Research Biological

Biological Research

Graduate students in the Division meld molecular and structural biology with physical, organic and analytical chemistry to understand the molecular basis of biological processes and human disease. Research in the Biological Division focuses on the structure, stability and function of proteins, membranes, DNA, RNA, macromolecular complexes and viruses, natural product biogenesis, synthetic biology, and genomics.

Students are a constant source of new hypotheses for mechanisms underlying cellular machines like the ribosome, spliceosome, and as well as protein and RNA folding. Students tackle these problems using biochemical methods, chemical biosensor technologies, protein and nucleic acid crystallography, in vitro and in vivo evolution, multi-dimensional NMR spectroscopy, surface chemistry, atomic-force microscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and high-resolution mass spectrometry.

Doctoral students in our Divsion leave the Department broadly trained for leadership roles in academia and industry.

Recent Research Results

Engineered eReader

In an article selected for the anniversary issue cover of ACS Chemical Biology, members of the Waters Group describe engineered chromodomains...

Ameliorating Toxicity

Regorafenib, Stivarga, is an oral small molecule kinase inhibitor used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinomas, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors...

Bacterial Virulence

The Pseudomonas virulence factor, pvf biosynthetic operon has been implicated in bacterial virulence and signaling. Gina Morgan in the Li Lab, led a team...

Representative Publications

Engineered Reader Proteins for Enhanced Detection of Methylated Lysine on Histones.
Katherine I. Albanese, Mackenzie W. Krone, Christopher J. Petell, Madison M. Parker, Brian D. Strahl, Eric M. Brustad, Marcey L. Waters.
ACS Chem. Biol. 2020, 15, 1, 103-111

Specificity of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetases in the Biosynthesis of the Pseudomonasvirulence factor.
Gina L. Morgan, Ashley M. Kretsch, Kevin C. Santa Maria, Savannah J. Weeks, and Bo Li.
Biochemistry 2019, 58, 52, 5249-5254

Targeting Regorafenib-Induced Toxicity through Inhibition of Gut Microbial β-Glucuronidases.
Samantha M. Ervin, Ronan P. Hanley, Lauren Lim, William G. Walton, Kenneth H. Pearce, Aadra P. Bhatt, Lindsey I. James, Matthew R. Redinbo.
ACS Chem. Biol. 2019, 14, 12, 2737-2744

On Command Drug Delivery via Cell‐Conveyed Phototherapeutics.
Christina M. Marvin, Song Ding, Rachel E. White, Natalia Orlova, Qunzhao Wang, Emilia M. Zywot, Brianna M. Vickerman, Lauren Harr, Teresa K. Tarrant, Paul A. Dayton, David S. Lawrence.
Small, First published: 28 July 2019 https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.201901442

Introduction to Laboratory Safety for Graduate Students: An Active-Learning Endeavor.
David J. Hill, Olivia F. Williams, Danianne P. Mizzy, Therese F. Triumph, Catherine R. Brennan, Dawn C. Mason, David S. Lawrence.
Journal of Chemical Education, Volume: 96, Issue: 4, Pages: 652-659

Controlling and Quantifying Protein Concentration in Escherichia coli.
Shannon L. Speer, Alex J. Guseman, Jon B. Patteson, Brandie M. Ehrmann, Gary J. Pielak.
Protein Science, Volume28, Issue 7, July 2019, Pages 1307-1311

Protecting Activity of Desiccated Enzymes.
Samantha Piszkiewicz, Kathryn H. Gunn, Owen Warmuth, Ashlee Propst, Aakash Mehta, Kenny H. Nguyen, Elizabeth Kuhlman, Alex J. Guseman, Samantha S. Stadmiller, Thomas C. Boothby, Saskia B. Neher, and Gary J. Pielak.
Protein Science, Volume 28, Issue 5, May 2019, Pages 941-951

Achieving High Affinity and Selectivity for Asymmetric Dimethylarginine by Putting a Lid on a Box.
Alexandria G. Mullins Nicholas K. Pinkin Joshua A. Hardin Prof. Marcey L. Waters.
Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. Volume 58, Issue 16, April 8, 2019, Pages 5282-5285

Structure, Function, and Inhibition of Drug Reactivating Human Gut Microbial β-Glucuronidases.
Kristen A. Biernat, Samuel J. Pellock, Aadra P. Bhatt, Marissa M. Bivins, William G. Walton, Bich Ngoc T. Tran, Lianjie Wei, Michael C. Snider, Andrew P. Cesmat, Ashutosh Tripathy, Dorothy A. Erie, and Matthew R. Redinbo.
Scientific Reports, 9, Article Number: 825, JAN 29 2019

Dasatinib Is Preferentially Active in the Activated B-Cell Subtype of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.
Marissa L. Cann, Laura E. Herring, Lauren L. Haar, Thomas S. K. Gilbert, Dennis Goldfarb, Kristy L. Richards, Lee M. Graves, and David S. Lawrence.
J. Proteome Res. 2019, 18, 1, 522-534