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September 4, 2017   Graduate Student Stephanie Bamberger Receives First Place Student Presentation Award Stephanie Bamberger, a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry, received the first place graduate student presentation award from the ACS Division of Chemical Toxicology at the 254th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, recently held in Washington, DC. Stephanie’s presentation, titled "Characterization of the 2,6-Diamino-4-hydroxy-N5-(methyl)-formamidopyrimidine DNA Lesion”, summarized innovative research in which she utilized isotope-edited 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to characterize configurational and conformational equilibria for this complex form of DNA damage. These complex types of DNA damage arise from re-arrangement of initial DNA alkylation products following treatment with cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Stephanie’s work, which was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, will enable further studies designed to determine how and why DNA alkylating agents introduce unique mutagenic signatures in DNA, and to determine how specific configurational and conformational equilibria modulate their cytotoxicity, as well as DNA damage recognition, repair, and mutagenesis. Stephanie’s co-authors were Hope Pan, Ryan Bowen, Chanchal Kumar Malik, Tracy Johnson-Salyard, Carmelo Rizzo, and Michael P. Stone.

April 18, 2017   X-Ray Diffractometer and Enchiladas - Janet Macdonald Janet Macdonald is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Her research group studies the synthesis and surface chemistry of nanocrystals, with the aim of applying this knowledge to new solar energy capture technologies.
After 21 years of experiments, on Friday, April 15, 2017, the Scintag X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) in the chemistry department was shut down for the final time. Surrounded by chemistry graduate students, faculty and staff there was a moment of genuine silence as the whirring fans slowed, the water chiller stopped gurgling and the high voltage cable was disconnected and ceased humming. Read the full article here.

12/09/2016   Prof. Stone's Lab Helps Identify the Role of DNA Polymerase z in Processing DNA Damage Induced by Dietary Exposures to Aflatoxin B1    Aflatoxin B1 is a toxic mutagen produced by fungi in the genus Aspergillus.  Dietary consumption of foods that are contaminated with aflatoxin B1 is a leading cause of environmental carcinogenesis worldwide, especially hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Aflatoxin B1-driven mutagenesis is initiated through metabolic activation of aflatoxin B1 to its epoxide form, which then reacts with N7 guanine in DNA. The resulting AFB1-N7-dG adduct undergoes either spontaneous depurination or imidazole-ring opening yielding formamidopyrimidine AFB1 (AFB1-Fapy-dG). The latter adduct persists in human tissues and contributes to the high frequency G-to-T mutation signature associated with HCC.  Prof. Stone and post-doctoral scientist Dr. Liang Li were part of a research team, also involving scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, which sought to establish the identity of the DNA polymerase(s) involved in processing AFB1-Fapy-dG lesions. Their biochemical analyses demonstrated the ability of polymerase ζ (pol ζ) to incorporate dATP opposite AFB1-Fapy-dG and extend from this mismatch. They challenged mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient in pol ζ (Rev3L-/-) and showed that cellular survival was reduced relative to cells that produced this protein, or cells that were complemented through expression of wild-type human REV3L. Following AFB1 exposure, cell-cycle progression of Rev3L-/- MEFs was arrested in late S/G2 phase. These Rev3L-/- cells showed increased replication-dependent formation of γ-H2AX foci, micronuclei, and chromatid breaks and radials. Collectively, the team's data suggest that pol ζ plays an essential role in humans for processing AFB1-induced DNA adducts and that, in its absence, cells do not have efficient backup polymerases or a repair/tolerance mechanisms. This work was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).

10/11/2016  Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) releases website – the CIT is a collaborative analytical facility specializing in a range of cutting edge mass spectrometry and confocal microscopy techniques.  -

8/4/2016:  Congratulations to Suzanne M. Batiste and Vanderbilt University for being awarded one of the 1st Annual WCC Merck Research Awards. This award recognizes excellence in 3rd & 4th year female graduate students with a research focus in one or more of the following - Organic, Medicinal, Analytical, Chemical Biology, Computational or Structural Chemistry and related disciplines.
    Suzanne's winning of this award highlights how effective your department is in preparing the next generation scientists. We are looking forward to additional applicants from Vanderbilt Universityfor the next WCC Merck Research Award application. The applications are due December 1, 2016. Additional information can be found at

6/29/2016: Congratulations to Westley Bauer of the Wright group who won the best poster prize at the 2016 Bioanalytical Sensor Gordon Research Conference. His poster detailed efforts to incorporate sample preparation into point-of-care diagnostics for the detection of malaria.

6/29/2016: John McLean elected to board of directors of American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

6/02/2016: Young Scientist showcases high schoolers research at Vanderbilt

5/26/2016: Prof. McLean appointed associate editor of Nature Molecular Phenomics.

5/26/2016: Jody May and colleagues receive Thomson Reuters award for 2nd Analytical Chemistry manuscript as top 1% in citations.

5/23/2016: Thomas Scherr selected to receive a Burroughs Wellcome Fund 2016 Collaborative Research Travel Grant for his project entitled: Mobile phones for objective malaria diagnosis and rapid reporting.

2/3/2016: Jody May and colleagues receive Thomson Reuters award for Analytical Chemistry manuscript as top 1% in citations

12/16/2015: Jens Meiler receives Humboldt Foundation award

12/14/2015: Congratulations to Bian Li of the Meiler group who received a fellowship from the American Heart Association.

11/11/2015: John McLean invited speaker at R&D 100 Awards and Technology Forum - the "Oscars of invention"

9/8/2015: Craig Lindsley selected as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher

6/22/2015: Stacy Sherrod mentioned in FCW article "Organs the size of a smartphone screen"

6/15/2015: Brian Bachmann and John McLean mentioned in C&EN article "Bacterial Fight Club Produces New Metabolites"

6/1/2015: Craig Lindsley mentioned in Futurity article "HIV's sweet tooth may be its downfall" 

5/26/2015: Richard Caprioli receives VUMC Academic Enterprise Faculty Award

5/21/2015: Jens Meiler noted for his research in "'Redesigned' antibodies may control HIV: study"

5/15/2015: Jens Meiler mentioned in Reporter article "VU lands $9 million NIH grant to design better flu vaccines"

5/7/2015: Craig Lindsley mentioned as a leader of the VU group "investigating a possible new approach to treating schizophrenia"

5/5/2015: Alexis Wong, Joseph Conrad, and David Wright were recently selected as Phase I Finalists for the Follow that Cell Challenge

5/1/2015: Sandy Rosenthal was selected as the recipient of the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumna Award this year. 

4/27/2015: Kyle Emmitte mentioned in a C&EN article "Scientists Search For Small Molecules To Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder" 

4/17/2015: Professor Bachmann describes his cave natural product discovery program as part of an HBO VICE news story on antibiotic resistance

4/15/2015: Professor Stephen Fesik mentioned in Nature article "Cancer: The Ras renaissance"

4/8/2015: Alexander Geanes (Meiler Group) and Jade Bing (Johnston Group) selected to receive NSF research grant

2/15/2015: Professor Meiler, has been elected as a Chancellor Faculty Fellow

Mike Turo Awarded DOE Graduate Student Research (SCGSR)

Professor David Wright has been elected as an AAAS Fellow

Professor Townsend, "Studies the glycobiology of human milk"

Vanderbilt Chemistry Alumnus, Samantha Arnett, was featured in C&EN in an article entitled "State Department's Biosecurity Engagement Program manager works to combat bioterrorism"

Congratulations to Noah Orfield (Rosenthal Group) and Darwin Fu (Meiler Group) for selection to participate in the first Federal STEM Policy and Advocacy Program

: Research by Prof. Stone and co-Workers Illuminates the Replication Bypass of Aflatoxin Adducts in Mammalian Cells

09/15/2014: C&EN published an article regarding Professor Lindsleys' research on "Small Molecules Help Reactivate Receptor Linked With Schizophrenia"