We study tertiary structures of proteins at the atomic resolution level to understand the mechanisms of their functions in cells, connections with disease, and their potential uses in novel therapies.
- Mechanism of DNA repair. Recombination mediator proteins (RMPs) are critical for genome stability in all organisms. RMPs regulate repair of chromosomal breaks, stalled replication and are involved in several other DNA metabolism events. Human RMPs include tumor suppressor proteins BRCA1, BRCA2 and PALB2. In pathogens, RMPs facilitate adaptation to immune response and drug resistance.
- Mechanism of calcium-independent phospholipase iPLA2β (PLA2GVIA or a product of PARK14 gene). The enzyme hydrolyses membrane phospholipids to produce potent lipid second messengers important for inflammation, calcium signaling, apoptosis and other signaling pathways. The enzyme is implicated in diabetes, cancer, cardiomyopathy and genetically linked to a spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease.
We collaborate with several groups on structural studies of HIV integrase (D. Grandgenett), HBV RNaseH (J. Tavis), MUB-UBC8 complex (B. Downes), and RecQ1 helicase (A. Vindigni).
A Postdoctoral position in structural biology, protein biochemistry, and drug design is now available in the laboratory of Dr. Sergey Korolev in the Edward A. Doisy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
Several projects are available including:
- Mechanism and inhibition of tumor suppressor proteins PALB2 and BRCA2 (eLife, 2019,8:e44063)
- Mechanism of novel GPCR in neuropathic pain and its inhibition (collaboration with Dr. Salvemini, J. Clin Invest., 2020, 130, 2587).
The research will include protein biochemistry, crystallography, cryoEM, and solution studies of protein interactions with DNA, proteins, and small molecules as well as cell-based assays using a variety of biophysical, biochemical, cell biology, and imaging techniques.
The Department of Biochemistry maintains numerous state-of-the-art facilities from X-ray crystallography to single molecule microscopes (Biochemistry Resources). There is also access to the facilities and expertise of the SLU Institute for Drug and Biotherapeutic Innovation as well as to the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, High-Throughput Screening Center, and Center for Cellular Imaging and cryoEM at Washington University in St. Louis.
Successful candidates are expected to have a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, chemistry, or molecular biophysics. Experience in one of the following fields, including structural biology, biophysics, molecular biology, or biochemistry is required.