Congratulations to Ananya!

Ms. Ananya Mukundan, 4th-year MBSB student in the Medical Scientist Training Program, mentored by Prof. Andrew Hinck in University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, recently published a paper, “Convergent evolution of a parasite-encoded complement control protein-scaffold to mimic binding of mammalian TGF-β to its receptors, TβRI and TβRII”, in Journal of Biological Chemistry. She is working on this TGF-β research as a PhD student in the MBSB program while she is immersed in clinical clerkships, aiming to obtain MD/PhD dual degree.

Check out her paper! https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2022.101994







Mr. Erich Hellemann, a 5th year Ph.D. student in the MBSB graduate program mentored by Dr. Jacob Durrant (Department of Biological Science, University of Pittsburgh) recently published his first-author paper, “Novel mutation in hexokinase 2 confers resistance to 2-deoxyglucose by altering protein dynamics,” in PLOS Computational Biology. Erich’s Ph.D. project studies how protein dynamics impact function and pharmacology. To characterize the molecular mechanism of a recently identified resistance mutation, he performed molecular dynamics simulations of hexokinase 2 from yeast, an enzyme critical for glucose metabolism. This work occupies the major component of his Ph.D. work. His Ph.D. defense is within his reach!!

Check out his paper!




Structures of highly flexible intracellular domain of human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

MBSB is a collaboration rich environment as demonstrated in a research article published recently by Prof. Tang’s group. The study wasconducted in collaboration with Prof. Xu, Prof. Saxena, and Prof. Coleman as well as help from Prof. Ishima’s lab in the MBSB graduate program. Prof. Erik Lindahl from Stockholm University in Sweden was also a contributor to the research. The structures will facilitate the understanding of α7nAChR’s signaling pathways and the design of new strategies to manipulate interaction networks for the advancement of therapeutic treatments.

Check out the article here. http://disq.us/t/452r3y9





Congratulations to Darian!


Mr. Darian Yang, a 3rd year PhD student in the MBSB graduate program, co-mentored by Dr. Lillian Chong and Dr. Angela Gronenborn, recently published his first-author paper, “Development and Validation of Fluorinated, Aromatic Amino Acid Parameters for Use with the AMBER ff15ipq Protein Force Field” in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A. In MBSB, some students have co-mentors formally or informally. We interviewed him on what is an advantage of having two dissertation advisors. Darian commented “Being in a co-mentorship can be really rewarding. I think one of the biggest advantages is that I can really define my own research direction. In my experience, most grad students, at least initially, will work on projects defined by their PI or an active grant proposal. My situation was a bit more unique, I sat down with Angela and Lillian and proposed various ideas to them of what I wanted to work on. Almost two years later and after a lot of refinement, I’m still pursuing one of those ideas as my main thesis project.”.

Check out his paper! https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpca.2c00255







Sometimes, snow is ok.  We do not have a much lake effect here in Pittsburgh. Not bad at all. 

In addition, google search reveals Pittsburghs positives: