ANNUAL NEWSLETTER
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ANNUAL NEWSLETTER

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173 Pages
English

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http://www.mbi.ucla.edu/About/MBI_history.html). .... Audrey Agopian, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Zhefeng Guo ...... We are investigating the role of this gene, termed vpr, and the specific ...... collaborating with the Berkeley Drosophila Genome project (BDGP) in the analysis and documentation of developmentally ...

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University of California Los Angeles September 2010 Number 46 Table of Contents Page No. REPORT FROM THE DIRECTOR – STEVEN CLARKE 3 MBI COMMITTEES 5 MBI PROGRAMS AND EVENTS The Paul D. Boyer Professorship in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry 6 David S. Sigman Memorial Lectureship and Symposium 7 th 12 Annual Postdoctoral Recognition Awards 8 The Audree Fowler Fellows in Protein Science 9 Thursday Seminar Series 10 Tuesday Faculty Research Club 13 MBI FACULTY RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES Faculty Comments on their Research 15 Faculty Honors and Awards 71 Faculty Service on UCLA Committees 74 Service with Study Sections and Other Evaluation Committees 83 Service on Editorial Boards of Scientific Journals 90 Service in National Scientific Organizations 96 Patents Issued 101 Visiting Faculty and Scholars 103 RESEARCH SUPPORT FACILITIES AND SERVICES UCLA-DOE-MBI Biochemistry Instrumentation Facility 105 UCLA-DOE-MBI Computational Technology Center 105 UCLA-DOE MBI Crystallization Core Facility 106 UCLA-DOE-MBI Electron Microscope Facility 106 UCLA-DOE-MBI NMR Core Facility 107 UCLA-DOE-MBI Protein Expression Technology Center 107 UCLA-DOE-MBI X-ray Crystallography Technology Center 108 JCCC Tissue Culture Core Facility 109 GRADUATE PROGRAMS Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program (MBIDP) 110 Whitcome Fellows Program 110 Cellular & Molecular Biology Training Grant 119 ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT STAFF ACTIVITIES 120 Administrative Services 121 Building Manager/Storeroom Services APPENDIX I: Space Utilization 122 APPENDIX II: Faculty Publications 123 Report from the Director Steven G. Clarke Once again, we've had a happy and productive year - new members, new awards and honors, and new initiatives. With sadness we noted the passing of two individuals whose contributions to the institute were of major importance. Emil L. Smith (1911 – 2009) came to UCLA in 1963 as chair of the department of Biological Chemistry. He arrived at UCLA at about the same time as Paul Boyer and both served on the initial advisory committee for the proposed Molecular Biology Institute. Emil's role in shaping biochemistry at UCLA was well documented in Dick Dickerson's 2009 history of the MBI - "The Making of an Institute: -The MBI at UCLA 1968-1978". (If anyone would like a hard copy of this wonderful book please let Bo Tendis know; it is also available on the MBI web site at http://www.mbi.ucla.edu/About/MBI_history.html). Emil was a pioneer in using the results from amino acid sequencing to understand molecular evolution. In 1962, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and in 1987 won the Stein-Moore Award of the Protein Society. James B. Peter (1933 – 2009) was another pioneer in the MBI whose generosity to UCLA was capped last year in a major gift with his wife Joan for the endowment of the "Paul D. Boyer Professorship in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry". Jim was a graduate student of Paul Boyer's at Minnesota and accompanied Paul to UCLA in 1963 to help set up the new lab. He had a long and distinguished career capped by his 1975 founding and continuing presidency of Specialty Laboratories, a company that developed many clinical assays using state-of-the-art immunological and mass spectrometric technologies. Jim was honored by UCLA in 2001 with the Glenn T. Seaborg Medal for his significant contributions to chemistry. Last November, members of the Peter family joined us in the awarding of the inaugural Boyer chair to David Eisenberg (please see the write-up later in this report). We also celebrated a number of major awards to our members including the election of Utpal Banerjee and Bob Goldberg to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Ernst Jung Medical Award to Stephen Young, the Kettering Award of the American Society of Plant Biologists to Sabeeha Merchant, a Sloan Research Fellowship to Grace Xiao, and the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education of the Genetics Society of America to Utpal Banerjee. Two UCLA faculty won campus-wide awards as well - Al Courey received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and Dick Weiss won the UCLA Academic Senate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. We welcomed eleven new members and associate members this year. New members included David Brooks, Assistant Professor in MIMG, Pascal Egea, Assistant Professor in Biological Chemistry, William Gelbart, Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Patrick Harran, Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kendall Houk, Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Harley Kornblum, Professor in Molecular Medicine and Pharmacology, Jorge Torres, Assistant Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Xiandong William Yang, Professor in Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. New Associate members included Andrew Diener, Assistant Professor in MCDB, Zhefeng Guo, Assistant Professor in Neurology, and Martha Lewis, Assistant Professor in Medicine. One issue came up this year that was of some concern to many of us. We learned in January that we hadn't looked closely enough at the plans for the new South Campus Student Center (Bombshelter replacement) when they were presented to us in February of 2009. The problem is that the design allowed no east-west access across the courtyard, effectively cutting us off from the CNSI. A group including myself, David Eisenberg, Arnie Berk, Dick Dickerson, Paul Weiss, and Paul Boyer appealed 3 to Chancellor Block to see if this could be remedied. In June, we learned that our efforts had resulted in the revision to the plan to allow east west access on a pathway underneath the planned hill (see photos below). February 2010 Plan - Revised June 2010 plan looking southwest from No access Boyer Hall west entrance with more direct access along the across the courtyardred line! Revised June 2010 plan looking southwest from Boyer Hall west entrance with more direct access June 2010 plan looking northwest from Boyer Hall west across the courtyard entrance This June marked the end of the ninth year that I have directed the MBI. The Dean of Life Sciences, Victoria Sork, has asked me to stay on for one more year while planning goes on for the transition to a new director for July 1, 2011. Dean Sork chairs the Biosciences Initiative Advisory Committee, whose membership includes several MBI members. This committee has recommended new directions for the MBI in quantitative biology and systems biology. I am hopeful that I will leave the MBI as strong and vibrant as I found it! 4 MBI COMMITTEES 2009-2010 MBI Advisory: Utpal Banerjee (Chair), Al Courey, David Eisenberg, Michael Gresser, Michael Grunstein, and Jeffery F. Miller MBI Council: Arnie Berk, Jim Bowie, Feng Guo, Jay Gralla, Reid Johnson, Frank Laski, Beth Lazazzera, Karen Lyons, Fuyu Tamanoi and Steve Young Space Sub-Committee: Berk, Bowie, Guo, Gralla, Laski Membership Sub-Committee: Johnson, Lazazzera, Lyons, Tamanoi, Young Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program (MBIDP): Steven Clarke (MBIDP Chair), Mike Carey (Whitcome Fellowship Chair), Peter Bradley, Guillaume Chanfreau, Jau-Nian Chen, Chris Denny, Tim Lane, Sabeeha Merchant, Peter Tontonoz, Gerry Weinmaster, Sue Ellen Parsee (SAO) MBI Thursday Seminar Series: Carla Koehler (Chair), Arnie Berk, Jau-Nian Chen, Juli Feigon, Kent Hill, Reid Johnson, Sabeeha Merchant, Michael Teitell, Gerry Weinmaster, Steve Young MBI Retreat Planning for October 2010: Sue Ellen Parsee (SAO), MBIDP Students Akanksha Chhabra, Matt Denholtz, Gabriel Ferguson, Lynn Lehmann, and CBI Trainee Brett Lomenick 5 MBI Programs and Events THE PAUL D. BOYER PROFESSORSHIP IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY The Paul D. Boyer Professorship in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry was established in 2009 in the UCLA College of Letters and Science from a very generous gift from Joan and James B. Peter. The Peter family named the chair in honor of Professor Paul Boyer, Nobel Laureate, founding director of the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute, and the Ph.D. advisor of the late James Peter at the University of Minnesota. The chair provides research support for a named faculty member in the fields of molecular biology and biochemistry. Jim and Paul Dr. Peter moved with Dr. Boyer to UCLA in 1963 and subsequently joined the UCLA faculty. In 1975, Dr. Peter founded Specialty Laboratories with the mission “help doctors help patients” and a “house special” of the esoteric assay. Dr Peter continued his scientific work, publishing more than 450 papers focused on advanced molecular diagnostics. In a ceremony on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, the inaugural Boyer Chair was awarded to MBI member David S. Eisenberg, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry at UCLA, and Director of the UCLA-DOE Institute of Genomics and Proteomics. Paul and Lyda Boyer attended the festivities, as did members of Jim Peter’s family. It was an opportunity to acknowledge Jim’s kindness and generosity to the MBI over the years, and to honor David for his stellar research and leadership. A special bronze-caste “Boyer Chair” was presented to David by Gerald Levey, Dean of the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. Congratulations, David! With deepest appreciation to the Peter Family. L-R: Joani Peter Noneman, Christine Peter Gard, Joan Peter, Paul & Lyda Boyer with grandson Josh Boyer, Lucy & David Eisenberg, Deb Peter Estes & Arthur Peter 6 MBI Programs and Events The David S. Sigman Memorial Lecture & Symposium, May 20, 2010 Honoring Susan Lindquist, Ph.D. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Howard Hughes Medical Institute Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Department of Biology, MIT Prion Proteins: One Surprise After Another Along with Prof. Lindquist’s lecture, MBI Director Steven Clarke spoke about David Sigman, Prof. Carla Koehler introduced Prof. Lindquist, and Dean of Life Sciences Victoria Sork presented Prof. Lindquist with the Sigman Lectureship award. A poster session following the lecture showcased these UCLA labs:  Audrey Agopian, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Zhefeng Guo Study of early events of Aβ aggregation by EPR spectroscopy  Howard Chang, Graduate Student, Laboratory of David Eisenberg Structure-based design of a D-peptide inhibitor of tau fibril formation  Scott Johnson, Graduate Student, Laboratory of Kendall Houk Computational analysis of substituted napththalene β-amyloid imaging probes  Sonya Neal, Graduate Student, Laboratory of Carla Koehler Characterization of the redox activities of Mia40 and Erv1  Alexander Patananan, Graduate Student, Laboratory of Steven Clarke The role of L-Isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase in protein repair and aging  Ghiam Yamin, Graduate Student, Laboratory of David Teplow Pittsburgh compound-B (PiB) binds to pre-fibrillar beta-amyloid The Sigman Lectureship Award was established in 2002 to honor the memory of David Sigman, Professor in the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a charter member and former Associate Director of the MBI. He was a leader in the field of chemical biology at UCLA and discovered chemical nucleases in a career that illuminated the molecular mechanisms of catalysis. A permanently endowed fund for the annual award was made possible by contributions from over 200 of David’s colleagues, friends, and family, as well as corporate donations from the Amgen Foundation, Eli Lilly and Company, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and Raytheon Systems Company. Contributions to help support the permanent endowment of the Sigman Memorial Lectureship should be made out to the “UC Regents/Sigman Memorial Fund,” and sent C/O Bo Tendis, Molecular Biology Institute, UCLA, PO Box 95170, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1570. 7 MBI PROGRAMS AND EVENTS 12TH ANNUAL POSTDOCTORAL RECOGNITION AWARDS Sponsored by the Molecular Biology Institute and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry thThe 12 Annual Postdoctoral Recognition Awards ceremony was held May 5, 2009. The awards were made possible by generous donations from Nobel Laureate and MBI Founding Director Paul Boyer, Mrs. Phyllis Parvin and the Parvin Foundation, Dr. James and Joan Peter, and an educational donation from Amgen Inc. Nominations of outstanding candidates were solicited and three $10,000 awards were given to honor academic excellence in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology at UCLA. In addition, four $2,000 research excellence awards were presented. The Selection Committee, consisting of four distinguished UCLA faculty in the Chemical and Life Sciences, reviewed the nominations and chose the following exceptional postdoctoral fellows to receive Recognition Awards: Sonal Srikanth, Ph.D. (Mentor: Yousang Gwack) Recipient of the Boyer-Peter Award Ohtan Wang, Ph.D. (Mentor: Kelsey Martin) Recipient of the Parvin Foundation Award Arthur E. Bragg, Ph.D. (Mentor: Benjamin Schwartz) Recipient of the Amgen Award Front row, L-R: Sonal Srikanth, Arthur Bragg, Ohtan Wang Back row, L-R: Award Donors Paul Boyer, Randy Hungate (Amgen), Phyllis Parvin Research Excellence awards were presented to Mark Chin (Mentor: Kathrin Plath), Gustavo Miranda-Carboni (Mentor: Tim Lane), Steven Wheeler (Mentor Ken Houk), and Dongwon Yoo (Mentor: Mike Jung). Thanks go to the members of the Selection Committee, chaired by Prof. John Fessler, for their extensive efforts, to MBI Director Steven Clarke for hosting the event, to Penny Jennings for the great photos, and to Bo Tendis, Gail Panatier and Mandy Bell for handling all of the details. 8 MBI Programs and Events THE AUDREE FOWLER FELLOWS IN PROTEIN SCIENCE In 2008, an endowment from Dr. Audree Fowler established the Audree Fowler Fellows in Protein Science. Applications are solicited from graduate students in the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program, Biological Chemistry, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UCLA. For 2009, three recipients were selected as Fowler Fellows and each received awards of $3,000 in a ceremony at the MBI’s annual retreat at the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center in October of 2009.  Luki Goldschmidt from David Eisenberg’s lab, “Mechanisms and energetics of amyloid formation”  Kristofer Webb from Steve Clarke’s lab, “Novel protein posttranslational modifications in translation, transcription and intracellular signaling”  Sheng Yin from Joe Loo’s lab, “Identification of protein-ligand binding sites by top-down mass spectrometry” Dr. Fowler received her B.S. in chemistry from UCLA in 1956 and went on to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1963, when that field was almost exclusively male. She served as a NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and in UCLA’s Department of Biological Chemistry before becoming a research biological chemist in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Here on the Westwood campus Dr. Fowler forged a distinguished research career that spans the sciences and includes more than 80 publications. She also built strong connections with the Molecular Biology Institute, the UCLA Protein Microsequencing Facility – where she served as director for 15 years – and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The sciences gave me a great life,” she explained. “Now I want to help others have access to the same opportunities I enjoyed.” Dr. Audree Fowler with MBI Director Steve Clarke 9 THE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY INSTITUTE AT UCLA Thursday Seminar Series – 2009-2010 4:00 PM Boyer 159/173 Financial support for the series came from the Molecular Biology Institute, the College of Letters & Science, and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Date Speaker Affiliation Title Host Sep 24, Juli Feigon, Ph.D. Chemistry and Biochemistry, “A Tail of Two Pseudoknots” Steven 2009 UCLA; Member, Molecular Clarke Biology Institute Oct 8, Stacey Harmer, Department of Plant Biology, UC “Timing is Everything: the Plant Elaine 2009 Ph.D. Davis Clock and its Outputs” Tobin Oct 15, R. Scott Hawley, Stowers Institute of Medical "”The Molecular Genetics of Kat Turlo & 2009 Ph.D. Research, Kansas City, MO Meiosis”" MBIDP Grad Students Oct 22, Xiang-Dong Fu, Department of Cellular and “Reprogramming the Androgen Grace Xiao 2009 Ph.D. Molecular Medicine, UC San Receptor in Prostate Cancer” Diego Oct 29, Hal Dietz, M.D. HHMI, Department of Pediatric “Marfan Syndrome and Related Stephen 2009 Cardiology, Johns Hopkins Disorders: From Molecules to Young University School of Medicine, Medicines” Baltimore, MD Nov 5, Ruslan Aphasizhev, Department of Microbiology and "RNA Processing in Larry 2009 Ph.D. Molecular Genetics, Trypanosome Mitochondria" Simpson UC Irvine School of Medicine Nov 12, John Yates, III, Department of Chemical “Driving Biological Discovery Jing 2009 Ph.D. Physiology, The Scripps Using Quantitative Proteomics" Huang Research Institute, La Jolla, CA and James Wohlschle -gel Nov 19, Nicholas Katsanis, Departments of Ophthalmology, “The Ciliopathies: Modeling Kent Hill 2009 Ph.D. Molecular Biology and Genetics, Human Genetic Disease Johns Hopkins Architecture” University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD Dec 3 John L. Spudich, Department of Biochemistry and “Microbial Rhodopsins: James Ph.D. Molecular Biology, University of Receptors, Channels, and Bowie Texas, Houston Pumps from a Single Design” Dec 10, James Berger, Department of Molecular and Cell “Catching a Motor in the Act: Reid 2009 Ph.D. Biology, California Institute for Molecular Basis for Hexameric Johnson Quantitative Biology, UC Berkeley Helicase Translocation and Polarity” 10