Photo of Mary Jane Osborn, Ph.D.

Mary Jane Osborn, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
Academic Office Location:
Molecular Biology and Biophysics
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3205
Phone: 860-679-4206
Fax: 860-679-1239
Email: osborn@nso2.uchc.edu

Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Graduate Program

B.A.University of CaliforniaPhysiology
Ph.D.University of WashingtonBiochemistry

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Harvey LectureThe Harvey Society
Chancellor's Distinguished LectureshipUniversity of California, Berkeley
Chancellor's Distinguished LectureshipUniversity of California, Berkeley
Research Career Development Award 1961-1968National Institutes of Health
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
NRC-NASA experts meeting, microgravity and life sciences research on the lunar surface Advisory CommitteeCo-ChairExternalNational20082008
NRC-NASA workshop, Opportunities for Lunar Research Advisory CommitteeChairExternalNational20072007
National Research Council Committee on Indicators for Waterborne PathogensAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalNational20022003
American Academy of MicrobiologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationBoard of Governors MemberExternalNational19952001
Committee on Space Biology and Medicine Advisory CommitteeChairExternalNational19942000
National Research Council Space Studies Board Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19942000
German American Academic CouncilAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalInternational19941997
National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human RightsAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19931994
National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Engineering and Public PolicyAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19931996
Advisory Council, Division of Research Grants, NIHAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalNational19921994
American Academy of MicrobiologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational1992
Scientific Advisory Committee, Donaghue FoundationAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19921999
National Research Council Panel on Biomedical and Biobehavioral Research Personnel NeedsAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19921994
Board of Directors, BiosisAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalNational19911991
Advisory Committee, Princeton University Department of Molecular BiologyAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity1991
National Academy of SciencesProfessional/Scientific OrganizationCouncil MemberExternalNational19901993
Advisory Council, Division of Research Grants, NIHAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19891992
Advisory Committee, Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratories Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity19891992
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Professional/Scientific OrganizationFellow & Council MemberExternalNational19881992
Board of Directors, BiosisAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19861991
Board of Scientific Advisors, Searle Scholars ProgramAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19851989
Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, Harvard UniversityAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalUniversity19841986
Advisory Council National Institute of General Medical SciencesAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19831986
Board of Scientific Advisors Roche Institute for Molecular Biology Advisory CommitteeChairmanExternalNational19831985
Federation of American Societies for Experimental BiologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationPresidentExternalNational19821983
President's Committee on the National Medal of SciencesAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19811982
Board of Scientific Advisors Roche Institute for Molecular Biology Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19811983
Board of Scientific Advisors Roche Institute for Molecular Biology Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19811983
American Society of Biological Chemists Professional/Scientific OrganizationPresidentExternalNational19811982
American Society of Biological Chemists Professional/Scientific OrganizationPresidentExternalNational19811982
Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, Harvard UniversityAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity19811984
National Science BoardProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational19801986
National Science Board, National Research Council Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19801986
Journal of Biological ChemistryEditorial BoardAssociate EditorExternalNational19781980
National Academy of SciencesProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational1978
Research Committee of the American Heart AssociationResearch CommitteeChairmanExternalNational19761977
Journal of Biological ChemistryEditorial BoardMemberExternalNational19751975
Board of Scientific Councilors, National Heart and Lung InstituteAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19751979
Division Biological Chemistry, American Chemical SocietyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationChairmanExternalNational19751976
Advisory Council, Max Planck Institute of ImmunobiologyAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19741978
American Society of Biological Chemists Professional/Scientific OrganizationCouncil MemberExternalNational19741975
Research Committee of the American Heart AssociationResearch CommitteeMemberExternalNational19721976
Annual Review of BiochemistryEditorial BoardMemberExternalNational19721977
BiochemistryEditorial BoardMemberExternalNational19691975
Microbial Chemistry Study SectionStudy SectionMemberExternalNational19681972
American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular biologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationExternalNational
American Society of MicrobiologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationExternalNational
American Association for the Advancement of ScienceProfessional/Scientific OrganizationExternalNational
The problem of organelle biogenesis, and especially the mechanisms by which individual protein and lipid species are targeted to specific intracellular membranes, is a major focus of current research in cellular and molecular biology. This laboratory is interested in molecular mechanisms of assembly of the outer membrane of Salmonella typhimurium, with emphasis on the biogenesis of the complex lipopolysaccharide which is characteristic of this membranous organelle. Based on biochemical, genetic and immunoelectron microscopic studies, we have proposed a mechanism for lipopolysaccharide biogenesis which involves a complex pathway of vectorial transmembrane assembly of the molecule across the cytoplasmic membrane, followed by translocation to the outer membrane. A variety of molecular genetic and biochemical approaches are now being used to test this hypothesis and to analyze mechanisms of genetic regulation of lipopolysaccharide synthesis. Current studies have as major aims: 1) isolation and characterization of mutants specifically blocked in translocation of lipopolysaccharide to outer membrane; and 2) analysis of the mechanism of positive transcriptional regulation of genes for biosynthesis of O-antigen chains of lipopolysaccharide and investigation of the possibility that this transcriptional control system functions as part of a larger environmentally regulated control circuit.

Not accepting students for Lab Rotations at this time

Journal Articles


  • Mechanism of biosynthesis of the lipopolysaccharide of Salmonella
    Osborn MJ, Weiner IM Fed Proc 1967 Jan;2672
  • The structure of the heptose-containing backbone of the lipopolysaccharide of S. typhimurium
    Cherniak R, Osborn MJ Amer Soc Biol Chem 1966 Jan;

Book Sections

  • A note on reshaping the graduate education of scientists and engineers
    Osborn MJ Beyond the First Degree 1997 Jan;186-193
  • Biosynthesis and assembly of the lipopolysaccharide of the outer membrane
    Osborn MJ Outer Membranes of Gram-negative Bacteria 1980 Jan;15-34
  • Translocation of bacterial cell envelope components
    Osborn MJ Transort of Macromolecules 1978 Jan;331-340
  • Isolation of inner and outer membranes from Salmonella and other gram-negative bacteria
    Osborn MJ, Munson R In Methods in Enzymology, Vol. XXXI 1974 Jan;642-652
  • Lipid-bound intermediates in the synthesis of bacterial O-antigens
    Osborn MJ, Cynkin MA, Gilvert JM, Muller L, Singh M Methods in Enzymology, Vol. XXVIII 1972 Jan;583-601
  • Biosynthesis of the core region of lipopolysaccharide
    Osborn MJ, Rothfield L Microbial Toxins 1971 Jan;331-350
  • Role of Membranes in macromolecular synthesis
    Osborn MJ Structure and Function of Biological Membranes 1971 Jan;

Conference Papers

  • The role of bacterial permeases in metabolism
    Osborn M 1961 Jan;