Current Fellows

Emilija Aleksandrovic

6

B.S. 2020, Hartwick College,Oneonta, NY

Discipline: Biology, IBMS program

Mentor: Siyuan Zhang

Research Project:
Emilija's research project is centered around studying the metastatic microenvironment through the use of genetic labeling approach. She plans to investigate the role of metastasis-associated cells using high throughput single-cell sequencing and proteomics methods.

Internship:

Emilija is planning a research internship in the laboratory of Dr. Uma Aryal in the Summer of 2022 to receive training in targeted and global LC-MS/MS analysis of proteins.

Publications:

  • Golomb, S.M.; Guldner, I.H.; Zhao, A.; Wang, Q.; Palakurthi, B.; Aleksandrovic, E.; Lopez, J.; Yang, K.; Zhang, S. Multi-modal single cell analysis reveals brain immune landscape plasticity during aging and gut microbiota dysbiosis. Cell Reports.2020, 33,108438. PMCID: PMC7737488.

Luis Avila

 

Luis Avila

B.S.2017, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Shahriar Mobashery

Research Project:
Luis's research focuses on the bacterial cell-wall degradome. Luis will receive training in biochemistry as his major area, but he will integrate his biochemical research with analytical chemistry and physical-chemical analyses of proteins.


Kurtis Breger

6

B.S.2016, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO

Discipline: Biochemistry

Mentor: Jessica Brown

Research Project:

Kurtis's research project is focused on understanding the enzymes involved with RNA modifications and elucidating the disruptions to the transcriptome and epitranscriptome when these enzymes are impaired in human diseases.

Internship:

Kurtis will go to the University of Cincinnati to gain expertise in using mass spectrometry and other chromatographic techniques for quantifying RNA modifications and related metabolites from various sources.

Publications:

  • McCown, P.J.; Ruszkowska, A.; Kunkler, C.N.; Breger, K.; Hulewicz, J.P; Wang, M.C.; Springer, N.A.; Brown, J.A. Naturally Occurring Modified Ribonucleosides. Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA.  2020, e1595, doi: 10.1002wrna.1595. [online ahead of print] PMID: 32301288.

Verodia Charlestin

Verodia Charlestin

B.S. 2016, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Laurie E. Littlepage

Research Project:
Verodia&'s research focuses on the alteration of the metabolism of tumor cells in the tumor microenvironment using mass spectrometry imaging MALDI. She plans a research internship with Professor Costas Lyssiotis at the University of Michigan in January 2020 to learn new approaches in molecular imaging of lipids. Verodia's project involves novel correlation-based network analysis of breast tumor metabolism identifying the glycerol channel protein Aquaporin-7 as a regulator of lipid and arginine metabolism during breast cancer.

Internship:
January 2020 - March 2020 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Mentor Professor Costas Lyssiotis. She will be learning how to use labeled substrates in metabolic flux analysis and incorporating other analytical techniques into my research.

 

Publications:

  • Dai, C.;Charlestin, V.; Wang, M.; Walker, Z.T.; Miranda-Vergara, M.C.; Facchine, B.A.; Wu, J.; Kaliney, W.J.; Dovichi, N.J.; Li, J.; Littlepage, L.E. Aquaporin-7 Regulates the Response to Cellular Stress in Breast Cancer. Cancer Res., 2020, 80(19):4071-4086.;Doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-2269. Epub 2020 Jul 6. PMID: 32631905.
  • Nwosu, Z.C., Piorońska, W.; Battello, N.; Zimmer, A.D.; Dewidar,B.; Han, M.; Pereira, S.; Blagojevic,B.; Castven, D.; Charlestin,V.;  Holenya, P.; Lochead, J.; De La Torre, C.; Gretz, N.; Sajjakulnukit, P.; Zhang, L.; Ward, M.H.; Marquardt,J.U.; di Magliano, M.P.; Lyssiotis, C.A.; Sleeman, J.; Wölfl, S.; Ebert, M.P.; Meyer, C.; Hofmann, U.; Dooley, S. Severe Metabolic Alternations in Liver Cancer Lead to ERK Pathway Activation and Drug Resistance. EBioMedicine. 2020, 54, 102699. PMCID: PMC7182727

Hannah Corman

Hannah Corman

B.A. 2016, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY
Discipline: Biological Sciences
Mentor: Mary Ann McDowell

Research Project: Hannah’s project is centered on development of novel anti-leishmanial agents: structure-activity relationships of heteroaromatic scaffolds.

Honors

  • Indiana CTSI Predoctoral Training Award (July 2019)
  • Leadership Advancing Socially Engaged Research Fellow (May 2018)

Publications:

  • Corman, H.N.; Shoue, D.A.; Norris-Mullins, B.; Melaconcon, B.J.; Morales, M.A.; McDowell, M.A. Development of a Target-free High Throughput Screening Platform for the Discovery of Antilesishmanial Compounds. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2019, 54, 496-501. pii: S0924-8579(10) 30193-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag. 2019.07.013[epub ahead of print] PMID 3232307.

Homero Domínguez

Homero Dominguez

B.S. 2017, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Discipline: Chemistry
Mentor: Shahriar Mobashery


Research Project
Homero's project is centered on targeting allostery in proteins for the design of antibiotics.

Honors

  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (2015)
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher (2019)
  • GEM Associate Fellow (2019)

Madeline Glennon

6

B.A.2018, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO

M.S. 2020, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO

Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Jessica A. Brown

Research Project:

Madeline's research project is focused on the selectivity and binding of small molecules to triple helical RNA and the elucidation of the interaction between small molecules and RNA through a high-resolution structure.

Internship:

Madeline plans to spend Fall 2022 expanding her knowledge on the physical chemistry involved in RNA-small molecule complex validation via cryo-EM.


Elizabeth Harper

Elizabeth Harper

B.A. 2015,Earlham College, Richmond, IN
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Sharon Stack

Research Project:
Elizabeth's project involves working on how aging affects ovarian cancer metastatic success. Elizabeth will assess age-related changes to metastatic sites using a variety of imagining and biochemical techniques with in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro models.

Internship:
Elizabeth will be interning the summer of 2020 working with Dr. Amanda Hummon at Ohio State University, an expert in mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

Honors:

  • NIH F99 Predoc to Postdoc Transition Award(2020)
  • Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program Recruitment Committee Member (2019)
  • Interdisciplinary Interface Training Program(IITP) Grant, Harper Cancer Research Institute, University of Notre Dame (2018)
  • Integrated Biomedical Sciences program GSU Representative, University of Notre Dame (2018)
  • Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program Professional Development Chair, University of Notre Dame (2018)

Publications:

  • Asem. M.; Young, A.M.; Oyama, C.; Claure De La Zerda, A.; Lui, Y.; Yang, J.; Hilliard, T.S.; Johnson, J.; Harper, E.I.; Guldner, I.; Zhang, S.; Page-Mayberry, T.;  Kaliney, W.J.; Stack, M.S. Host Wnt5a Potentiates Microenvironmental Regulation of Ovarian Cancer  Metastasis. Cancer Res202080(5):1156-1170. doi:10.1158/0008-5472. Can-19-1601.  Epub 2020 Jan 13.  PMID: 31932454.    
  • Harper, E.I.; Sheedy, E.F.; Stack, M.S. With Great Age Comes Great Metastatic Ability: Ovarian Cancer and the Appeal of the Aging Peritoneal Microenvironment. Cancers(Basel), 2018, 10, 230. PMID: 29996539, PMCID: PMC6070816.

Bradley M. Keegan

Brad Keegan

B.S. 2013, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Discipline: Chemistry
Mentor: Brian S.J. Blagg

Research Project:
Brad’s research focuses on the design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel AHA1/Hsp90 inhibitors for reduction of tau aggregation in Alzheimer’s disease.. He is planning to conduct a research internship in the laboratory of Prof. Ionnis Gellis at the University of South Florida to conduct NMR CSP docking experiments to evaluate their binding to AHA1.

Internship:
March 2019- May [/]-CNR, Milan, Italy. Mentor: Dr. Giorgio Colombo. Brad’s internship provided experience in computational modeling, ligand docking, and dynamic simulation experiments to discover novel binding pockets and mechanisms for Aha1/Hsp90 disruption.

Honors:

  • Co-winner(EncepHeal Therapeutics), The Neuro Startup Challenge – National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2015)
  • Graduate Student Travel Award, Experimental Biology – The American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) (2014)
  • Certificate of Professional Education in Chemistry, The Committee on Professional Training – The American Chemical Society (ACS)

Publications:

  • Tomašič, T.; Durcik, M.; Keegan, B. M.; Skledar, D. G.; Zajec, Ž.; Blagg, B.S.J.; Bryant, S. D. 2020. Discovery of Novel Hsp90 C-Terminal Inhibitors Using 3D-Pharmacophores Derived from Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Int. J. Mol. Sci21(18):E6898. doi; 10.3390/ijms2118688. PMID: 32962253.
  • Chaudhury, S.; Keegan, B. M.; Blagg, B.S.J. The Role and Therapeutic Potential of Hsp90, Hsp70, and Smaller Heat Shock Proteins in Peripheral and Central Neuropathies. Med Res Rev2020, Aug 25. doi: 10.1002/med.21729. Online ahead of print.       PMID: 32844464.  
  • Shi,T.; Wijeratne, E.M.K.; Solano, C.; Ambrose, A.J.; Ross, A.B.: Norwood, C.; Orido, C.K.; Grigoryan, T.; Tillotson, J.; Kang, M.; Luo, G.; Keegan, B.M.; Hu, W.; Blagg, B.S.J.; Zhang, D.D.; Guatilaka, A.A.L.; Chapman, E. An Isoform-Selective PTP1B Inhibitor Derived from Nitrogen-Atom Augmentation of Radicol. Biochemistry, 2019, 58, 3225-3231. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.9600499. PMID: 31298844.

Charlotte Kunkler

Charlotte Kunkler

B.A. 2016, Biochemistry, Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Jessica A. Brown

Research Project:
Charlotte’s project involves understanding the structural properties of triple helices and a triple-stranded RNA-binding protein.

Honors:

  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral F31 Fellowship(2020)
  • Ewha-Luce Internation Seminar (ELIS) Participant, Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, South Korea (2018)
  • Roger K. Bretthauer Graduate Teaching Award, University of Notre Dame (2017-2018)

Publications:

  • McCown, P.J.; Ruszkowska, A.; Kunkler, C.N.; Breger, K.; Hulewicz, J.P; Wang, M.C.; Springer, N.A.; Brown, J.A.  Naturally Occurring Modified Ribonucleosides. Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA.  2020, e1595, doi: 10.1002wrna.1595. [online ahead of print]PMID: 32301288.
  • Kunkler, C. N.; Hulewicz, J. P.; Hickman, S. C.; Wang, M. C.; McCown, P. J.; Brown, J. A. Stability of an RNA•DNA–DNA triple helix depends on base triplet composition and length of the RNA third strand. Nucleic Acids Res. 2019, 47 (14), 7213–7222.

Guoqiang Liu

6

B.S. 2017, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China  

Discipline: Biology

Mentor: Xin Lu

Research Project:

Guoqiang's research project involves research on protein nitration and other mechanisms that MDSCs (myeloid-derived suppressor cells) contribute to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. He is also working on developing MDSC-targeted delivery strategy for tumor diagnosis and combinatorial immunotherapy.  

Internship:

Guoqiang is planning to take an internship in the School of Life Science at Westlake University in Summer 2021 and work with Dr. Feng Shan on proteomic screening of MDSCs and T cells in tumor microenvironment.

Publications:

  • Luo, Y.; Medina Bengtsson, L.; Wang, X.; Huang, T.;  Liu, G.; Murphy, S.; Wang, C.; Koren, J. 3rd; Schafer, Z.; Lu, X. UQCRH Downregulation Promotes Warburg  Effect in Renal Cell Carcinoma. Sci Rep. 2020,10(1):15 021. doi: 10.1038s41598-020-72107-2. PMID: 32929120. PMCID: PMC749063.
  • Liu, G.; Jin, Z.; Lu, X.  Differential Targeting of Gr-MDSCs, T Cells and Prostate Cancer Cells by Dactolisib and Dasatinib. Intl J Mol Sci, 2020, 21(7):2337.  doi: 10.3390/ijms21072337.  PMID: 32230980. PMCID: PMC7178187.
  • Zhang, Y.; Liu, G.; Sun, M.; Lu, X.  Targeting and Exploiting Tumor-associated Neutrophils to Enhance Immunotherapy and Drug Delivery for Cancer Treatment. Cancer Biol Med, 2020, 17(1):32-43.  doi: 10.20892/j.issn.2095-3941.2019.0372 PMID: 32296575. PMCID: PMC7142839.

Taylor Lundgren

6

B.S. 2019, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Discipline: Biochemistry

Mentor: Matthew Champion and Patricia Clark

Research Project:

Taylor's research project primary focus is in developing nascent chain proteomics, where unique biochemical methods are used to label and purify peptides during translation. Comparing nascent and mature peptides enables more accurate quantification of mistranslation rates and could provide novel insight into the effect on the translation by differential codon usage.

Internship:

Taylor is planning an internship at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD with Dr. Allan Buskirk as his mentor. Dr. Buskirk's work utilizes ribosomal profiling to characterize the interactions between ribosomes, mRNA, and the nascent polypeptide during translation in bacteria, with emphasis on the cause and effect of ribosomal pausing.


Maria Cristina Miranda Vergara

Maria Cristina Miranda Vergara

Degree: M.S. 2007, Instituto de Biotechnologia, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Laurie E. Littlepage

Research Project:
Maria Cristina's research focuses on investigating the tumor and microenvironment roles of matrix metalloproteinase-3(MMP-3) during breast cancer. She has identified antagonistic roles for MMP-3 when produced by the stromal tissue comparted to the epithelial cells.

Internship:
Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark. Mentor: Dr. Ulrich Auf dem Keller. She identified in vivo substrates and or/binding partners of MMP-3 by mass spectrometry.

Honors

  • 2019 AAUW International Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2019 Harper Cancer Research Institute, Research Day, Exceptional Team Science Award
  • 2018 Sigma-Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research Program Awardee
  • 2018 Exceptional Patient Advocacy Award. Harper Cancer Research Institute, University of Notre

Publications:

  • Dai, C.; Charlestin, V.; Wang, M.; Walker, Z.T.; Miranda-Vergara, M.C.;  Facchine, B.A.; Wu, J.; Kaliney, W.J.; Dovichi, N.J.; Li, J.; Littlepage, L.E.  Aquaporin-7 Regulates the Response to Cellular Stress in Breast Cancer.Cancer Res202080(19):4071-4086.  doi: 10.1158/0008-5472. Can-19-2269. Epub 2020 Jul 6. PMID: 32631905.
  • Romero-Moreno, R.; Curtis, K. J.; Coughlin, T. R.; Miranda-Vergara, M.C.; Dutta, S.; Natarajan, A.; Facchine, B.A.; Jackson, K.M.; Nystrom, L.; Li, J.; Kaliney, W.; Niebur, G.L.; Littlepage, L.E. The CXCL5/CXCR2 Axis is Sufficient to Promote Breast Cancer Colonization During Bone Metastasis. Nature Communications. 2019, doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12108-6.


Janeala Morsby 

6

B.S.2018, Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina
Mentor: Bradley Smith
Discipline: Biochemistry

Research Project:

Janeala's research project focuses on developing an Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid, and robust, Equipment-free, and Deliverable (ASSURED) method for the early detection of chronic kidney disease. More specifically, she will design test strips that provide a colorimetric response in the presence of the NAG enzyme (a biomarker for kidney damage)In another aspect of her project, Janeala will utilize a standard glucose meter for a new NAG enzyme detection application using a novel NAG-Paracetamol probe.

Internship:

May 1, 2021 - July 10, 2021, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.  Mentor: Professor Jon Camden. Janeala's internship involved studying and quantifying enzyme levels using Surface Enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), perform nanoparticle substrate synthesis and evaluate the stability of mercaptopyridine nitrile in competitive solvents. 
 

Publications:

  • Atkinson, K.M.; Morsby,J.J.;Kommidi,S.S.R.; Smith, B.D.;Generalizable synthesis of bioresponsive near-infrared fluorescent probes: sulfonated heptamethine cyanine prototype for imaging cell hypoxia. Org.BiomolChem, 2021.doi.org/10.1039/D1OB00426C" Advance Article.
  • Morsby, J.; Dharmarwardana, M.; McGarraugh, H.; Smith, B. D.  Supramolecular optimization of the visual contrast for colorimetric indicator assays that release resorufin dye. Chem Commun, 2020. doi.org/10.1039/D0CC03551C.
  • Padilla-Coley, S.; Xu, H.; Morsby, J.; Gao, H.; Smith, B. D.  Supramolecular Loading of a Broad Spectrum of Molecular Guests Inside Hyperbranched Polytriazole Nanoparticles with Cores Containing Multiple Functional Groups. Biomacromolecules, 2020, 21(6):2165-2175. Epub 2020 Apr 10. Doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.0c00151.  PMID:32227988.

Ansley Nemeth

Ansley Nemeth

B.S. 2018, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

Discipline: Chemistry

Mentor: Christian Melander

Research Project:

Ansley's research project involves the synthesis of small molecules that will be biologically evaluated for their use as antibiotic adjuvants. These molecules are tested using microbiological techniques to determine their activity in combination with different antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens such as Acinetobacter baumannii and; Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Internship:

June 2021- July 2021 Northeastern University, Boston, MA.  Mentor: Professor, Edward Geisinger, Department of Biology. Ansley's internship will entail significant training in biological related disciplines, in particular, genetic and molecular biology. She will learn how to carry out transposon sequencing (Tn-seq) analysis. The Tn-seq method will allow determination of the specific genetic pathways that novel small molecule adjuvants are affecting.

Publications:

  • Hubble, V.B.; Bartholomew, K.R.;  Weig, A.W.; Brackett, S.M.; Barlock, S.L.; Mattingly, A.E.; Nemeth, A.M.; Melander, R.J.; Melander, C. Augmenting the Activity of Macrolide Adjuvants Against Acinetobacter Baumannii. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2020, 11(9):1723-1731. doi: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.0c00276.eCollection 2020 Sep 10. PMID: 32944140. PMCID: PMC7488284 (available on 2021-09-10).
  • Nemeth, A. M.; Basak, A. K.; Weig, A. W.; Marrujo, S. A.; Barker, W. T.; Jania, L. A.; Hendricks, T. A.; Sullivan, A. E.; O’Connor, P. M.; Melander, R. J.; Koller, B. H.; Melander,C. Structure-Function Studies on IMD-0354 Identifies Highly Active Colistin Adjuvants. ChemMedChem, 2020, 15, 210-218.   PMID: 31756025, PMCID: PMC69825450(available on 1/17/2021. Doi:10.1002/cmdc.201900560.
  • Barker, W. T.; Nemeth, A. M.; Brackett, S. M.; Basak, A. K.; Chandler, C. E.; Jania, L.A.; Zuercher, W. J.; Melander, R. J.; Koller, B. H.; Ernst, R. K.; Melander, C. Repurposing Eukaryotic Kinase Inhibitors as Colistin Adjuvants in Gram-negative Bacteria. ACS Infectious Diseases, 2019, 5, (10), 1764-1771. doi.org/10.1021/acsinfecdis.9b00212 Epub 2019 Sep 4. PMID: 31434474 PMCID: PMC6944324(available on 2020-10-11).


Himani Patel

6

B.S. 2018, Mckendree University, Lebanon, IL

Discipline: Chemistry

Mentor: Olaf Wiest and Paul Helquist

Research Project:

Himani's research project focuses on mechanistic study of HMG-CoA reductase from Pseudomonas mevalonii using computational methods such as density functional theory (DFT), quantum mechanics/ molecular mechanics (QM/MM), transition state force fields (TSFF), and long timescale molecular dynamics simulation.

Internship:

Himani is planning a research internship in the laboratory of Dr. Cynthia Stauffacher at Purdue University in Fall 2020 to be trained in a range of experimental biological methods including protein expression in Pseudomonas mevalonii, protein purification, mutation, crystallization and kinetic studies of the HMG-CoA reductase mutants and wild type.


Yuanyuan Qian

Yuanyuan Qian

B.S.2013, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Xi’an, China
M.S.2016, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Discipline: Organic Chemistry
Mentor: Shahriar Mobashery and Mayland Chang

Research Project:
Yuanyuan's research focuses on the structure-activity relationship of quinazolinone class of antibacterials. He plans to conduct a research internship in the laboratory of Prof. Juan Hermoso to crystalize his quinazolinones with penicillin-binding proteins(PBPs) 1 and 2a. Yuanyuan’s project also involves the design, synthesis, biological evaluation, and mechanism elucidation of antibacterial agents against MRSA or C. diff.

Publications:

  •  Qian, Y.; Allegretta, G.; Janardhanan, J.; Peng, Z.; Mahasenan, K. V.; Lastochkin, E.; Gozun, M. M. N.; Tejera, S.; Schroeder, V. A.; Wolter, W. R.; Feltzer, R.; Mobashery, S.; Chang, M.. Exploration of the structural space in 4(3H)-quinazolinone antibacterials. J. Med. Chem., 202063, 5287–5296.
  • Ceballos, S.; Kim, C.; Qian, Y.; Mobashery, S.; Chang, M.; Torres, C. Susceptibility of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to five quinazolinone antibacterials. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2019, (1):e 01344-19.doi:10.1128/AAC.01344-19. Print 2019 Dec 20. PMID: 31611358. PMCID: PMC7187613. 

  • Boudreau, M.A.; Ding, D.; Meisel, J.E.; Janardhanan, J.; Spink, E.; Peng, Z.; Qian, Y.; Yamaguchi, T.; Testero, S.A.; O’Daniel, P.I.; Leemans, E.; Lastochkin, E.; Song, W.; Schroeder, V.a.; Wolter, W.R.; Suckow, M.A.; Mobashery, S.; Chang, M. Structure-Activity Relationship for the Oxadiazole Class of Antibactericals. ACS Med Chem. Lett.  2019, doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.9b00379 PMCID: PMC7073871.

  • Speri, E., Kim, C., De Benedetti, S.,Qian, Y., Lastochkin, E., Fishovitz, J., Fisher, J. F., Mobashery, S. Cinnamonitrile Adjuvants Restore Susceptibility to β-Lactams against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2019. doi:10.1021/acsmedchemlett.9b00169.

Naviya Schuster-Little

6

B.A. 2017, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

Discipline: Chemistry

Mentor: Rebecca Whelan

Research Project:

Naviya's research project  focuses on expressing, characterizing, and selecting aptamers for the ovarian cancer biomarker CA125 (MUC16). She will use bottom-up proteomics to digest MUC16 into peptides and then will design a parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) assay to detect individual peptides that demonstrate potential for quantitation. Her ultimate goal is to develop a diagnostic test to detect the MUC16 protein in early-stage ovarian cancer.

Internship:

Naviya plans to spend the summer of 2021 working in Dr. Manish Patankar's lab at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Naviya will learn how to express and purify MUC16 and will select aptamers for the protein using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS).

Honors:

  • First Place Poster Prize Harper Cancer Research Day Notre Dame, IN (April 2019)

Publications:

  • Schuster-Little, N.; Fritz-Klaus, R.; Etzel, M.; Patankar, N.; Javeri, S.; Patankar, M.; Whelan, R. Affinity-free enrichment and mass spectrometry analysis of the ovarian cancer biomarker CA125 (MUC16) from patient-derived ascites. Analyst, 2020. PMID: 33141132. doi: 10.1039/d0an01701a. Online ahead of print.
  • Schuster-Little, N.; Madera, S.; Whelan, R.J. Developing a mass spectrometry-based assay for the ovarian cancer biomarker CA125 (MUC16) using suspension trapping (STrap). AnalBioanalChem, 2020, 12(24): 6361.PMID: 32215689 doi: 10.1007/s00216-020-02586-9 (Online ahead of print).

Robert Stanley

Robert Stanley

B.S. 2016, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Jeanne Romero-Serverson
CBBI Fellow: 2017-2019
Current Position:

Research Project:
Robert's research focuses on the isolation and characterization of antimicrobial compounds from Quercus rubra(northern red oak) acorns. He is currently conducting a research internship with Prof. Daniel Jones at Michigan State University in metabolomics of northern red acorns and isolation of compounds with anitmicrobial activity. He is also conducting a second research internship with Dr. Jennifer Koch at the USDA Forest Service to collect green ash samples and analyze of defensive metabolites that resist attack by emerald ash borers.

Internship:
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI Mentor: Professor Daniel Jones. His research internship involved metabolomics of northern red acorns and isolation of compounds with antimicrobial activity. Second internship: USDA Forest Service Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Koch. He collected green ash samples and analyzed defensive metabolites that resist attack by emerald ash borers.


Syrah Starnes

6

B.A. 2020, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR
Discipline: Chemistry
Mentor: Juan Del Valle

Research Project:

Syrah's research focuses on the synthesis and evaluation of novel peptidomimetic compounds designed to inhibit tau aggregation underlying various neurodegenerative disorders. She plans to intern with Dr. Bernardino Ghetti of the Indiana University School of Medicine, where she will conduct studies with patient-derived tau fibrils.

Internship:

Syrah plans to intern with Dr. Bernardino Ghetti of the Indiana University School of Medicine, where she will conduct in cytostudies with patient-derived tau fibrils.


Kathryn Trentadue

Kathryn Trentadue

B.S. 2017, Hope College, Holland, MI
Discipline: Chemistry
Mentor: Richard Taylor

Research Project:
Kathryn's project involves investigating the biosynthesis of the ambruticin family of natural products, a class of antigungal agents extracted from a soil bacterium. She will be conducting a research internship in the lab of Dr. David Sherman at the University of Michigan where Kathryn will explore both chemical and enzymatic methods of synthesis and learn the required biological techniques. Her project involves assessing the antifungal activity of any novel ambruticin analogs produced.


Simon Weaver

6
B.A. 2018, Goshen College, Goshen, IN
Discipline: Chemistry, IBMS Program
Mentor: Rebecca J. Whelan
 
Research Project: Simon's project focuses on characterizing the ovarian cancer biomarker MUC16. Specifically he plans to use bottom-up proteomics to identify and quantify glycans that are present on MUC16, and use this information to develop assays that can improve the early detection of ovarian cancer. He will use affinity chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry to separate and identify glyco-peptides that derive from the enzymatic digestion of MUC16.
 
Internship: Simon plans to complete an internship in the lab of Dr. Pfrender in the Department of Biological Sciences here at Notre Dame. He will learn bioinformatics techniques to analyze RNA sequencing data from cancer patients for better characterization of MUC16 at the RNA level.
 
Publications: 
  • Weaver, S.D.; Whelan, R.J. Characterization of DNA aptamer-protein binding Using fluorescence anisotropy assays in low-volume, high-efficiency plates. Analytical Methods202113, 1302-1307.  PMID: 33533761.
 

Alexander Weig

6

 

B.A. 2017, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

DisciplineChemistry

Mentor: Christian Melander

Research Project:

Alex's research project involves the synthesis and evaluation of the structure-activity relationships of small molecules used to inhibit virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus.

Internship:

Alex is planning to conduct a research internship in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Horswill at the University of Colorado in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology in the summer of 2021. The internship will further the work Alex does in the Melander lab by further probing the mechanism through which his compounds inhibit virulence factors.

Publications:

  • Weig, A. W.; Barlock, S. L.; O’Connor, P. M.;  Marciano, O. M.; Melander, R. J.; and Melander, C. A Scaffold Hopping Strategy to Generate New Aryl-2-Amino Pyrimidine MRSA Biofilm Inhibitors. RSC Medicinal Chemistry. 2020, 12(2): 293-296. PMCID: PMC8127629 (available on 2021-12-08)
  • Hubble, V.B.; Bartholomew, K.R.; Weig, A.W.; Brackett,  S.M.; Barlock, S.L.; Mattingly, A.E.; Nemeth, A.M.; Melander, R.J.; Melander, C. Augmenting the Activity of Macrolide Adjuvants against Acinetobacter  Baumannii. ACS Med Chem Lett. 202011(9):1723- 1731. doi: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.0c00276. eCollection 2020 Sep 10. PMID: 32944140. PMCID: PMC7488284 (available on 2021-09-10).

  • Rasapalli, S.; Murphy, Z.F.; Sammeta, V.R.; Golen,  J.A.; Weig, A.W.; Melander, R.J.; Melander, C.;  Macha, P.; Vasudev, M.C. Synthesis and Biofilm  Iinhibition Studies of 2-(2-amino-6-arylpyrimidin-4-yl)    Quinazolin-4(3H)-ones. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 202030(23):127550. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2020.127550.  Online ahead of print PMID: 32927027.

  • Nemeth, A. M.; Basak, A. K.; Weig, A. W.; Marrujo, S. A.; Barker, W. T.; Jania, L. A.; Hendricks, T. A.; Sullivan, A. E.; O'Connor, P. M.; Melander, R. J.; Koller, B. H.; Melander, C. Structure-Function Studies on IMD-0354 Identifies Highly Active Colistin Adjuvants.  ChemMedChem 2020, 15 (2), 210- 218. doi:  10.1002/cmdc.201900560 PMID: 31756025 PMCID: PMC6982545( available on 2021-01-17).