Department of
Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

Structure:function

Haribabu Arthanari

Assistant Professor
Telephone: 
617-632-6422
Address: 
Longwood Center
Address: 
LC-3311
Address: 
360 Longwood Ave.
Address: 
Boston, MA 02115

   Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs) is the Holy Grail of therapeutic intervention, offering a plethora of unique structural landscapes as potential targets.

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Michael Eck

Professor
Telephone: 
617-632-5860
Fax: 
617-632-4393
Address: 
Longwood Center, 4313
Address: 
360 Longwood Avenue
Address: 
Boston, MA 02215

Our laboratory studies the structural biology of cell signaling and the actin cytoskeleton. Active areas of investigation include: 1) the structure and regulation of focal adhesion kinase, 2) the molecular mechanisms that drive recruitment and activation of Src-family kinases in T-cell activation, and 3) formin proteins and the mechanisms by which they carry out the regulated assembly of actin structures. Additionally, we are studying other signaling interactions that may be targets for development of anti-cancer drugs. These include b -catenin/Tcf-4 and the interaction of transcription factor activation domains with p300/CBP.

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Stephen C. Harrison

Professor
Telephone: 
617-432-5609
Fax: 
617-432-5600
Address: 
Room SGM - 130
Address: 
250 Longwood Avenue
Address: 
Boston MA 02115

We are structural biologists concerned with the organization and dynamics of macromolecular assemblies. We ask the following kinds of questions. (1) How do viruses assemble and get into and out of cells? (2) What are the molecular mechanisms of vesicular membrane traffic, particularly in the clathrin-coated vesicle pathway? (3) What is the molecular architecture of a kinetochore and how does this architecture embody its required mechanical and signal-transducing properties?

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James M. Hogle

Professor
Telephone: 
617-432- 3918
Fax: 
617-432- 4360
Address: 
Room C-122
Address: 
250 Longwood Avenue
Address: 
Boston MA 02115

Our laboratory uses structural approaches to explore how viruses enter cells and replicate. Current research in the laboratory is focused in two areas: 1) a multiscaled approach to characterizing the cell entry pathway of poliovirus and other simple nonenveloped viruses, 2) structural studies of key proteins in the replication of herpes viruses (in collaboration with Don Coen) and poliovirus and it close relatives.

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Andrew Kruse

Assistant Professor
Telephone: 
617-432-3252
Address: 
Department of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology
Address: 
Harvard Medical School
Address: 
240 Longwood Avenue
Address: 
Building C, Room 202
Address: 
Boston, MA 02115

Signal transduction across cell membranes plays a central role in human physiology and disease, yet the mechanistic details underlying transmembrane signaling remain poorly understood. Our research aims to elucidate the molecular basis of membrane protein signaling using techniques including protein engineering, structural biology, and pharmacology. In particular, we are focused on the study of proteins important in human health and disease, including G protein-coupled receptors and other proteins that regulate neurotransmission and metabolic homeostasis.

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Joseph Loparo

Associate Professor
Telephone: 
617-432-5586
Fax: 
617-738-0516
Address: 
Room SGM-204A
Address: 
240 Longwood Ave.
Address: 
Boston, MA 02115

Single-Molecule Studies of DNA Damage Tolerance and Repair

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Charles C. Richardson

Professor
Telephone: 
617-432-1864
Fax: 
617-432-3362
Address: 
Room C2-219
Address: 
240 Longwood Avenue
Address: 
Boston MA 02115

Fig. 1A major goal is to define, in molecular terms, the mechanism by which a chromosome is replicated. The replication of the chromosome of bacteriophage T7 has been used as a model system.  T7 has evolved an efficient and economical system for DNA replication.  The cartoon depicts the T7 replisome and illustrates the major molecular motors and contacts. On the leading strand, T7 DNA polymerase (gp5) undergoes multiple conformational changes as it moves from one template position to another and senses the correct fit of an incoming deoxyribonucleoside triphosphate.  E.

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Steven E. Shoelson

Professor
Telephone: 
617-732-2528
Fax: 
617-735-1970
Address: 
Dept. of Medicine
Address: 
Joslin Diabetes Center
Address: 
One Joslin Place
Address: 
Boston, MA 02115

Our studies can be divided into two main areas, (1) pathophysiological mechanisms of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, and (2) structural biology of diabetes and obesity. Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes is caused by insulin deficiency, in most cases due to autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells. Fewer than 1 in 10 diabetics have this more severe form of the disease. Type 2 diabetes is much more common, and its prevalence is rapidly rising. Type 2 diabetes or NIDDM, affects greater than 10% of our population. In type 2 diabetes insulin is present, often in excess, but target tissues fail to respond appropriately. This is referred to as insulin resistance, a problem in signal transduction.

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Piotr Sliz

Associate Professor
Telephone: 
617-432-5608, ext 70
Fax: 
617-432-5600
Address: 
Seeley G. Mudd Bldg., Rm SGM-130
Address: 
250 Longwood Ave
Address: 
Boston, MA 02115

Our primary research interest is to understand the molecular details of specialized, noncanonical mechanisms that regulate gene expression. Various proteins have evolved to act as specific modulators of genes in order to fine-tune their activity as well as to quickly respond to environmental cues. We focus on investigating the regulators that are directly involved in major human diseases such as cancer and diabetes. By employing biochemical and structural approaches, we not only aim to understand the molecular mechanism, but also to use the details provided by high-resolution structures for identifying potential therapeutic avenues.

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Shamil Sunyaev

Assistant Professor
Telephone: 
617-525-4735
Fax: 
617-525-4705
Address: 
New Research Building, Room 466b
Address: 
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Address: 
Boston, MA 02115

We are a computational biology laboratory. We develop and apply computational methods to pursue various problems in fields of genetics, genomics and proteomics. Our main interest is to analyze the population genetic variation and the genome divergence between species with the major focus on the protein coding regions. The effect of amino acid substitutions on function and structure of proteins can be frequently understood and even predicted via comparative sequence analysis and analysis of the protein structure. We relate the above functional studies to the evolutionary process of natural selection in order to track the evolution of proteins at the molecular level.

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Wesley P. Wong

Assistant Professor
Telephone: 
617-713-8383
Fax: 
617-713-8393
Address: 
Immune Disease Institute
Address: 
Harvard Medical School Affiliate
Address: 
3 Blackfan Circle, 3rd floor
Address: 
Boston, MA 02115

We are interested in understanding the physical basis of how biological systems work at the nanoscale, with a focus on the role of mechanical force. More specifically, we investigate how force regulates the structure and dynamics of interactions between and within single-molecules, and how this in turn can affect the functioning and malfunctioning of biological systems. To accomplish this, my group develops and applies novel tools in single-molecule manipulation and detection, combining approaches from a variety of disciplines, including physics, molecular biology, chemistry, and engineering. Some key research projects that we are working on are highlighted below.

1. Novel high-throughput methods in single-molecule manipulation, including single-molecule centrifugation

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Hao Wu

Professor
Telephone: 
617-713-8160
Fax: 
617-713-8161
Address: 
Center for Life Sciences Boston (CLSB), Rm. 3099
Address: 
Three Blackfan Circle
Address: 
Boston, MA 02115

The Wu laboratory of structural immunology focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanism of signal transduction by immune receptors, especially innate immune receptors. The lab began its studies on the signaling of a classical cytokine produced by the innate immune system, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which induces diverse cellular responses such as NF-κB activation and cell death. Receptors for TNF belong to the large TNF receptor (TNFR) superfamily. The second pursuit of the lab has been the Toll-like receptor (TLR)/interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R) superfamily, which induces signaling pathways overlapping with those of the TNFR superfamily.

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