetha Balasubramaniam
Julio Fierro from the Roh-Johnson lab and Sangeetha Balasubramaniam from the Hughes lab, successfully launch the first EDI interest group meeting for the department. Thanks to Julio and Sangeetha and the EDI committee for their work to get this going, and everyone is welcome to attend!... Read More
Shraddha Nayak in Janet Iwasa's lab was featured in the Spring Imaging issue of Pathways magazine. Pathways is a joint venture between NIGMS and Scholastic, Inc. to provide free educational resources to grades 6-12 about basic biomedical science and research careers.... Read More
Joe Carrier, Michael Stewart, and Matt Miller recently published a paper in eLife, entitled “Structural Basis of Stu2 Recruitment to Yeast Kinetochores”. Their work was done in collaboration with Steve Harrison’s lab at Harvard Medical School and demonstrated with structural and biochemical methods how the kinetochore's Ndc80 complex binds to the tension sensing molecule, Stu2, in order to recruit Stu2 to the budding yeast kinetochore. Their work further showed that kinetochore-recruitment of this tension sensor was required for accurate chromosome segregation during cell division, and that the identified binding interface is very likely to be conserved from yeast to man. ... Read More
Congratulations to Casey Hughes in the Adam Hughes Lab who are in the STAT Madness bracket competing against 63 other research discoveries for “best innovation in biomedicine”! STAT is a highly regarded online science and medicine publication and each year they host a March Madness-style competition for research where anyone can vote for their favorite.... Read More
Joey Casalini was awarded an F31 from the NCI.... Read More
Mitochondria are organelles which play essential roles in cellular metabolism, biosynthesis, apoptosis, and innate immunity and their dysfunction is often associated with diseases like diabetes, cancer, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. While most depictions of mitochondrial biology assume all mitochondria within a given cell function equivalently, my fellowship aims to fully uncover intracellular mitochondrial heterogeneity (specialized populations of mitochondria) and how this specialization is important for cell homeostasis. Understanding the mechanisms of how these specialized mitochondrial populations arise and how they are maintained will illuminate a new field of mitochondrial biology and cellular metabolism.... Read More
In January, Tianyao Xiao had a paper accepted in Life Science Alliance, "ER targeting of non-imported mitochondrial carrier proteins is dependent on the GET pathway".... Read More
Trainee Accomplishments Archive
Training in the Department
The relatively small size of our department provides an atmosphere of collegiality and accessibility. At the same time, close contacts and collaborations with other very strong departments on campus provide a breadth of expertise and experience of which we take full advantage.
In addition to their research, our faculty teach both graduate and medical students. As of March 2021, we had 58 graduate students and 29 postdocs distributed amongst our departmental research laboratories. Our research trainees receive a solid grounding in the fundamentals of chemistry, biology and biochemistry, and experience with contemporary approaches to problems of significant current interest. Graduates of our program have had good success in finding outstanding opportunities for additional training and/or professional development.
The Biochemistry Department does not offer an undergraduate program. Students interested in bachelor’s or master’s degrees should contact:
We recruit doctoral graduate students through two interdisciplinary programs, one in molecular biology and one in biological chemistry. Information about these two programs, and how to apply, can be found at the Biosciences Graduate Studies website. Apply directly to one of these programs. After you have been accepted, they will assist with admission to the University of Utah Graduate School.
- Biosciences Graduate Studies
- Department of Biochemistry Graduate Program Guidelines
- Biochemistry Electives & Teaching Assistantship Requirements
Biochemistry Research in Progress
Two of our trainees present their current research to the whole department each week. Held every Thursday at 1 PM in the Emma Eccles Jones Medical Research Building, Kjeldsberg Conference Room (room 1200), these meetings give researchers a chance to receive valuable feedback from faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the department.
The latest RIP schedule can be found on the Biochem Calendar in Pulse.