2012 News

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  • November 28, 2012

    Longtime Biochemistry & Biophysics Member, Sayeeda Zain, Ph.D., Dies

    Sayeeda Zain, Ph.D.

    Longtime Biochemistry & Biophysics member, Sayeeda Zain, Ph.D. passed away last week after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Services were held last Sunday for Sayeeda.

    Sayeeda did her Ph.D. work with Sherman Weissman in the Dept of Human Genetics, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University where she carried out some of the very earliest nucleic acid sequencing experiments, determining the sequence of parts of the SV40 virus. She then went to Richard Roberts' group at The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, where she applied her knowledge of sequencing to both adenovirus transcripts and and genomic DNA – and co-discovered, with Louise Chow, the phenomenon of mRNA splicing. Roberts later received the Nobel Prize for this work, with Philip Sharp (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1993, see here for Robert's description of Sayeeda's work.

    In 1978 Sayeeda took a faculty position in the Microbiology Department at the University of Rochester and later was hired into to the Biochemistry Department by Fred Sherman. Sayeeda's research program focused on eukaryotic gene expression with specific emphasis on proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease and molecular mechanisms of metastasis. She remained an active member of the department, teaching in Molecules-to-Cells, until last year.

  • September 4, 2012

    Alan E. Senior, Emeritus Professor, Publishes Reflections Article

    Alan E. Senior, Emeritus Professor in the department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, recently published a Reflections article in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. The article details his life and work defining the F1F0-ATPase (also known as ATP synthase), which is a fundamental component of oxidative phosphorylation, and P-glycoprotein, an important enzyme that confers multidrug resistance to anti-cancer drugs and other therapeutics.

  • August 17, 2012

    Biophysics, Structural & Computational Biology Program to Hold Annual Retreat

    The BSCB program will hold it's annual retreat at the Memorial Art Gallery on Monday, October 8. Our Ph.D. candidates will be presenting short talks throughout the day and posters during an afternoon session. A major highlight of the retreat is a Career Discussion Panel comprising five diverse scientists:

    • Prof. Hong Li (Florida State U.)
    • Prof. Doros Petasis (Alleghany College)
    • Prof. Barry Goldstein (U. Rochester/professional photographer)
    • Dr. Matthew Benning (Bruker-AXS, Inc.)
    • Dr. Chris Strohsahl (CellTraffix, Inc.)

    Lunch and refreshments will be served, courtesy of the BSCB Program's Neuman Educational Endowment, as well as corporate sponsorship from Genscript, Inc., Bruker-AXS, Inc., and GE Healthcare, Inc.

    Drs. Clara Kielkopf and Joseph Wedekind are the faculty organizers and student organizers are Anant Agrawal and Karl Smith. Program and additional information will be available in September.

  • June 5, 2012

    Professor Mahin Maines Recognized for Lifetime Contribution to Heme Oxygenase Community

    Congratulations to Professor Mahin Maines, Ph.D., who received recognition for her lifetime contribution to the Heme Oxygenase Community. Dr. Maines was presented with a certificate acknowledging her contribution, by her peers at the 7th International Congress on Heme Oxygenases and Related Enzymes, 28th May - 1st June, held at the University of Edinburgh

  • May 14, 2012

    Longtime Faculty Member, Expert in Effects of Radiation on DNA, Dies

    William A. Bernhard, Ph.D., a faculty member of the University of Rochester Medical Center for more than 40 years and an internationally known expert on the effects of ionizing radiation on the chemical structure of DNA, died May 9 at his home in Mendon, N.Y., after a brief illness.

    Bill was a biophysicist of the highest order, working at the forefront of understanding how radiation damages our genetic material. His unique command of both the biological and physical aspects of radiation damage earned him the respect and recognition of colleagues worldwide, said Jeffrey J. Hayes, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. The longevity of his research program, funded by the National Cancer Institute for 37 consecutive years, and the successful careers of his many trainees are testaments to the consistent high quality of his work, the high regard his peers, and his commitment to training future scientists. Bill also was a wonderful person and colleague.

  • April 4, 2012

    10th Annual Fred Sherman Lecture Highlights Genetics Day 2012

    Today, the department of Biomedical Genetics 24th Annual Genetics Day was highlighted by the 10th Annual Fred Sherman Lecture. Dr. Fred Sherman, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry & Biophysics has been honored for his contributions to Genetics and Yeast Genetics for the past nine years with a lecture named after him. The NIH has funded Fred for a remarkable 45 years, during which time he has published over 280 papers, with more on the way.

    In 1970, Fred initiated the famous yeast course at Cold Spring Harbor, which has trained scores of today's leading investigators. He served as an instructor in this course for 17 years. Fred's many landmark contributions to several fields of molecular biology were recognized by his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985.

    Genetics Day is an annual event, including a poster session and plenary lectures, that brings together the University genetics community defined in its broadest sense. This year, Dr. Gary Ruvkun, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, gave the Sherman Lecture entilted, The tiny RNA pathways of C. elegans.

  • March 13, 2012

    Former Biophysics Chair and Senior Dean of Graduate Studies Dies

    Paul L. LaCelle, M.D., a University of Rochester Medical Center faculty member for more than 40 years, a former department chair and former senior dean, died March 9. He was 82.

    Dr. LaCelle, a 1959 graduate of the University's School of Medicine and Dentistry, joined the faculty in 1964 as an instructor of what was then the Department of Radiation Biology and Biophysics. He was named a professor in 1974 and chaired what is now the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics from 1977 to 1996.

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