Dziyana Hnedzko (PhD, 2017)
Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) converts rNDPs to dNDPs and thereby provides the essential building blocks needed for DNA replication and repair. The active reductase requires complex formation between two independent subunits (RNR-alpha and RNR-beta). This reductase activity is key to proper genome maintenance and stability, the imbalance of which is linked to multiple human disorders. Unsurprisingly, RNR activity is positively correlated with cancer growth and the enzyme is a target of successful chemotherapeutics. Contrary to its role in promoting growth, the two subunits of this enzyme have been implicated in several intriguing biological functions independent of canonical reductase activity. In particular, the l arge subunit RNR-alpha is proposed to manifest anti-proliferative activities although the mechanisms remain unknown. Our recent yeast-two-hybrid (Y2H) screen in HeLa library using the large subunit RNR-alpha as a bait protein identified subcellular locale-specific novel regulators of RNR-alpha.I investigate the functional roles of these two newly-discovered novel binders, and the consequences of interaction between RNR-alpha and its cytosol-specific binder.
Oluwatoyosi Muse (PhD, 2014)
Platelets play a crucial role in regulating the surge in thrombin generation that leads to fibrin clot formation. When platelets are activated by a vascular injury or inflammation they trigger a blood coagulation cascade that leads to fibrin formation. The progression of malignant disease has been correlated with blood coagulation abnormalities and susceptibility to thromboembolic complications.
Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is the founding member of a large family of thiol isomerases responsible for protein folding and has been identified on the surface of platelets. PDI serves an important role in thrombus formation in vivo and has emerged as a protein of interest for the development of a new class of antithrombotics.
For my studies, patients with malignant tumors will first be given oral administration of selective PDI inhibitors prior to blood draw. My aim is to use different techniques to study the role of PDI in the plasma of these patients. The techniques will include platelet dependent thrombin generation, flow cytometry and platelet aggregation assays.
Daniel Mutisya (PhD, 2014)
I am an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Allen University, Division of Math and Natural Sciences. I teach Organic Chemistry I & II (CHM 303 & 304), and Physical Science class (PSC 102) for non-science majors.
Thomas Zengeya (PhD, 2013)
Altered metabolism is a key feature of cancer pathogenesis. So new approaches to monitor and disrupt cancer cell metabolism will have significant therapeutic implications. One emerging technique is MRI of hyperpolarized metabolites. This technique has been applied in clinical trials to allow for the visualization of the conversion of pyruvate to lactate, which is an early detection method as well as an early reporting of patient response to therapy. My current efforts are directed at development of modular synthesis and investigation of 2-KG and succinate ester analogues in cellular assays to elucidate structure-activity relationships of 2-KG and succinate uptake. These studies provide a chemical foundation for the development of new 13C-metabolic tracers with expanded sensitivity and scope. Such agents may impact patient care by improving our ability to diagnose, stage, and monitor tumor therapeutic response. Other projects I am working on include solid phase synthesis of isotopically labeled azobenzene-based cleavable linkers for quantitative proteomics applications.
Pankaj Gupta (Postdoc, 2009-2011)
I work as a Process development Scientist at Nitto Denko Avecia Inc. at Cincinnati, OH. I am responsible for the process development in Oligonucleotide synthesis from Proof of concept experimentation to developing manufacturing protocols towards technology transfer and large-scale manufacturing.
Selvam Chelliah (Postdoc, 2008-2011)
My medicinal chemistry group at Texas Southern University is actively working in design and synthesis of new chemical entities for anti-cancer activity.
Paul Tanui (PhD, 2013)
I am a General and Organic Chemistry Lecturer here at Chemistry Department at State University of New York, Binghamton. I teach Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 100), General Chemistry (CHEM 107, 108 and 111) and Organic Chemistry (CHEM 231 and 332). Starting this summer of 2015, I will be teaching Preparatory Organic Chemistry (CHEM 150), a new course that I developed to help students have a smooth transition from General Chemistry to Organic Chemistry.
Vincent Sica (MS, 2011)
Vincent is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Medicinal Biochemistry program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He works in a natural products laboratory, performing the isolation and characterization of fungal secondary metabolites in search for potential new drug candidates. Vincent's primary focus is on the development of new methodologies to apply ambient ionization mass spectrometry techniques towards identifying, mapping, and monitoring the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites directly on the surface of fungal cultures.