Iwahara Research Lab_header

Iwahara Lab

Lab News

November 2019 - Present

September 23, 2021: Prof. Iwahara gives a virtual seminar at Ohio State University
Prof. Iwahara gives a virtual seminar at Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio State University. The title of his seminar is "Biomolecular Electrostatics by NMR".

September 22, 2021: Marlen Mayorga-Flores joins our group
Dr. Marlen Mayorga-Flores joins our group as a postdoctoral fellow. Using NMR spectroscopy and some other tools, she will work on research on HMGB1.  

August 25, 2021: Prof. Iwahara gives a talk at 22nd ISMAR Conference
At the 22nd International Society of Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR) Conference (August 22-27, 2021), Prof. Iwahara gives an oral presentation on our recent work on de novo determination of near-surface electrostatic potentials by NMR.  

August 13, 2021: Summer Research Program for high school students concluded
Our Summer Research Program for high school students has been concluded with research presentations by Kyle Tan and Johnluke Glover. Through this program, the participants learned various concepts and tools for research and made significant contribution to our NSF project.

July 27, 2021: Our recent PNAS paper highlighted
Our recent PNAS paper on determination of near-surface electrostatic potentials by NMR has been highlighted in the Commentaries section of this week's issue of PNAS. We thank Dr. Frans Mulder for the nice commentary on the importance of the work.

July 12, 2021: Our JMB paper on HMGB1 published
Our paper on dynamic autoinhibition of HMGB1 has been published in Journal of Molecular Biology. This work is a collaboration with Prof. Yaakov Levy's group of Weizmann Institute of Science.

July 5, 2021: Summer Research Program for high school students begins online
Two students, Kyle Tan and Johnluke Glover, start taking part in our NSF project. In this year, the summer research program is online due to the pandemic. Using their computer, the students will conduct research using MATLAB and bioinformatic tools under the supervision of Dr. Wang and Prof. Iwahara.

June 15, 2021: Karina Bien joins our group
Karina Bien has started working in our lab as a Research Associate. Her main role is to prepare proteins and DNA for our biophysical and biochemical experiments.

June 3, 2021: 35Cl NMR has become possible
Thanks to technical support of Bruker Biospin, we have become able to run 35Cl NMR experiments using our diffusion BBO NMR probe (capable of generating PFGs up to ~250 gauss/cm) for the 750-MHz spectrometer. With this capability of the NMR equipment, we can study the behavior of Cl- ions around biological macromolecules.

May 12, 2021: Dr. Yu under the spotlight
Our Research Scientist, Dr. Binhan Yu, is featured in BMB Spotlights

May 5, 2021: Our new PNAS manuscript accepted for publication
Our new manuscript titled "De novo determination of near-surface electrostatic potentials by NMR" has been accepted by PNAS. In this paper, we have demonstrated that electrostatic potentials around biomolecules can be measured directly by NMR. This work adds a new capability to NMR spectroscopy. 

April 27, 2021: Experimental approaches for investigating ion atmospheres
Dr. Yu and Prof. Iwahara have summarized experimental approaches for investigating ion atmospheres around nucleic acids, proteins, and their complexes. This review covers conventional methods and our recent NMR-based methods.

March 24, 2021: Prof. Iwahara gives a talk at the Protein Electrostatics Webinar series
Prof. Iwahara gives a presentation titled "Quantifying and visualizing weak interactions between ions and biomolecules" at the Protein Electrostatics Webinar series.

February 12, 2021: 23Na diffusion NMR experiments have become feasible
Our diffusion BBO NMR probe (capable of generating PFGs up to ~250 gauss/cm) for the 750-MHz spectrometer has finally become operational and we have confirmed that it allows us to precisely measure 23Na diffusion. This will greatly facilitate our research on the ion atmosphere around DNA, RNA, proteins, and their complexes.

February 11, 2021: Position opening
As Dr. Nepravishta is going back to Italy in this month, we are recruiting for an opening position in our lab.

February 4, 2021: Lab Members webpage updated
The "Members" page of our lab website has been updated.

January 31, 2021: Michael Atwood starts research in our lab
A first-year medical student, Michael Atwood, starts research on HMGB1 inhibition in our lab.

January 28, 2021: Our PNAS paper recommended in Faculty OpinionsFaculty Opinions (formerly known as "F1000Prime") has recommended our recent PNAS paper on anion-protein interactions as being of special significance in the field.

January 14, 2021: Our Biophysical Chemistry review recommended in Faculty Opinions
Our recent review on kinetic models for target DNA search by proteins has been recommended in Faculty Opinions (formerly known as "F1000Prime").

December 14, 2020: Review on kinetic models for target DNA search by proteins
Prof. Kolomeisky, the chair of Chemistry Department of Rice University, and Prof. Iwahara jointly publish a review article on discrete-state stochastic kinetic models for target DNA search by proteins.

November 13, 2020: Drs. Xi Wang and Binhan Yu give presentations at departmental retreat
We attend the virtual BMB retreat on November 13th and 14th. Our group members, Dr. Xi Wang and Dr. Binhan Yu, present their recent biophysical studies.

November 4, 2020: Our PNAS manuscript accepted for publication
Our manuscript titled "Quantifying and visualizing weak interactions between anions and proteins" has been accepted by PNAS. In this work, we used NMR spectroscopy to detect and characterize anions weakly interacting with proteins.

October 7, 2020: Diffusion BBO probe arrived
A diffusion BBO (DiffBB) probe for a 750-MHz NMR spectrometer has arrived. This broadband NMR probe is capable of generating a strong magnetic field gradient (up to 250 gauss/cm) and will allow us to measure diffusion for various nuclei, including 7Li, 19F, 23Na, 31P, 113Cd, 195Pt, 207Pb, etc.

September 9, 2020: New AKTA Pure ordered
A new Cytiva AKTA Pure system with column selection valves has been ordered. This will be used to purify various proteins for biophysical and biochemical experiments.

August 10, 2020: Our Accounts of Chemical Research manuscript accepted for publication
Our manuscript titled "Dynamics of ionic interactions at protein-nucleic acid interfaces" has been accepted for publication in Accounts of Chemical Research, which is one of the most prestigious review journals in the field of Chemistry (Impact factor, 20.8).

July 2, 2020: Dr. Nepravishta gives a BMB seminar
Our Research Scientist, Dr. Ridvan Nepravishta, gives a presentation titled "Numerous reconciliations before divorce: the dynamic interactions of transcription factors with DNA". This is an online seminar via zoom.

July 1, 2020: Prof. Iwahara has become a regular member of NIH MSFB study section
Prof. Iwahara has become a regular member of NIH's Macromolecular Structure & Function B (MSFB) study section. His term is until June 30, 2024.

July 1, 2020: NSF-BSF project starts in September!
We have received an official notice of award for an NSF-BSF project titled "Dynamic protein autoinhibition as a mechanism for rapid DNA recognition". This is an international collaborative research project with Prof. Yaakov Levy's group (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel). The project will start on September 1, 2020.

May 18, 2020: Full-time operations
Our lab has resumed full-time operations.

April 27, 2020: Resume the lab work up to a 50% level
While working from home in the past 3 weeks, our team has been productive in writing manuscripts. We resume our lab work up to a 50% level of full-time operations, following UTMB's updated guidelines.

April 3, 2020: Lab shutdown due to COVID-19
Complying with UTMB's guidelines, we shut down our lab until further notice. We will come back strong!

March 25, 2020: Adjusting our activities
We are adjusting our research activities to shift to a remote mode, complying with UTMB's current guidelines.

February 25, 2020: New space
Now, the room MRB 5.116 is officially a part of the Iwahara lab. This makes the lab space continuous and more convenient for our experiments. We thank BMB for making it happen.

January 10, 2020: Prof. Iwahara gives a seminar at University of Liousville
Prof. Iwahara gives a seminar titled "Dynamics of ionic interactions involved in protein-DNA association" at Department of Chemistry, University of Liousville.

January 6, 2020: Dr. Yu gives a SCSB community seminar
Our Research Scientist, Dr. Binhan Yu, gives a seminar titled "Electrostatic interactions between proteins and nucleic acids" at a SCSB community seminar.

December 13, 2019: First explicit evidence of SIPs as metastable states for biomolecular ion pairs
Our study shows the first explicit evidence of solvent-separated ion pairs as metastable states in electrostatic interactions of biological macromolecules. This work was published in Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

December 11, 2019: Prof. Iwahara gives a seminar at University of Houston
Prof. Iwahara gives a seminar titled "Dynamics of DNA recognition by proteins" at Department of Biology & Biochemistry, University of Houston.

December 5, 2019: The "Protein-DNA Interactions" workshop
Our group attend the "Protein-DNA Interactions" workshop at Rice BRC Auditorium (December 5-6, 2019). Prof. Iwahara is one of the organizers of this event.

November 18, 2019: Our Angewandte Chemie manuscript accepted for publication
Our manuscript on the ion atmosphere around DNA and the release of counterions upon protein-DNA association has been accepted for publication in Angewandte Chemie, which is one of the most prestigious journals in chemistry (Impact factor, 12.2).

November 16, 2019: Lab webpage renewal
Our webpage has been renewed with great help from UTMB & SCSB IT teams. We welcome comments on the updated contents.