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Meet the lab!

  • Akbar Ali

    Akbar Ali, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Research Theme: Drug Resistance Diseases: HIV; HCV; Dengue; Cancer

    Proteins: HIV-1 protease; HCV NS3/4A protease; Dengue NS2B/NS3; APOBEC3's

    Research Technique: Organic Chemistry

    Office Location: LRB 840
    Lab Location: LRB 840
    Phone: 508-856-8873
      

  • Vincent Azzolino

    Vincent Azzolino

    PhD Student

    Theme: Drug Resistance

    Disease: Enterovirus, specifically EV-D68Proteins: Enteroviral 3C protease and other 3C and 3C-like proteases

    Research Techniques: Protein Expression and Purification, Computational Modeling, Molecular Dynamic Simulations, X-ray Crystallography, Enzyme Activity and Enzyme Inhibition Assays, Structure Aided Drug Design.

    Research Interest: Understanding the complexity behind inhibitor design to mitigate formation of resistance in hyper-mutating viruses. My goal is to apply this understanding and skill set as a future physician-scientist through the lens of Dermatology as I study diseases with skin manifestations requiring novel therapeutic design. 

     

    Office Location: LRB XXX
    Lab Location: LRB XXX
    Phone: 508-856-XXXX
      

  • Dinesh Barak

    Dinesh Barak, PhD

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Theme: Drug Resistance

    Diseases: HIV; Cancer; SARS-CoV-2Proteins: HIV-1 protease; HTLV-1 protease; SARC-CoV-2 Main protease

    Research Technique: Synthetic Organic and Medicinal Chemistry                                 

    Research Interests: Synthesis of novel heterocycles as potential antiviral agents 

    Office Location: LRB XXX
    Lab Location: LRB XXX
    Phone: 508-856-XXXX
      

  • Sarah Duggan

    Sarah Duggan

    PhD Student

    Research Theme: Drug resistance
    Diseases: HTLV-1, SARS-CoV-2 

    Proteins: HTLV-1 Protease, SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease

    Research Technique: Protein Purification, Enzyme Inhibition Assays, X-ray Crystallography, Protein Structure Analysis, Structure-based Drug Design, Protein Modeling, Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    Research Interests: For HTLV-1 Protease, I'm inspired to design and characterize novel, resistance-preventing, potent inhibitors against HTLV-1 protease using structural and biochemical techniques. For SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, I'm interested in characterizing cooperativity and/or dimerization of the enzyme as well as interpreting the drug resistance mutations which have arisen from current antiviral treatments.

    Office Location: LRB 970
    Lab Location: LRB 970
    Phone: 508-856-6236
      

  • Sabihur Farooqui

    Sabihur Farooqui, PhD

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Reserach Theme: Cell-Virus interaction, Antivirals
    Disease: Influenza Virus and HTLV-1
    Proteins: Influenza HA and HTLV-1 Protease
    Research Techniques: Molecular Biology and Cryo-ET
    Research Interest: To investigate the cell entry mechanisms and neutralization of viruses using the Influenza virus as a model system.

    Office Location: LRB 802
    Lab Location: LRB 802
    Phone: 508-856-4408
      

  • Adam Hedger

    Adam Hedger

    PhD Student

    Theme: Medicinal, Nucleic Acid, and Oligonucleotide Chemistry

    Proteins: APOBEC3 enzymes and SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease

    Research Techniques: Synthetic Organic and Medicinal Chemistry, Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Oligonucleotide Synthesis and Purification.

    Research Interest: Combining Nucleic Acid chemistry with Structure-Based Drug Design – to synthesize chemically modified oligonucleotide inhibitors for DNA-binding enzymes. Additionally, the design, synthesis, and purification of peptidomimetic/macrocyclic compounds targeting viral proteases.

    Office Location: LRB 970
    Lab Location: LRB 970
    Phone: 508-856-6236
      

  • Judy Huang

    Judy Huang

    Phd Student

    Research Interest: Judy is interested in using quantitative cryo-electron tomography to analyze structure-function relationships of influenza viruses. Outside of lab, they are an active UMass Chan student leader. Judy is the current Diversity Pillar of the Student Government Alliance and the Diversity and Inclusion Co-chair of the Graduate Student Body Council

    Office Location: LRB 970
    Lab Location: LRB 970
    Phone: 508-856-6236
      

  • Lauren Intravaia

    Lauren Intravaia

    PhD Student

     Reserach Theme: Drug Resistance 
    Disease: HIV
    Proteins:  HIV-1 protease Research Techniques: Machine learning, molecular dynamics, protein structure prediction
    Research Interest: Using computational methods to enhance structure-based drug design and reveal molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance.

    Office Location: LRB 970
    Lab Location: LRB 970
    Phone: 508-856-6236
      

  • Jagroop Kaur

    Jagroop Kaur, PhD

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Research Theme: Drug Resistance

    Disease: Diabetes, Viral Infections   

    Proteins: Renalase, HIV-1 Protease, SARS-CoV2 MPro

    Research Techniques: Organic Chemistry Methodologies; Small Molecule Synthesis, Purification and Characterization; Enzyme Inhibition Assays

    Research Interest: Design and synthesis of Small Molecule Viral Protease Inhibitors. Furthermore, evaluation of Enzyme Inhibition via Both Direct and Indirect Binding Assays, Employing Varied Approaches Such as ITC, UV-Vis, Fluorescence, and NMR Spectroscopy

    Office Location: LRB 970
    Lab Location: LRB 970
    Phone: 508-856-6236
      

  • Nese Kurt Yilmaz

    Nese Kurt Yilmaz, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Research Theme: Drug Resistance

    Diseases: HIV; HCV; Cancer; Influenza; Dengue

    Proteins: HIV-1 protease; HCV NS3/4A protease; APOBEC3's; Influenza neuraminidase; Dengue NS2B/NS3

    Research Technique:  Enzyme Inhibition; Structural Analysis; Lab Managing

    Office Location: LRB 919
    Lab Location: LRB 907
    Phone: 508-856-1867
      

  • Jeong Min Lee

    Jeong Min Lee, PhD

    Sr. Research Scientist

    Research Theme: engineering cytosine base editor   

    Diseases: diverse genetic diseases

    Proteins: APOBEC3's; Cas9; uracil glycosylase inhibitor; the components of CRISPR gene editing

    Research Technique: protein engineering and biochemistry    

    Research Interests: engineering proteins, nucleic acids, or nanomaterials with novel structures, dynamics, and functions for basic biology/biomedical applications and effective therapeutic approaches.

    Office Location: LRB XXX
    Lab Location: LRB XXX
    Phone: 508-856-XXXX
      

  • Arooma Maryam

    Arooma Maryam, PhD

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Theme: Small molecule drug discovery against autoimmune disease   

    Diseases: Type 1 Diabetes, Cancer Proteins: Human Renalase, APOBEC3 isoforms

    Research Techniques: Protein Expression and Purification, molecular modelling, and molecular dynamics simulation. Structural analysis, virtual small molecule drug screening.

    Research Interest: Utilizing computational methodologies, including molecular modeling and conventional molecular dynamics simulations to understand the relationship between the three-dimensional structures, dynamics and the biological functions of DNA-binding enzymes and proteins central to Type I Diabetes.

    Office Location: LRB 970
    Lab Location: LRB 970
    Phone: 508-856-6236
      

  • Celia Schiffer

    Celia Schiffer, PhD

    Chair and Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology. Arthur F. and Helen P. Koskinas Professorship in Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology. Director of the Institute for Drug Resistance

    Research Theme: Drug Resistance

    Diseases: HIV; HCV; Cancer; Influenza; Dengue

    Proteins: HIV-1 protease; HCV NS3/4A protease; APOBEC3's; Influenza neuraminindase; Influenza hemagglutinin; Dengue NS2B/NS3 protease

    Research Technique: Everything

    Office Location: LRB 927
    Lab Location: LRB 970
    Phone: 508-856-2251
      

  • Al Shaqra

    Al Shaqra, PhD, MBA

    Lab Manager

    Research Theme: Drug Resistance

    Diseases: HIV; HCV; Cancer; Influenza; Dengue

    Proteins: HIV-1 protease; HCV NS3/4A protease; Influenza neuraminidase; Dengue NS2B/NS3

    Research Techniques: Lab Managing; Protein Expression; Protein Crystallization; Enzyme Inhibition

    Research Interest: Using structural biology in conjunction with biochemistry and biophysics to design potent therapeutic candidates for human diseases. 

    Office Location: LRB 970
    Lab Location: LRB 970
    Phone: 508-856-6236
      

  • Mohan Somasundaran

    Mohan Somasundaran, PhD

    Associate Professor. Virologist

    Research Theme: Virus-Cell interactions, Antivirals, Drug Resistance

    Diseases: HIV; Influenza; SARS-CoV2; Cancer

    Proteins: Influenza hemagglutinin/neuraminidase; SARS-CoV2 Spike/Proteases; Ace2, TMPRSS2; APOBEC3's; HIV-1 protease

    Research Technique: Molecular Virology; Cryo EM/ET; Virus lab

    Office Location: LRB 802
    Lab Location: LRB 802
    Phone: 508-856-4408
      

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