All major discoveries that underpin precision medicine come from the fields of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In the USU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, faculty are working on the molecular basis of devastating human diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), neurodevelopmental disorders, infertility, and cancer. Our faculty are engaged in teaching graduate and medical students who conduct research and provide outstanding medical care in support of the military.

Our research activities, combined with our teaching activities, contribute to public health and DoD by uncovering and communicating knowledge necessary to understand human diseases including those suffered by members of the Uniformed Services.


Recent News

New publications (since March 2021)

Mohassel P. ……….Dunn TM*, Bönnemann CG* (2021) Childhood amyotrophic lateral sclerosis caused by excess sphingolipid synthesis. Nature Medicine 27:1197-1204


Wang Y, Niu Y, Zhang Z, Gable K, Gupta SD, Somashekarappa N, Han G, Zhao H, Myasnikov AG, Kalathur RC, Dunn TM*, Lee CH*. (2021) Structural insights into the regulation of human serine palmitoyltransferase complexes. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 28::240-248 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33558761/

Saoji M, Sen A, Cox RT (2021) Loss of Mitochondrial Ribonuclease P complex proteins differentially affect mitochondrial tRNA processing in vivo. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(6066). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8200052/

Qiu R, Zhang J, Rotty JD, Xiang X.(2021) Dynein activation in vivo is regulated by the nucleotide states of its AAA3 domain. Curr Biol. 31:4486-4498.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.07.081. 


Ronzier E, Laurenson AJ, Manickam R, Liu S, Saintilma IM, Schrock DC, Hammer JA, Rotty JD (2022) The Actin Cytoskeleton Responds to Inflammatory Cues and Alters Macrophage Activation. Cells 11 (11).


Saoji M, Petersen CE, Sen A, Tripoli BA, Smyth JT, Cox RT (2022) Reduction of Drosophila Mitochondrial RNase P in Skeletal and Heart Muscle Causes Muscle Degeneration, Cardiomyopathy, and Heart Arrhythmia. Front Cell Dev Biol 10:788516. doi:10.3389/fcell.2022.788516

Chomiak AA, Guo Y, Kopsidas CA, McDaniel DP, Lowe CC, Pan H, Zhou X, Zhou Q, Doughty ML, Feng Y (2022) Nde1 is required for heterochromatin compaction and stability in neocortical neurons. iScience 25 (6):104354.


Guo Y, Chomiak AA, Hong Y, Lowe CC, Kopsidas CA, Chan WC, Andrade J, Pan H, Zhou X, Monuki ES, Feng Y (2022) Histone H2A ubiquitination resulting from Brap loss of function connects multiple aging hallmarks and accelerates neurodegeneration. iScience 25 (7):104519.


Phan TP, Boatwright CA, Drown CG, Skinner MW, Strong MA, Jordan PW, Holland AJ (2022) Upstream open reading frames control PLK4 translation and centriole duplication in primordial germ cells. Genes Dev.


New grants (since March 2021)

Galina Petukhova renewed her RO1 (NIGMS/NIH) “Evolution of Homologous Recombination Mechanisms” https://reporter.nih.gov/search/UquxLpwHwEuQAThiaWJHgg/project-details/10211953

Xin Xiang obtained her R35 (NIGMS/NIH) “Regulation of cytoplasmic dynein in vivo” https://reporter.nih.gov/search/W28QkNch80uton89wumjUQ/project-details/10162174

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