Publication Spotlight: September 2012

Publication spotlight is a series designed to showcase noteworthy BCMB publications from students and faculty. If you have a recent publication that you are proud of, tell us about it.

-Matt Shirley


Phua SC, Pohlmeyer C, Inoue T. Rapidly Relocating Molecules Between Organelles
to Manipulate Small GTPase Activity. ACS Chem Biol. 2012 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of
print] PubMed PMID: 22999378.

Nguyen-Ngoc KV, Cheung KJ, Brenot A, Shamir ER, Gray RS, Hines WC, Yaswen P,
Werb Z, Ewald AJ. ECM microenvironment regulates collective migration and local
dissemination in normal and malignant mammary epithelium. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S
A. 2012 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22923691.

Dancy BM, Crump NT, Peterson DJ, Mukherjee C, Bowers EM, Ahn YH, Yoshida M, Zhang J, Mahadevan LC, Meyers DJ, Boeke JD, Cole PA.  Live-Cell Studies of p300/CBP Histone Acetyltransferase Activity and Inhibition.  Chembiochem. 2012 Sep 24;13(14):2113-21. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201200381. Epub 2012 Sep 7.  PMID: 22961914


Duan R, Jin P, Luo F, Zhang G, Anderson N, Chen EH. Group I PAKs function
downstream of Rac to promote podosome invasion during myoblast fusion in vivo. J
Cell Biol. 2012 Oct 1;199(1):169-85. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201204065. Epub 2012 Sep
24. PubMed PMID: 23007650.

Herb BR, Wolschin F, Hansen KD, Aryee MJ, Langmead B, Irizarry R, Amdam GV,
Feinberg AP. Reversible switching between epigenetic states in honeybee
behavioral subcastes. Nat Neurosci. 2012 Oct;15(10):1371-3. doi: 10.1038/nn.3218.
Epub 2012 Sep 16. PubMed PMID: 22983211.



A Career Planning Tool for Trainees & Mentors: myIDP

How many mentors in academic science are well-versed in the career path one takes to be a science policy analyst?  Scientific consultant?  Sales and marketing?  Unless the mentor has undertaken a side venture of their own, chances are that their experience outside academia is limited.  This can be a frustrating situation for both the mentor and their trainee who wishes to explore these non-academic career paths.  Bruce Alberts, editor of Science, and Jim Austin, editor of Science Careers think that they have developed a tool to help both mentors and trainees who find themselves in this situation.

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October Lab Spotlight – Rao lab

Lab Stats

PI Name: Rajini Rao
Number of Years in BCMB: 18
Model System(s): Initially yeast, more recently mammalian cell culture using whatever tissues are relevant, mice
Research Area: The regulation and induction of ion transport and the physiological roles of various ion transporters
Lab Personnel:
Brandie Cross- BCMB student
Annie Hack- CMM student
Kalyan Kondapalli- postdoctoral fellow
Jose P. Llongueras- post bac student
Cassie Patenaude- BCMB student
Hari Prasad- CMM student

A Rao Lab group photo during lab meeting

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Question of the Month

We are less than two weeks away from the annual BCMB retreat. The retreat is a time where we take a break from the lab work that keeps us ever so busy, and come out to mingle with our fellow students and faculty. It is a time where we get the opportunity to learn first-hand about the science that is conducted by the BCMB community.  All of this, in a two day retreat!

The retreat takes place locally; the first day is on campus, and the second day is at Sheppard-Pratt conference center ~20 minutes away from campus. It wasn’t always a local event though. My classmates and I, of the class of 2009, were the last class to experience the retreat in its old format: a 3-day retreat at Rocky Gap Resort, a mountain resort ~130 miles west of Baltimore. Although more faculty attend the retreat when it takes place locally, having the retreat at Rocky Gap allowed for more opportunities to bond and mingle through science and outdoor activities alike!

Question of the month: Where do you prefer having the retreat? There is an option for readers to enter their own answer, for those who would like to explain their choice, or submit an answer not listed below.

REMEMBER! If you choose “other” and submit your own answer, you may be selected to have your response featured in the next issue! Start sharing your opinions!

-Saif Al Qassim

2012 BCMB Retreat Schedule

The annual BCMB retreat will be taking place next Thursday and Friday, and there couldn’t be a more exciting line-up of talks, posters, and social events scheduled for this 2012 edition.

The retreat is planned and coordinated by Dr. Steven Claypool in the Department of Physiology.  Dr. Claypool has been in charge of the retreat the past three years, and together with Dr. Carolyn Machamer, has implemented many excellent improvements to the format.  One major addition has been the keynote address given by a former BCMB student.  The speaker is chosen by a committee of BCMB students, allowing them to connect with great scientists and great alumni.  The 2011 inaugural address was given by Dr. Robert Silicano, a BCMB graduate and current faculty member here at Johns Hopkins.

On Thursday, October 11th, Dr. Enrique De La Cruz of Yale University will be giving the 2012 keynote address.  Dr. De La Cruz will be staying in Baltimore throughout the duration of the retreat.  Thursday morning will provide opportunities for faculty to meet with Dr. De La Cruz, and a luncheon with students will also be on his agenda.  Interested parties should contact for more information.

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Aerial silk dancers and the launch of the Nature ENCODE Project

Science-related social media was abuzz on September 5, 2012 in regards to the launch of the Nature ENCODE database.  @NatureMagazine could not contain their excitement, with a variety of tweets:  announcing the new venture, linking to the database, movies about the database, and even pictures of aerial silk dancers at their Nature ENCODE launch press conference.

The Nature ENCODE Project launch press conference included aerial silk dancers, seen here imitating concatenated DNA. The image was reproduced from

Aerial silk dancers? Yes, these dancers were imitating various DNA elements, including looped DNA (as seen above) and primed DNA polymerases, found here.

What was the reason for all this fanfare? What is Nature ENCODE?

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BCMB Retreat 2012 – Keynote Speaker Profile: Enrique De La Cruz, PhD

Dr. Enrique De La Cruz earned his PhD from the BCMB program during years 1992-1997 with Dr. Thomas D Pollard (former professor and director of Cell Biology) as his thesis advisor. After postdoctoral training in the laboratories of Dr. H. Lee Sweeney and E. Michael Ostap at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he joined Yale University in 2001 as a tenure-track faculty member where he is now Professor in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. Read on to learn more about our esteemed keynote speaker’s journey in science…

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