Kelsey Martin and Larry Zipursky are featured in the January 2016 UCLA Magazine

Kelsey Martin and Larry Zipursky are featured in the January 2016 UCLA Magazine

The Grunstein Symposium will be held Friday, February 12, 2016

The Grunstein Symposium will be held Friday, February 12, 2016

Greg Payne and Martin Lab students featured in DGSOM Medical Education Annual Report 2015

Greg Payne and Martin Lab students featured in DGSOM Medical Education Annual Report 2015

Ji-Ann Lee and Kelsey Martin publish paper in Neuron

Ji-Ann Lee and Kelsey Martin publish paper in Neuron

Larry Zipursky Awarded the Horwitz Prize

Congratulations to Larry Zipursky, awarded the Horwitz Prize

Columbia University has awarded the 2015 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for biology or biochemistry to Larry Zipursky “for discovering a molecular identification system that helps neurons to navigate and wire the brain.” This is Columbia’s top honor and a very prestigious prize. With this award, Larry joins a group of highly distinguished past recipients including numerous Nobel Laureates. Please join us in congratulating Larry Zipursky for this well-deserved award!


Please visit this link for the news announcement.


Congratulations to Dr. Dan Laks for defending his dissertation!

Mentor: Harley Kornblum and Kathrin Plath

Assistant Professor Position

The Department of Biological Chemistry is seeking candidates for a tenure-track faculty position.

The Department of Biological Chemistry (, a basic science department within the UCLA School of Medicine, is seeking applicants with a PhD and/or MD degree for a tenure-track faculty position in any area of biochemistry, molecular, cell, or developmental biology. Although preference will be given to applicants at the Assistant Professor level, exceptional candidates at the Associate or Professor level are also encouraged to apply. Applicants should have an excellent record of creative research accomplishments. The new faculty member will be expected to develop an innovative research program addressing fundamental biological questions and to contribute to departmental teaching. The position is state-supported with a guaranteed salary base, outstanding fringe benefits, and substantial start-up funds.

Candidate selection will begin October 23, 2015, and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants should submit a full curriculum vitae, a description of research plan (3-page limit excluding references), and three letters of reference electronically at under the “Biological Chemistry” heading. References may submit their letters directly through the same website.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy

Dr. Kelsey Martin named interim dean

Kelsey Martin will serve as interim dean of the Geffen School of Medicine, effective September 1, 2015.

See below for annoucement!

In keeping with the plan to separate the roles of vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, I am pleased to announce that Professor Kelsey Martin has agreed to serve as interim dean of the Geffen School of Medicine, effective September 1, 2015. Reporting to me for budget and academic issues and to Vice Chancellor John Mazziotta for clinical issues, interim Dean Martin will provide strategic vision for and operational leadership of the school, conceiving and managing policy, programs and resource allocation to achieve its mission.
A member of the UCLA faculty since 1999, Dr. Martin is professor of biological chemistry and of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences. From 2005 to 2013, she served as co-director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program, and from 2010 to 2015, she served as the chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry. Earlier this year, she was named executive vice dean and associate vice chancellor at the Geffen School of Medicine. In addition to her administrative role, Professor Martin is the principal investigator of a molecular neurobiology research laboratory that integrates cell biological, molecular and electrophysiological approaches to understand how experience changes brain connectivity to store memories. Outside UCLA, she is a senior fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus, and she serves on the editorial board of Cell, the advisory committee of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Medical Scientists, the selection committee of the McKnight Scholar Awards and the board of directors of the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience.
Professor Martin is the recipient of many honors, including a W.M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research Program Award, Jordi Folch-Pi Award from the American Society for Neurochemistry, Daniel X. Freedman Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), McKnight Scholar Award, Klingenstein Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences and NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grant. She received an A.B. in English, American language and literature from Harvard University and then spent two and one-half years as a Peace Corps volunteer, leading health and disease-prevention efforts in remote villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This experience inspired her to pursue M.D./Ph.D. training at Yale University, where she studied molecular biophysics and biochemistry. She completed her postdoctoral training in neurobiology with Dr. Eric Kandel at Columbia University.
Chancellor Block, Vice Chancellor Mazziotta and I very much appreciate Kelsey’s willingness to be of service to the medical school and UCLA by assuming this leadership position. Please join us in welcoming her to this new role.
Soon, I will form a search committee to identify candidates for a permanent dean, and I will keep you informed as we initiate the search.

Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Leonid Kruglyak mentioned in WIRED

Leonid Kruglyak is mentioned in WIRED for having one of the best feeds to follow in the World of Science!

Click here to read about it or follow him on Twitter!

Paper published by Pascal Egea in Protein Science

The Egea lab publishes a paper titled "Structural mapping of the ClpB ATPases of Plasmodium falciparum: targeting protein folding and secretion for antimalarial drug design" in Protein Science.

By Andrew P. AhYoung, Antoine Koehl, Duilio Cascio and Pascal F. Egea

The eukaryotic parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria, has evolved an elaborate network of Clp proteins including two distinct ClpB ATPases. ClpB1 and ClpB2 are involved in different aspects of parasitic proteostasis. ClpB1 is present in the apicoplast, a parasite-specific and plastid-like organelle hosting various metabolic pathways necessary for parasite growth. ClpB2 localizes to the parasitophorous vacuole membrane where it drives protein export as core subunit of a parasite-derived protein secretion complex, the Plasmodium Translocon of Exported proteins (PTEX); this process is central to parasite virulence and survival in the human host. The functional associations of these two chaperones with parasite-specific metabolism and protein secretion make them prime drug targets. In this article, AhYoung et al. report and compare the first crystal structures of the N terminal domains of ClpB1 and ClpB2 from Plasmodium and analyze their molecular surfaces. These structures represent the first step towards the characterization of these two malarial chaperones and the reconstitution of the entire PTEX to aid structure-based design of novel anti-malarial drugs.

The complete article can be found here.


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