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BMBB

The department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics is committed to understanding the molecular mechanisms of metabolic diseases and cancer; developing novel strategies in biocatalysis and biotechnology; and advancing knowledge through structural biology and molecular biophysics. Please enjoy a collection of news, features and opportunities for and about BMBB.

Creating an Unconventional Assembly Line

Researchers aims to transform simple chemical building blocks into complex chemical compounds faster.


Chemical compounds are integral in our lives. They play a starring role in everything from developing new drugs to adding flavor to a dish. Complex chemical compounds — think penicillin or olive oil — are built from elements and simple chemical building blocks. The building process is expedited by enzymes.

A Winding Road to Research

BMBB graduate student Joe Heili’s path to a Ph.D. has moved him around the University, but it hasn’t held him back from national accolades. 

Joe HeiliJoe Heili’s self-described “circuitous” Ph.D. path has moved him from CBS undergraduate to national acclaimed graduate student in a matter of years. The Ph.D.

New grant to decipher how microbes communicate

NIH grant allows Mikael Elias to continue exploring microbial languages.

Mikael Elias

A recent National Institute of Health (NIH) grant for $1.9 million over 5 years will allow Mikael Elias, assistant professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics and a member of the BioTechnology Institute, to continue exploring how bacteria communicate with each other.

What Lies Beneath

Disrupting bacteria’s communication pathways may thwart costly infrastructure decay just beneath the surface in harbors worldwide.

Duluth-Superior Harbor

Hundreds gather in the Duluth-Superior harbor for the lunchtime show. There’s no standup routine or street performance. Instead a slowly rising lift bridge and a loaded barge.

Failure to Communicate

“Silencing” bacteria may give scientists an antibiotic-free route to controlling infections and balancing the microbiome.

Mikael Elias

Seeking a Clearer Picture of an Elusive Enzyme

A new technology offers researchers the chance to decode the structural makeup of methane’s conversion to methanol.

Jason and Rahul
Jason Jones (pictured left) and Dr. Rahul Banerjee (pictured right) at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center