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Wide shot of boxy, gray mass spec instruments lining the wall of the newly renovated facility space. Thin tubing and reagent bottles rest on top of the instruments, while green nitrogen piping descends from the ceiling. A computer monitor, desk, and chair sit to the right of the instruments. In the foreground, out-of-focus plastic tubing frames the space.
January 10, 2024
The facility fully overhauled 3,400 square feet of laboratory to improve day-to-day operations and better enable world-changing life science research at MSU.
Two gold medals stand in display cases with a third medal resting on a table between them. The cases are labeled “Guowei Wei” and “Piotr Piecuch.”
December 15, 2023
Michigan State University researchers Piotr Piecuch and Guowei Wei were formally recognized as outstanding faculty at an investiture event held by the College of Natural Science.
The word
November 22, 2023
Gregg Howe and James Tiedje were included in this year’s annual list of Highly Cited Researchers, showing they are among the world’s most influential scientists.
MSU cancer researcher Olorunseun “Seun” Ogunwobi
November 9, 2023
MSU researcher Olorunseun “Seun” Ogunwobi has been selected as a Jefferson Science Fellow of that National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicines as well as a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria. These appointments recognize and elevate Ogunwobi’s groundbreaking work on the molecular mechanisms of progression of solid organ tumors and the understudied impact of cancer health disparities. The image depicts cells in a culture illuminated by a microscope.
A tray Arabidopsis thaliana plants.
November 9, 2023
Rhomboid-like protein 10, or RBL10, is thought to be an enzyme that degrades other proteins in the chloroplast membrane, but its function is largely unknown. Researchers in the Benning lab in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory are studying how RBL10 affects photosynthetic membrane lipid metabolism, an essential process in photosynthesis.
New research from Michigan State University could help breed plants that are more productive as days grow shorter.
November 2, 2023
New research from Michigan State University could help breed plants that are more productive as days grow shorter.
nanowires
October 25, 2023
The movement of electrons across wires is what allows us to use electricity every day. Biological nanowires—microscopic wires made of proteins—have caught researchers’ attention for their ability to carry electrons over long distances. In a recent study published in the journal Small by the Josh Vermaas lab in the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, researchers expand our understanding of biological nanowires through the use of computer simulations. Understanding how these nanowires can be constructed to allow for more electron flow is crucial to future endeavors using them to connect biological processes to conventional electronics.
Lignin (L) and pulp (R) from the Hegg’s new copper-alkaline hydrogen peroxide (Cu-AHP) pre-treatment process..
October 20, 2023
Michigan State University biochemist Eric Hegg has shown promising results for a more environmentally friendly and more efficient process for creating pulp and paper. Now, the MSU Innovation Center has chosen his project for a Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Award to move this research forward. The $125,000 award will help fund his research project, “Adapting a Novel, Patented Process to Deconstruct Woody Biomasses to Add Value to Pulp Production.”
Michigan State University professors Bjoern Hamberger (left) and Ben Orlando were honored as James K. Billman Jr., M.D. Endowed Professors at an investiture ceremony held 12.
October 19, 2023
Michigan State University professors Bjoern Hamberger and Ben Orlando were honored as James K. Billman Jr., M.D. Endowed Professors at an investiture ceremony held Oct. 12. The Billman Professorships were established by MSU alumnus Dr. James Billman to support exceptional researchers in the College of Natural Science’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Professor Hamberger is a leading expert on plant-derived bioactive diterpenoids, while Professor Orlando utilizes cryo-EM to examine the structure, dynamics, and function of membrane protein complexes.
Michigan State University chemist Tuo Wang, an associate professor in MSU’s College of Natural Science was honored as the inaugural Carl H. Brubaker, Jr. Endowed Professor at an investiture ceremony held Sept. 28 at MSU’s Wharton Center. Wang is a preeminent researcher in the application of sensitivity-enhanced solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance to biomaterials.
October 12, 2023
Michigan State University chemist Tuo Wang, an associate professor in MSU’s College of Natural Science was honored as the inaugural Carl H. Brubaker, Jr. Endowed Professor at an investiture ceremony held Sept. 28 at MSU’s Wharton Center. Wang is a preeminent researcher in the application of sensitivity-enhanced solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance to biomaterials. The endowed professorship was established in 2020 by James Hoeschele, an MSU chemistry alumnus, in honor of his graduate mentor, Carl H. Brubaker.
Trees such as oak and poplar will emit more isoprene as the world warms, according to new research from Michigan State University.
October 5, 2023
Michigan State University plant biochemist Tom Sharkey and his team discovered that, on a warming planet, plants such as oaks and poplars will emit more of a compound that exacerbates poor air quality, contributing to problematic particulate matter and low-atmosphere ozone. The rub is that the same compound, called isoprene, can also improve the quality of clean air while making plants more resistant to stressors including insects and high temperatures. The findings were recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
MSU scientists Christoph Benning and Robert Quinn are growing new coral in the lab that will be transplanted to a reef in Hawaii.
June 14, 2023
MSU biochemist Robert Quinn has spent years studying the biochemistry of coral bleaching, a heat-induced response to stress causing it to turn white. Bleaching is damaging to reefs and is expected to increase due to climate change. While Quinn has discovered unique betaine lipids in coral that are markers of resistance to coral bleaching, very little is known about them. During a literature review of these lipids, Quinn discovered that MSU colleague, Christoph Benning, had written on the subject. This connection led to the two scientists teaming up on a $1.9 million NSF grant to study the role that betaine lipids play in coral bleaching.
Prominent cancer researcher, Seun Ogunwobi, new chairperson of the MSU Department of BIochemistry and Molecular BIology and co-chair of the forthcoming Center for Cancer Health Equity Research at MSU.
May 15, 2023
Internationally renowned cancer researcher Olorunseun “Seun” Ogunwobi will join Michigan State University on Aug. 16 as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), which is affiliated with the College of Natural Science, the College of Human Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will also serve as co-director of the forthcoming Center for Cancer Health Equity Research at MSU.
Hero image
May 7, 2021
Dean DellaPenna, Michigan State University Foundation Professor and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). DellaPenna, one of 120 members elected to NAS in 2021, joins 10 other Spartans who are active members. He’s also one of 16 active Spartan members of NAS and its two associated organizations, collectively referred to as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. 

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