Latest news from the Beatty Research Group.

Fall 2022, Prof. Beatty is the Course Director for BMSC 666 "Chemical Biology Innovators".  This graduate-level class provides a broad overview of the field of chemical biology.  The focus is on chemistry-mediated innovations that enable new biological discoveries.  Topics include: I. Lighting up Biology (GFP, small molecule probes); II. Analyzing enzyme classes (activity-based protein profiling); III. Metabolic engineering (bioorthogonal chemistry, unnatural amino acids); IV.  Nucleic acids; V. Controlling enzymes (Photopharmacology), and VI. Chemical Genetics. 

A strength of this course is that students demonstrate expertise in chemical biology through preparation of an original research proposal.  Students work on their proposals throughout the course before presenting their proposal to a “study section” at the end of the term.  A second strength of this course is that it highlights diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the field of chemical biology by focusing each topic on a different innovator. 

Then and now...

A few years back I came to work as VIPER, our genetic tag for correlative light and EM.  This year I came as TinyVIPER, in honor of our current work.  TinyVIPER is a 4.3 kDa tag that is small, selective, and works great in cells.  Paper to be submitted soon!


The Beatty Lab enjoyed a summer outing in July.  We met at the International Rose Garden for a pot-luck picnic brunch with lots of homemade treats.  Then we visited the Japanese Garden.  It was a beautiful day for an outing!

COVID19 vaccines are a safe and effective way to help halt the spread of COVID19 and to protect members of our community.  OHSU has worked closely with the state of Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority to vaccinate Oregonians.  This has been a massive effort this year, with over 20,000 people getting vaccinated every day. 

OHSU requested that members of the OHSU community help with these efforts.  Kaylyn Devlin answered the call, helping out at the PDX airport vaccination site (see picture below).  Dr. Devlin has spent many hours working in support of the vaccination campaign, even during the cold, rainy winter days.  In May, Prof. Beatty got trained to vaccinate Oregonians and has helped out at the OHSU clinic (MPV location).  As of May 14, more than 3.4 million doses of COVID19 vaccine have been administered to Oregonians (OHA website).

To read more about the OHSU vaccination efforts, visit this site.  The Beatty lab is proud to play a part in supporting the vaccination campaign in Oregon.

Kaylyn Devlin (left) helps direct traffic at the PDX vaccination site on a cold and rainy Sunday in January.  Image courtesy of OHSU (Erik Robinson).

The past year has been really challenging, as the lab tries to push forward research projects while struggling to deal with the global pandemic.  On May 14, the Beatty lab took a welcome break by spending the morning at the Oregon Zoo.  The weather was gorgeous, and we all enjoyed seeing the polar bear (Nora) chomping on a block of ice stuffed with frozen fish and the giraffes looking elegant.

Pictured (Left to right): Kaylyn, Levi, Kimberly, and Alexa

Dr. Miguel Macias Contreras has accepted a new position in Biotech, working as a research chemist at ION Biosciences.  This is an exciting opportunity for Miguel, allowing him to develop new fluorescent probes.  He will be missed, but we wish him the best of luck!

We are happy to welcome Kaylyn Devlin, PhD to the team!  Kaylyn is a key member of Team VIP.  She is collaborating with Dr. Jim Korkola to use VIP tags to image HER2/HER3 signaling in breast cancer cells.  

Congratulations to Dr. Sam Levine on her latest paper in ACS Infectious Diseases.  Her paper can be accessed online:

Dr. Beatty has a new review out in Current Opinion in Chemical Biology: "Fluorescent Probes for Investigating Peptidoglycan Biosynthesis in Mycobacteria".  You can find this paper here:

This review is part of a themed issue on Molecular Imaging, edited by Amy Palmer and Dan Yang.


Julia Doh will present her thesis research on Thursday April 30 at 1 pm.  This seminar will be held via WEBEX due to the pandemic.  The title of her talk is: "A peptide-based technology for tracking cellular proteins with multiscale microscopy".  Her thesis advisory committee members are: Francis Valiyaveetil (Chair), Caroline Enns, Carsten Schultz, Jim Korkola, Kimberly Beatty (PI), and Claudia Lopez.



Julia Doh passed her thesis exam!  Congratulations Dr. Doh!

Congratulations to Savannah Tobin, former Beatty Lab member!  Savannah was awarded a fellowship to join the DVM/PhD program at UC Davis.  UC Davis has the #1 Vet program in the world!  We are so excited for Savannah!

OHSU has requested that basic researchers halt all non-critical wet-lab work to better enable the hospital to respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  In the Beatty lab, we were able to pause our experiments in March and are currently working from home.  Our first priority is to keep our friends, neighbors, and colleagues safe. We fortunately had N95 respirators in stock, which we gave to the hospital.  

We sincerely miss being at work, but are doing are best to accomplish goals from home.  For example, Julia is working hard to write up her dissertation.  The timeline to resume our lab work is unclear, but we look forward to getting back to it.  We are grateful to OHSU and Prof. Peter Barr-Gillespie (Chief Research Officer at OHSU) for keeping us updated and informed on the crisis and research impacts.   

--Kimberly Beatty (April 1, 2020)

A short perspective (by Kimberly Beatty)

I have been told many times that I "don't look like a scientist".  But what does a scientist look like?  To me, that is a strange question.  One could also ask, what does a doctor look like?  Or an author?  Or a teacher?  Or a chef?  Scientists are humans and, as such, we don't all look the same.  I have enjoyed working with dozens of scientists over the years, with varied backgrounds, hobbies, lifestyles, and interests.  I hope that we can celebrate and embrace our diversity, as well as our united passion for research.  

Cell Press published an article, "100 inspiring black scientists in America" (link here).  I invite you to visit this site to meet 100 talented scientists and learn more about what scientists look like.