Recent Graduates
Keri Hamilton, Ph.D.; Yi Miao, Ph.D., and Tien-Jui Yen, Ph.D., Congratulations to Dr. Keri Hamilton, Dr. Yi Miao and Dr. Tien-Jui Yen, all of whom successfully defended their theses in the month of March. Keri started off on 1 March with the defence of thesis entitled Biochemical and Structural Studies on PrfA, the Transcriptional Regulator of Virulence in Listeria monocytogenes. A manuscript describing this research is in the works. Yi, who defended his thesis entitled Structural and Biochemical Dissection of the Trehalose Biosynthetic Complex in Pathogenic Fungi, followed Keri's thesis defence on 7 March. Yi's structure-function paper describing Tps2 has been reviewed favorably, and he is in the process of making some final revisions. Last but certainly not least, was Tien-Jui, who on 23 March defended her structural and biochemical work on two MazF endoribonucleases from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Her thesis is entitled Structural Basis of RNA Recognition by Mycobacterium tuberculosis MazF Homologues. Unfortunately, Keri will be leaving the lab in the beginning of May to start her position at Eva Garland Consulting, LLC, in Raleigh where she will be helping local companies, hospitals and academic institutions prepare grant applications and other technical documents and papers. Both Yi and Tien-Jui are planning to do postdoctoral fellowships and are in the process of interviewing, more on them later. Again, congratulations to the new doctors!
New Additions
Erica Washington and Grace Beggs, We want to welcome two new members of the laboratory: Dr. Erica J. Washington and Ms. Grace Beggs. Erica received her Ph.D. from the laboratory of Professor Jeff Dangl at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and joined us in January 2016. Despite her confusion about which color blue is better, we are very happy that Erica has joined us. Already, she has been recognized by the Duke community and has been awarded a position on The Tri-Institutional Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (Tri-I MMPTP) and will be carrying out structure-function studies on the trehalose biosynthetic pathways of several fungal pathogens. Grace is a first-year graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, our first CMB student, who received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology from Florida Southern College. She will begin full time in the laboratory in May and will be picking up our MtrR project.
New Publications
Congratulations to Alex and Bonnie on their first, first-author papers and to Keri for her publication in Nature!
Schumacher, M.A.*, Balani, P.; Min, J., Chinnam, N.b., Hansen, S., Vulic, M., Lewis,K.*, Brennan R.G.* (*co-corresponding authors). HipBA-promoter structures reveal the basis of heritable multidrug tolerance. Nature (2015) Cuthbert, B. J., Brennan R.G.* and Schumacher, M.A.* (*co-corresponding authors). Structural and biochemical characterization of the Francisella tularensis pathogenicity regulator, macrophage locus protein A (MglA). PloS One (2015) Schindler, B.D., Seo, S.M., Birukou,I., Brennan, R.G., Kaatz, G.W. Mutations Within the mepA Operator Affect Binding of the MepR Regulatory Protein and its Induction by MepA Substrates in Staphylococcus aureus. J. Bacteriol. (2015) Reniere, M., Whiteley, A.T., Hamilton, K.L., John, S., Lauer, P., Brennan R.G. , Portnoy, D.A. Glutathione activates virulence gene expression of an intracellular pathogen. Nature (2015). Tschowri, N, Schumacher, M.A., Schlimpert, S., Chinnam, N.b., Findlay, K., Brennan R.G. and Buttner, M. Tetrameric c-di-GMP mediates effective transcription factor dimerization to control Streptomyces development. Cell (2014). Kovach, A.R., Hoff, K.E., Canty, J.T., Orans, J. and Brennan R.G. Recognition of U-rich RNA by Hfq from the Gram-positive pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. RNA, (2014). Birukou, I., Seo, S. M., Kaatz, G.W. and Brennan R.G. . Structural mechanism of transcription regulation of the Staphylococcus aureus multidrug efflux operon mepRA by the MarR family repressor MepR. Nucleic Acids Res., (2014). Robinson K.E., Orans J., Kovach A.R., Link T.M., Brennan RG . Mapping Hfq-RNA interaction surfaces using tryptophan fluorescence quenching. Nucleic Acids Res., (2014).
Undergraduate Researchers
Catherine Newman
Congratulations to Cat, who was named a Gates-Cambridge Scholar! She will be working with Professor Ben Luisi in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge starting in the Fall. In the meantime Cat has been finishing her structure and function studies on the Staphylococcus aureus multidrug binding transcription factor MepR and together with Ivan is about to submit her first manuscript from the laboratory describing her work.
Quinn Hosler
Congratulations to Quinn! Quinn will be attending the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine next Fall. Quinn continues his work on the multidrug/persistence inducing protein HipA and is attempting to develop HipA inhibitors.