News Archive: 2019

Graduate Student News: Naba Lab

December 9th, 2019 - Anna Barqué Falguera, currently a third year graduate student in the Naba Lab, received a Provost’s Graduate Research Award for her proposal entitled "SNED1, a novel extracellular matrix protein essential for craniofacial development". More information on this award can be found here

Physiology & Biophysics 30th Awards Recognition Evening

November 21st, 2019 – Congratulations to the 2019 Awards Evening Winners: Philip L. Hawley Distinguished Faculty Award: Daniel Shaye. Kate Bárány Graduate Student Award: Alexandra Socovich. Mark R. Lambrecht Award for Scholarship and Commitment: Anthony Arena.

Publication News: Naba Lab

November 11th, 2019 – Congratulations to the Naba Lab for their latest publication entitled "In-silico definition of the Drosophila melanogaster matrisome" in Matrix Biology Plus in collaboration with the Horne-Badovinac lab (University of Chicago). You can read the full article here.

Undergraduate Student News: Naba Lab

November 1st, 2019 - Isra Taha, undergraduate student researcher in the Naba laboratory, received an Undergraduate Research Grant from the Honors College to pursue her research on the role of the ECM in ovarian cancer progression. Congratulations, Isra!

Faculty News: Emrah Er, PhD

October 14th, 2019 – We are very pleased to announce the arrival of our newest faculty member, Dr. Ekrem Emrah Er. Emrah starts today in his new role as an Assistant Professor in Physiology and Biophysics. He joins us from the Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Please join us in welcoming Emrah. You can reach him at His office and lab phones are being assigned but will be posted on the website and directory soon. His office and laboratory are located in the College of Medicine Research Building (COMRB) in room 1113 and his lab is in 1148

Publication News: Naba Lab

October 7th, 2019 – Congratulations to the Naba Lab for their publication "MatrisomeDB: the ECM-protein knowledge database" in Nucleic Acids Research. In this publication in collaboration with the Gao lab (College of Pharmacy at UIC), the Naba lab presents a new release of MatrisomeDB, a searchable collection of curated proteomic data from 17 studies on the ECM of 15 different normal tissue types, six cancer types (different grades of breast cancers, colorectal cancer, melanoma, and insulinoma) and other diseases including vascular defects and lung and liver fibroses. You can read the full article here.

Grant Award: Carlos Stocco, PhD

Septemper 30th, 2019 - Dr. Carlos Stocco was awarded a 5-year R01 grant from the NIH-NICHD. Dr. Stocco’s project is titled Salt-Inducible Kinase Regulation of Ovarian Granulosa Cells. The project aims to help in the discovery of new methods to diagnose and treat ovulatory and fertility disorders.

Department News: New Graduate Fellowship

Septemper 19th, 2019 - We are happy to announce the exceptionally special and thoughtful gift made to the Department by John and Kathy Solaro in the form of an endowment to establish the The John and Kathy Solaro Graduate Fellowship. John and Kathy’s generosity will provide support for doctoral student training within the department, a mission of importance to all of us and a professional activity that John excelled at. Look for further announcements regarding how this wonderful gift will be used to train future scientists and leaders in the field of Physiology.

Undergraduate Student Research Awards

Septemper 4th, 2019 - Congratulations to Mikaela Aquino (Advisor: Monica Lee), Nidhi Kansara (Advisor: Jonna Frasor) and Ali Thahab (Advisor: Alexandra Naba) for receiving the Chancellors’ Undergraduate Research Award (CURA) for the 2019-2020 academic year. The CURA awards allows undergraduate students to gain valuable experience by getting involved in cutting-edge research during their studies. Congratulations Mikaela, Nidhi and Ali!

Publication News: Naba Lab

August 30th, 2019 - Congratualtions to the Naba Lab for their publication "Exploring the extracellular matrix in health and disease using proteomics" in Essays in Biochemistry. In this publication, the Naba lab reviews the latest methodological advances in sample preparation and mass-spectrometry-based proteomics that have permitted the profiling of the ECM of dozens of normal and diseased tissues, including tumors and fibrotic lesions. To access the article, please click here.

Publication News: Meena Rao, PhD

Congratulations to Dr. Meena Rao for her publication, entitled Physiology of Electrolyte Transport in the Gut: Implications for Disease. It will appear as the Feature Article in the July 2019 issue of Comprehensive Physiology. Please view the abstract and article online click here.

2019 Departmental Faculty Awards

June 12th, 2019 – Please join me in congratulating Dan Shaye and Chong Wee Liew for being selected for 2019 Departmental Faculty Awards! Dan has been awarded the 2019 Departmental Rising Star. Chong Wee has been awarded the 2019 Departmental Faculty of the Year. Dan and Chong Wee will be among those recognized at the 2019 COM Faculty Recognition Ceremony that will take place this Friday, June 14th at 1:30pm. The event will be at room 227 of the College of Medicine West Tower (CMWT). For more information about the event please click here.

Undergraduate Student News: Theressa Ewa

May 13th, 2019 – Theressa Ewa, an undergraduate student researcher in the Cuervo laboratory, received the Herbert E. Paaren Scholarship from the Department of Chemistry. The award recognizes outstanding UIC chemistry majors (including biochemistry), who want to pursue a career in science. She will use the award to continue her work in the Cuervo laboratory next year. Congratulations, Ewa!

Post-docs in the News: Sonia Shin, Ph.D

May 6th, 2019 – Sonia Shin from the laboratory of Yuwei Jiang presented the lab’s findings at the 14th Annual Diabetes Day at the University of Chicago on May 4, 2019. She was selected as one of the 8 Poster Award winners. Congratulations, Sonia!

Publication News: Christopher Solis, Ph.D

May 6th, 2019 – We are very pleased to announce that Christopher Solis’ recent publication in the Journal of General Physiology has been assigned to the coverage page of the Journal. You can read the cover page caption and the article here.

Faculty News: Alexandra Naba, Ph.D

April 22nd, 2019 – Alexandra Naba, Assistant Professor in our Department was appointed for a 3-year term together with Dr. Schwarzbauer (Princeton University) to represent the Americas at the council of the International Society for Matrix Biology. Congratulations, Alexandra!

Grant Award: NHLBI T32 Training Grant

April 18th, 2019 – We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded an NHLBI T32 training grant! Dr. Jan Kitajewski and Dr. Kishore Wary (Department of Pharmacology) serve as the Principal Investigators. This grant, is focused on the training of predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers in vascular biology, signaling and therapeutic development (VBST). We plan to utilize multi-disciplinary training to develop the next generation of eminent vascular biologists for careers in academia, research institutions and the biopharmaceutical arena. Stay tuned for more information soon!

Faculty in the News: Brenda Russell, PhD

April 3rd, 2019 – Brenda Russell was elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering with the citation stating this is for her "distinguished contributions in the field of mechanobiology and the exploration of forces in biologic responses of cells and tissues." The award was presented in in Washington, DC on March 25th, 2019.

Publication News: Martin Davis and Alexandra Naba, PhD

March 27th, 2019 – Congratulations to Martin Davis and Dr. Alexandra Naba for their recent article entitled "In-silico characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans matrisome and proposal of a novel collagen classification" published in Matrix Biology Plus. The article can be read here.

Faculty in the News: Michael and Kate Barany, PhDs

March 26th, 2019 – Commemorating Michael Barany's milestone paper in J Gen Physiology, this paper also recounts the history of Michael and Kate at UIC and the trials and tribulations they went through. As mentioned in the paper, their lives are a tribute to the human spirit. The article can be read here.

Student in the News: Anthony Arena

March 19th, 2019 – Congratulations to Anthony Arena for being selected to the Genetic Society of America (GSA) Early Career Scientist Leadership Program. Participants receive training and mentoring and serve on committees learning about, and addressing, the needs, interests, concerns, and challenges of early career scientist members of the GSA. Anthony will be serving as a member of the Policy Subcommittee, where he will also be the liaison to the Steering Committee. For more information, please click here.

Faculty in the News: Mark Rasenick, PhD

March 5th, 2019 – Mark Rasenick, distinguished professor of physiology & biophysics and psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine, is quoted in an article on the WTTW Chicago Tonight website on the announcement that the FDA will soon approve the drug ketamine to treat depression. Read the full article here.

Publication News: Christopher Solis, PhD and Brenda Russell, PhD

March 5th, 2019 – Congratulations to Drs. Christopher Solis and Brenda Russell for their recent publication in the Journal of General Physiology! The research article, CapZ integrates several signaling pathways in response to mechanical stiffness, can be read here.

Post-docs in the News: Christopher Solis, PhD

January 15, 2019 – Dr. Christopher Solís, who works in Russell lab at the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, was instrumental in organizing the first Costa Rican Biophysics Symposium. Dr. Solís applied for Biophysical Society mini-grant funding and was awarded $500. Dr. Solís was born in Costa Rica and saw an opportunity to build an international network of scientists whose work is representative of the field of biophysics.