More “Noted in Press”

Brandeis authors noted in boldface.

New route to lycopodium alkaloids

The lycopodium alkaloids are a large and extensively studied alkaloid family. Huperzine A (1), the medicinally most significant lycopodine alkaloid as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, functions as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor but may have other roles as has been addressed in several recent reviews.  Sauroine (2, 7,8-dihydroxylycopodine), from Huperzia saururus, was reported in 2004 and shown in 2009 to improve memory retention in the step-down test in male Wistar rats, significantly increasing hippocampal plasticity. 7-Hydroxylycopodine (3), from Huperzia serrata, was also reported in 2004 and may have related biological activity.

In their recent Organic Letters paper entitled the Synthesis of (±)-7-Hydroxylycopodine, the Snider lab at Brandeis developed a new general route to these bridgehead hydroxylated lycopodines. They reported a practical six-step synthesis of 7-hydroxylycopodine which makes it readily available for further biological evaluation. The key step of the synthesis is the treatment of bicyclic enol ether 4 with 60% sulfuric acid that affords tricyclic amino alcohol 5, which is further elaborated to 7-hydroxylycopodine (3) in three steps. The application of this route to the synthesis of sauroine (2) is now under investigation.

Even more science

New journal articles from Brandeis students, postdocs and faculty, for which we didn’t find the time to write individual articles on this blog. Brandeis authors shown in boldface.

and more...

Biochemistry Senior Research Talks

It’s also the season for Senior Honors / Masters Thesis talks…

DEPARTMENT OF BIOCHEMISTRY

Annual Senior Research Talks
2009/2010 Biochemistry Honors and BS/MS Candidates

Friday, April  23, 11:30-1:30pm – G-zang 122

Clarence Friedman – BS/MS

Characterization of 1-d-deoxyxylulose reductoisomerase
Advisor: Dan Oprian

Stefan Isaac  – BS/MS

Functional Characterization and in silico Modeling of HlyU
Advisors:  Dagmar Ringe/Greg Petsko

Seth Lieblich BS/MS

Bacterial Gene Repressors
Advisor: Dagmar Ringe

Miranda Patton BS/MS

Mutation of the Active Site of IMP Dehydrogenase, to Find a Novel Mutant and Create a Hybrid GMP Reductase
Advisor:  Liz Hedstrom

Nat Lazar BS

We are superfamily: bioinformatic and biochemical analyses of protein evolution
Advisor:  Douglas Theobald

Kanchana Ravichandran BS

Formation of heterotetramers between the human isozymes of Inosine 5’-Monophosphate Dehydrogenase
Advisor:  Liz Hedstrom

Seth Robey BS

Streamlining C1C-0 Purification and Examining the pH Dependence of an Amino Acid Transporter
Advisor:  Chris Miller

Kenta Yamamoto BS

The Type-1 Insulin-Like Growth Factor in Cancer and Hematopoiesis
Advisor: Ruibao Ren

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come.  Pizza will be provided.

Money for summer research projects and fellowships

Joan Press, Undergraduate Advising Head for Biology, wrote:

Over the next few weeks Academic Services will be holding several Info Sessions about the Summer URP and Jerome A. Schiff Fellowships, both of which fund undergraduate research projects.  The Summer URP allows students to ask for any amount from $50-$2,000 to fund summer research, whereas the Schiff’s funding (~$2,000) is designed for larger, (school)year-long projects.  The deadlines will be in mid-March and First-years, Sophomores and Juniors from all departments are all encouraged to apply.

  • Thursday, February 4, 4pm, Academic Services Conference Room (2nd Floor, Usdan)
  • Tuesday, February 9, 3pm, Academic Services Conference Room (2nd Floor, Usdan)
  • Wednesday, February 10, 12pm, Academic Services Conference Room (2nd Floor, Usdan)
  • Monday, February 22, 12pm, Academic Services Conference Room (2nd Floor, Usdan)

Undergraduate authors

Brandeis is proud of its tradition of undergraduates working in science labs,  alongside grad students, staff and postdocs. This work often leads to publications in the primary scientific literature (see list of undergraduate publications).

The most recent of these, by Nicholas Hornstein and collaborators in the Griffith lab, appears in the Journal of Visualized Experiments. This new journal focuses on using streaming video to provide access to high quality demonstrations of lab procedures (in this case, demonstrating dissection technique for doing neurophysiology in Drosophila larvae).

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