The Luger lab started in January of 1999 with two postdocs, Ernst Schönbrunn and Robert Suto, and one graduate student, Cindy White. In addition to establishing a biochemistry lab, our first task was to purchase and implement diffraction equipment and to equip a molecular graphics lab. X-ray facilities were operational in May of 1999, and we solved our first structure in fall of the same year.
Our program received a kick-start with a grant from the Searle Scholars program, and we were awarded our first NIH grant in February of 2000. The lab grew rapidly in size to its ‘steady state’ size of about 10 researchers and 2-4 undergraduates. Our second NIH grant followed in 2002; this grant is now in its second cycle.
In 2002, Drs. Nyborg, Laybourn, Hansen, and Luger were awarded a grant from the W. M. Keck foundationto equip and staff protein purification facilities, and to equip the second port of our existing X-ray generator for data collection.
In 2003, Karolin Luger was named a Monfort Professor, and in 2005 was selected as an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2007, Luger was named one of thirteen University Distinguished Professors.
In 2010, Drs. Luger, Nyborg and Stargell were awarded a program project grant to study structural and functional links between histone chaperones and histone acetylation.
In 2015, Drs. Stargell, deLuca and Luger started the ‘Institute for Genome Architecture and Function’ (IGAF) with which Luger remains affiliated.
In 2015, the Luger Lab in its entirety moved to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where Karolin accepted the position of Jenny-Smoly-Caruthers Endowed Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry.