New Funding:

Dr. Andrey Selyunin (postdoc, Mukhopadhyay lab) is a recent recipient of an American Heart Association fellowship. The title of the project is “Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications of Shiga toxin type 2 intracellular trafficking” and the fellowship will provide $102,550 in support over two years.

Pallavi Kompella (graduate student, Vasquez lab) received the Dr. Robert J. Wills Graduate Fellowship from the College of Pharmacy.

Lisa Tremmel (graduate student, DiGiovanni lab) received her second year of funding from her PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) fellowship, which provides $40,000 over two years.


In addition to the presentations highlighted above at the LSSOT and SOT meetings several other trainees made presentations recently. These are highlighted below.

Dr. Imee del Mundo (research associate, Vasquez lab), gave a platform presentation titled Investigating mechanisms of human c-MYC oncogene-induced mutagenesis in cancer at the 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting which was held March 13-17, 2016, in San Diego, CA.

Dr. Imee del Mundo (research associate, Vasquez lab) was the Abstract Winner for Ph.D. Postdoctoral Program at the 12th Annual Louis C. Littlefield Celebrating Pharmacy Research Excellence Day, April 2016, Austin TX, and was selected to give a platform presentation titled Alternative DNA structures in the human c-MYC oncogene: mutagenic structures and targeting approaches.

Charles Zogzas (graduate student, Mukhopadhyay lab) gave an oral presentation at the FASEB meeting on Trace Elements in Biology & Medicine in June 2016.


Pallavi Kompella (Ph.D. student, Vasquez lab) received the CMCT 2017 travel award, the Jamie N. Delgado Graduate Fellowship for 2017-2018 for $2,740, and the AFPE Fellowship for 2017-2018 for $10,000. Pallavi was also given the professional development award from the UT Graduate School for $250.

Charles Zogzas (Ph.D. student, Mukhopadhyay lab) received an NIH NRSA award for 2017-2018.



Dr. Kevin Dalby

Invited Speaker: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, April 2017

Dr. John DiGiovanni

Invited Speaker: 1st Meeting of International Society of Precision Medicine, Busan, Republic of Korea, March 15-19, 2018

Invited Speaker: 2nd World Congress on Cancer, Bologna, Italy, July 23-25, 2018

Invited Speaker: 5th Hormel Institute of International Cancer Research Conference, Austin, MN, June 2017

Dr. Andrea Gore

Invited Speaker: National Counsel for Science and the Environment’s 17th National Conference, Washington D.C., January 2017

Dr. Kevin McBride

Invited Speaker: 13th Annual Protein PEGS: The Essential Protein Engineering Summit, Boston, MA, June 2017

Dr. Som Mukhopadhyay

Invited Speaker: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN – February 16, 2018

Invited Speaker: Gordon Research Conference on Cell Biology of Metals, Mount Snow, VT, 2017

Invited Speaker: American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Symposium on “Metal Homeostasis”, Chicago, IL, 2017

Dr. Peter Thomas

Invited Speaker: 18th International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology, Lake Louise, Canada, June 2017

Dr. Stefano Tiziani

Invited Speaker: Cure Juvenile Myositis Foundation Medical Conference, Austin, TX, February 2017

Dr. Karen Vasquez

Invited Speaker: Gordon Research Conference on DNA Damage, Mutation & Cancer, Ventura, CA, March 2018


New funding:

Dr. Kevin Dalby is recipient of an almost $5 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to kick-start drug discovery programs. Dalby is co-director of the Texas Screening Alliance for Cancer Therapeutics. The new grant will support his Targeted Therapeutic Drug Discovery & Development Program, which is designed to develop small molecules that are precursors to cancer drug therapies.

Drs. Sean Kerwin, PI, and Karen Vasquez, co-PI, were recently awarded a High-Impact, High-reward grant from CPRIT entitled Chemo-preventive Approach to Cancer Exploiting a Presumptive Link between Genomic Instability and Structural Stability of non-B DNA Sequences. (CPRIT, HIHRRA RP160852)

Kevin McBride, PI, Uracil DNA Glycosylases in Gammaherpesvirus Pathogenesis and B Cell Development (R01 AI125397)

Casey Wright, PI. A novel ARNT-mediated regulatory paradigm of AHR signaling. (R01 ES025809)

Recent Publications:

Piserchio, A., Warthaka, M., Kaoud, T., Callaway, K., Dalby, K.N., and Ghose, R. (2017) “Local destabilization, rigid body, and fuzzy docking facilitate the phosphorylation of the transcription factor Ets-1 by the mitogen-activated protein kinase ERK2.” Proceedings of the National Acadamy of Sciences, in press.

Edupuganti, R., Taliaferro, J.M., Wang, Q., Xie, X., Cho, E.J., Vidhu, F., Ren, P., Anslyn, E.V., Bartholomeusz, C., and Dalby, K.N. (2017) “Discovery of a potent inhibitor of MELK that inhibits expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Mcl-1 and TNBC cell growth.” Bioorg Med Chem 25: 2609-16.

Tavares, C.D., Giles, D.H., Stancu, G., Chitjian, C.A., Ferguson, S.B., Wellmann, R.M., Kaoud, T.S., Ghose, R., and Dalby, K.N. (2017) “Signal Integration at Elongation Factor 2 Kinase: THE ROLES OF CALCIUM, CALMODULIN, AND SER-500 PHOSPHORYLATION.” The Journal of biological chemistry 292: 2032-45.

Will, N., Piserchio, A., Snyder, I., Ferguson, S.B., Giles, D.H., Dalby, K.N., and Ghose, R. (2016) “Structure of the C-Terminal Helical Repeat Domain of Eukaryotic Elongation Factor 2 Kinase.” Biochemistry 55: 5377-86.

Lee, K., Alphonse, S., Piserchio, A., Tavares, C.D., Giles, D.H., Wellmann, R.M., Dalby, K.N., and Ghose, R. (2016) “Structural Basis for the Recognition of Eukaryotic Elongation Factor 2 Kinase by Calmodulin.” Structure 24: 1441-51.

Grandjean, G., de Jong, P.R., James, B.P., Koh, M.Y., Lemos, R., Kingston, J., Aleshin, A., Bankston, L.A., Miller, C.P., Cho, E.J., Edupuganti, R., Devkota, A., Stancu, G., Liddington, R.C., Dalby, K.N., and Powis, G. (2016) “Definition of a Novel Feed-Forward Mechanism for Glycolysis-HIF1alpha Signaling in Hypoxic Tumors Highlights Aldolase A as a Therapeutic Target.” Cancer Res 76: 4259-69.

Guo, H.F., Cho, E.J., Devkota, A.K., Chen, Y., Russell, W., Phillips, G.N., Jr., Yamauchi, M., Dalby, K.N., and Kurie, J.M. (2017) “A scalable lysyl hydroxylase 2 expression system and luciferase-based enzymatic activity assay.” Arch Biochem Biophys 618: 45-51.

Xie, X., Kaoud, T.S., Edupuganti, R., Zhang, T., Kogawa, T., Zhao, Y., Chauhan, G.B., Giannoukos, D.N., Qi, Y., Tripathy, D., Wang, J., Gray, N.S., Dalby, K.N., Bartholomeusz, C., and Ueno, N.T. (2017) “c-Jun N-terminal kinase promotes stem cell phenotype in triple-negative breast cancer through upregulation of Notch1 via activation of c-Jun.” Oncogene 36: 2599-2608.

Hutchens, S., Liu, C., Jursa, T., Shawlot, W., Chaffee, B.K., Yin, W., Gore, A.C., Aschner, M., Smith, D.R., and Mukhopadhyay, S. (2017) “Deficiency in the Manganese Efflux Transporter SLC30A10 Induces Severe Hypothyroidism in Mice.” J Biol Chem 292(23): 9760-73.

Zogzas CE, Mukhopadhyay S. Inherited disorders of manganese metabolism. Adv Neurobiol 18: 35-49, 2017.

Selyunin AS, Iles LR, Bartholomeusz G, Mukhopadhyay S. Genome-wide siRNA screen identifies UNC50 as a regulator of Shiga toxin 2 trafficking. J Cell Biol 216: 3249-3262, 2017.

Liu C, Hutchens S, Jursa T, Shawlot W, Polishchuk EV, Polishchuk RS, Dray BK, Gore AC, Aschner M, Smith DR, Mukhopadhyay S. Hypothyroidism induced by loss of the manganese efflux transporter SLC30A10 may be explained by reduced thyroxine production. J Biol Chem 292: 16605-16615, 2017(Highlighted in “J Biol Chem Recommended Reads”).

Mukhopadhyay S. Familial manganese-induced toxicity due to mutations in SLC30A10 or SLC39A14. Neurotoxicology in press: doi10.1016/j.neuro.2017.07.030.

Hutchens S, Liu C, Jursa T, Shawlot W, Chaffee BK, Yin W, Gore AC, Aschner M, Smith DR, Mukhopadhyay S. Deficiency in the manganese efflux transporter SLC30A10 induces severe hypothyroidism in mice. J Biol Chem 292: 9760-9773, 2017.

Thomas, P., Pang, Y., and Dong, J. (2017) “Membrane androgen receptor characteristics of human ZIP9 (SLC39A) zinc transporter in prostate cancer cells: androgen-specific activation and involvement of an inhibitory G protein in zinc and MAP kinase signaling.” Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 447: 23-34.

Pang, Y., and Thomas, P. (2017) “Additive effects of low concentrations of estradiol-17β and progesterone on nitric oxide production by human vascular endothelial cells through shared signaling pathways.” Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 165: 258-67.

Thomas, P. (2017) “Role of G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER/GPR30) in maintenance of meiotic arrest in fish oocytes.” Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 167: 153-61.

Pandey, R., Caflisch, L., Lodi, A., Brenner, A.J., and Tiziani, S. (2017) “Metabolomic signature of brain cancer” in press (doi: 10.1002/mc.22694), PMID: 28618012.

Lu, X., Solmonson, A., Nowinski, S.M., Sentandreu, E., Lodi, A., Mills, E.M., and Tiziani, S. (2017) “The cold-induced early metabolomics response analysis of adipose tissue during acute cold exposure in mice.” Scientific Reports 7: 3455.

Lodi, A., Saha, A., Lu, X., Wang, B., Sentandreu, E., Collins, M., Kolonin, M., DiGiovanni, J., and Tiziani, S. (2017) “Combinatorial treatment with natural compounds in prostate cancer inhibits prostate tumor growth and leads to key modulations of cancer cell metabolism” npj Precision Oncology 1: 18.

Other Faculty Activities:

Dr. DiGiovanni  is serving as Chair of the Chemo-Dietary Prevention Study Section, July 1, 2016-June 30, 2018.

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