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Welcome to Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Julia Promisel Cooper -- 500 x 600

Julia Promisel Cooper, Chair

As biochemists and molecular geneticists, we are in the midst of an unprecedented time of discovery - our conception of the molecular biology of cells is going from the equivalent of grainy black-and-white to high-resolution technicolor. From deciphering the choreography of transcription complexes, chromosomes and RNA molecules within cells to developing novel approaches to 3D molecular structure determination to understanding how viruses hijack a cell’s machinery and alter its metabolome, the researchers in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (BMG) are at the forefronts of their fields both conceptually and technologically.

Maximal synergy and depth of thinking require an open, vibrant research environment in which people of all backgrounds thrive. We are passionately devoted to enhancing diversity and upholding uncompromised equity and anti-racism. These principles, along with the close proximity of BMG to other outstanding basic and clinical departments as well as several hospitals, vastly enhance our opportunities for collaboration and translation of paradigm-shifting basic discoveries to the clinic and beyond.

Research Areas

Highlighted Recent Publications

Recognition of non-CpG repeats in Alu and ribosomal RNAs by the Z-RNA binding domain of ADAR1 induces A-Z junctions

Vögeli and Kieft Lab


The disordered Spindly C-terminus interacts with RZZ subunits ROD-1 and ZWL-1 in the kinetochore through the same sites in C. elegans

Vögeli Lab 


Structural and mechanistic bases for a potent HIV-1 capsid inhibitor

Asturias Lab 


Physiologic RNA Targets and Refined Sequence Specificity of Coronavirus EndoU

Hesselberth Lab 


The crystal structure of a Polerovirus exoribonuclease-resistant RNA shows how diverse sequences are integrated into a conserved fold

Kieft Lab


Comprehensive Chromosome End Remodeling during Programmed DNA Elimination
Davis Lab

A somatic evolutionary model of the dynamics of aneuploid cells during hematopoietic reconstitution
DeGregori Lab

The E2 Marie Kondo and the CTLH E3 ligase clear deposited RNA binding proteins during the maternal-to-zygotic transition
Rissland Lab

COVID-19 infection alters kynurenine and fatty acid metabolism, correlating with IL-6 levels and renal status
D’Alessandro and Hansen Lab

FMRP promotes RNA localization to neuronal projections through interactions between its RGG domain and G-quadruplex RNA sequences
Taliaferro Lab

Identification of a Small-Molecule Inhibitor That Disrupts the SIX1/EYA2 Complex, EMT, and Metastasis

Zhao Lab

The Driver of Extreme Human-Specific Olduvai Repeat Expansion Remains Highly Active in the Human Genome
Sikela Lab

Control of RNA Pol II Speed by PNUTS-PP1 and Spt5 Dephosphorylation Facilitates Termination by a "Sitting Duck Torpedo" Mechanism
Bentley Lab

A unified mechanism for intron and exon definition and back-splicing
Zhao Lab

Structural and functional analyses of an allosteric Eya2 phosphatase inhibitor that has on target effects in human lung cancer cells

Zhao Lab

A Pliable Mediator Acts as a Functional Rather Than an Architectural Bridge between Promoters and Enhancers
Asturias Lab

Solution NMR backbone assignment reveals interaction-free tumbling of human lineage-specific Olduvai protein domains
Vögeli Lab

» More Publications

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Prospective Postdoctoral Scholars


Outdoor sculpture on CU Anschutz during the fall

Prospective Graduate Students

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion



Congratulations to all recent postdoc and graduate student awardees!

James DeGregori -- 60 x 75

February 2021

James DeGregori’s research was highlighted in the CU Anschutz Medical Campus news - “The Impacts of Aging on Cancer

David Pollock -- 60 x 70

February 2021

David Pollock’s COVID-19 research was highlighted in the CU Anschutz Medical Campus news - “Coronavirus Mutates Fast; New Strain Can Arise in Single Patient

Steve Bonilla

February 2021

Steve Bonilla (Postdoctoral Scholar, Kieft Lab) was awarded the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Hanna Grey Fellowship. Congratulations!

Quentin Vicens 60x70

Jeff Kieft -- 60 x 75

December 2020

Quentin Vicens (Research Asst. Prof.) and Jeffrey Kieft were awarded an NIH R21 from NIAID to study xrRNAs in the alphavirus supergroup. Congratulations! 

Angelo D'Alessandro

November 2020

Angelo D’Alessandro’s COVID-19 red blood cell research was highlighted in the CU Anschutz Medical Campus news - “Attack on Red Blood Cells a Prime Suspect in COVID’s Debilitating Effects
Casey Greene

November 2020

Welcome to BMG, Casey Greene! Dr. Greene will be the Director of the new Center for Health Artificial Intelligence and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, both of which will be forming over the next year.
Travis Nemkov

October 2020

Travis Nemkov’s (postdoc D'Alessandro lab) recent publication was highlighted in the CU Anschutz Medical Campus news - “Metabolomics: The Science Behind a Tour de France Winner

Suja Jagannathan -- 60 x 75

October 2020

Suja Jagannathan was awarded an RNA Society Colorado RNA Club grant. Congratulations! 

Angelo D'Alessandro

October 2020

Angelo D’Alessandro’s recent publication on the cover of Small was highlighted in Technology Networks - “New Technology Diagnoses Sickle Cell Disease in Record Time

Jay Hesselberth -- 60 x 70

October 2020

Jay Hesselberth was awarded a R01 NIH Director's Transformative Research grant. Congratulations! 

James DeGregori -- 60 x 75

September 2020

James DeGregori was awarded a shared R01 NICHD grant with Andrew Thorburn (Dept. of Pharmacology). Congratulations! 

Francisco Asturias -- 500 x 600

September 2020

Francisco Asturias was awarded a shared R01 NIAID grant with Mamuka Kvaratskhelia (Division of Infectious Diseases). Congratulations! 

Angelo D'Alessandro

September 2020

Angelo D’Alessandro won the 2020 Innovation Award from the National Blood Foundation. Congratulations!

Richard Davis

September 2020

Dick Davis lab’s recent publication was highlighted in the Sept. 2020 issue of Cell Current Biology - "Genomes: Programmed DNA Elimination in a Parasitic Nematode"

Anna-Lena Steckelberg

August 2020

Congrats to Lena Steckelberg from the Kieft lab on joining the faculty of Columbia University Med Center Biochemistry and Mol. Biophysics Dept.!

 » More News