Maria Disotuar recently delivered a superb research presentation at the 2016 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference in Long Beach, CA. At the conference, SACNAS judges recognized Maria Disotuar's work, titled "Sortase a - Mediated Synthesis of Insulin Fusion Derivatives from a New Insulin Precursor," as a standout among the student presentations, and selected Maria Disotuar to receive one of the 2016 SACNAS Student Presentation Awards.
SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. This year, the National Conference gathered over 4000 students and professionals.
Training Grant Awardees
Seven Graduate Students Received Training Grant Awards:
Megan Okada (Sigala) – Hematology
Alyssa Litwiller – (Hughes) – Genetics
Aman Makaju (Franklin) American Heart Association
Cameron Waller (Rutter) – Computational Metabolism
Claire Bensard (Rutter) – Developmental Biology
Jenna Goodrum (Hughes) – Metabolism
Stephanie Pearson (Villanueva) Metabolism
Poster Awards and Travel Awards
Sarah Apple (Kay lab) won a poster award at the Peptides Gordon conference in early 2016. She also received 1st prize for best poster at the recent American Society for Microbiology branch meeting.
She and Mark Petersen (also Kay lab) received poster awards at the recent Peptides Gordon Research Conference. They were given the Keystone Conference Travel Award.
Presentation and Travel Awards
Alyssa Litwiller (Hughes Lab) was selected to give an oral presentation at a Mitochondrial Keystone Meeting. She also received a travel award for the meeting.
Joerg Votteler and Lara Rheinemann were selected to give talks at the 2017 annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)
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 2016, we had 38 graduate students and 33 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.
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.