• Researchers at Princeton found that the nucleolus, a cellular organelle involved in RNA synthesis, assembles in part through the passive process of phase separation – the same type of process that causes oil to separate from water. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to show that this happens in living, intact cells.
    February 1, 2017
    Researchers at Princeton found that the nucleolus, a cellular organelle involved in RNA synthesis, assembles in part through the passive process of phase separation – the same type of process that causes oil to separate from water.
  • Adel Mahmoud
    January 25, 2017
    A number of donors and pharmaceutical companies have raised $500 million to support a partnership aimed at controlling future global epidemics.
  • The researchers found that, when in an infected cell (above), the hepatitis E virus pokes holes in a host cell's membrane by producing a protein known as viroporin (green dots). The holes act as ion channels that eventually cause the infected cell to burst, releasing new hepatitis E viruses that can infect more cells. The researchers suggest that curtailing the virus' ability to produce viroporins may prevent it from being able to attack other cells. (Image courtesy of Alexander Ploss, Department of Molecul
    January 17, 2017
    The Ploss lab reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that when the hepatitis E virus infects a cell, it makes proteins that poke holes in the cell's membrane to allow newly made virus particles to escape and spread.
  • A computer model the researchers developed helped them understand how the bacteria internally function to grow, adapt and infect. Under a microscope, V. cholerae appear curved and flat. The researchers' modeling program, however, revealed that the bacteria take on a twisting shape similar to an auger that likely help them twist into — and then escape — the protective mucus that lines the inside of the gut. (Video by Thomas Bartlett, Department of Molecular Biology)
    January 12, 2017
    Princeton University researchers have discovered that the bacteria behind the life-threatening disease cholera initiates infection by coordinating a wave of mass shapeshifting that allows them to more effectively penetrate their victims' intestines.
  • An electron microscopy image of a Chlamydomonas cell, with the pyrenoid highlighted in blue and the surrounding chlroplast colored green.
    January 11, 2017
    The Jonikas lab in the Department of Molecular Biology is using robotic systems to analyze strains of photosynthetic algae to understand the cellular process for photosynthesis, with an ultimate goal of helping to enhance global food production.
  • Jared Toettcher and collaborators
    January 4, 2017
    Princeton researchers have unveiled a new tool that uses light to manipulate proteins inside cells in order to better explore cellular operation and possibly disease development.
  • Bonnie Bassler and Matthew Montondo
    December 2, 2016
    Matthew Montondo, Faculty Assistant to Professors Enquist, Gavis, Petry and Schwarzabauer, is the recipient of the 2016 Arthur Epstein Service Award.
    Department Announcement
  • Yibin Kang
    November 21, 2016
    Yibin Kang, the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology, was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    Grants, Fellowships and Awards
  • November 17, 2016
    Bonnie Bassler received the The Rockefeller University's Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, which honors extraordinary women scientists, on November 16, 2016.
    Grants, Fellowships and Awards
  • Ileana Cristea
    November 14, 2016
    Among the researchers highlighted at this year's Celebrate Princeton Invention was Professor of Molecular Biology Ileana Cristea.  Her discoveries may lead to ways to treat mitochondrial diseases, cancer and viral diseases. Cristea discusses her research in this video.
  • Martin Wühr with his lab members
    October 28, 2016
    Martin Wühr, who joined the Department of Molecular Biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics as an assistant professor in July, seeks to understand how biological molecules organize themselves into cells.
  • Max Wilson
    October 27, 2016
    Max Wilson, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology, has received a $50,000 Innovation Grant from the New Jersey Health Foundation to advance two projects aimed at controlling cell behavior to improve treatments for a wide range of diseases.
    Grants, Fellowships and Awards
  • October 18, 2016
    Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University's Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology and department chair, was one of 79 new members elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Bassler is Princeton's 10th current academy member. Academy membership is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, and recognizes outstanding achievements and commitment. The new members were announced Oct. 17 at the academy's annual meeting.
  • Simulation of the bacteria Vibrio cholerae forming a biofilm
    October 18, 2016
    Princeton researchers have for the first time revealed the mechanics of how bacteria build up slimy masses, called biofilms, cell by cell. When encased in biofilms in the human body, bacteria are a thousand times less susceptible to antibiotics, making certain infections, such as pneumonia, difficult to treat and potentially lethal.  
  • Allison Hall with advisor Professor Mark Rose
    October 9, 2016
    Molecular Biology graduate students were presented with this year's department awards at the Annual Retreat on October 7th. 
    Grants, Fellowships and Awards