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Welcome to the second edition of “On the Record with LP.” The purpose of this new blog is to go beyond the news stories on our website to capture more of the many wonderful accomplishments of faculty, trainees and staff in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics (BCBP). This is a busy time of year with summer winding up and new BBSP students on campus.


Welcome to our newest faculty member, Dr. Suzanne Barbour! Dr. Barbour, a biochemist from University of GA, is joining UNC on Sept 3 as Professor in our department and as the new Dean of the Graduate School! Read her Q & A here.

Welcome new BBSP students! We invite all new BBSP students to join our entire department for a welcome event at Top of the Hill, Thursday, September 5, 4-6pm.

TOPO Back Bar event welcome first year student talks May 2019Sept 5 Meet and Greet Happy Hour with UNC Biochemistry and Biophysics at TOPO Back Bar

As of this writing, rotations are still available in the following BCBP-affiliated labs: Rick Baker, Wolfgang Bergmeier, Brian Button, Sharon Campbell, Jean Cook, Jill Dowen, Gaorav Gupta, Guochun Jiang, Brian Kuhlman, Andrew Lee, Pengda Liu, Rob McGinty, Saskia Neher, Gary Pielak, Dale Ramsden, John Sondek, Brian Strahl, Ron Swanstrom, Cyrus Vaziri, Greg Wang, and Qi Zhang.

We also invite new students to check out reasons to join BCBP, course offerings and flexible curriculum.

THESIS DEFENSE: We congratulate Hyunna (Theresa) Lee on her successful Ph.D. thesis defense for her work in Sharon Campbell’s lab on “Role of Metavinculin in Actin Reorganization and Force Transmission.” We also congratulate Megan Arrington from Chemistry (Campbell and Loeser Labs), who defended her thesis “The molecular basis for Rac2 E62K immune deficiency,” the same week!

Hyunna (Theresa) Lee PhD, Megan Arrington PhD, with advisor Sharon Campbell PhD
Hyunna (Theresa) Lee PhD, Megan Arrington PhD, with advisor Sharon Campbell PhD


We congratulate Lisa H. Phillippie our Post-Awards & Students Services Manager for 30 years of state service and Professors Charles W. Carter and Gerhard W. Meissner for 45 years of state service.

Lisa Phillippie, Charlie Carter, Gerhard Meissner receive state service awards

Wolfgang Bergmeier will be transitioning into the role of Director of Graduate Studies, as he works alongside Dale Ramsden for the next 6 months. Thanks Dale and Wolfgang!

Co-Directors of Graduate Studies, Wolfgang Bergmeier PhD and Dale Ramsden PhD

Charlie Carter has been elected as a Fellow of the American Crystallographic Association. Way to go Charlie!

Congratulations to Xian Chen for being promoted to Full Professor. See the full story here.

We congratulate Silvia Ramos, assistant professor in BCBP for being named our new diversity liaison. This is an important new position initiated and supported in part by the SOM.  In this role, Dr. Ramos will “support departmental trainees, staff, faculty, and leadership in fostering a diverse and inclusive professional environment. The liaison will work closely with the Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and with relevant offices to improve efforts to create a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

Silvia Ramos, MD, PhD
Silvia Ramos, MD, PhD, BCBP Diversity Liaison

Ron Swanstrom is co-organizer of the meeting “Retroviruses” May 18-23, 2020 at Cold Spring Habor Lab.

Ron Swanstrom, PhD
Ron Swanstrom PhD, Professor

Hot of the press – Congratulations to Greg Wang on the being named one of the four receiptants of the Hettleman Prize.

Greg G. Wang PhD, associate professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Greg G. Wang PhD, associate professor


2nd BCBP SYNERGY MEETUP: Thanks again to graduate student Adam Luthman and faculty member Bev Errede for continuing to help us with “BCBP Synergy”. This informal meetup platform allows us to randomly assign willing dept members to random groups who meet up over coffee, lunch, or whatever they decide, in order to get to know one another better.

Group of friends meeting for BCBP Synergy lunch August 2019

BBSP WELCOME AND POSTER SESSION: On August 13 we welcomed the 12th cohort of BBSP students at the Poster session held in the lobby of the Genetic Medicine Building.Biochemistry & Biophysics labs presented research posters to incoming BBSP graduate students. We had a great turn out this year. Thank you everyone for presenting your research to recruit new students to our department.

overlooking gmb 8 13 2019 on poster session day2 images of posters presentations on August 13 2019view more photos


Stephan Kudlacek, from the Kuhlman lab received F31 fellowship Computer-based Design of Dengue Virus Vaccine Antigens

Stephan Kudlacek, graduate student

Pengda Liu received the Joseph Li travel award from this year’s Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SBCA) meeting. Congratulations!

photo of Pengda Liu PhD
Pengda Liu PhD, Assistant Professor


Gaorav Gupta received an R37 Early Investigator MERIT  award from the NIH/NCI to support his work on “Mre11-Dependent DNA Damage Responses in Breast Cancer Pathogenesis”.

Guochung Jiang: received funding from NIAID/CARE to support his CNS project titled: “Establishment of latent HIV reservoirs in the brain”.

Bill Marzluff’s and Zbig Dominski’s joint RO1 GM-29832-44 “Control of histone mRNA synthesis” has been renewed for years 44-47.  Note that the title has not changed during that entire time! 

Robert McGinty NIGMS R35/MIRA Molecular Mechanisms of Chromatin Recognition

Leslie Parise NIGMS R01GM133107 Molecular Mechanisms of CIB1 Signaling


From the McGinty lab:

Cathy J Anderson, Matthew R Baird Allen Shu, Emily H Barbour, Yuka Koyama, Mario J Borgia Robert K McGinty; Structural basis for recognition of ubiquitylated nucleosome by Dot1L methyltransferase. Cell Reports, 26:1681-90, 2019

From the Jiang lab:

Dual effects of the novel ingenol derivatives on the acute and latent HIV-1 infections. Yang H, Li X, Yang X, Lu P, Wang Y, Jiang Z, Pan H, Zhao L, Zhu Y, Khan I, Shen Y, Lu H, Zhang T, Jiang G, Ma Z, Wu H, Zhu H. Antiviral Res. 2019 Jul 9;169:104555. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2019.104555. PMID: 31295520

Deep latency: A new insight into a functional HIV cure. Elsheikh MM, Tang Y, Li D, Jiang G. EBioMedicine. 2019 Jul;45:624-629. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.06.020. Epub 2019 Jun 18. Review. PMID: 31227439

Gut Microbiome Alterations During HIV/SIV Infection: Implications for HIV Cure. Crakes KR, Jiang G. Front Microbiol. 2019 May 22;10:1104. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01104. eCollection 2019. Review. PMID: 31191468

From the Meissner lab:

Chirasani VR, Xu L, Addis HG, Daniel Pasek DA , Dokholyan NV,  Meissner G, Yamaguchi N. A central core disease mutation in the Ca2+ binding site of skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor impairs single-channel regulation. Am J Physiol – Cell Physiol 317, C358-C365, 2019

From the Wang lab:

Lu R, Wang J, Ren Z, Yin J, Wang Y, Cai L, Wang GG#. A model system for studying the DNMT3A hotspot mutation (DNMT3AR882) demonstrates a causal relationship between its dominant-negative effect and leukemogenesis. Cancer Res. 2019 Jul 15;79(14):3583-3594.


Jie L, Ahn JH, Wang GG#. Understanding histone H3 lysine 36 methylation and its deregulation in disease. Cell. & Mol. Life Sciences. 2019 Aug;76(15):2899-2916. (Invited review for a special issue of “Protein Methylation in Cellular Physiology”)


Zhao X, Ren Y, Lawlor M, Shah BD, Park PMC, Lwin T, Wang X, Liu K, Wang M, Gao J, Li T, Xu M, Silva AS, Lee K, Zhang T, Koomen JM, Jiang H, Sudalagunta PR, Meads MB, Cheng F, Bi C, Fu K, Fan H, Dalton WS, Moscinski LC, Shain KH, Sotomayor EM, Wang GG, Gray NS, Cleveland JL, Qi J#, Tao J#. BCL2 Amplicon Loss and Transcriptional Remodeling Drives ABT-199 Resistance in B Cell Lymphoma Models. Cancer Cell. 2019 May 13;35(5):752-766.e9.


Allison DF, Wang GG#R-loops: formation, function, and relevance to cell stress. Cell Stress 2019; 3 (2), 38-47.



If you know joint faculty member Jack Griffith, you know he loves cars. But, I bet you didn’t know that he recently published a new paper that was peer reviewed and accepted without changes to 4 different publications, including The Litter Box,  of the Carolina Jaguar Club, Inc.

Jack Griffith PhD with a few of his cars