Amid concerns about grad student mental health, one university takes a novel approach – Alli Schad & Dr. Jean Cook – Science Magazine

photo of Jean Cook PhD Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics

University campuses are hotbeds of mental health concerns, including among graduate students. But the demand for counseling services often outstrips capacity, according to a 2018 report. At the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, students seeking mental health support are frequently referred to providers off campus. “It’s not that they can’t get treatment; they certainly can. … But it’s also not easy to set up,” says Jean Cook, an associate dean of graduate education at UNC who oversees the university’s biological and biomedical sciences Ph.D. program. Students have to arrange transportation, and for grad students there’s an added layer of complexity because they may have to explain why they need to take multiple hours out of their day to travel to an appointment off campus.

Researchers clock DNA’s recovery time after chemotherapy

The lab of Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD, published a paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that could inform the creation of ‘chronochemotherapies’ — strategies aimed using chemo to treat cancer patients at particular times of the day to maximize therapeutic benefit. (Authors: Yanyan Yang PhD, Postdoctoral fellow; Zhenxing Liu PhD, Postdoctoral fellow; Christopher Selby PhD, Research Instructor; Aziz Sancar MD PhD, Distinguished Professor.)

The CryoEM Revolution has Arrived

Joshua Strauss and Saskia Neher stand beside the Cryo-EM equipment

Installation of a Thermo Scientific Talos Arctica 200 Kv cryo-transmission electron microscope (cryo-TEM) is nearly complete in the Glaxo Research Building at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Once functioning this summer, this $3-million instrument will bring exciting new capabilities to researchers across the university and others in the RTP area. The Talos Artica will be the centerpiece of the new cryoEM core facility, directed by Joshua Strauss, PhD, assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and biophysics.

NIH awards nearly $2 million to Cell Microsystems to boost biomedical research

photo of William Marzluff, PhD distinguished faculty of biochemistry and biophysics and joint with biology

The lab of William Marzluff, PhD, UNC Kenan Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics will collaborate with Cell Microsystems on gene editing projects to speed up the use of CRISPR workflows in lab experiments.

Study provides insights behind hyperactivation of key cell proliferation signal

photos of Pengda Liu PhD and Shelton Earp MD

In a study in Nature Communications, Pengda Liu, PhD, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Shelton Earp, MD, director of UNC Lineberger and the Lineberger Professor of Cancer Research, and their collaborators reported discoveries about a key signaling pathway that can be hyperactive in kidney cancer.

Eron and Kuhlman deliver Oliver Smithies Investigators Lecture on April 15, 2019

photo of flier for Oliver Smithies Investigators honorary lectures date place and time

The Oliver Smithies Investigators Program recognizes senior School of Medicine research faculty who have made major contributions within and beyond their disciplines. This year’s lecture honoring the 2018-19 Oliver Smithies Investigators Dr. Joseph Eron and Dr. Brian Kuhlman will be held on April 15, 2019 from 3pm-4pm in 1131 Bioinformatics, and will be followed by a Reception.

Carter’s work on the origins of life featured on Scipod episode

photo of Charlie Carter PhD Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC

Dr. Carter has been working to unravel some of the biggest mysteries of molecular evolution — that is, how exactly did life on Earth as we know it rise from the primordial, chemical-laden soup four billion years ago. In particular, he investigates how information flows from genes to proteins found in living organisms via genetic coding.

Pengda Liu PhD awarded V Scholar Grant

photo of Pengda Liu PhD

Liu was one of 28 scientists who were awarded V Scholar Grants in 2018 by the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The two-year, $200,000 grants are designed to identify and advance innovative young scientists who are establishing their research careers.

Researchers discover potential attack strategy for aggressive breast cancer

photo of Leslie Parise PhD

UNC researchers including Leslie Parise, PhD and doctoral student Alex Chung have designed a novel way to attack an aggressive breast cancer. By working with a drug development company, they hope their laboratory discovery will translate to a new treatment combination in the clinic in the future.

Sancar’s Replica Nobel Medal Now on Display at Wilson Library

Sancar Nobel medal

Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD, the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, gifted one of 3 replicas of the Nobel Prize medal UNC. It is now on display in the newly installed numismatics exhibit at the Wilson Special Collections Library.