News Archive

‘Trojan horse’ anticancer drug disguises itself as fat

For years, drug developers have tried, but failed, to build the perfect biological Trojan horse. Now, a new approach that disguises chemotherapeutic drugs as fat stands to outsmart, penetrate and destroy tumors. For the first time, a team of Northwestern researchers,...

CLP Collaborators Publish New Insight into Liver Cancer

Congratulations to NU scientists Richard B. Silverman and Neil L. Kelleher on their recent publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, titled “Mechanism of Inactivation of Ornithine Aminotransferase by (1 S,3...

Electron-behaving nanoparticles rock current understanding of matter

It’s not an electron. But it sure does act like one. Northwestern University researchers have made a strange and startling discovery that nanoparticles engineered with DNA in colloidal crystals — when extremely small — behave just like electrons. Not only has this...

CLP Board sponsors undergraduate research

Training and inspiring the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists is central to the mission of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern. This year, four aspiring scientists will join a growing list of students who have received funding...

Diverse, engaging job opportunities await CLP trainees

With more than 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, preceded by a decade as an independent researcher in academia, Chemistry of Life Processes Institute’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence William Sargent shared his perspective and advice about potential science career...

CLP trainee Jennifer Ferrer aims high and finds her balance

Northwestern University graduate student and Chemistry of Life Processes Institute trainee Jennifer Rachel Ferrer will finish her PhD tomorrow as a joint student of Drs. Chad Mirkin (chemistry), and Jason Wertheim (surgery). She will present her research on how...

Guillermo Ameer receives University’s annual Walder Award

Guillermo A. Ameer, professor of biomedical engineering and surgery, has been named the 18th recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence. A pioneer in the emerging field of regenerative engineering, Ameer is known for his creative...

Three scientists recognized as exceptional young researchers

Northwestern University faculty members William Dichtel, Michael Jewett and Emily Weiss have been named finalists for the 2019 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. They are among 31 scientists and engineers being recognized nationally this year. The...

Teaching CRISPR and antibiotic resistance to high school students

How can high school students learn about a technology as complex and abstract as CRISPR? It’s simple: just add water. A Northwestern University-led team has developed BioBits, a suite of hands-on educational kits that enable students to perform a range of biological...

Biology Unlocked: Emerging Applications of Cell-Free Systems

Today, biology is easier than ever to observe but still incredibly difficult to understand. Powerful advancements in DNA sequencing and synthesis have inched scientists ever forward in their quest to “master” biology. But countless challenges still remain. When...

Preclinical Imaging Consortium 2019

CLP's Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging to Host the 5th Annual Preclinical Imaging Consortium April 28 - 30, 2019Northwestern UniversityNorris University Center, 2nd Floor1999 Campus Dr, Evanston, IL 60208 This week, the Chemistry of Life Processes...

Erik Andersen receives award to study the evolution of behavior

Erik C. Andersen, a molecular geneticist at Northwestern University, has received a Human Frontier Science Program grant to study the evolution of behavior. Andersen will lead an international team to study the repeatability of the genetic mechanisms underlying...

Revealing the Rules Behind Virus Scaffold Construction

A team of researchers including Northwestern Engineering faculty has expanded the understanding of how virus shells self-assemble, an important step toward developing techniques that use viruses as vehicles to deliver targeted drugs and therapeutics throughout the...

Promising young faculty receive prestigious career award

Three Northwestern University assistant professors — Nicholas Diakopoulos, Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy and Sepehr Vakil — have received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the foundation’s most...

A new approach to a deadly disease

A New Approach to a Deadly Disease A career spent bucking convention leads Bill Klein to new Alzheimer's diagnostics and therapeutics “When I was in graduate school, three papers per month were published on Alzheimer’s disease. Now, there are thousands every month.”...

New technology gives unprecedented look inside capillaries

More than 40 billion capillaries — tiny, hair-like blood vessels — are tasked with carrying oxygen and nutrients to the far reaches of the human body. But despite their sheer number and monumental importance to basic functions and metabolism, not much is known about...

In the Immune System’s Trenches, a New Discovery

Few everyday scenarios illicit as much trepidation as a nearby sneeze during flu season. Suddenly surrounded by tens of thousands of potentially virus-filled particles, a person’s evolving cellular reaction actually matters far more than the ability to shield one’s...

Full-Body Scan Could Improve Chemotherapy Effectiveness

A new full-body scan could help clinicians to better assess toxicity during cancer treatment, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in Clinical Cancer Research. The scan, which detects the presence of molecules exposed during tissue damage, could give a...

Young black gay men have vastly higher HIV rates yet fewer partners

Young black men who have sex with men (MSM) are 16 times more likely to have an HIV infection than their white peers despite more frequent testing for HIV and being less likely to have unsafe sex, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. The study was recently...

Altruism, curiosity drive CLP undergraduate awardee Viswajit Kandula

“As an undergrad, I finally thought I knew what I wanted to do, but I’ve been constantly swayed by new things that are creative and exciting,” says Viswajit Kandula, this year’s recipient of Chemistry of Life Processes Institute’s Chicago Area Undergraduate Research...

Faculty Perspectives: Cancer

Almost everyone has been touched by cancer in some way — whether they are a patient, caregiver, family member or friend. And while new prevention protocols and treatment strategies are attacking cancer in amazing ways, Northwestern is pushing for even more innovation...

CLP Year in Review

Highlights of 2018 2018 has been a year of transformative discovery and impact in Northwestern University’s Chemistry of Life Processes Institute. Some of the highlights of the past year include: The National Science Foundation awarded CLP faculty members Vadim...

Worldly worms offer clues about how evolution works

The nematode roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, is tiny— about the size of a comma on a printed page— and yet it can reveal a lot about human genetics according to Chemistry of Life Processes Institute’s latest member Erik Andersen. Andersen, Assistant Professor of...

CLP member Guillermo Ameer, others named AAAS fellows

Three Northwestern University faculty members have been elected 2018 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. Guillermo Ameer, Jian Cao and Frederic Rasio have been recognized for their...

From undergraduate to biotech boss

Chandler Robinson, CLP board member and Northwestern chemistry and math undergraduate, started a biotech company to develop a potentially life-saving drug, choline tetrathiomolybdate, for use in the treatment of Wilson’s Disease. That drug is nowin Phase III trials...

Where cancer lurks

Vadim Backman, CLP resident member and Walter Dill Scott Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is featured on the Fall 2018  cover of Northwestern magazine. The story explains Backman’s path-breaking work in chromatin regulation to fight resistance in cancer and...

Arthur Prindle, CLP Member, receives 2018 Packard Fellowship

Arthur Prindle, PhD, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, has been named a 2018 Packard Fellow, one of 18 scientists across the globe recognized for their pursuit of scientific discovery. The fellowship, established by The David and Lucile...

Diabetes drug could prevent deaths from air pollution

An inexpensive drug for Type 2 diabetes also decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes caused by air pollution, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. The drug, metformin, is already used by more than 100 million people worldwide to treat diabetes. A...

Teresa K. Woodruff elected to National Academy of Medicine

Original story published in Northwestern News on 8/11/2018 by Kristin Samuelson.  Photo by Jim Prisching. CHICAGO (Northwestern Now) - Teresa K. Woodruff, vice chair for research in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School...

Chemists awarded $3.6 million to study quantum computing

A group of Northwestern University chemists and engineers have been been awarded $3.6 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to support their work of creating better qubits, the smallest unit of a quantum computer. The grant is one of 85 research awards, totaling...

CLP board member Dr. Ulrich Thienel joins Finch Therapeutics

SOMERVILLE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Finch Therapeutics Group, Inc. (Finch), a clinical-stage microbiome therapeutics company, announced today that it has appointed Ulrich Thienel, Ph.D., M.D., as Chief Medical Officer and Gregory Perry as Chief Financial Officer. Dr....

Video: Cross-training tomorrow’s scientists

VIDEO: Cross-training tomorrow’s scientists “CLP is the mothership for bringing the chemist and the biologist and engineers together.” – Rick Silverman, Patrick G. Ryan/Aon Professor, inventor of the blockbuster drug Lyrica® Solving the most pressing problems in human...

Campfire and chemistry inspire CLP donors

When Patrick Martin, Managing Director, Martin Investment Management, LLC, first heard about the idea to form a new institute at Northwestern University that would combine the strengths of different fields of study into one effort focused on finding new drugs and...

CLP welcomes two new board members

This year, two leaders in pharmaceuticals and bioscience, respectively, have joined the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute’s Executive Advisory Board. The newest members of the board are Sheila Westmoreland, DPM, MPH, PMP, senior director, Gene Therapy, Sarepta...

Sniffing out olfaction’s molecular underpinnings

In the days leading up to President Barack Obama’s 2014 visit to Northwestern, neurobiologist Thomas Bozza began to see an influx of four-legged visitors to campus — dogs trained to recognize the chemical signature of explosives. “Humans are increasingly reliant on...

3-D Structure of COMPASS Protein Complex Revealed

The three-dimensional atomic structure of the COMPASS protein complex has been detailed for the first time, according to a study published in the journal Cell. These findings will provide a platform for designing future cancer therapies, as the epigenetic regulator...

Chicago researchers develop new bandage that accelerates healing

Original story published by Fox 32 on August 16 by Sylvia Perez Scientists at Northwestern University have developed a revolutionary new bandage. They say it can dramatically accelerate the healing time for wounds and they're hoping one day it'll be a must-have item...

Erik Andersen receives prestigious NSF honor for young faculty

Northwestern University’s Erik C. Andersen has received a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the foundation’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. Andersen will receive $500,000 over five...

Cheek swab may help diagnose precancers, early malignancies

Original article published on July 11, 2018 in Helio, HemOncToday by Rob Volansky Promising results for a simple cheek swab test to detect precancerous lesions in lung cancer may signify an era of affordable first-line diagnostic procedures, according to researchers...

Grad students, researchers talk science at CLP Core Crawl

More than 250 Northwestern graduate students, researchers and scientists gathered at Silverman Hall in July for the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute’s Core Crawl, an annual networking event and facilities expo. While enticing researchers with craft beer, pizza...

Bioengineers create pathway to personalized medicine

Cell-free glycoprotein synthesis provides cheaper, more rapid way to make medicines EVANSTON, Ill. — Engineering cellular biology -- minus the actual cell -- is a growing area of interest in biotechnology and synthetic biology. It’s known as cell-free protein...

New Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering Launches

Northwestern’s newest center has officially launched with a bold mission and interdisciplinary mindset. The Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering (CARE) aims to create an ecosystem that enables researchers and clinicians to regenerate tissues and organs for...

C. elegans: An Elegant Model System for Determining Drug Responses

Parasitic nematodes, known commonly as roundworms, infect one-third of the world’s human population and are a threat to livestock and pets.  There are only three general classes of anti-nematode (anthelmintic) drugs available to treat these parasites, and resistance...

Fighting cancer with a famous poison

Tumors love chemist Tom O’Halloran’s nano-sized creations, until they get a dose of arsenic “Some of the most potent cancer drugs ever made include metals and other inorganic compounds.” Chemist Tom O’Halloran is a world-renowned expert on inorganic compounds —...

American Society for Cell Biology features Sadie Wignall

American Society for Cell Biology featured CLP faculty member Sadie Wignall as their May cell biologist of the month. Wignall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University. Her research studies meiotic cell divisions...

New innovations in cell-free biotechnology

A Northwestern University-led team has developed a new way to manufacture proteins outside of a cell that could have important implications in therapeutics and biomaterials. The advance could make possible decentralized manufacturing and distribution processes for...

Researchers find way to keep proteins functioning outside of the cell

Proteins are finicky molecules. When removed from their native environments, they typically fall apart. To function properly, proteins must fold into a specific structure, often with the help of other proteins. Now a team of researchers at Northwestern University and...

Top-down proteomics approach gets to the bottom of cancer

When a RAS gene operates normally, it acts as an on/off switch for cell signaling to control cell proliferation. But when the gene mutates, the switch jams into the “on” position, allowing cells to proliferate uncontrollably. This unstoppable cascade inevitably leads...

New compound could provide relief from drug addiction

Chemistry of Life Processes Institute faculty member Richard Silverman (chemistry and molecular biosciences) has developed a new compound, OV329, that could provide many people relief from drug addiction. The story of OV329 recently received a write up in Science....

New Entrepreneur-in-Residence: William Sargent

Thomas O’Halloran, Director of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute and its Center for Developmental Therapeutics (CDT) is pleased to announce that William Sargent, PhD, former President of Lorex Pharmaceuticals and current member of Chicago Innovation Mentors,...

Sensing cancer before it’s too late

Biomedical engineer Vadim Backman develops more sensitive cancer diagnostics and more effective treatments Blue plastic bins of metal rods and black plastic posts line the basement walls. Drawers of a red metal tool chest are labeled wrenches, abrasives, string and...

Remembering long time board member Barbara Dyson

We are saddened to share with you that CLP board member, Barbara Dyson, passed away March 11th. Barbara was a loyal supporter of CLP and a member of the Executive Advisory Board since 2007. Barbara was a founder and principal of Dyson, Dyson & Dunn, Inc., a...

Odom, Petersen and Schatz Receive Honors

Three CLP faculty members receive honors, Teri Odom, Christian Petersen and George Schatz. TREE Award in Chemistry  Teri W. Odom, a Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, is one of three Cottrell Scholar TREE Award recipients for 2018.  The award,...

Huntington’s disease provides new cancer weapon

Patients with Huntington’s disease, a fatal genetic illness that causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, have up to 80 percent less cancer than the general population. Northwestern investigators have discovered why Huntington’s is so toxic to cancer cells...

Genetic Basis Uncovered for Glaucoma

Originally posted on Northwestern Medicine News Center. Written by Will Doss In two recent publications, Northwestern Medicine scientists and international collaborators discovered mutations that cause improper drainage and a buildup of ocular pressure leading to one...

Teresa Woodruff Elected to the National Academy of Inventors

Teresa K. Woodruff has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Woodruff is among 912 total NAI fellows, representing more than 250 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. Election to NAI fellow status is a high...

Two CLP Cores Recognized for Superior Safety Protocols

Two CLP cores were recognized in December for superior safety protocols: Developmental Therapeutics Core and the Recombinant Protein Production Core. The Office for Research Safety bestowed the inaugural honors in December, recognizing seven biomedical/biotechnology...

Autoimmune Inflammation Pathway Discovered

For decades, scientists and clinicians have been puzzled by an autoimmune condition, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), which causes devastating health problems including uncontrolled blood clots and repeated pregnancy loss. Recent studies have shown that naturally...

George Schatz Named Chinese Chemical Society Honorary Fellow

George C. Schatz, a Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry inNorthwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has been named an Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society. There are only 100 such fellows worldwide; the organization...

Request for Proposals: Pilot Project Funding for Imaging Studies

Northwestern University’s Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging (CAMI) is offering pilot project funding for up to TEN projects/year during each of the next three years to researchers with nascent imaging projects that will benefit from CAMI expertise in imaging...

CMIDD-Designed Compound Shown To Fight Blood Cancer

By Roger Anderson, December 18, 2017 A pathbreaking series of compounds designed and synthesized at Northwestern’s Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery (CMIDD), has been shown to starve multiple myeloma — a rare form of blood cancer — of its favorite...

CLP’s Bold Approach to Discovery Matched by Teaching Mission

Rigorous CLP training program spans disciplines to help graduate students launch careers — in the lab and beyond Written by Roger Anderson As a biologist in the lab of chemist Chad Mirkin, Jennifer Ferrer has learned the value of being “multilingual.” “When I arrived...

New Research Targets Cancer’s ‘Achilles’ Heel’

For the first time, researchers control cells’ chromatin to prevent cancer from adapting to treatment Chicago Region Physical Sciences Oncology Center investigator Vadim Backman has developed an effective new strategy for treating cancer, which has wiped out the...

Casey Grage Awarded 2017-18 CLP Undergraduate Research Grant

The Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP) announces that second year neuroscience major Casey Grage has been awarded the CLP Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (CAURS) Grant in support of her interdisciplinary research on the function of protein...

Guillermo Ameer Elected Fellow of AIChE

Northwestern's Guillermo Ameer has been elected as a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals. An expert in biomaterials and regenerative engineering, Ameer was recognized...

Career Panel: Women in Academia

Four Northwestern professors participated in a lively panel discussion on a theme of “How to stay on (tenure) track” on October 25 at Chemistry of Life Processes Institute in The Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics and Diagnostics.  The...

Novel technique explains herbicide’s link to Parkinson’s disease

Northwestern scientists have used an innovative gene editing technique to identify the genes that may lead to Parkinson's disease after exposure to paraquat, a commonly-used herbicide. This study, which utilized the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, serves as a...

Ali Shilatifard Discovers Mechanism Behind ‘Paused’ Genes

Ali Shilatifard, PhD, the Robert Francis Furchgott Professor and chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and his research group have discovered the mechanism driving a protein that influences transcription, a crucial step in gene expression. The...

Toy Drive for Children at JourneyCare

The Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP) has teamed up with JourneyCare to provide Northwestern faculty, students and staff an opportunity to give to children who are affected by many of the diseases CLP and Northwestern are researching. The drive runs from...