Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Directory

James Bamburg / Professor Emeritus
Phone: (970) 491-6096
Office: MRB 235

Role of the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth and regeneration, pathfinding, and in neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer disease. Signal transduction mechanisms controlling actin filament dynamics and cell behavior.

Justine Barela / Fiscal Officer
Phone: (970) 491-5040
Office: MRB 127

Kristen Cantonwine / Asst to the Chair/Office Mgr
Phone: (970) 491-5566
Office: MRB 111

Soham Chanda / Assistant Professor
Phone: (970) 491-7004
Office: MRB 279

Chaoping Chen / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-0726
Office: MRB 233

HIV-1 protease autoprocessing mechanism and drug discovery

Robert Cohen / Professor
Phone: (970) 492-4117
Office: MRB 273

Molecular recognition and protein-protein interactions as applied to ubiquitin biochemistry and ubiquitin-proteasome mediated protein degradation.

Jennifer DeLuca / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-6718
Office: MRB 237

Our research focuses on understanding how accurate chromosome segregation is achieved in mitosis. We are analyzing the molecular architecture of the kinetochore-microtubule interface in vertebrate cells and studying how proteins and protein complexes at this interface drive and regulate chromosome movements.

Santiago Di Pietro / Professor and Associate Dean for Research
Phone: (970) 491-5302
Office: MRB 281

The goal of this laboratory is to understand the molecular and cellular basis of human diseases that result from defective intracellular compartments in platelets and skin cells as well as the endocytic pathway.

Jeffrey Hansen / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-5440
Office: MRB 381

Our research is focused on elucidating the structure/function relationships of the chromatin fiber. My laboratory has pioneered the use of recombinant chromatin model systems to yield unique information about the condensed structures of chromatin fibers, and the architectural proteins that modulate these structures in solution.

Shing Ho / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-0569
Office: MRB 375

Our laboratory has been recognized for elucidating the structures and structural gymnastics associated with the functions of nucleic acids. More recently, we have pioneered the use of biomolecular halogen bonds to control the structures of proteins and nucleic acids for bioengineering and rational drug design applications. We apply structural and computational biology, biophysical chemistry, and bioinformatics methods to attack these problems. I teach concepts in molecular thermodynamics, bioenergetics, and quantum chemistry as they apply to biochemical problems in BC411/511 (Physical Biochemistry) and concepts of graphic design to undergraduate and graduate students in the sciences in BC580A3 (Visual Communication in the Science).

Kelly Jackson / Admin Assistant III
Phone: (970) 491-4909
Office: MRB MRB 111

Brian Kalet / Instructor and Academic Success Coordinator
Phone: (970) 491-3353
Office: AZ E206A

I currently teach Principles of Biochemistry BC351, Comprehensive Biochemistry Laboratory BC404 and mentor biochemistry students for their Thesis BC499. I also serve on the Undergraduate Affairs Committee and advise biochemistry students.

Christine Kirk / Admin Assistant II
Phone: (970) 491-5602
Office: MRB MRB 111

Kelly Kleinman / Business Operations Technician
Phone: (970) 491-8786
Office: MRB 111

Paul Laybourn / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-5100
Office: AZ E206E

My research centers on infusing active learning approaches in teaching cell biology and biochemistry and developing and testing ways of engaging students in the course concepts and big ideas through undergraduate research experiences and application to socio-scientific issues.

Ross Madden / Assistant Director of Information Technology
Phone: (970) 491-5710
Office: Biology 302

Steven Markus / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-5979
Office: MRB 241

The research in our lab is focused on how various molecules conspire to coordinate the transport and delivery of cellular cargoes to their appropriate destinations. We pay particularly close attention to various classes of molecular motors -- nano-sized ATP-powered machines -- and how they are regulated to perform their myriad functions throughout the life of a cell.

Erin Nishimura / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-6233
Office: MRB 239

My lab is interested in how mRNA transcripts are regulated at the single-cell and sub-cellular levels in developing embryos. We use a combination of experimental and computational approaches in the animal model C. elegans to examine the mechanisms and consequences of mRNA regulation.

Graham Peers / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-6868
Office: Biology 406

My primary interests lie in the fields of photosynthesis and algal eco-physiology. In particular, I’m interested in the diversity of mechanisms that algae use to protect themselves from too much light and other abiotic stresses.

Olve Peersen / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-0433
Office: MRB 341

The picornaviruses are a family of small positive sense single stranded RNA viruses that cause a wide range of diseases in humans and animals. These include the rhinoviruses that cause the common cold and poliovirus, the prototypical member of this family. We are interested in understanding the molecular details of picornaviral replication and are using structural biology and biophysical techniques to determine the structure of viral proteins and study their interactions.

Corey Rosenberg / Assistant Professor
Phone: (970) 491-4963
Office: AZ E206F

I have dual appointments in two departments 1) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and 2) Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology. In the courses I teach, I share my passion for science and strive to instill principles of scientific integrity, collegiality, professionalism and the drive required to succeed. In LIFE 212, students learn the basic scientific skills of data collection and interpretation, critical thinking, and technical writing, all while learning the experimental methods and technology that are commonly used in cell and molecular biology research labs.

Eric Ross / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-0688
Office: MRB 343

Numerous diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are associated with protein misfolding into ordered aggregates, called amyloid fibrils. We are using yeast prions as a model system for examining the causes and consequences of amyloid fibril formation.

Farida Safadi-Chamberlain / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-1771
Office: Yates Hall 314

Tom Santangelo / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-3150
Office: MRB 383

Members of the Archaea often thrive in unique, harsh and ever-changing biological niches. These changing environments necessitate precise and timely regulation of gene expression. Our laboratory focuses on the regulation of transcription, from a global perspective to a detailed structure-function analysis of the archaeal transcription apparatus. We apply combined biochemical and genetic methods to investigate not only transcription, but mechanisms of DNA replication, repair and recombination and energy-production strategies in hyperthermophliic archaea.

Grant Schauer / Assistant Professor
Phone: (970) 491-2695
Office: MRB 231

Our research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of replication stress tolerance and checkpoint signaling.

Aaron Sholders / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-7916
Office: AZ E206D

My interests lie in STEM educational research and student learning. I teach a large Principles of Biochemistry (BC351) class designed for non-majors as well as two inquiry-based labs (BC404 and BC406) and a course on metabolism (BC403). In all settings I am attempting to conform my teaching practices with those demonstrated in the literature to increase learning outcomes for students.

Chris Snow / Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Phone: (970) 491-5276
Office: Scott Bioengineering Building 356

Computational design, simulation, and experimental validation of new enzymes, and crystalline biomolecular assemblies. We convert porous protein crystals into “3D molecular pegboards” for the controlled assembly of nanoparticles, enzymes, fluorescent proteins, oligonucleotides, and other functional molecules.

Laurie Stargell / Professor & Chair
Phone: (970) 491-5068
Office: MRB 111

Transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II involves a highly regulated series of events dependent upon many protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions. By combining yeast genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysical techniques, we are using a multi-faceted approach to understand the functions of the transcription machinery in the chromatin context of living cells.

Tim Stasevich / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-3250
Office: MRB 285

My lab combines fluorescence microscopy, novel fluorescent probe development, genetic engineering, and computational modeling to visualize and quantify single-gene expression in living cells. We dream of creating 'lightbulbs" for genes at the level of DNA transcription and mRNA translation to visualize gene activity in real-time and in-vivo. The hope is to create technology to literally see which genes are on in a specific cell. By visualizing the cell genotype in real-time, we hope to predict and ultimately control its future phenotype during important processes, such as differentiation and cancer development.

Sarah Swygert / Assistant Professor
Phone: (970) 491-0420
Office: MRB377

Unraveling the functions of 3D chromatin structure during quiescence.

LUBNA Tahtamouni / Visiting Professor
Phone: (970) 491-5531
Office: MRB 221

My research focuses on studying cellular alterations in actin cytoskeleton and actin-binding proteins implicated in breast cancer cell migration

Aaron Vanasse / IT Coordinator
Phone: (970) 491-6284
Office: Chemistry B113D

John Welker / Accounting Support
Phone: (970) 491-0353
Office: MRB MRB 111

Tingting Yao / Professor
Phone: (970) 492-4116
Office: MRB 283

Our lab studies the interface between the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and chromatin regulation. Modification of components of chromatin and its associated machinery by ubiquitin can serve as a regulatory switch that have diverse functions in transcription and DNA repair. We are using a variety of biochemical and cell biology approaches to define the molecular mechanisms that regulate the dynamics of ubiquitin conjugation and deconjugation in these processes.