Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
State University of New York
Upstate Medical University

Patricia Kane, PhD

Patricia Kane, PhD
Chair and Professor

The central goals of scientists in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department are to research fundamental mechanisms in cells and organisms at the molecular level and to train the next generation of scientists. Read More...

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Weiskotten Hall
Rm. 4265, 766 Irving Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13210
Map & directions
Phone: 315 464-5127
Fax: 315 464-8750
Name: Patricia M Kane, PhD, Chair
Email: biochem@upstate.edu

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers a highly collaborative research community and an excellent training environment for young scientists.

The field of biochemistry and molecular biology has been transformed in the past decade with the sequencing of the human genome and genomes of other organisms, atomic resolution structures for many important macromolecules, and technological advances that allow integration of this information to address fundamental questions about the structure and function of cells and organisms. These developments create unprecedented opportunities for scientific research and understanding of human health and disease.

Research Highlight

  • The Smc5/6 complex at the crossroads of DNA replication, repair and recombination

    Due to the imperfect “steric gate”, DNA polymerase intrinsically mis-incorporates not only mismatched deoxyribonucleosides monophosphates but also ribonucleoside monophosphates (rNMPs) during DNA replication at a rate of 10−7 and 4 × 10−4, respectively (1).  To repair these DNA damages it requires specific recognition and excision proteins to remove the damage and create a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) gap, followed by the DNA polymerase to fill the gap and the DNA ligase to seal the nick. Read more...

  • New class of p53-reactivating compounds provides novel mechanism to treat cancer - August 2015

    The "Guardian of the Genome," p53, is a tumor suppressing transcription factor that has long been recognized as perhaps the most important protein in human cancer.  Approximately 50% of human cancers harbor mutations in p53, which render the protein inactive and unable to protect the cells from cancerous transformation. Read more...
  • Mechanism of Ant1-induced human diseases unraveled by the Chen lab - July 2015

    Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell.  About 90% of the energy that cells need is produced in the form of ATP by the OXPHOS apparatus on the mitochondrial inner membrane.  After it's synthesis by the F0F1 ATP-synthase, ATP is exported out of mitochondria via adenine nucleotide translocase (Ant) by exchanging with the cytosolic ADP. Read more...
  • Using disease-associated mutations to understand the biochemical regulation of a multi-subunit histone methyltransferase complex - June 2014

    Eukaryotic DNA is compacted into chromatin, which must be continually remodeled to allow for DNA processes such as transcription. The basic repeating unit of chromatin, the nucleosome, is composed of an octomer of histone proteins around which 147 base pairs of DNA is wrapped. One way chromatin remodeling is achieved is by posttransitional modification of histones. Read more...
  • Attack of the Killer Severer - in the Amberg Lab- May 2013

    Graduate student Dimitra Aggeli, working in the Amberg lab, has discovered how to turn the small actin binding protein into an actin filament destroying machine. Building off the previous work by graduate student Mike Clark, Dimitra has been trying to understand why some of Mike's mutants are hyperactive for actin filament disassembly. Read more...
  • Understanding ε-mediated inhibition of bacterial F-type ATP synthase to develop drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the Duncan Lab- March 2013

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is an infectious pathogen that causes Pulmonary Tuberculosis and kills over one million people every year. It is also a major cause of death in HIV patients. Evolution of extreme drug-resistant strains in MTB poses a serious problem towards its treatment. As a result, there is an ongoing need to develop novel drugs that can effectively fight the resistant strains. Read more...