Featured news

May 10th, 2017
Stephen Benkovic will receive the university’s Honorary Alumni Award. The Honorary Alumni Awards have been given by the Penn State Alumni Association since 1973 to honor people who are not graduates of Penn State but who have made significant contributions toward its welfare, reputation, or prestige.  Only five individuals will receive this award this year. The press release can be read here.

April 14th, 2017
Squire Booker elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
“UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Squire J. Booker, professor of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State and investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.” Read More

In other news

July 3rd, 2017
While many in the lab were at ASV2017 in Madison, WI, Craig attended the Gordon Research Conference on Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Oligonucleotides in Newport, RI.  He gave a talk on new mechanisms of action for antiviral nucleosides revealed by single-molecule and single-cell methodologies.


June 28th, 2017
Members of Cameron Laboratory: Andrew Woodman, David Aponte, Alex Martinez, Henry Hsiung, and Calvin Yeager, attended the 36th Annual meeting of the American Society of Virology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Cameron Lab members at ASV


Penn State colleagues at the banquet


David presented a talk on poliovirus lipid induction.


Andrew presented a talk on enterovirus recombination.


Alex presented a poster on enterovirus recombination.

June 27th, 2017
For its second consecutive year, Dr. Jamie Arnold, Cameron Lab and Penn State Eberly College of Science, host the Summer Undergraduate Research Exchange Program with Chang Gung University, Taiwan. This year, we welcome Chao-Ying “Rosie” Chen. She is a junior majoring in Biomedical Science at Chang Gung University. She will be working alongside Cameron Lab graduate student, Henry Hsiung, studying the cell biology of picornavirus replication. Good Luck Rosie!


June 22nd, 2017
Cameron Lab bids farewell to both Alex Martinez and Michelle Hargittai. Alex Martinez started his journey at Cameron Lab as an undergraduate student researcher and is now off to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health at Jefferson University. Michelle Hargittai is a post-doc alumna from Cameron Lab who recently returned for a sabbatical stay as a visiting scholar, she now returns to her lab at Saint Francis University. A luncheon was held in their honor. We wish you both the best in your future endeavors.


June 19th, 2017
Cameron Lab member, Jake Perryman, recently exchanged vows with his fiancé Melanie Manning. Colleagues gathered to present him with a gift and to congratulate him. We wish them the very best in the start of their new journey together!

IMG_8558June 19th, 2017
Congratulations to our Fernanda on the birth of her second child, Simón José!  The family is enjoying time together bonding with the new addition.


June 5th, 2017
Chanya Anderson
and Marc Shuler, both Penn State students are this summer’s participants in SROP. The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) encourages students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue Ph.D. degrees in science or engineering disciplines.


May 30th, 2017
Graduate student, Djoshkun Shengjuler, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation. Congratulations and welcome to PhD-dom, Jojo!Picture1

May 25th, 2017
Cameron Lab officially welcomes Alex Lugo-Soto and Steve Sujansky participants in Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). REU is an NSF-funded program that aims to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to directly work in research projects coordinated by a host institution.


May 15th, 2017
The 83rd Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science annual state meeting was held from May 14th to the 16th at the Penn State University Park. Cameron Lab members David Aponte DiazHenry (Chia-Heng) Hsiung and Calvin Yeager served as volunteer judges for the science presentations portion of the event. Thank you!


May 5th, 2017
Jojo, along with JoVE’s cameraman were in the production of an instructional video to accompany his JoVE paper on a quantitative, label-free method to study protein-membrane interactions, PIP-on-a-chip assay.

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April 26th, 2017
Our former research associate, Akira Uchida, is now the proud father of a baby girl.  Congratulations!

April 25th, 2017
Cameron Lab celebrates our graduating seniors, Emily and Fiona, today. Thank you, congrats and all the best to both of you.

January 12th, 2017
It is our pleasure to announce that Jamie has been named this year’s recipient of the Dean’s Climate and Diversity Award.  He receives this honor because of his leadership in establishing and overseeing the undergraduate student exchange program with Chang Gung University.  He was nominated by the BMB Climate and Diversity Committee, a committee on which Suresh serves. Congratulations, Jamie!

January 11th, 2017
Undergraduate Scientists, Collaboration Creates a Summer Undergraduate Research Exchange Program. Read the article from the latest edition of Science Journal from the Eberly College of Science at Penn State here.

December 5th, 2016
Benkovic named inaugural invent Penn State inventor of the year. Read the article from the latest edition of Journeys here.

October 22nd, 2016
The Cameron lab’s Fiona Fitzgerald and Alex Martinez participated in the 19th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This undergraduate-only event highlights research in chemistry, biology, and biochemistry and is open to students working with research mentors from all undergraduate institutions.

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With more than 280 posters divided into multiple groups, Alex was awarded first place in his group. Congratulations, Alex.
Fiona and Alex had previously presented their research posters at Penn State’s Eberly College of Science Undergraduate Fall Poster Exhibition on October 6. (See previous news story for more details on their research.)

October 6th, 2016
The Eberly College of Science hosted its Undergraduate Fall Poster Exhibition on October 6. The event gives students who work as undergraduate researchers the opportunity to present their research projects to the University community. Two members of the Cameron lab participated in the exhibition.

Alex Martinez presented his research on developing a cell-free, highly purified in vitro assay to model recombination and elucidate the rate-limiting steps to the process.

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Fiona Fitzgerald presented her research on discovering how the Y276H mutation, when applied to the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of Enterovirus 71 (EV71), affects the virus’ ability to replicate and recombine.

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October 5th, 2016
Come join us at Science Pub!

Informal events known as Science Café began in Europe in the 1990s and have been gaining ground all over the world ever since. Scientists and non-scientists alike gather at local venues such as pubs, coffeehouses, or restaurants for an evening of learning and social interaction in a casual setting.

Now, the idea has made it all the way across the pond to the Penn State campus. In the department of BMB, our Science Pubs—different name, same idea—have been held at Big Spring Spirits, a local distillery in the neighboring town of Bellefonte.

At our events, each discussion is led by a member of the science community and gives attendees a chance for greater engagement than is possible at the more traditional on-campus lecture. Guests can hear about what’s happening on the frontiers of science and be part of the discussion while also enjoying a cocktail (if over 21) or a meal. Concepts and information are generally explained in layman’s terms in order to appeal to people from all backgrounds.

You don’t have to be a scientist to join the conversation; you just need an interest in how the relevant topics in science and technology affect your world.

At the October meeting, graduate student Djoshkun (Jojo) Shengjuler lead the discussion on Zika virus. Zika is a mosquito-borne disease that can be transmitted via sexual contact and blood transfusions and can be spread during pregnancy from mother to fetus.

Several issues surrounding Zika were discussed at the meeting, among them the role of deforestation and global warming in the spread of Zika, how our bodies protect themselves on the cellular level from disease, and how viral vaccines are generally developed.

Afterward, Jojo took questions and led the lively discussion.

The next Science Pub will be on December 7. For more information, check out Big Spring Spirits.

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September 14th, 2016
2016 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award
Hepatitis C replicon system and drug development
Congratulations, Charlie and Ralf!

September 12th, 2016
Our collaborator, David Dulin, has started his laboratory.  Read more here.

September 4th, 2016
Members of Cameron Laboratory Jamie Arnold, Djoshkun Shengjuler, Andrew Woodman, and Craig Cameron attend and present at the European Study Group on the Molecular Biology of Picornaviruses meet EUROPIC2016 in Switzerland.

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August 29th, 2016
Dr. Tayler Croom-Perez is the newest PhD from Cameron Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State. Congratulations!

August 22nd, 2016
Cameron Laboratory welcomes BMMB graduate students Molly Rathbun and Calvin Yeager who will be rotating in our laboratory for the first round of rotations this semester.


August 13th, 2016
Undergraduate student Alex Martinez graduates with a degree in Science, Biological Sciences and Health Profession Option from the Eberly College of Science at Penn State. Alex is currently applying to MD-PhD programs, we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.


August 11th, 2016
The research exchange program that we’d highlighted earlier this summer has come and gone, and we’re glad to report that the collaboration with Chang Gung University was a great success. We made some new friends, and Bowen, Irene, and Yen-Yu enjoyed their time here while working hard as part of the Cameron lab, Holland lab and Girirajan lab research teams.
Bowen’s research project in the Cameron lab was to use 1D isoelectric focusing to begin to elucidate the pattern of phospho-species present in the NS5A phosphoproteome form cells stably replicating Hepatitis C virus RNA. Understanding the various forms of NS5A can contribute to our understanding of HCV pathogenesis and succespbility to drug treatment.
Irene’s research project in the Holland lab was to evaluate the sensitivity of a new PCR amplification approach using the PowerSeq™ 10-Plex kit for Massively Parallel Sequencing of Low Template mtDNA Samples.  This technique can be used to determine the rate and transmission of heteroplasmy, a mixture of mitochondrial DNA sequences in an individual, to enhance the power of discrimination during forensic mtDNA analysis.
Yen-Yu’s research project in the Girirajan lab was to identify whether disruption of mitochondrial function contributes to the microdeletion on chromosome 16p11.2 which has been associated with a range of neurodevelopmental phenotypes including autism, intellectual disability, obesity, and schizophrenia. Yen-Yu used drosophila melanogaster flies as a model to investigate the interaction of various mitochondrial complex genes with select 16p11.2 genes.
At the end of their 5-week visit, we hosted a poster session where the students could showcase their research and a catered lunch in celebration of their time here. Members of the Cameron, Holland and Girirajan labs were in attendance, where they were able to walk around, get a closer look at the research projects, and talk to the students.
The Cameron Lab is looking forward to future collaborations and would like to give special thanks to everyone who helped make this first research exchange program a success.

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August 5th, 2016
Friend and colleague, Squire Booker, featured on the homepage of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  When he is no longer the face of the homepage, you can still read about him here.

August 2nd, 2016
Cameron Laboratory welcomes new postdoc, Markus Kastner. A master at AFM, he will image proteins shaping RNA and DNA.

July 31st, 2016
Cameron Laboratory held its annual picnic last Saturday. Even through the pouring rain, fun was still had by all. Here’s some of the footage:

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July 8th, 2016
More hats, mugs and Nittany Lion Pez dispensers for our visitors. New gift ideas appreciated…


July 8th, 2016
Penn State Eberly College of Science Collaborates with Chang Gung University to Create a Summer Undergraduate Research Exchange Program

There was once a day when students from Taiwan flocked to the United States for advanced studies in biomedical science and research.  Now, not so much.  Dr. Robert Wang, Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Chang Gung University, has been trying to encourage his undergraduate students to leave Taiwan to explore science in the United States.  In order to facilitate research experiences for his students, he went in search of partners.  He found one in Dr. Jamie J. Arnold.  One of the movers and shakers in the Cameron Laboratory, Jamie has trained numerous undergraduate students in the lab.  Many of these students are now leaders in their chosen professions.  Jamie provided leadership and assumed major responsibility for development of the research exchange program.  In collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education, in particular Krista Miller, Global Experiences Coordinator in the Office of Science Engagement, and Masume Assaf, Director of International Student and Scholar Advising in PSU Global Programs, Jamie established the process used for students to apply, be interviewed and admitted.

The inaugural class of three, arrived on campus on Friday, July 8, 2016, escorted by Dr. Robert Wang.  The program begins officially on Monday, July 11, 2016.  The students will work in the Cameron, Girirajan and Holland laboratories.  Shown below are: Jamie Arnold standing with the students, Robert Wang and Krista Miller.  It is expected that each year the program will grow and will soon include PSU students doing research in Taiwan.

Thank you, Jamie, for such an amazing contribution to the global outreach activities of ECoS and PSU!  Welcome to Happy Valley, Bowen, Irene and Yen-Yu!

June 30th, 2016
Our Research Technologist, Young, is off to medical school. Wanted my peach cobbler on his last day. Made, delivered, and enjoyed. Good luck! June 28th, 2016


June 27th, 2016
Our visitors now have their Penn State keepsakes: caps and Cameron Laboratory mugs. Oh, and Hershey chocolate in the bags!


June 24th, 2016
Research Scholars from Chang Gung University Visit Cameron Lab
Cameron Lab welcomes Po-Ting, Kuo-Feng and Kuo-Ming to Happy Valley.  They work with our collaborator, Professor Shin-Ru Shi, in TaoYuan, Taiwan.  Last week, they attended the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Virology in Blacksburg, VA.  They are with us until July 3rd to share our latest research findings.


June 24th, 2016
Fernanda’s Francisco turns one year old.  What a big boy he has grown to be.  We’ll get him in the lab in a few years…. :-)

Fernanda-Francisco 1Fernanda Francisco 2

June 20th, 2016
Craig and Jamie attended the annual meeting of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation in Seattle, WA, June 15-18, 2016.  Craig was invited to give a lecture on our studies of mechanisms of regulated gene expression in human mitochondria.  The program can be found here.

June 20th, 2016
Josh Yoder attended ASM Microbe 2016 in Boston.  He took these pictures and sent his congratulations to Craig.  Thanks, Josh!

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June 16th, 2016
Incoming BMMB student, Henry Hsiung, is spending time with our collaborator, Prof. Robert Wang, at Chang Gung University in TaoYuan, Taiwan.

Henry Hsiung and Prof. Robert Wang

Henry Hsiung and Prof. Robert Wang

Henry Hsiung

Henry Hsiung

June 7th, 2016
Our Dr. Andrew Woodman wins the 2016 School of Life Sciences Thesis Impact Prize from University of Warwick for his dissertation entitled: “The contribution of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase to genetic recombination in enteroviruses.”  Congratulations, Andrew!

May 19th, 2016
Plenary and award lectures from the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are now online (click here).

May 19th, 2016
From NIH…
NIAID logo
Leading Research to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Infectious, Immunologic, and Allergic Diseases

Zika Virus Protein Could be Vaccine Target
A viral protein known as NS5 (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) is a promising target for vaccines against Zika and related viruses, NIAID researchers and colleagues say. Their study in Cell Host & Microbe suggests that altering or removing the NS5 protein from Zika virus would allow the human body’s own immune defenses to attack the virus. The study found that NS5 prevents Zika virus-infected human cells from signaling immune system cells to make interferon, a powerful antiviral protein.
Read More.

May 16th, 2016
Congratulations, Shaan!
Shaan Prabhakar graduates with a BS degree in Chemistry.  He will take a year off to do service in the hospital to make sure that his plan to attend medical school makes sense.  We wish him well!

Shaan Prabhakar - Penn State 2016

Shaan Prabhakar – Penn State 2016

April 27th, 2016
Our Cheri Lee was featured by the Penn State Alumni Spotlight.
Read more.

April 22nd, 2016
A snapshot of RNA methylation by a bacterial methyltransferase
Our friend, Squire Booker, has obtained a snapshot of RNA methylation by a bacterial methyltransferase.  The work appears in the April 22nd issue of Science.  Congratulations, Squire!
Read more.

April 21st, 2016
THE END OF AN ERA.  Deb Grove, director of the Genomics Core Facility, will retire at the end of the month.  To show our appreciation for her collaborations with Cameron Laboratory, we hosted a lunch for her.  Shown are Deb and Craig at the lunch.  Again, a huge thank you and best wishes from the Cameron Lab to you, Deb!

Deb and Dr. Cameron at send off lunch.

Deborah Grove and Dr. Cameron

August 2nd, 2015
David Maag, one of our first undergraduates,  is now a group leader at AbbVie!

June 21st-26th, 2015
Craig, Jamie and Djoshkun attended the Gordon Research Conference: Viruses & Cells in Girona, Spain.
Dr. Craig E. Cameron, Dr. Jamie J. Arnold and Djoshkun Shengjuler attended the Gordon Research Conference: Viruses & Cells in Girona, Spain. Dr. Craig E. Cameron was the discussion leader on “Transcription and Translation”. Special thanks to Dr. Sean Whelan (Harvard Medical) and Dr. Blossom Damania (UNC Chapel Hill) for accepting all three of us and organizing such an outstanding conference. We are all looking forward to the next GRC: Viruses & Cells.

June 19, 2015
Congratulations to our Fernanda Lodeiro and her husband, Diego Menéndez, on the birth of their son!

May 26,2015
Andrea Gamarnik
Jamie and Craig go to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to talk Dengue virus replication with lavivirologist extraordinaire, Andrea Gamarnik ( As shown by the picture, scientific exchange can be enhanced by a little food and wine (of course in Argentina Malbec is the grape of choice).

May 21, 2015
Craig wins a $10K a Collaborative Research Travel Grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund ( grants) to cover travel to and from Delft, The Netherlands, to work with Nynke Dekker (

May 19, 2015
Our friend and colleague, Prof. Squire Booker, is now an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Congratulations, Squire!  You can read more about Squire and this well deserved honor here:;

May 15th, 2015
Alumna Mugisha Niyibizi has completed the Masters of Public Health degree at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She hopes to become a surveillance officer focusing on bacterial and viral diseases. Congratulations, Mugisha!

March 30th, 2015
Tayler Croom-Perez wins grant from PARC (
Our Tayler Croom-Perez and her Adam Perez win a $2000 grant from the Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC) to do experiments in a nearby junior high school. The experiments will also be featured in PARC’s national teacher development workshop. PARC is an Energy Frontier Research Center at Washington University of St. Louis funded by the US Department of Energy. Our Prof. Don Bryant, a member of PARC, sponsored the application…thanks, Don!

March 29th, 2015
Using Polio to Kill Cancer
Polio used to kill cancer, a segment of 60 minutes on Sunday, March 29th ( /polio-cancer-treatment-duke-university-60-minutes-scott-pelley/). A must view for all. The developer of this technology is our friend, Matthias Gromeier ( Jamie and I have known Matthias since he was a postdoc with Eckard Wimmer. Who knew that the idea he had oh so long ago would actually be called by many the miracle cure of the 21st century. Congratulations, Matthias!

Popular review articles published by the Cameron Lab

– Structure, Dynamics and Fidelity of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases

March 27th, 2015
Dekker, Cameron and Shih win grant from the Human Frontier Science Program.
This grant will support the magnetic tweezers work with the Dekker Lab in Delft, The Netherlands. The grant scored 2nd out of more than 60 full applications and 1000 pre-applications


March 25th, 2015
Roel Fleuren, our former graphic designer, gets his first publication in Nature. He states: “Yes! What I couldn’t manage as a scientist, I did pull off as a photographer.” Here’s the link: Congratulations, Roel!

March 21st, 2015
Virologists invade State College
Virologists invade State College for Marilyn Roossinck’s Workshop on Virus
Evolution.  With all of the presentations done, Craig and Jamie entertain a
few of their favorite virologists at the Ale House…

February 13th, 2015
Our collaborators Nynke Dekker ( and David Dulin ( publish a magnetic-tweezers platform that will revolutionize our ability to study nucleic acid enzymes. Congratulations to them!

Elongation-Competent Pauses Govern the Fidelity of a Viral RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase 

January 28th, 2015
Cheri Lee successfully defends her doctoral dissertation. Congratulations!

January 26th, 2015
Our paper with the Xiang and Deng labs featured by J Virol editors

A New DNA Virus Phosphoinositide-Binding Protein (link available below)
Structure-Function Analysis of Vaccinia Virus H7 Protein Reveals a Novel Phosphoinositide Binding Fold Essential for Poxvirus Replication

January 17th, 2015
Lab celebrates New Year!

December 19th, 2014
Happy Holidays
The holiday season arrived far, far too quickly. We wish everyone a safe, happy holiday season and continued prosperity in the new year…

December 12th, 2014
Lab alumnus, Dr. Thomas McCrory is now a Territory Manager for Clontech Laboratories, Inc. Congratulations, Tom!

December 7-9th, 2014
Stacy Hovde and Minyoung So (Laurie Kaguni Lab , Michigan State University) visit the lab to learn how to express and purify mitochondrial proteins.

December 4th, 2014
Cameron Lab welcomes Dr. Haiwei Wang to the lab.