Training Program in Integrative Membrane Biology

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Training Program in Integrative Membrane Biology

Volume 6 No. 1, April 2005

From Bob Bloch

The Membrane Biology Program is changing. Over the past few months, a few members of our faculty have announced their departure from UMB, while new ones have been recruited. Birgit Roerig will be departing at the end of June, while Linda Richards has already assumed a faculty position at the University of Brisbane, Australia. Bob Ren, a Membrane Biology trainee in her lab here in MANA, will join her there shortly to complete his thesis.

New members of the faculty have been recruited into the Physiology program, under the direction of its new chair, Dr. M. Bond. Among them is Matt Trudeau, who arrived several months ago and has begun to set up his lab on the 5th floor of Howard Hall. Matt works on cyclic nucleotide-gated channels in excitable cells and will be involved in the Muscle and Cardiovascular Biology programs as well as the Membrane Biology program. Please check his homepage (physiology.

for more details. Two more recent recruits at Drs. Tom Blanpied and Mark Rizzo. Their research is summarized on p. 2 of this newsletter.


The SOM announced GRA stipends will increase in August 2005 to $23,000 for first and second year students and $24,000 for students in their third year and beyond.

The Membrane Biology Program continues to support competitive stipends for all graduate students.


The next Retreat of the Membrane Program will be November 3-4, 2005.

Current Trainees

Darryl Auston

MPHY, MD/PhD (Kao), 6/04-5/06

Amber Bowman

MPHY, MD/PhD (Bloch), 9/03-8/05

Ben Busby

MBIC (Alger) 9/04 – 8/05

Renee Cockerham

PIN (Munger), 6/04-5/06

Diana Ford

MBIC (Monteiro), 6/03-5/05

Amanda Mason

MPHY, MD/PhD (Welling), 9/03-8/05

Mike Nestor

PIN (Thompson), 6/03-5/05

Bob Ren

PIN, MD/PhD (Richards), 6/04-5/05

Several slots are available effective June 1, 2005, and several more will be available after the beginning of the new grant year, on July 1, 2005. Faculty may nominate a student by forwarding a short summary of her or his qualifications along with a copy of the nominee's graduate school application.


The next Pizza Bash will be held on Friday, May 27th in Room 580 HSFI. Festivities start at 4:30 P.M. Hope to see you there!

Thesis Defense


Genell Hilton, (MPHY, McCarthy) defended her thesis, "Sex Differences in Perinatal Brain Injury: A Role for Estradiol Modulation of Kainic Acid Induced Excitotoxicity" on Monday, April 25, 2005.

Thesis Proposed

Christine Campo (MPHY, Welling)

successfully proposed her thesis, “Regulation of Basolateral Trafficking of Kir2.3 by a Phosphorylation-dependent

PDZ Protein Interaction, on Tuesday, November 16, 2004.

Tony Gover (PIN, Weinreich) successfully proposed his thesis,Calcium Signaling in Single Peripheral Sensory Nerve Terminalsin February, 2005.

Stuart Amateau (MPHY, McCarthy) has completed his last semester of medical school and has matched with Johns Hopkins University, Internal Medicine.

Dana Yoo (MPHY, Welling) has begun her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Keating at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Children’s Hospital, Dept of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School where she studies the genetics of cardiac arrhythmias.


Christopher Antolik (MPHY, Bloch) presented a poster at the Society of Neuroscience annual meeting in October 2004 entitled, “Sequences in the MuSK kinase domain interact biochemically with rapsyn.”

Amber Bowman (MPHY, Bloch) was awarded a predoctoral NRSA from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke for her proposal "Obscurin signaling through its Rho-GEF and PH domains" in February 2005. The award begins in September 1, 2005 and continues through May 1, 2008.

Amber Bowman (MPHY, Bloch) presented "Obscurin Signaling through its Rho-GEF and PH domains" at the 44th annual meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology, December  2005 in Washington D.C.  and at the 19th annual MD/PhD student conference July 2004 in Keystone, CO.

Erin Golembewski (MPET, Yarowsky/Aurelian) received a Second Place in the Life Science 3 Category for her talk entitled "ICP10PK Protects the CNS from Excitoxic Injury" at the 27th Annual Graduate Research Conference, April 28, 2005 at UMB.

New Physiology Faculty

Thomas A. Blanpied, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, tenure-track

is finishing his term as a postdoc and research associate in the Neurobiology Dept., Duke University School of Medicine, where he has worked in the laboratory of Dr. M. Ehler. Dr. Blanpied’s research is on the structure and function of synapses, most particularly on the role of clathrin and clathrin-coated membrane domains in modulating the content and activity of postsynaptic spines in the CNS. He brings expertise in these structures, and the cellular processes they mediate, to the Membrane Biology program.


Mark A. Rizzo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, tenure-track is now finishing his postdoctoral training in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics at Vanderbilt University (2000-2004),

where he now holds the position of Research Instructor in the laboratory of Dr. D. Piston. He has been using a combination of live cell microscopy techniques and fluorescence spectroscopy, to study the physiology of insulin signaling. He has characterized the post-translation regulation of glucokinase by nitric oxide in pancreatic beta cells, created an enhanced variant of cyan fluorescent protein (CFP), and developed a new microscopic technique for detection of Förster energy transfer in living cells.


Campo, C., Mason, A., Maouyo, D., Olsen, O., Yoo, D., and P.A. Welling. Molecular mechanisms of membrane polarity in renal epithelial cells. Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol  (2005) 153: 47-99.

Reed, P., K.D. Matthews, K.A. Mills, and R.J. Bloch  (2004) The Sarcolemma in the Largemyd Mouse.      Muscle & Nerve 30, 585-595.

Reed, P., and R.J. Bloch (2005) Postnatal Changes in Sarcolemmal Organization in the mdx Mouse. Neuromusc. Disorders, in press.

Student Research Seminar Series

Fridays at noon in Howard Hall Rm 450

Lunch is served.

April 29 Gentzon Hall

May 6 No Talk:

Muscle Retreat
May 13 Genell Hilton
May 20 Amanda Mason*

May 27       Amber Bowman*

June 3 Mike Nestor*

June 10 Ben Busby*

June 17 Renee Cockerham*

June 24 Allison Lin

July 1 No Talk: Independence Day Weekend

July 8 Cara Lang

July 15 Nick Morin

July 22 Diana Ford*

*supported by Training Grant in Membrane Biology

Thanks to those who have already presented this semester:

Tony Gover

Joseph Markowitz
Pete Murray
Darryl Auston*
Andy Ziman

Erin Golembewski
Cheng Xu
Christine Campo

Jason Trageser
Chris Antolik




Rm 518 HSF

The journal club runs from the beginning of September through the end of May. Please contact Vera Golovina ( for more information, and to sign up to present.

The journal club can also be taken by graduate students for 1 credit and is cross-listed (628: Seminar in Membrane Studies) across several departments in the SOM. To receive credit, students must attend regularly, and present once during the semester. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Golovina, who serves as course master.

Upcoming Seminars & Events

Biochemistry Seminar Series

Monday, May 16, 2005 - 4:00 p.m.

"Regulation of Calcium Transport" Thomas C. Squier, Ph.D. Biomedical Research Facility

108 N. Greene Street, Room 10., hosted by Dr. J. Froehlich.

The Interdisciplinary Program in Muscle Biology

Eleventh Annual mini-Retreat

Charles P. Emerson

Director, Boston Biomedical Research Institute

Embryonic Origins of Skeletal Muscle”

Friday, May 6, 2005

1:30 p.m., MSTF Auditorium


12:00-1:30 Luncheon

MSTF Atrium

1:30-2:30 Presentation by Dr. Charles Emerson

MSTF Auditorium

2:30-4:00 Poster Session

MSTF Atrium Area

Invitation is extended to students and post-docs affiliated

with the laboratories of the Muscle Biology Faculty.

RSVP to Kathleen Reinecke (

Or at 6-8417 ASAP.

Molecular & Cell Biology Seminars

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Gene Targeting into the 21st Century: Modeling Human Disease from Cancer to Neuropsychiatric DisordersDr. Mario Capecchi, University of Utah SOM. HSF II auditorium, 4 p.m.

Pharmacology Seminar Series

Seminars are held on Mondays at 12:00 Noon in the Howard Hall 450 unless otherwise noted.

Monday, May 9, 2005 "The Inflammatory Response of the BrainDr. Leo Tonelli, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UMB.

Physiology Seminar Series

Seminars are held on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon in the Health Sciences Facility II, First Floor Auditorium unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, May 5, 2005 "The Structure of Taste: From Molecular Diversity to Behavioral Specificity" Steven D. Munger, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, UMB. Seminar Host: Matthew C. Trudeau, Ph.D., Department of Physiology.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 "Interrogating the Kidney Transcriptome Concerning Sodium Reabsorption" Djikolngar Maouyo, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, UMB.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

"Using Functional Genomics to Identify Determinants of Breast Tumor Dormancy and Metastasis", Stuart S. Martin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physiology, Greenebaum Cancer Center, UMB PLEASE NOTE location: Howard Hall, Room 450.

The Faculty Executive Committee of the Membrane Training Program consists of Robert Bloch, PhD (MPHY), Margaret McCarthy, PhD (MPHY/PIN), William Randall, PhD (MPET), Terry Rodgers, PhD (MBIC), Dan Schulze, PhD (MMIC), Paul Welling, PhD (MPHY).

Please e-mail your news to,

fax 6-8341, or campus mail to Suzanne Ventura, Physiology, HSF1 Rm 580.


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