Shasha was named a 2022 Searle Scholar! The Searle Scholars Program supports the independent research of exceptional young faculty in the biomedical sciences and chemistry who have recently been appointed as assistant professors. The Program’s Scientific Advisory Board chooses the Scholars based on rigorous standards aimed at finding the most creative talent interested in pursuing an academic research career. Shasha's research proposal has earned the lab an award of $300,000 over the next three years. Congratulations Shasha!
Our first paper came out in Molecular Cell today! This is Shasha’s work together with the Tjian/Darzacq Lab at UC Berkeley. We report that endogenous gene transcription requires narrow optimum of transcription factor (TF) low-complexity domain (LCD) multivalent interactions, and phase separation can be counterproductive (A). We also show that mislocalized TF LCD multivalent interactions can outcompete stochiometric TF-DNA binding and sequester a TF away from its target genes to distrupt its functions, indicating a new therapeutic strategy for targeting disease-causing TFs, e.g., EWS::FLI1 (B). Furthermore, we provide proof-of-concept demonstration that single-molecule measurements of protein diffusion rates can serve as an effective means for detecting phase separation in vivo. We detected a slower TF diffusion in the phase-separated nucleolus than in the nucleoplasm (C). Check out the details in "Tuning levels of low-complexity domain interactions to modulate endogenous oncogenic transcription."
Shawn Yoshida (BMB, G1) officially joins us as our second graduate student today! Shawn is originally from Tokyo, Japan and grew up in Illinois. He earned a B.A. in Physics from Case Western Reserve University, where he applied novel super-resolution techniques to the characterization of biomolecular diffusion in the extracellular matrix. He is currently interested in the dynamics of transcriptional regulation. Warm welcome, Shawn! We are so excited to have you join the team!
We are excited to move to our newly renovated space at Braun Laboratories today! The brand new space is now fully equipped and we look forward to making interesting discoveries here. Many thanks to Caltech Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Alex Moving for making all this happen!
We are so excited to receive our first external research grant from the Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation, which will fund the lab with $250,000 per year in the next two years. Thanks so much for the generous support!
We welcome 3 new rotation students, Rongrong Du (Bioengineering G1), Chuqi Lu (Chem G1), and Allen Chen (BMB G1), as they start their rotations with us. We hope you have a productive and enjoyable rotation with us this quarter!
Happy Holidays from the Chong Lab! Our brand new space in the basement of Braun Laboratories is completed. A big thanks goes to Caltech Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Caltech Design & Construction, and Swinerton. We are excited to fill the space with equipment and move in the New Year!
Bo Li (Chem G1) starts his rotation with us. Welcome Bo!
Shawn Yoshida and Andres Orta presented their rotation work at the BMB rotation symposium. They gave great talks, and we wish them continued success in their next rotations!
Qinyu Han (Chemistry, G1) officially joins us as our first graduate student today after her rotation! Qinyu obtained her B.S. in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry from Nanyang Technological University. During her undergraduate research, she developed various fluorescent probes for biosensing and nanotherapy. In her Ph.D. study, Qinyu is interested in using quantitative imaging approaches to understand complex biological processes in mammalian cells. Warm welcome, Qinyu! We are so excited to have you join the team!
Ziyan Wu (Chem G1) starts to rotate with us. Welcome Ziyan!
Shasha has been appointed as a Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar by Caltech. Congratulations Shasha!
The academic year starts and we are excited to have four graduate students rotate with us in the Fall Quarter. Welcome Qinyu Han (Chem G1), Kent Leslie (Bio G1), Shawn Yoshida (BMB G1), and Andres Orta (BMB G1)!
We are so grateful to receive a generous gift from the John D Baldeschwieler & Marlene R Konnar Foundation in support of our research!
We are excited to have Shawn (Zhao) Irgen-Gioro officially join us as a postdoctoral fellow. Shawn received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University and his B.A. in Physics from U.C. Berkeley. He developed an understanding of potential energy landscape of individual proteins through many spectroscopy and microscopy experiments during his graduate study. In his postdoc, he hopes to cultivate an understanding of the living world through studying interactions of proteins by high-resolution imaging. Welcome Shawn!
We are excited to have Victoria Walling officially join us as a lab technician. Victoria a SoCal native that grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. She received her B.S. in Microbiology from UC San Diego and has previously worked with various start-up biotech companies. Welcome Victoria!
Grand opening of the Chong Lab! Thanks to the support from Caltech Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, we have a fully equipped lab since Day 1! We temporarily locate in B106 Norman W. Church Laboratory for Chemical Biology while our space in Braun Laboratory is under renovation. We are very grateful to colleagues in the Ondrus Lab who let us share the space with them.