MBSB Research Symposium in Pittsburgh !

The tenth annual MBSB research symposium was successfully held on May 12th 2023 in the Frick Fine Arts Building in University of Pittsburgh. The 2023 symposium featured Dr. Clifford Brangwynne as the keynote speaker.  MBSB alumnus, Dr. Ryan Slack was also invited to give a talk. Students engaged in career discussions as well as presented their research in research talks and posters.





MBSB Students Present Research at the ASBMB Conference in Seattle!

Ari Selzer and Giancarlo Gonzalez-Ariezega, MBSB students in the Smithgall laboratory, recently presented their research findings at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Discover BMB, March 25-28, 2023, Seattle WA).  Ari gave an oral presentation in the spotlight session “Protein synthesis, structure, modifications and interactions” entitled “Small Molecule Allosteric Modulators of the AML-associated Src-family Kinase, Hck.” This talk was focused on his thesis project which utilizes various biochemical and biophysical techniques to demonstrate how small molecules can bind allosterically to the  Src-family kinase Hck and regulate its natural intramolecular control of kinase activity. In related work, Giancarlo presented a poster demonstrating that genetic enhancement of intramolecular interactions regulating Src-family kinase activity sensitizes the kinase domain to ATP-site inhibitor action.


You can find the Smithgall’s lab web site and the students’ research interest site below.









Tristin, a sixth-year student in the Prof. Hinck’s laboratory, orally presented some of his latest research results at the 13th International Bone Morphogenetic Protein Conference, in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Tristin was selected to present orally by the conference organizing committee based on his abstract, which was focused on the underlying structural basis for synthesis of BMP9 and BMP10 as monomers. BMP9 and BMP10 are secreted proteins essential for regulating the proper development of vascular networks, thus understanding how they are synthesized and why is important for the developing therapies for vascular diseases, such as Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, which are caused by mutations in the receptors that mediate BMP9/10 signaling.  Oral presentations such as these at topic-focused professional conferences represent an invaluable opportunity for graduate students to present and exchange their ideas with international scientists in their field. Although many conferences were held remotely last two years, in-person meetings are coming back!



You can find the Hinck’s lab web site and Tristin’s research interest site below.






Molecular Biophysics II course.


Molecular Biophysics II (MBII) course, one of core courses in the MBSB graduate program, is running during the Spring semester. In this course, students learn about the integration of different techniques to elucidate molecular mechanisms of disease, through the study of biomolecular structure, interatctions and dynamics.  The course includes hands-on demos of x-ray crystallography and other essential tools in structural biology.  With the help of MBSB faculty experts, students prepare and present a research seminar on primary research.  Students also gain experience in the writing of grant/fellowship applications to support their research. Ms. Brittani Schnäble, a fourth-year MBSB student, serves as a teaching assistant of the MBII this year. Brittani comments  “in this course the students are able to gain so introductory experience with different techniques and software that they may utilize in their time in graduate school. They also spend some time working on putting together a seminar. Over the course of the semester, they learn how to tell a story and give a strong presentation”

Check out http://www.mbsb.pitt.edu/index.php/training/curriculum




Molecular Biophysics I course.

Molecular Biophysics I course was just started. This is one of core courses in the MBSB graduate program. In this course, the physical properties of biological macromolecules and the methods used to analyze their structures and functions are discussed. Topics covered include: protein architecture and folding; nucleic acid structures and energetics; structure determination by X-ray crystallography, NMR & Electron Microscopy; biological spectroscopy with emphasis on absorption, fluorescence, electron spin resonance; and other methods to characterize proteins and protein-ligand interactions. Most importantly, Welcome new MBSB students!  

Check out http://www.mbsb.pitt.edu/index.php/training/curriculum