In addition to CBI TP trainees and faculty, students from the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Biochemistry, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, and Microbiology attend our symposium as well as other interested parties from across the University of Illinois campus. A third year trainee invites the symposium speaker and serves as their host during their visit. Fourth year trainees make a formal presentation in the annual symposium which is held on a Friday afternoon around the start of the fall semester and also serves to welcome incoming trainees to the University.

16th Annual Symposium

Friday, September 11, 2020

Presented via Zoom

Katherine Franz, Ph.D., Duke University

"Infectiously Inorganic: A Metallocentric View of Antimicrobial Activity"

Trainee Host: Katie Brady, Chan lab

Matthew Boudreau, Hergenrother lab

"The Development of Anticipatory UPR Activators for the Treatment of Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer"

Martin Garcia Chavez, Hergenrother lab

“Development of Antibiotics via Rational Design”

Page Daniels, van der Donk lab

“A new paradigm for pyrolloiminoquinone biosynthesis”

Valeria Sanabria Guillen, Katzenellenbogen lab

“Characterization of Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of FOXM1 as Potential Therapeutic Agents for Breast Cancer”

Nicholas Pino, Chan lab

“Development of Quantifiable and Photoactivable Aldehyde Donors for the Study of Aldehydes in Biological Systems”

Kyle Shelton, Mitchell lab

“A Genome-Mining Approach for Class-Independent RiPP Discovery”


15th Annual Symposium

Friday, October 4, 2019

Charles G. Miller Auditorium, B102 CLSL

Toni Kutchan, Ph.D., Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

"Sustainable production of plant derived pharmaceuticals"

Trainee Host: Justin Miller, Schuler lab

Maxwell Baymiller, Martinis lab

"A tissue-specific splice variant which separates the catalytic and cell signaling functions of human leucyl-tRNA synthetase"

Andrew Buechler, Martinis lab

“Human Colon Cell Socialization Induced by Small Extracellular Phosphonucleotides”

Lauren Hagler, Zimmerman lab

"Discovery of Multivalent, Bidirectional Transcription Inhibitors for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1)”

Martin McLaughlin, van der Donk lab

"A Radical Mechanism for SAM/B12-dependent Methyl Transfer in Antibiotic Biosynthesis"

Christopher Reinhardt, Chan lab

"An Activity-based Sensing Approach for the Detection of Cyclooxygenase-2"

Riley Svec, Hergenrother lab

"Imidazotetrazines for the Treatment of Glioblastoma & as Synthetic Diazomethane Surrogates"

Effie Zhou, Chan lab

"Conformationally-Restricted aza-BODIPYs: Enhancing the Photoacoustic Properties of Stimuli-Responsive Probes"

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14th Annual Symposium

Friday, September 14, 2018

Charles G. Miller Auditorium, B102 CLSL

Dr. Dorothee Kern, Brandeis University

"Evolution of Catalysis and Regulation Over 3.5 Billion Years- Exploitation for Novel Cancer Drugs"

Trainee Host: Page Daniels, van der Donk lab

Chelsea Anorma, Chan lab

“Shedding a Light on Cancer Stem Cells: An Isoform-Selective Fluorescent Probe for ALDH1A1”

Katelyn Dahlke, Sing lab

“Nucleoid Associated Proteins’ Role in Stabilizing DNA Supercoils”

Sarah Perlmutter, Hergenrother lab

“Beyond Primary Amines: Expanding the eNTRy Rules to Different Positively Charged Nitrogen Functional Groups”

Aaron Roth, Denmark lab

“Lewis Base Catalyzed, Enantioselective, Intermolecular Sulfenoamination of Olefins”

Joe Seimetz, Kalsotra lab

“Poly(A) Binding Proteins Tune Translation in the Heart”

Emma Southgate, Sarlah lab

“Development and Synthetic Application of Dearomative Dihydroxylation Reactions”

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13th Annual Symposium

Friday, August 25, 2017

Charles G. Miller Auditorium, B102 CLSL

Dr. Jon C. Clardy, Harvard University

"Getting Schooled by Bacterial Symbionts"

Trainee Host: Martin McLaughlin, van der Donk lab

Brenda Andrade, Zimmerman lab

“Targeting DNA Secondary Structures in Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion Diseases”

Lisa A. Della Ripa, Rienstra lab

“Sterol Dynamics and Interactions with Amphotericin B”

Alfredo Garcia, Hergenrother lab

“Application of predictive rules for compound accumulation in Gram-negative bacteria to generate a broad-spectrum antibiotic”

Elizabeth E. Haywood, Wilson lab

“Chimeric Domain Compatibility among Cytotoxic Necrotizing Factor Toxins Drives the Efficiency of Intracellular Cargo Delivery”

Kenton J. Hetrick, van der Donk lab

“Phage Display of Nisin”

Philip Olivares, Nair lab

“Understanding the Regulation of Secondary Metabolism in Streptomycetes”

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12th Annual Symposium



Dr. Linda M. Hendershot, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

“Members of the Hsp70 family recognize distinct types of sequences to execute ER quality control”

Trainee Host: Mara Livezey, Shapiro lab

Brandon J. Burkhart, Mitchell lab

“Elucidation and control of substrate recognition during RiPP biosynthesis"

Troy J. Comi, Sweedler lab

“Optically-Guided Single Cell Mass Spectrometry"

William K. Grier, Harley lab

“Enhancement of Spatially-Controlled MSC Responses in a Multi-Compartment Collagen-GAG Scaffold for Tendon-Bone Junction Regeneration”

Yelena Ilin, Kraft lab

“Label-free monitoring of stem cell differentiation using Raman spectroscopy”

Julian Reed, Lu lab

“The Importance of Nonheme Metal Identity in Oxygen Reduction”

Matthew Starr, Fratti lab

“Phosphatidic acid regulates the activity of the yeast SNARE chaperone Sec18”

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11th Annual Symposium



Dr. Laura P. W. Ranum, University of Florida

“Repeat associated non-ATG (RAN) translation in neurologic disease: lessons from SCA8, DM and C9orf72 ALS/FTD”

Trainee Host: Brenda Andrade, Zimmerman lab

Benjamin M. Brandsen, Silverman lab

“DNA catalysts for peptide bond cleavage”

Jonathan R. Chekan, Nair lab

“Structural and biochemical investigation of the peptide cyclase PCY1 reveals basis for transamidation and substrate binding”

Chantal V. Garcia De Gonzalo, van der Donk lab

“Mechanism of action studies of sublancin, a glycocin RiPP natural product”

Itamar Livnat, Sweedler lab

“A D-amino acid-containing neuropeptide discovery funnel”

Madeline M. López Muñoz, Metcalf lab

“Genetic and transcriptomic studies of pyruvate metabolism in Methanosarcina barkeri Fusaro”​

Michelle F. Richter, Hergenrother lab

“Strategic analysis of the physicochemical properties that dictate small-molecule accumulation in Gram-negative bacteria”

Christopher J. Schwalen, Mitchell lab

“Genomics as a guide to expanding chemistry of natural product biosynthesis”

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10th Annual Symposium




Dr. Anthony A. James, University of California, Irvine

“Genetic Approaches for Controlling Transmission of Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Focus on Malaria”

Trainee Host: Ariana Bravo-Cruz, Shisler lab

Ariana Bravo-Cruz, Shisler lab

“The K1 Protein Inhibits NF-κB-Dependent Transcription and Plays a Role in Vaccinia Virus Pathogenesis”

Caitlin D. Deane, Mitchell lab

“Exploiting Biosynthetic Tolerance to Engineer Unnatural Analogs of Plantazolicin”

Michael Lambrecht, Hergenrother lab

“The Chemical Synthesis of Homogeneous ADP-Ribose Oligomers”

Tucker Maxson, Mitchell lab

“Blocking Virulence Factor Production with Repurposed Drugs”

Manuel A. Ortega, van der Donk lab

“Characterization of Lanthipeptide Dehydratases”

Cartney E. Smith, Kong lab

“Hydrophilic Iron Oxide Nanoclusters for Improved Imaging of Vascular Defects”

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9th Annual Symposium



Dr. Thomas Kodadek, The Scripps Research Institute

“Chemical Tools to Monitor and Manipulate the Immune System”

Trainee Host: Michelle Richter, Hergenrother lab

Rachel C. Botham, Hergenrother lab

“Relief of Procaspase Inhibition Enhances the Potency of Targeted and Conventional Cancer Chemotherapeutics”

Victor Dokukin, Silverman lab

“Lanthanide Ions as Required Cofactors for DNA Catalysts” 

Kyle L. Dunbar, Mitchell lab

“RiPPing Back the Curtain: Revealing the Mechanism of Azoline Formation in Ribosomal Natural Product Biosynthesis”

Irisbel Guzman Sanchez, Gruebele lab

“Studies of U1A-SL2 RNA Dissociation Kinetics”

Spencer A. Peck, van der Donk lab

“A Possible Consensus Mechanism between Hydroxyethylphosphonate Dioxygenase and Methylphosphonate Synthase”

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8th Annual Symposium




Dr. Alice Y. Ting, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Enzyme-based reporters for electron microscopy and proteomic mapping of living cells”

Trainee Host: Amy Larson, Hergenrother lab

Michael C. Brothers, Rienstra & Wilson labs

“Structure and dynamics of toxin-derived membrane localization domains reveal multiple                                conformations”

Steven R. Caliari, Harley lab

“Spatially-patterned collagen scaffolds for orthopedic tissue engineering and regulation                                         of stem cell fate”

Ryan E. Cobb, Zhao lab

“Characterization of FrbF for the biosynthesis of novel antimalarial compounds”

Patrick Knerr, van der Donk lab

“Chemical synthesis of lantibiotics”

Sheena N. Smith, Kranz lab

“Engineering high affinity T cell receptors against cancer antigens”

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7th Annual Symposium




Dr. David R. Liu, Havard University

“Chemical and Biological Discovery Driven by Evolution”

Trainee Host: Rachel Botham, Hergenrother lab

Julia Martin, Imlay lab

"The Role of MntS in Manganese Metabolism"

Crystal Randall, Shisler lab

"Viral Inhibition of Inflammation"

Juan E. Velasquez, van der Donk lab

"Biosynthesis of the Antimicrobial Peptide Epilancin 15X"

Jung-un Baek, Baranger lab

"Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Sex Lethal Protein - tra RNA Complex"

Christine T. Herman, Bailey lab

"Development of a Photochemical Method for Generating Surface-immobilized Biomolecular Gradients"

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6th Annual Symposium




Dr. Laura L. Kiessling, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Chemical Probes of Carbohydrate Biosynthesis in Mycobacteria”

Trainee Host: Patrick Knerr, van der Donk lab

Matthew DeSieno, Zhao lab

"Biosynthesis of Phosphonates for the Treatment of Malaria"

Jessica Frisz, Kraft lab

"Chemically Imaging Lipid Microdomains in Cells Using High Resolution Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry"

David Knapp, Burke lab

"Slow Release Cross-Coupling of MIDA Boronates: En Route to a Better Understanding of Amphotericin B"

Nicholas Marshall, Lu lab

"Manipulating the Secondary Coordination Sphere to Tune the Reduction Potential of the Cupredoxin Azurin"

Matthew Olsen, Rauchfuss lab

"Equipping [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Synthetic Models with the Azadithiolate Cofactor: Lessons Learned from Nature"

Quinn Peterson, Hergenother lab

"The Evaluation of Procaspase Activating Compounds in Pet Dogs with Cancer"

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5th Annual Symposium




Dr. Suzanne Walker, Harvard Medical School

“Strategies for the Discovery of Novel Antibiotics”

Trainee Host: Jung-un Baek, Baranger lab

Quin Christensen, Cronan lab

“Insight Into Lipoic Acid Ligase Domain Function From the Thermoplasma acidophilum LplA-LplB Complex”

Kristin Finch, Hergenrother lab

"The Evaluation of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Poly(ADP-ribose) Glycohydrolase"​

Raymond Morales, Cann lab

"Biomolecular Characterization of Archaeal Type I Topoisomerases"​

Alexander Parent, Katzenellenbogen lab

“Small Molecule Inhibitors of Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Coactivator Binding”

Kara Smith, Pack lab

"Protein Stability and Release from Uniform Biodegradable Polymer Microspheres"

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4th Annual Symposium




Dr. Christopher T. Walsh, Harvard Medical School

“Biosynthetic Halogenations of Microbial Natural Products”

Trainee Host: Paul Thomas, Kelleher lab

Alexis A. Black, Luthey-Schulten lab

"New Antibiotics Target Ancient Features of the Bacterial Ribosome"

Benjamin T. Circello, Metcalf lab

"Biosynthesis of the Antibiotic Dehydrophos"

Ian M. Gut, Blanke & van der Donk labs

“Inhibitory Interactions of Nisin Prevent Bacillus anthracis Spore Outgrowth”

Rachel A. Hellmann, Silverman lab

"Bypassing the tRNA Synthetase Fidelity Mechanism"

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3rd Annual Symposium




Dr. Michael H. Gelb, University of Washington

"Newborn Screening for Lysosomal Storage Diseases: A Marriage of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Enzymology and Mass Spectrometry"

Trainee Host: Kara Smith, Pack lab

Lisa E. Cooper, van der Donk lab

"Mapping the Structural Features Essential for Haloduracin Antibiotic Activity"

Lee E. Macomber, Imlay lab

"Copper Damages Iron-sulfur Clusters in Escherichia coli"

John F. Rakus, Gerlt lab

"New Reactions, New Functions in the Enolase Superfamily"

Paul M. Thomas, Kelleher lab

"Targeted Detection and Discovery of Novel Phosphonates by Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry"

Wenjuan Zha, Zhao lab

"Isolation, Characterization, and Directed Evolution of PhlD, a Type III Polyketide Synthase, for Biosynthesis of Phloroglucinol in vivo"

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2nd Annual Symposium




Dr. Michael Marletta, University of California, Berkeley

"Discriminating Between NO and O2 - Biology Finds a Way"

Trainee Host: John Rakus, Gerlt lab

Rebecca A. Buonpane, Kranz lab

"Engineering High-Affinity Receptor Antagonists to Neutralize Bacterial Enterotoxins"

Kathryn D. Kloepper, Rienstra & George labs

"Solid-state NMR Reveals Structural and Dynamic Differences Among Parkinson's Disease-causative Synuclein Mutants"

Karson S. Putt, Hergenrother lab

"Small Molecule Activation of Procaspase-3 to Caspase-3 as a Personalized Anti-Cancer Strategy"

Timothy A. Richmond, Sweedler lab

"Mass Spectrometric Driven Discovery of Novel Neuropeptide Genes in the Honey Bee Central Nervous System"

Andrew W. Shaw, Sligar lab

"Clotting Blood at the Nanoscale"

Daryl P. Wernette, Lu lab

"Immobilization of a Pb(II)-dependent Catalytic DNA on Surfaces for Sensors and Advanced Materials"

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1st Annual Symposium




Rommie E. Amaro, Luthey-Schulten lab

"Investigating the Structure and Function of IGP Synthase"

Joshua A. Blodgett, Metcalf lab

"Analysis of Phosphinothricin-tripeptide Biosynthesis in Streptomyces viridochromogenes"

Linda Hasadsri, Clayton and George labs

"Nanoparticulate Protein Delivery for Inhibition of Synuclein Aggregation in Cells: A Novel Approach to Parkinson’s and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases"

Chandrasekhar V. Miduturu, Silverman lab

"DNA Constraints Allow Rational Control of Macromolecular Conformation"

Dinty J. Musk, Hergenrother lab

"Iron Salts Inhibit Bacterial Biofilm Formation"

Michael Roth, Kelleher lab

"Characterizing Biologically Diverse Intact Protein Forms from Human Cell Lines Using Fourier Transform Mass Spectroscopy"

Ryan D. Woodyer, van der Donk lab

"Directed Evolution and Application of Phosphite Dehydrogenase"

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