Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

News and Announcements

The links below take you to articles and announcements about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards, and major publications.

Faculty Spotlight

Learn more about the work being done by our faculty via our faculty spotlight.


  • 07.25.2017

    Northwestern scientists have found that nutritional, microbial and psychosocial exposures early in infant development predict DNA methylation later in life.

  • 07.24.2017

    A synthetic material developed at Northwestern Medicine could direct a patient’s existing cells to transform into stem cells, creating a new treatment path for stem cell therapy.

  • 05.12.2017

    The first drug using spherical nucleic acids to be systemically given to humans has been developed by Northwestern University scientists and approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an investigational new drug for an early-stage clinical trial in the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme.

  • 05.09.2017

    A new Northwestern Medicine study, published in Genes and Development, has identified two DNA elements crucial to the activation of a set of genes that drive the early development of embryos.

  • 04.17.2017

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have demonstrated an important role for the methylation of the amino terminus of a specific protein in maintaining centromere function and chromosome segregation, both important in cell division.

  • 03.27.2017

    Northwestern Medicine scientists and collaborators have shown that a protein thought to form calcium ion channels instead regulates the activity of another member of the family to modulate immune responses.

  • 02.17.2017

    A paper published in Molecular Cell provides new insight into a protein complex called COMPASS and its function during histone methylation, a key modification that regulates gene expression.

  • 01.05.2017

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have identified a molecular therapy to prevent the growth of a rare pediatric leukemia.

  • 12.02.2016

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have identified one of the molecular mechanisms behind the variability of holoprosencephaly, a congenital brain malformation.

  • 10.25.2016

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a new way to image chromatin within living cells, opening the door to large-scale screening techniques, including for cancer.

  • 10.24.2016

    Northwestern Medicine scientists identified an enzyme as a potential new target for triple-negative breast cancer, a form of breast cancer that is associated with early tumor recurrence and significantly increased mortality rates.

  • 09.14.2016

    Northwestern’s biomaterials labs are developing the next generation of materials in medicine, called supramolecular biomaterials – molecules designed in a way to mimic cell structures and functions of biological signaling.

  • 07.21.2016

    When it comes to gene regulation, there are more similarities between fruit flies and humans than previously thought, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

  • 06.28.2016

    Ali Shilatifard, PhD, has been named the 15th recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence, an honor given annually by the provost that recognizes excellence in research at Northwestern University.

  • 06.07.2016

    Northwestern Medicine scientists explore research that has shown how the balanced activities of two protein families regulate gene expression during embryonic development and how mutations that tip this balance lead to cancer.

  • 05.11.2016

    The results of a recent study co-authored by C. David James, PhD, uncovered potential new targets for treating glioblastoma, a fatal brain tumor for which there is currently no cure.

  • 03.17.2016

    Research led by Northwestern Medicine scientist Daniel Foltz, ’01 PhD, sheds light on the assembly of centromeres, a region of the chromosome that helps ensure new cells have 46 chromosomes.

  • 02.11.2016
  • 02.01.2016

    A transcription factor protein may play an important role regulating genomic imprinting, a phenomenon where one of the two gene copies inherited from parents is silenced.

  • 01.21.2016

    In a manuscript published in Blood, Choi and colleagues reported the first genetic mutation that underlies lymphocytic variant hypereosinophilic syndrome, an intractable immunological disease. This finding implicates the JAK-STAT pathway in this disease and suggests the potential utility of JAK-STAT inhibitors for the treatment of this disease.

    In a paper published in Oncotarget, Choi and colleagues described the genetic landscape of Merkel Cell Carcinoma, a rare but deadly skin cancer. They describe the significant differences between virally associated and non-virally associated cancers as well as define the implications for immunotherapy. These findings are the foundation for using immunotherapy for virus-negative MCC’s, which is currently under study.

  • 12.11.2015

    Proteomics, the large-scale study of proteins, is critical to many research projects taking place at the medical school. Plans are in place to expand capabilities on the Chicago campus in 2016, which will help scientists use proteins to make breakthroughs in varied fields of study.

  • 11.16.2015

    Marcus Peter, PhD, professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and Ali Shilatifard, PhD, chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and Maciej Lesniak, MD, chair of Neurological Surgery, have each been awarded seven-year, $6.4 million grants from the National Cancer Institute.

  • 10.29.2015

    In a paper featured on the cover of Molecular Cell, Northwestern Medicine scientists demonstrated what happens to gene transcription on chromosomes while cells undergo mitosis.

  • 09.17.2015

    Dan Foltz, ’02 PhD, Panagiotis Ntziachristos, PhD, and Marc Mendillo, PhD, have joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.

  • 09.10.2015

    A study co-authored by Northwestern Medicine scientist Rintaro Hashizume, MD, PhD, identified the EAG2 potassium channel as a target for treating medulloblastoma.

  • 09.01.2015

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have identified the molecular machinery that releases paused gene expression, a finding that helps explain how important developmental genes jumpstart simultaneously.

  • 07.31.2015

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered how a gene linked to leukemia functions, a finding that may have important implications for children with Down syndrome who have a higher risk of developing the blood cancer.

  • 07.27.2015

    A new technology called “Sticky-flares” developed by nanomedicine scientists offers the first real-time method to track and observe the dynamics of RNA distribution as it is transported inside living cells.

  • 06.17.2015

    Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Research and Technology about the science and ethics of genetically engineered human DNA.

  • 06.04.2015

    A new study reveals the biochemical mechanisms underlying kidney hypertrophy. The findings were published in a paper coauthored by Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean.