Vanderbilt Basic Sciences

  • Headshot of Michael Waterman wearing a dark jacket and red-striped tie. He is wearing eye-glasses.

    Former Chair of Biochemistry Michael Waterman dies

    On Sunday, November 7, Michael Waterman, former chair of the Department of Biochemistry, passed away. Waterman was chair of biochemistry for 18 years and helped develop the department into a place where faculty could thrive. “Mike believed in empowering faculty,” David Cortez, current chair of the department, said. “He always… Read More

    Nov. 12, 2021

  • Headshot of Sheila Collins in black top (left), and Ryan Ceddia waring a white lab coat.

    Finding a resistance to obesity

    By Wendy Bindeman L-R: Sheila Collins, Ryan Ceddia A trans-institutional team that includes Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Sheila Collins, first author and Collins lab postdoc Ryan Ceddia, and Johns Hopkins collaborators Dr. David Kass and Sumita Mishra recently published a study showing that mice lacking an… Read More

    Nov. 9, 2021

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    Discovery shows how synapses are built and function in the nervous system

    Nerve cells in the brain establish connections or synapses to form complex electrical circuits that keep people thinking and moving. Despite the importance of these synapses in mediating the flow of charged particles between neurons, not much is understood about how these connections are created. Sierra Palumbos David Miller Research… Read More

    Nov. 8, 2021

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    Harrison Society researcher discovers key regulator of kidney cell structure

    A molecular switch that regulates the cytoskeleton — the cellular equivalent of our skeleton — is required for the maintenance and integrity of the kidney collecting duct, Vanderbilt researchers have found. The discovery, reported in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, could… Read More

    Nov. 4, 2021

  • Headshot of Sheila Collins wearing a black top.

    A new regulator of fat metabolism

    By Wendy Bindeman Sheila Collins, professor of medicine. Sheila Collins, who is a professor of medicine and has a secondary appointment in molecular physiology and biophysics, first author Fubiao Shi, a postdoctoral fellow in the Collins lab, and colleagues have recently identified the transcription factor PPARγ as a novel regulator… Read More

    Nov. 3, 2021

  • Professor Seth Bordenstein with Students in the Lab. Photos of Seth Bordenstein instructing and interacting with undergraduate students Asia Miller and Mahip Kalra. Admissions materials.

    Darwin’s magnificent mystery and the microbiome

    Vanderbilt researchers are reimagining Charles Darwin’s work by communicating how the origin of species might depend largely on the microbiome—the totality of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other organisms—living in or on a host body. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species put forth a seminal and revolutionary thesis for the life sciences in 1859: Populations with a common… Read More

    Nov. 2, 2021

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    Scott Hiebert, PhD awarded grant from V Foundation to support study of pediatric soft tissue sarcoma

    The V Foundation for Cancer Research has awarded a $600,000 grant to Scott Hiebert, PhD, professor of Biochemistry and Medicine, to pursue a possible precision therapy for a type of sarcoma that predominantly affects children. Scott Hiebert, PhD Hiebert, the Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, will develop a… Read More

    Oct. 29, 2021

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    Eat breakfast and stop late-night snacking

    Researchers have confirmed that due to daily circadian rhythms regulating metabolism, when you eat is as important as the how much and what you eat when trying to gain, lose or maintain weight. Carl Johnson, professor of biological sciences, collaborated with graduate student Kevin P. Kelly to test how the timing of daily meals and snacks throughout the day affects weight maintenance. With 24-hour access to… Read More

    Oct. 29, 2021

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    Pancreatic beta-cell booster

    Type 2 diabetes is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) and inflammation, which are associated with increased levels of circulating prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) — a mediator of inflammation. Maureen Gannon, PhD, and colleagues previously showed that blocking one of the PGE2 receptors, EP3, promoted insulin-secreting… Read More

    Oct. 29, 2021

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    Sanders lab compiles list of genes and proteins that cause the 70 most common genetic diseases

    Research led by Chuck Sanders, associate dean for research in the School of Medicine Basic Sciences and  professor of biochemistry & medicine, and first-author Tucker Apgar, an undergraduate student in the Sanders Lab, compiled the first comprehensive list of genes and proteins that cause the 70 most common genetic diseases. Read More

    Oct. 15, 2021