Principal Investigator

Eric Phizicky, Ph.D. University of Rochester work Box 712 Rochester NY p 585-275-7268 f 585-271-2683

Honors & News

  • September 18, 2013

    Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics Faculty and Students Honored at Opening Convocation

    Graduate students Lu Han and Michael Mierzejewski were awarded the Elmer H. Stotz Graduate Fellowship in Biochemistry Award. This award was established by the Stotz family to honor Dr. Elmer Stotz, Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Biochemistry. It is awarded to a Ph.D. student in Biochemistry.

    Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Alan Grossfield, was one of two professors who were awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award. Established in 2013, this award is given to an outstanding graduate student teacher for record of excellence in classroom instruction.

    Dr. Eric Phizicky, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Dean’s Professor, was one of four professors awarded a Faculty Mentoring Award. Dr. Phizicky won the Mentoring of Academic Faculty Award.

    Dr. Jeffrey Hayes, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics & Chair of the Department, was awarded the Shohei Koide Professor in Biochemistry and Biophysics. This is a new professorship, established in 2013, and is intended to support the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

    Congratulations to all of our winners!

  • February 15, 2013

    URMC Biochemistry Professor Named a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

    Eric Phizicky, Ph.D.

    Eric M. Phizicky, Ph.D., dean's professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and member of the University's Center for RNA Biology, has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (Academy). The Academy is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the world's oldest and largest life science organization. The mission of the Academy is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public.

    Over the last 50 years, over 2,700 distinguished scientists have been elected to the Academy. Fellows are elected through a highly selective, annual, peer review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Each elected Fellow has built an exemplary career in basic and applied research, teaching, clinical and public health, industry or government service. Academy Fellows are eminent leaders in the field of microbiology and are relied upon for authoritative advice and information on critical issues in microbiology. Election to Fellowship indicates recognition of distinction in microbiology by one's peers.

    We couldn't be more pleased that Eric has been awarded this honor and recognition for his excellence and creativity in the microbiological sciences, said Jeffrey J. Hayes, Ph.D., professor and acting chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Medical Center. On behalf of the department, please join me in offering his well-deserved congratulations!

    Phizicky, who came to the Medical Center in 1987, has spent his career working to understand how tRNA is made and how it does its job in the cell, which is to help with the translation of genes into proteins. His lab also focuses on the design, construction and implementation of genomic methods to analyze protein structure and function, work that's conducted in collaboration with Elizabeth Grayhack, Ph.D., associate professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

  • December 3, 2012

    URMC Biochemistry Professor Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

    Eric Phizicky, Ph.D.

    Eric M. Phizicky, Ph.D., dean's professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

    This year 702 members were awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Phizicky, a member of the University's Center for RNA Biology, was elected a Fellow for major contributions to the basic knowledge of tRNA (transfer RNA) processing and turnover and for the development and widespread distribution of powerful genome-wide technologies.

    We were extremely happy to hear that Eric was receiving this much-deserved honor. His passion for science is infectious and matched only by his inquisitive nature and skill as a scientist, said Jeffrey J. Hayes, Ph.D., professor and acting chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Medical Center. Aside from his remarkable accomplishments in research, Eric is an outstanding teacher and colleague.

    Phizicky, who came to the Medical Center in 1987, has spent his career working to understand how tRNA is made and how it does its job in the cell, which is to help with the translation of genes into proteins. His lab also focuses on the design, construction and implementation of genomic methods to analyze protein structure and function, work that's conducted in collaboration with Elizabeth Grayhack, Ph.D., associate professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

  • November 12, 2010

    Biochemical Genomics: Technique Speeds Identification of Genes Associated with Specific Bioactivity

    Researchers have developed a technique that identifies genes associated with specific biologically active proteins much more quickly than previously possible.

    The approach is potentially useful not just for analyzing gene functions in yeast—the organism on which it's first been demonstrated—but in other organisms as well, including humans. The technique was devised by associate professor Eric M. Phizicky, Ph.D. and research associate professor Elizabeth J. Grayhack, Ph.D. of the department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

  • July 1, 2008

    Melanie Preston Receives GWIS Travel and Conference Award

    Melanie Preston, a 4th year graduate student in Dr. Eric Phizicky's lab received a travel and conference award from GWIS. She attended and gave an oral presentation at the annual RNA Society Meeting in Berlin, Germany. View her Travel report followup.

  • January 8, 2008

    Researchers Seek to Make Cavity-Causing Bacteria Self-Destruct

    The ability of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) to survive in acid is one reason that the species is the main driver of tooth decay worldwide. Past research has shown that this ability has several components including a bacterial enzyme called fatty acid biosynthase M (FabM), which when shut down, makes S. mutans almost precisely 10,000 times more vulnerable to acid damage.

    Our first goal is to force the major bacterium behind tooth decay to destroy itself with its own acid as soon as it eats sugar, said Robert G. Quivey, Ph.D., professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and principal investigator for the grant. After that, this line of work could help lead to new anti-bacterial combination therapies for many infections that have become resistant to antibiotics.

    Quivey's partners in the grant application were Elizabeth Grayhack, Ph.D., research associate professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, Robert Marquis, Ph.D., professor of Microbiology & Immunology, and Eric Phizicky, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics.

  • March 6, 2007

    Expert to Discuss Middleman in Protein Synthesis

    Eric Phizicky, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, will give a talk titled tRNA: how and why it's all dressed up as part of a lecture series highlighting biomedical research at the University of Rochester.

    Phizicky will speak about the tremendous, recent explosion in the understanding of transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA), the middleman in the process of converting genetic code into proteins that make up the body's structures, carry its messages and execute its functions. He will speak at 4 p.m. Friday, March 9, in the Case Methods Room (Room 1-9576) at the Medical Center.

  • June 1, 2006

    Irina Chernyakov Receives GWIS Travel and Conference Award

    Irina Chernyakov, a 3rd year graduate student in Dr. Eric Phizicky's lab received a travel and conference award from GWIS. She attended and presented a poster at the annual RNA Society Meeting in Seattle, Washington. View her Travel report followup.

  • September 7, 2005

    Study to Explore Cellular Circuitry

    As part of a $4.88 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), molecular biologists from the University of Rochester Medical Center will join a team seeking to create the first complete wiring diagram of a living cell. By wiring diagram, researchers mean a detailed model, not only of the cell's genes and their function, but also of the interplay between them. When complete, the diagram has the potential to reveal cellular approaches to treating many diseases, including cancer.

    With most genes redundant and related to other genes and proteins in predictable ways, we can begin to identify the function of unknown cellular players based on their neighbors and associates, said Eric Phizicky, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the medical center. That puts us within reach of a completed diagram and the ability to re-wire cells in the treatment of disease.

  • November 18, 2004

    Wilmot Cancer Center Honors Scientists Pioneering Genomic Research

    A pair of scientists whose discoveries have changed genomic research was honored today by the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Eric Phizicky, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Grayhack, Ph.D., received the 2004 Davey Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to cancer research.

    Phizicky and Grahack, a husband-and-wife research team, are considered pioneers in the field of functional proteomics. They were the first to develop a method to identify genes by the activity of their products on a genome-wide scale, by using all of the 6,144 genes of yeast as a model system. Their work has broad implications for biological sciences including cancer research.

  • July 1, 2004

    Martha Wilkinson Receives GWIS Travel and Conference Award

    Martha Wilkinson, a 5th year graduate student in Dr. Eric Phizicky's lab received a travel and conference award from GWIS. She attended and presented a poster at the Yeast Genomics Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

  • May 12, 2003

    Eric Phizicky Discusses Probing Protein Function on a Genomic Scale

    Eric Phizicky, Ph.D., professor in the department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of Rochester was interviewed and profiled at GenomeWeb. Dr. Phizicky discussed his research at the University Rochester, the library of 6,144 yeast strains, and the fact that his lab has identified genes, in the last four years, associated with more than 38 activities, including just about every biochemical reaction.

  • March 9, 2001

    Bio Online Presents: Panel of Scientists Deciphering the Human Proteome

    The completion of the first draft of the human genome sequence gives us the potential to understand the precise protein content of every cell in a human being. It is also suddenly within our sights to decipher the function of every protein in the cell, and a number of methods have emerged to meet this challenge.

    The Phizicky lab has focused on a genomic approach to biochemical analysis. To this end, a genomic library of yeast strains was prepared, in which each strain expresses a different yeast protein attached to an affinity purification tag. With the purified genomic array of proteins, one can rapidly link any biochemical activity to its cognate gene. This array has been used to identify several different catalytic and binding activities, and can be used to find targets of drugs. A similar array could be developed to analyze the proteins of the human genome.