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Krystle McLaughlin Receives GWIS Travel and Conference Award

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Krystle McLaughlin, a 4th year graduate student in Dr. Clara Kielkopf's lab received a travel and conference award from GWIS. She attended and the American Crystallographic Society Meeting in Chicago, Illinois where she presented her work as part of the Etter Student Lecture Award. View her Travel report followup.

Vitamin B3 Controls Important Life Processes by Changing Shape in Response to Oxygen Level

Friday, June 4, 2010

illustration of the Rex protein

Rex protein in action

Scientists have obtained the first images of a common molecular signal, vitamin B3, which plays a role in making some bacteria potent and some men impotent.

For the first time, researchers have captured three-dimensional images of a protein in the act of responding to oxygen levels by sensing vitamin B3. Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is essential to convert the food we eat into energy. Vitamin B3 also regulates a variety of processes, including erectile dysfunction, aging and sleep patterns in people. The findings, published in the journal Molecular Cell, could guide future development of antibiotics, and in the long term, new treatments for erectile dysfunction.

Vitamin B3 has been the focus of intense interest since its role as a signaling molecule was discovered, yet no one knew how proteins, the molecular machines of the cell, could sense the slight differences between the oxidized and reduced forms, said Clara Kielkopf, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and lead study author.

Read More: Vitamin B3 Controls Important Life Processes by Changing Shape in Response to Oxygen Level