Linus Pauling won the 1954 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his description of the chemical bond that holds protein molecules together.  Now an undergraduate researcher at Oregon State University where Pauling did his own undergrad work, is prompting scientists to take a hard look at that model.  Pauling described the connection between protein building blocks, known as the peptide bond, as an arrangement of six atoms that essentially are all on the same plane.  It was ground breaking insight that helped launch the field of molecular biology and has shaped scientific understanding of protein structure for the past six decades.

But Justin Biel, working with professor Andy Karplus, analyzed information from a databank of protein structures and found a large number of proteins that deviated from Pauling’s planar model. (Read more)


Lanelle Connolly was recently honored with the 2013 College of Science Outstanding Faculty Research Assistant Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding job performance and contributions by those in the College who have chosen a career as a Faculty Research Assistant or Associate. The criteria used by the selection committee include exceptional job performance innovativeness in work, scholarly publications, and evidence of continued professional growth.

Lanelle was honored for her exemplary work in research and for her role as an outstanding ambassador for the University. In particular, Lanelle has pioneered work with a new organism in the lab, the fungus Fusarium graminearum, which serves as a model for human stem cell or cancer biology. Because of her work, the Freitag lab can now use this genetic system to aid mechanistic work in human cells.