Annual Meeting

See the speaker lineup for #DiscoverBMB interest groups

Gather with fellow attendees to soak up scientific skills and pedagogical practices
Marissa Locke Rottinghaus
Jan. 11, 2024

Whether you are an established investigator gearing up to shift your focus or a new graduate student trying to find your niche, the interest groups at  Discover BMB 2024 in March in San Antonio will have something for you. These gatherings will be held on the first day of the meeting, March 23, and will bring together attendees with similar interests such as scientific pedagogy, global health and more  Listen to speakers and take part in networking sessions to build your connections. The interest groups and speakers are described briefly below. Learn more on the Discover BMB website.

RNA & gene regulation research at primarily undergraduate institutions


Megan E. Filbin, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Neena Grover, Colorado College

Meet RNA researchers at primarily undergraduate institutions and discuss approaches to make undergraduate research more accessible in the lab. Speakers include members of the RNA@PUI Supergroup who will share their undergraduate research projects. After the presentations, attendees can participate in an informal networking session to share ideas and establish collaborations.


Megan E. Filbin, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Ribosome regulation at the plasma membrane

Neena Grover, Colorado College
Quantifying the contributions of non-canonical base pairs and magnesium binding in RNA

Angie Hilliker, University of Richmond   
The role of arginine methylation in Ded1’s ability to promote translation

Colin Echeverría Aitken, Vassar College  
The role of eIF3 on the ribosome and across the transcriptome

Anita Nag, University of South Carolina Upstate
A tale of two RNAs: How nonstructural protein 1 of SARS coronavirus selectively suppresses host mRNA translation

Nik Tsotakos, Penn State Harrisburg
Noncoding RNAs regulate gene expression during the progression of diabetic nephropathy

Corina Maeder, Trinity University
Dissecting how splicing protein Dib1 impacts spliceosome stability and function

Katie Mouzakis, Loyola Marymount University
Applying basic science research in pursuit of SARS-CoV-2 antivirals

Current understanding of DNA base excision repair pathway and its relevance to cancer


Zucai Suo, Florida State University College of Medicine
Patrick O'Brien, University of Michigan Medical School

Learn about the cutting-edge techniques in biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology that will bolster your cancer biology studies. Speakers will discuss recent findings on the role of the DNA base excision repair pathway in cancer initiation and progression. Exchange ideas during roundtable discussions and casual networking.


Zucai Suo, Florida State University College of Medicine
Experimental evidence supporting a unified kinetic mechanism of DNA polymerization catalyzed by DNA polymerases

Patrick O'Brien, University of Michigan Medical School
Mechanisms of DNA ligase fidelity, the last chance to proofread base excision repair

Bret Freudenthal, University of Kansas Medical Center
Mechanisms by which APE1 identifies and repairs AP-sites in the genome

Sheila David, University of California, Davis
Cancer-associated variants of MUTYH reveal an allosteric role for its [4Fe-4S] cluster cofactor

Interorgan communication in cellular and immune homeostasis


Narendra Kumar, Texas A&M University
Jayshree Mishra, Texas A&M University

Find out how organs communicate to maintain homeostasis. Speakers will explore the microbiota–gut–brain axis, gut–immune interactions, gut–liver axis, impact of DNA damage response on tissue cross talk and signaling mediators of inter-organ communication. The short talks followed by panel discussions, Q&A and networking will create a unique experience and an opportunity to gather, network and exchange ideas.


Narendra Kumar, Texas A&M University
Kinases in gut-liver-brain communication and neuroinflammation

Andreas Herrlich, Washington University School of Medicine
Interorgan communication as a driver or remote organ inflammation and dysfunction

Rodrigo Morales, University of Texas Health Houston
Prions and amyloids: Common properties leading to disease

Bernard Fongang, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
The microbiome in preclinical and clinical dementia: How far are we from therapeutic approaches

Bridging cutting-edge innovation in mass spectrometry-driven proteomics between academic and industrial labs to elucidate novel biology in human disease


Mark R. Witmer, Bristol Myers Squibb
Cheng-Yu Chen, Bristol Myers Squibb

Join industry scientists and academic researchers for a discussion on how to strengthen the academic–industry interface. Speakers will discuss how researchers can use mass spectrometry–proteomic technology to expand capabilities and throughput for exploring new therapies. Talks from industry and academia experts will be followed by small group sessions to brainstorm new ideas.


Neil Kelleher, Northwestern University 
Easing proteoform analysis by innovating "front-end" sampling solutions for top-down mass spectrometry

Vicki Wysocki, Ohio State University
Native MS as a structural biology tool

Yeoun Jin Kim, AstraZeneca
Mass spectrometry-based proteomics for oncology clinical trials

Ashok Dongre, Bristol Myers Squibb
Proteomics at scale: Innovations deliver impact across drug discovery and translational research

Multifaceted mitochondria


Oleh Khalimonchuk, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Laura L. Lackner, Northwestern University

Explore the diverse qualities of the mitochondria with scientists who study the powerhouse of the cell. Trainee and junior investigator speakers will illustrate the intersection of basic mitochondrial biology and the molecular mechanisms of disease and aging. A short networking session will energize attendees and create synergy among researchers.


Ewa Bomba-Warczak, Northwestern University
Long-lived mitochondrial proteins in mammalian brains – what are they and why do they exist?

Matthew Wohlever, University of Pittsburgh
Msp1 maintains mitochondrial proteostasis by recognizing a hydrophobic mismatch between the substrate transmembrane domain and the lipid bilayer

Anthony Grillo, University of Cincinnati 
A mitochondrial complex I deficiency induces iron accumulation and tau aggregation

Martha Field, Cornell University
The roles of folate and vitamin B12 in maintaining mitochondrial DNA integrity and mitochondrial function

Elma Zaganjor, Vanderbilt University
The origin story: From mitochondrial fuel switching to cellular differentiation

New advances in cardiovascular metabolic disease research


Mei-Zhen Cui, University of Texas Permian Basin
Yabing Chen, University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Join your colleagues to learn about the latest discoveries in cardiovascular metabolic disease research. Speakers will showcase unique techniques and present on cardio metabolic vascular aneurysm, calcification, atherosclerosis, smooth muscle cell differentiation and signaling. Each talk will be followed up with a short, dynamic Q&A session.


Yabing Chen, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Metabolic regulation of vascular stiffness and aging

Ying H. Shen, Baylor College of Medicine
Molecular mechanisms of sporadic aortic aneurysms and dissections

William Durante, University of Missouri
Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors in cardiovascular disease: Effects on vascular cell function

Steve Lim, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Nuclear FAK reduces atherosclerosis by enhancing reverse cholesterol transport from macrophages

Liya Yin, Northeast Ohio Medical University
Coronary microvascular dysfunction in metabolic syndrome

Darren Broughton, University of Texas Permian Basin
Lysophosphatidic acid induction of CD14 in macrophages

O-GlcNAc regulation of cellular physiology and pathophysiology


Gerald W. Hart, University of Georgia Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
Lance Wells, University of Georgia Complex Carbohydrate Research Center

Dive into the world of O-GlcNAcylation of nuclear, cytoplasmic and mitochondrial proteins and the cellular stress response. Attendees will first be caught up to date with a short background talk on the roles of O-GlcNAc in survival/death signaling pathways and in the regulation of autophagy. This will be followed by talks describing the latest on the mechanistic roles of O-GlcNAcylation in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Get your pressing questions answered during a short Q&A session as well as a round table panel discussion.


Lance Wells, University of Georgia
Characterizing OGT variants causal for X-linked intellectual disability

Natasha Zachara, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The intersection between O-GlcNAc, autophagy and cytoprotection

Matthew Pratt, University of Southern California
Build it to understand it: synthesis of O-GlcNAc modified proteins in protein aggregation

Chad Slawson, University of Kansas Medical School
Using mutli-omic approaches to solve the riddle of O-GlcNAc

Chia-Wei Huang, University of Georgia
Dysregulated O-GlcNAcylation is a molecular link to Alzheimer’s disease

Cryo-electron microscopy: from single particle to tomography


Elizabeth Wasmuth, University of Texas Health at San Antonio
John Jimah, Princeton University

Dive into a world of microscopic molecules and learn about the cutting-edge advances in cryo-electron microscopy. Speakers will cover an overview of the field, recent advances as well as developing methodologies for cryo-electron tomography and single particle processing. Establish collaborations and get tips on your own cryo-EM work during a panel discussion and networking session.


John Jimah, Princeton University

Shaun Olsen, University of Texas Health at San Antonio

David Taylor, University of Texas at Austin

Cassandra Hayne, University of Chicago

Xiaochen Bai, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Steven Ludtke, Baylor College of Medicine

TDP-43: from protein folding and structure to aggregation and importance as a biomarker


Fabrizio Chiti, University of Florence
Emanuele Buratti, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Get the latest insights on TDP-43 research including a cryo-electron microscopy structure of TDP-43 isolated from patients. Speakers will discuss structural insights, use of TDP-43 as a biomarker in biofluids as well as the role of TDP-43 in various neurodegenerative diseases. After five short talks, attendees will have the opportunity to mingle, network and establish collaborations during a casual networking session. 


Emanuele Buratti, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Platelet TDP-43 controlled RNAs as novel biomarkers of ALS disease

Silvia Porta Antolines, University of Pennsylvania
Biochemical and molecular heterogeneity of human TDP-43 proteinopathies in age-related dementias

Emily Feneberg, Technical University Munich
The future of a TDP-43 biomarker for the clinical molecular diagnosis

Kathy Newell, University of Indiana

Benjamin Ryskeldi-Falcon, MRC Molecular Biology Lab
Molecular pathology of TDP-43 proteinopathies by cryo-EM

Sean Jiang, University of California, Los Angeles
Detection of proteopathic TDP-43 in neurodegenerative brain extracts

Membrane proteins


Francisco Barrera, University of Tennessee
Matthias Buck, Case Western Reserve University

Engage in discussion on proteins embedded in membranes. Speakers will discuss cryogenic electron microscopy structures of membrane receptors and transporters as well as single-molecule methods and molecular dynamics simulations. Make connections during an audience-driven Q&A session followed by an interactive, networking panel discussion.


Matthias Buck, Case Western Reserve University
Signaling mechanisms of the EphA2 receptor in and at the membrane explored by solution NMR and Alphafold2+ molecular dynamics simulation

Karen Fleming, Johns Hopkins University
Visualizing unfolded membrane proteins: Implications for their interactions with chaperones

Natalia Jura, University of California, San Francisco
Allosteric regulation of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling

Nathaniel J. Traaseth, New York University
Structure, dynamics, and inhibition of bacterial multidrug efflux pumps

George Khelashvili, Weill Cornell Medicine
Harnessing functional mechanisms in MFSD2A transporter protein to enable drug delivery across the blood–brain barrier

Emerging PTMs: AMPylationPlus Part II


Kim Orth, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; HHMI
Anju Sreelatha, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Shed light on AMPylation, a post translational modification that involves the addition of an adenosine monophosphate (AMP) to protein substrates. Talk lengths will vary and speakers will explore the biochemical mechanisms of enzymes that catalyze AMPylation, novel approaches to study AMPylation and the functional role of AMPylation in health and disease. Stick around and exchange ideas during a networking session after the talks.


Amanda Casey, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Regulation of UPR and disease: A role for Fic AMPylation

Yogesh Gupta, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
A new approach for selective targeting of methyltransferases

Seema Mattoo, Purdue University
Fic-mediated GMPylation

Michael Cohen, Oregon Health & Science University
Gaining insights into ADP-ribosylation using chemical approaches

Meghomukta Mukherjee, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
New insights into mitochondrial protein AMPylation

Matthias Truttmann, University of Michigan
AMPylation-mediated regulation of proteostasis in (in-)vertebrates

Nutrient sensing post-translational modifications: metabolism and disease


Lauren Ball, Medical University of South Carolina
Fangliang Zhang, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine 

Explore how post-translational modifications contribute to health and disease. Speakers will cover the regulation of physiological and pathophysiological conditions by nutrient-sensing post-translational modifications as well as emerging techniques to detect post-translational modifications. After the talks, meet other investigators in the field at a networking event.


W. Lee Kraus, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
ADP-ribosylation in health and disease

Pengda Liu, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Phosphorylation regulation in chemo-resistance

Emilyn U. Alejandro, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Crosstalk between O-GlcNAc and mTORC1 signaling: Impact on pancreatic beta-cell mass and function in vivo

Keith Keenan, Duke University
Characterizing the cystine acetylome:  Introducing a novel class of short-chain acyl modifications to cysteine

Signal transduction: an emergent behavior of biomolecular condensates


Josh Andersen, University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute
Carlos Castañeda, Syracuse University

Forge connections while discussing phase separation and cell signaling. Speakers will highlight how inhibition or activation of kinases and other enzymes, compartmentalization of enzymes and substrates/cofactors within the cell and posttranslational modifications regulate phase separation. Organizers will help attendees join the Slack community to keep in touch.


Jeanne C. Stachowiak, University of Texas at Austin
Intrinsic disorder as an organizing principle for membrane biology

Trever G. Bivona, University of California, San Francisco
Biomolecular condensates orchestrate oncogenic kinase signaling

Heather Meyer, Carnegie Institution for Science
Intrinsically disordered proteins as thermosensors in plants

Lalit Deshmukh, University of California, San Diego
The role of phase separation in cytokinetic abscission

International collaborations to promote Global Health Initiatives


James Mukasa Ntambi, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Edward Eisenstein, University of Maryland College Park

Join forces with researchers interested in providing sustainable agricultural, nutritional, health and educational interventions through service-learning and research to combat disease in developing nations. Speakers will cover how researchers can enhance their global engagement in areas such as epigenetics, genomics and proteomics. Network with researchers across biochemistry during a moderated Q&A session as well as a casual meetup.


Alexis Kaushansky, University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Research Institute
Interdisciplinary collaborations that enhance malaria research

Jenna Mueller, University of Maryland
Increasing access to laparoscopic surgery in low- and middle-income countries through human-centered design

James Mukasa Ntambi, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Implementing health interventions for the screening and management of metabolic diseases in low-medium income communities

Joseph Ready, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Proteasome inhibitors for the treatment of malaria


Jan. 18: Last call for abstracts for #DiscoverBMB 2024 in San Antonio

When you present your research at #DiscoverBMB, you get the recognition and constructive feedback that you need to make your work even better. The meeting will be held March 23–26 in San Antonio, Texas. See the abstract categories and submit your late-breaking abstract.

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Marissa Locke Rottinghaus

Marissa Locke Rottinghaus is the science writer for the ASBMB.

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