Current Fellows

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.

Publications:

  • Masitas, C.; Peng, Z.; Wang, M.; Konai, M.M.; Avila-Cobian, L.F.; Lemieux, L.; Hovanesian, J.; Grady, J.E.; Mobashery, S.; and Chang, M. Matric metalloproteinase-14 as an instigator of fibrosis in human pterygium and its pharmacological intervention. ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science. DOI Science. DOI: 10.1021/acsptsci.2c00125. PMID: 35983271 PMCID: PMC9380204 (available on 2023-07-19).
  • Peng, Z.; Konai, M.M.; Avila-Cobian, L.F.; Wang, M.; Mobashery, S.; and Chang, M. MMP-1 and ADAM10 as targets for therapeutic intervention in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. ACS Pharmacology & Translations Science. DOI: 10.1021/acsptsci.2c00050. PMID: 35983283 PMCID: PMC9380212 (available on 2023-07-18).

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:

February 7, 2022- April  8, 2022. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. Mentor: Professor Patrick Limbach. Kurtis's internship provided expertise in using mass spectrometry and other chromatographic techniques for quantifying RNA modifications and related metabolites from various sources. He performed various mass spectrometric analyses on cellular and nuclear extracts of healthy cells (BJ cells) and Miller-Dieker Syndrome cells. He worked on measuring the cellular concentrations of SAM and SAH using Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Kurtis also measured DNA and RNA modifications using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. 

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.

William Castillo 

William Castillo

B.S. 2019, CalPoly Humboldt, Arcata, CA
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Holly Goodson


Research Project:

William's research project focuses on the development of novel methods that are both accurate and cost-effective for the detection of a wide array of bioavailable nutrients that are overly enrichment in freshwater and marine ecosystems(Eutrophication) that has become a worldwide environmental problem.

Internship:

William will complete a 12-week internship with Professor Jennifer Tank in the Department of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame. William will learn how to quantify nitrogen and phosphorous levels from various water samples and become an expert in collecting and processing samples obtained from environmental water sources.


Kevin Catalfano 

Kevin Catalfano

B.S. 2020, Hope College, Holland, MI 
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Brian Blagg

Research Project: 
Kevin's research focuses on the development of Aha1/Hsp90 small molecule disruptors for the reduction of tau fibrillization in Alzheimer's disease. This project will integrate organic synthesis, biochemical evaluation and pharmacological optimization of these derivatives. 

Internship: 

Kevin plans on completing his internship with Dr. Laura Blair at the University of South Florida College os Molecular Medicine. At USF, Kevin will preform in vivo studies of his most potent compounds focusing on taupathy. Specifically, he will conduct animal studies using transgenic mouse models APP/PS1 and mCherry mouse models to stimulate Alzheimer's disease. This animal study will include behavioral analysis including the Morris Water Maze to access spatial memory and how his compounds impact these behavioral tests. Brain tissue will be harvested for post mortem analysis of hippocampal and striatal tissue via immounohistochemical imaging for neuronal death, tau accumulation and gliosis. Kevin will also perform western blot analysis to probe for high molecular with tau species, Hsp70 induction, and Hsp90-Aha1 disruption in response to drug treatment. The mouse trunk blood, liver, and kidney will also be harvested and analyzed to assess drug clearance and potential accumulation of metabolites.

 

Publications:

  • Keegan, B.; Catalfano,K.; Bannerjee, M.; Blagg, B.. “Synthesis and evaluation of small molecule disruptors of the Aha1/Hsp90 complex for the reduction of tau aggregation. ” ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 202213, 827-832. PMID: 35586436, PMCID: PMC9109267 (available on 2023-05-12). DOI: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.2c00064

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:

  • Charlestin, V.; Fulkerson, D.; Matus, C.E.A.; Walker, Z.T.; Carthy, K.; and Littlepage, L.E.  Aquaporins: new Players in Breast Cancer Progression and treatment Response. Frontiers Oncology - Molecular and Cellular Oncology (Manuscript Submitted and under Review). 
  • Publication with internship mentor CA Lyssiotis. Nwosu, Z.C.; Giza, H.; Nassif, M.; Charlestin, V.; Menjivar, R.E.; Kim,D.; Kemp, S.; Steele, N.G. Hu, J.; Hu,B.; Wang, S.; Pasca di Magliano,M.; Lyssiotis, C.A. Multi-dimensional analyses identify genes of high priority for pancreatic cancer research. bioRXiv 2021.05.28.446056.
  • 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

Jordan Chasteen 

Jordan Chasteen

B.S. 2020, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Bradley Smith

Research Project:
Jordan's research project focuses on developing novel technologies and biochemical methods to improve liposome and related nanoparticle drug delivery systems, as well as understanding the underpinnings of lipid membrane dynamics employing various spectroscopic and microscopy techniques. In 2023 he will pursue an internship that will expand his chemical and quantitative biomembrane training, with a technical focus on selective nanoparticle targeting of disease.

Internship:

Jordan will complete his internship at Vrije Universitet Brussel and work in Professor Hernot's lab to learn nanobody design and conjugation onto liposomes. Specifically, his work in Dr. Hernot's lab will focus on designing and tesiting novel nanobody-liposomes for uses in targeted, triggered release of targeted payload(s). 

 

Publications: 

  • Shaffer, C.C.; Zhai, C.; Chasteen, J.L.; Orlava, T.; Zhukovskyi, M.; Smith, B.D.  Silica nanoparticle remodeling under mild conditions: versatile one step conversion of mesoporous to hollow nanoparticles with simultaneous payload loading. Nanoscale Communication. 2022 (Accepted 17-Nov-2022)

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)

 

 

 


Amr El-Araby  

Amr El Araby

B.Pharm 2017, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Shahriar Mobashery


Research Project:

Amr's research involves the investigation of the cell-wall recycling pathway in the Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The focus of this project is to integrate chemical synthesis, biochemical methods and biophysics to elucidate and characterize the metabolic flux of this pathway and the protein-protein interactions among the pathway enzymes.

Internship:

Amr will join Professor Juan Hermoso's lab in the Institute of Physical Chemistry “Rocasolano”, CSIC in Madrid, Spain for his internship. During his internship, Amr will work on crystallization and structural elucidation of cell-wall recycling enzymes in different ligand-bound and ligand-unbound states.

 

 

 


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:
April  30, 2022 - July 24, 2022. Ohio State University, Department of Biological Chemistry and Pharmacology, Columbus,OH. Mentor: Professor Charles Bell.  Madeline's internship involved screening cryo-TEM grids of the MALAT1 triple-helical RNA in complex with TBMs as well as the apo form of the triple-helical RNA. The internship helped to expand her knowledge on the physical chemistry involved in RNA-small molecule complex validation via cryo-TEM.


 

 


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.


 

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

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

Ansley Nemeth

 

 

 

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 15, 2021- July 20, 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:
November 8, 2021 - December 15, 2021 & May 11 - June 15, 2022.  Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Mentor: Professor Cynthia Stauffacher. Department of Biological Sciences. Himani's research focused on the expression, purification, and crystallization of HMG CoA reductase (HMGR).  Himani 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.

Tyelor Reynolds 

Tyelor Reynolds

B.S. 2020, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentor: Brian Blagg

Research Project:
Tyelor's research is focused on the development of a selective inhibitor for extracellular Hsp90α (eHsp90α), to investigate eHsp90α’s multifaceted role in cancer progression and metastasis. He will perform organic synthesis to access targeted inhibitors and use in-vitro and cell-based assays to characterize the effects of eHsp90α inhibition. As eHsp90α is a clinically relevant drug target, he will examine eHsp90α's regulation of MMP-2 and cell-signaling receptors (e.g. HER2, TGFβR) and use bottom-up proteomics to probe for eHsp90α-dependent processes that may provide insight into how eHsp90α exhibits tumorigenic cellular effects and improved anti-cancer therapeutic strategies. 

Internship: 
Tyelor plans to do an internship in Dr. Jason Gestwicki’s laboratory in The Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He will learn Hsp90-related bioanalytical LC-MS/MS techniques and analysis methods to perform bottom-up proteomics to understand the differentially expressed proteins and regulated cellular pathways in response to eHsp90α inhibitors. 

Publications: 

  • Merfeld, T.; Peng, S.; Keegan, B.M. (co-first author); Crowley, V.M.; Brackett, C.M.; McCann, N.R.; Reynolds, T.S., Rhodes, M.C.; Byrd, K.M.; Deng, J.; Matts, R.L.; Blagg, B.S.J. Elucidation of novel TRAP1-selective inhibitors that directly regulate mitrochondrial proceses with molecular precision, Nature Communications. 2022. submitted.

 


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:

April 30 - May 28, 2022. Indiana University School of Medicine. Department of Pathology, Indianapolis, IN. Mentors: Doctors Ruben Vidal & Bernardino Ghetti. Syrah's internship focused on the neuropathology that underlies neurodegenerative tauopathies. She learned how to extract and purify tau disease fibrils from patient-derived brain tissue. 
.


 

Simon Weaver

6
B.A. 2018, Goshen College, Goshen, IN
Discipline: Chemistry, IBMS Program
Mentor: Matthew Champion
 
Research Project: 
Simon's project focuses on the identification and characterization of small proteins(sProts) in mycobacteria. These proteins are important in gene regulation and virulence, but are often missed in standard proteomics because of their size and non-canonical sequence characteristics. Simon plans to use an informatics approach to develop algorithms that accurately identify and quantify these sProts using bottom-up proteomics. He is also developing an application for the advanced visualization of quantitative proteomics data. 
 
 
Internship:
September 4 - November 19, 2022.  University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.  Mentor:  Professor Michael Shortreed in Lloyd Smith's lab. Simon is contributing to the development of new tools for MetaMorpheus, an open-source software for proteomics database searching and data analysis. He also learned how to write software for targeted protein identification.
 
 
Publications: 
  • Weaver, S.D.; Ambrose, G.A.; Whelan, R.J. Activity: teaching coding in R through discipline-focused problem-solving in an analytical chemistry course. Journal of Chemical Education. 2022, 99, 3068-3073. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.2c00395. 
  • Weaver, S.D.; Schuster-Little, N.; Whelan, R.J. Preparative capillary electrophoresis (CE) fractionation of protein digests improves protein and peptide identification in bottom-up proteomics. Analytical Methods 2022, 14, 1103-1110. DOI: 10.1039/D1AY02145A. 
  • Weaver, S.D.; Whelan, R.J. Characterization of DNA aptamer-protein binding Using fluorescence anisotropy assays in low-volume, high-efficiency plates. Analytical Methods2021, 13, 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:
July 1 - August 1, 2021. University of Colorado, Denver, CO.  Mentor: Professor Alex Horswill, Department of Immunology and Microbiology. Alex's internship will delve deeper into the biological effects of the lead compound in S. aureus. His research will attempt to determine the effects of the inhibitor on protein expression and bacterial cell behavior. He will also perform immunofluorescent microscopy experiments to observe bacterial cell behavior in the presence of the lead compound and perform qPCR to determine how the production of different surface associated proteins has been affected by culturing cells in the presence of the lead compound. 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). 

 


Jingdong Yang 

Jingdong Yang

B.S. 2020, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
Discipline: Biochemistry
Mentors: Mayland Chang and Shahriar Mobashery

Research Project: 
Jingdong's research project focuses on evaluating and characterizing 1,2,4-oxadiazole designed to inhibit the germination of Clostridiodes difficile spores. He plans to clarify the structure-activity-relationship and mechanism of the oxadiazoles against C. difficile spore germination and then determine the cytotoxicity and pharmacokinetics characteristics of selected oxadiazoles. His ultimate goal is to develop a drug against recurrent C. difficile infection.

Internship:
Jingdong plans to conduct a research internship with Prof. Juan Hermoso in the summer of 2023 to crystalize oxadiazoles with targeted proteins to elucidate the structural mechanism.