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Student Paper in Nature
Fourth year Chemical Biology student Brian DeVree and his advisor, Dr. Roger Sunahara, are authors on a trio of recent papers detailing structural studies of the β2 adrenergic receptor-Gs protein (β2AR-Gs) complex. The flagship article, on which DeVree is co-first author, reports for the first time an X-ray crystal structure of a G-protein coupled receptor in complex with its G protein (Rasmussen and DeVreeet al., Nature 477,549–555). The second paper reports the use of deuterium-hydrogen exchange mass spectrometry (DXMS) to study the dynamics of the β2AR-Gs interaction and thus complements the X-ray crystal structure (Chung et al., Nature 477,611–615).  A third study, led by UM Chemical Biology professor Dr. Georgios Skiniotis, employs single particle electron microscopy to investigate the striking flexibility observed in a domain of the Gs protein (Westfield et al., PNAS 108(38) 16086-16091).

This seminal accomplishment is the culmination of several years of collaborative work between labs at several universities: Dr. Sunahara and Dr. Skiniotis here at UM, Dr. Brian Kobilka at Stanford University, and Dr. Virgil L. Woods, Jr. at the University of California-San Diego, along with considerable contributions from several other domestic and international labs. DeVree first got involved in the project when he came to UM as a lab technician working for Dr. Sunahara. He ultimately applied to and chose to enter the Program in Chemical Biology in 2008. Though he engaged in a productive rotation with Dr. Jason Gestwicki, he chose to take on the project he had started under Dr. Sunahara as his thesis research. DeVree spent a great deal of his time on protein purification and developing methods by which to achieve β2AR-Gs complex  crystallization. Another Chemical Biology professor at UM, Dr. Janet Smith, contributed an important piece of the puzzle through the development of a specialized microfocus X-ray beamline at the Advanced Photon Source in Chicago. Without this beamline and its updated technology, the team would have had to travel to France to collect their data. DeVree and coworkers were finally able to obtain crystals that diffracted to sufficient resolution by using a combination of cutting edge crystallization techniques and solved the all-important structure earlier this year.  DeVree has now co-authored seven papers with the Sunahara lab and hopes to continue carrying out groundbreaking research on the β2AR-Gs complexase.
posted 12/6/2011

New Students for Fall 2011
The Chemical Biology PhD Program is delighted to announce our incoming class for Fall 2011. We have 7 new students joining us. We are very pleased that they have decided to join us here at the University of Michigan.Welcome, class of 2016!
posted 7/7/2011

Training Program Awards for 2011-2012
Carol Ann Pitcairn and Conor Doss have bothe been selected for the Chemistry Biology Interface Training Program. Congratulations to our students who have been selected!
posted 7/7/2011

Yaru Zhang Receives Barbour Scholarship
Yaru Zhang who is in her second year in the laboratory of Professor Pat O'Brien, is a recipient of the prestigous Rackham Barbour Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year. Congratulations Yaru!
posted 7/7/2011

Student Paper in MedChemComm
Chris Jones, who will be starting his second year with Professor Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, co-authored a paper that was featured on the cover of the journal MedChemComm. His work on novel bifunctional compounds to target Alzheimer's disease. See Bornstein, J.J., Eckroat, T.J., Houghton, J.L., Jones, C.K., Green, K.D., & Garneau-Tsodikova, S. (2011). Tacrine-mefenamic acid hybrids for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, MedChemComm2, 406-412
posted 7/7/2011

Student Paper on Nature.com
Fifth year Chemical Biology student Evgenia Nikolova has paper published on Nature.com
posted 02/25/2011

 

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