Research by Tambu Kudze (2010) Published in Science

A research paper co-authored by Bennington graduate Tambu Kudze (2010) was published in the August 24, 2012 issue of Science. The article, “Neurexin and Neuroligin Mediate Retrograde Synaptic Inhibition in C. elegans,” describes research aimed at understanding mutations linked to disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. By examining how the proteins neurexin and neuroligin, which are critical in synaptic processes, function in the nematode C. elegans the researchers hope to shed light on the mechanism by which mutations influence neural development.

The work was performed in the laboratory of Dr. Joshua Kaplan (group website) of the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where Tambu has worked since 2010. While at Bennington Tambu did research in the lab of Amie McClellan, which culminated in her thesis, “YJR088C Encodes a Functional HSP90 Co-Chaperone.” After graduation, Tambu was selected as a graduate representative on the Bennington College Board of Trustees. Tambu discussed some of her work, including her Field Work Terms, in this interview.

Tambu Kudze, photographed in June 2012, on a return visit to campus for a meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Old-growth forests in Portland

Over thirty Bennington students have worked with faculty member Kerry Woods in his ongoing, long-term research in old-growth forests in Michigan.  The most recent results from that project were presented in August, 2012 at the 97th  national meetings of the Ecological Society of America in Portland, OR. You can find a copy of the poster presentation here.

The photo shows two members of the 2009 field crew at work at the Michigan field-site.

Protein Folding in Vermont

Recent graduate Christos Kougentakis ’12 and biology faculty member Amie McClellan attended the FASEB  (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Protein Folding in the Cell Meeting held in Saxtons River, Vermont from July 29th to August 3rd, 2012 (the meeting program can be found here: https://secure.faseb.org/faseb/meetings/Summrconf/Programs/11526.pdf).

Christos presented a poster (click the the image at right for a large view or read the abstract), which contained data he generated as part of his advanced work in biology. Christos has recently accepted a research technician position in a biochemistry laboratory at MIT.

Free yeast samples to the first one who correctly identifies Christos and Amie in the picture below. To be sporting, you can click on the image to embiggen it.

If you still need help, here is a photo of Christos and Amie with Amherst College Chemistry professor Sheila Jaswal and her student Tim Poterba.

From left to right, Amherst College student Tim Poterba, Amherst College chemistry professor Sheila Jaswal, Bennington biology professor Amie McClellan, and recent Bennington graduate Christos Kougentakis ’12.

Fun in Philly

Chemistry professors Janet Foley and John Bullock presented research findings at the 244th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, which was held in beautiful Philadelphia, PA this August. Janet’s talk, “Photochemical reactivity of two gold(I) dinuclear complexes, cis/trans-(AupNBT)2dppee“, focused on her recent work with an unusual gold photoprocess that involves a highly unusual, low-energy, chloride abstraction from solvent molecules. Some of the work was done by then Bennington undergraduate, Angela Herring.

John presented a poster on work done in collaboration with colleagues at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) and the University of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada) on the electrochemistry of an unusual series of triaryl phosphines, PPh3-n(dipp)n, which range from the least to the most sterically hindered such compounds known. These studies provide insight into the steric contributions to activation barriers of electrochemical oxidation processes in general. The poster can be viewed here.