Research Interests:  My background is in the use of anisotropic NMR parameters for the structural elucidation of small organic molecules. Currently, my research interests focus on computer-aided drug discovery, virtual screening, molecular dynamics simulations, and weighted ensemble path sampling.









B.S. in Chemistry, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, 2011

M. S. in Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016

PhD Advisor:  Dr. Jacob Durrant

Lab Address: 

103 Clapp Hall
4249 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

email: ehellemann [at]




Research Interests:

I am interested in deciphering the structural basis of protein-protein interactions between HIV protein and host cell proteins. I will be using various structural methods to deepen our understanding of how HIV protein Nef activates Tec family kinases.







B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The College of Wooster (Wooster, OH), May 2014

PhD Advisor: Dr. Thomas Smithgall

Lab Address: 

University of Pittsburgh
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
533 Bridgeside Point II

450 Technology Dr.

Pittsburgh, PA 15219


email: manish.aryal - AT -


  • Fraga D, Aryal M, Hall JE, Rae E, Snider M. Characterization of the arginine kinase isoforms in Caenorhabditis elegans. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 2015; 187:85-101
  • Li, W. F., Aryal, M., Shu, S. T., and Smithgall, T. E. (2020) HIV-1 Nef dimers short-circuit immune receptor signaling by activating Tec-family kinases at the host cell membrane. J Biol Chem 295, 5163-5174

  • Fraga, D., Stock, K., Aryal, M., Demoll, C., Fannin, L., and Snider, M. J. (2019) Bacterial arginine kinases have a highly skewed distribution within the proteobacteria. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & molecular biology 233, 60-71

  • Fraga, D., Aryal, M., Hall, J. E., Rae, E., and Snider, M. (2015) Characterization of the arginine kinase isoforms in Caenorhabditis elegans. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & molecular biology 187, 85-101


Research Interests:  

My area of research is using NMR spectroscopy to study the structure-function relationship of a member of a family of murine parasite proteins that mimic the function of the TGF-beta family of signaling proteins. 




B.S. in Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, May 2012

M.S. in Biomanufacturing, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, Aug 2014

PhD Advisor: Dr. Andrew Hinck

Lab Address: 

Department of Structural Biology
Room 2024, 3501 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

email: STW59 - AT -


  • White SE. Characterization of the Freeze/Thaw Stability of a Cell Culture-Derived Influenza A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) Virus Stock and the Production Impact thereof. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University; 2014
  • Jakubek, R. S.; Handen, J.; White, S. E.; Asher, S. A.; Lednev, I. K. Ultraviolet Resonance Raman Spectroscopic Markers for Protein Structure and Dynamics. TrAC - Trends Anal. Chem. 2018, 103, 223–229.

  • Jakubek, R. S.; White, S. E.; Asher, S. A. UV Resonance Raman Structural Characterization of an (In)Soluble Polyglutamine Peptide. J. Phys. Chem. B 2019, 123 (8), 1749–1763. 

  • Jakubek, R. S.; Workman, R. J.; White, S.; Asher, S. A. Polyglutamine Solution-State Structural Propensity Is Repeat Length Dependent. J. Phys. Chem. B 2019 123(19), 4193-4203.

Research Interests:

The Dahl group primarily interested in studying and understanding the mechanical properties of the nucleus and actin cytoskeleton. I primarily use confocal microscopy, to study biophysical characteristics of force mechanotransduction through particle tracking, immunofluorescence, and FRET tension-sensor measurements. Cellular forces have been identified to play critical roles in the cell life cycle, but how the cell interprets and propagates mechanical perturbation is largely unknown. We endeavor to develop a better understanding of how force plays pivotal roles in determining cell fate.




BS Biophysics, Loyola University Chicago, December 2014

PhD Advisor:  Kris Noel Dahl

Lab Address: 

Doherty hall
5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15213





  • Piperazine Derivatives Enhance Epithelial Cell Monolayer Permeability by Increased Cell Force Generation and Loss of Cadherin Structures, Shiyuan Zheng, Kirill Lavrenyuk, Nicholas G. Lamson, Katherine C. Fein, Kathryn A. Whitehead, and Kris Noel Dahl, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2020 6 (1), 367-374 , DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b01660


Thesis title: "Influence of internal genome pressure for viral particle infectivity and stability"

Defense date: April 2015

Research interests:

Genome packaging during virus replication is an ATP-dependent process, resulting in a thermodynamically unstable state of packaged viral DNA. This energetically unfavorable confinement of the microns-long DNA molecule creates a large internal pressure inside the virus. The effects of tight genome confinement has previously been studied for multiple bacterial viruses. Recently, using a novel experimental assay, we have provided the first measurement of this DNA pressure within a eukaryotic herpesvirus, HSV-1. Dave's project focused on calorimetric investigations of internal pressure for specific viral systems, as well as comparative studies between evolutionarily diverse viruses. This experimental approach can uncover general physical properties of viruses that regulate viral infectivity.

Prior education:

B.S. Biology; B.S. Physics, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ


Current location:

Research Scientist at Cybergenetics in Pittsburgh, PA

PhD Advisor: Dr Alex Evilevitch