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May 2020. Our protease research is highlighted in Cornell Research at

January 2020. Our NSF MCB grant application concerning chloroplast Clp proteolysis is funded. Proteolysis, the breakdown of proteins or peptides to amino acids, is critical for removal of unwanted or damaged proteins and regulation of cellular processes such as metabolism.  This research will provide insight into the role of the central chloroplast Clp protease system, consisting of protein chaperones, a protease core complex and several proteins involved in selection and delivery of specific Clp protease substrates. The outcome of this research will allow more rational protein design for stable accumulation of chloroplast proteins, thus directly impacting these applications. This project will provide training in proteomics, mass spectrometry, molecular genetics, biochemistry, structural biology at the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels. Summer internships will be offered through our NSF-sponsored REU programs.

August 2019 Congratulations to our summer NSF-REU intern Siobhan Calhoun for her winning talk at the final REU Symposium held at the BTI.

July 2019. Our NSF genome grant application is funded. Taking advantage of the Human PeptideAtlas proteome infrastructure at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle, this project will generate the first PeptideAtlases for Arabidopsis and other plant species, based on hundreds of existing MS studies from laboratories around the world, and reanalyzed through a uniform processing pipeline. These PeptideAtlases and their metadata will be used to address biological questions and hypotheses in plant biology. A postdoc position is available in the van Wijk lab. For more information and applications see: postdoc_vanWijkLab2019advert

July 2019. Our Opinion paper in Trends in Plant Science (TIPS) about N-degron degradation pathways in plastids in now published.

June 2019. Congratulations to our Full-Bright postdoctoral fellow Dipak Gayen  for obtaining a permanent faculty position at the Central University of Rajasthan.

June 2019. Congratulations to our new graduate student Michael Miller for his Chemistry-Biology Interface NIH training grant fellowship.

May 2019. We completed  nano-LC QExactive Mass spectrometer training and the new instrument is running very smoothly 24/7 acquiring lots of data.

May 2019. Our new in vivo CLPC1 trapping study in Arabidopsis thaliana is now published in JPR.

April 2019. Congratulations to Rei – with her approved PhD thesis and her new postdoc job at NIH in Bethesda.

April 2019. Our new study about Chloroplast N-degrons is published in FEBS letters.

March 2019. Our new mass spectrometer, nanoLC-QExactive is installed and our nanoLC-Orbitrap was send to a well-deserved retirement.

January 2019. Our review entitled “Discovery of AAA+ protease substrates through trapping approaches” is published in Trends in Biochemical Sciences.

December 2018. Klaas was  named to the prestigious list of Highly Cited Researchers, which recognizes scientists for exceptional performance. Clarivate Analytics compiled its elite list of scientists and social scientists by analyzing papers ranked in the top 1 percent by citations for their field and year from 2006 to 2016.

December 2018. Our paper with the Sloan lab is accepted in Plant Journal, entitled “Extreme variation in rates of evolution in the plastid Clp protease complex

October 2018. Welcome to the new postdocs Gayen Dipak (Fullbright Fellow) and Imen Bouchnak both arriving this week.

October 2018. Congratulations to Rei for passing her final PhD exam today (25/10). Excellent exit seminar.

October 2018. Rei’s paper on ClpP3 and ClpP5 substrate traps entitled ” Consequences of the loss of catalytic triads in chloroplast CLPPR protease core complexes in vivo” is now published in Plant Direct.  Well done!

September 2018. Klaas gave the opening lecture at the INPPO Plant Proteomics meeting in Padua, Italy entitled : “Chloroplast Protein Homeostasis; complexities of N-terminal protein maturation, the N-end rule and protease networks” and a seminar at the 4th Plant Protease and PCD Symposium (VIB, Ghent) entitled “In vivo trapping of chloroplast CLP substrates”

July 2018. NEW funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support our work on the N-end rule of protein stability in plant chloroplasts.  Whereas the N-end rule (different versions) is been identified to operate within prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells,  an N-end rule has not been established for proteins inside of the chloroplasts.

July 2018. BBQ and fare-well party for Hiro, Hiromi, Nazmul and Lisa all leaving our lab and either returning home to Japan, starting a new job or starting a PhD in the Netherlands! Sorry to see you all leave after a great time here in Plant Biology.

BBQ – july 2018 – center: Elena, April, Rei,

Summer 2018 – Conference time. Elena and Nazmul drove to Montreal to participate in the annual ASPB conference and Klaas traveled to Italy for the Gordon Conference on ‘Mitochondria and Chloroplasts‘ . Elena presented a poster entitled “Plastoglobules: chloroplast lipoprotein micro-compartments involved in isoprenoid metabolism“. Nazmul presented a poster and short talk entitled ” Functions and genetic interactions of chloroplast glutamyl endopeptidase (CGEP)“. Klaas gave an invited talk entitled “Chloroplast protein maturation and proteolysis“.


May 2018. Congratulations to Elena for her award for Excellence in Leadership from Cornell.  She received the award for her consistent and sustained ability to improve the graduate and professional student experience through leadership activities.

Elena and two other SIPS graduate students received awards at the Spring 2018 Recognition Banquet sponsored by the Cornell Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement (OISE).

19 March 2018. Congratulation to Giulia for her award from Engaged Cornell to connect Cornell students  in her Medical Ethnobotany class (PLBIO 2100) with the Chief Sam George of the Cayuga Nation.

18 March 2018. Klaas gave a talk entitled “Complexities of N-terminal protein maturation and stability in chloroplasts” at the Plant-Omics session of the 255th American Chemical Society National meeting in New Orleans.

the speakers in the Plant-Omics session

9 March 2018. Hiro (Professor Ishida) gave a great seminar entitled “Autophagy and nutrient recycling in plants” at Cornell.

3 March 2018. Happy Birthday Lisa!  Ouderwetse appeltaart and vegan brownie

1 February 2018. Welcome to Lisa from the University of Amsterdam. Lisa will be doing a master project on testing for an N-end rule of protein stability in the chloroplast.

25 January 2018. Congratulations to Nazmul for winning a travel award from the American Society of Plant Biologist (ASPB) to attend the 2018 annual ASPB meeting in July in Montreal.


28 January 2018. We toast to Cyrille who is leaving our lab after a postdoc sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). His projects on chloroplast N-degrons and ClpC substrates will be published soon!

January 2018. Lab group pic in our coffee/lunch area


16 December 2017. Lab end-of-year brunch in Forest Home.

End-of year brunch


November 2017. Our Arabidopsis chloroplast and mitochondrial peptidase network is finally published in The Plant Cell. The annotation and classification of more than 600 peptidases in Arabidopsis  is now also available through PPDB. We hope that this paper and annotation in PPDB will be a great resource for anyone interested in proteolysis and proteostasis in plants.

November 2017. Klaas gave a talk at the 7th Symposium of the Mexican Proteomics Society; ‘Mass Spectrometry Based Omics’ in Guadalajara, Mexico. Guadalajara is the 2nd biggest city of Mexico in the west-central state of Jalisco, a region famous for its tequila.

The historic center of Guadalajara, Mexico


September 2017.  Congratulations to Elden with passing your final exam for your PhD! And of course congratulations and success with your new postdoc position at the Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, in the lab of Assistant Professor Erin Bertrand, exploring the Marine Microbial Proteome.

August 2017.  Summer in Ithaca.

Sire, Nazmul, Suyu, Elena, Klaas, Elden, Giulia, Rei, Cyrille


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