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Featured Faculty

MichaelWhite

Michael White, Ph.D.

Professor, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
  • Research in the White laboratory is focused on how the malaria-related protozoa, Toxoplasma gondii, grows and develops in its human host. T. gondii is an environmental pathogen of the central nervous system (class B bioterrorism agent), which causes an often fatal disease in people who are immunocompromised. Projects in our laboratory focus on how these parasites interact with their host cell to produce new progeny and establish persistent infections. Our studies employ a diverse and extensive array of genetic and biochemical approaches with special emphasis on whole-cell strategies that enable a global understanding of the biochemical pathways involved in parasite growth and development. From forward genetic approaches that allow essential protein factors to be identified by genetic complementation to cataloging gene clusters within the whole-cell transcriptome that are responsible for transduction of the parasite cell division cycle, we are uncovering novel pathways that hold the key to important parasite biology.
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Ph.D. Students

Emmanuel W.Smith

Emmanuel W. Smith

Postdoctoral Scholar Research, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
  • Our lab focuses on structure-based drug discovery through the use of X-ray crystallography and molecular docking. My main focus has been on chemokine proteins CXCL12 and CCL21 and their implication in cancer metastasis, but also on P.aeruginosa proteins LpxA and LpxD.
  • X-ray crystallography is a tool used to determine the atomic and molecular structure of protein crystals. This provides invaluable information about the protein, such as structural characterization of active sites. Once an active site is characterized, a rational drug design approach can be used.
  • Molecular docking is a computational tool that can be used to predict the binding orientation of small molecules to proteins. This can be used to study possible conformations a molecule might take in a protein active site, but can also be used to computationally screen millions of compounds in search of potential drug candidates.
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Post Docs

LeonidBreydo

Leonid Breydo, Ph.D.

Research Associate, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
  • misfolding and aggregation of intrinsically disordered proteins
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