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Principal Investigator

Hassane S. Mchaourab

Louise B. McGavock Chair, Department of of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Professor, Department of Physics Professor, Department Chemistry Professor, Center for Structural Biology ,

I was born in Beirut, Lebanon and attended the American University of Beirut where I majored in Physics and pursued a Master’s degree although I did not complete it due to the civil war. I completed my Ph.D. in Biophysics at the medical College of Wisconsin under the supervision of James S. Hyde focusing on the development of the theory and instrumentation of EPR spectroscopy. For postdoctoral training, I joined the laboratory of Wayne L. Hubbell at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA where I applied EPR spectroscopy to understanding protein dynamics. Protein dynamics is the theme of my research program since I started in 1997. A more detailed description is found under the research menu.


Research Staff

Richard Stein

Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

My interested are in using the tools or EPR spectroscopy to investigate protein dynamics. My expertise are in data analysis. Specifically, I develop and apply methods for fitting of DEER data.


Smriti Mishra

Research Instructor, Laboratory Manager, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Understanding the structure, function and dynamics of membrane multidrug transporters using spectroscopic and biophysical techniques.

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Derek P. Claxton

Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Role of membrane protein structure and dynamics in facilitating ion-coupled transport of substrates critical for multidrug resistance, and modulation of protein dynamics via lipid and drug interactions.


Sunita Shankaran

Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Investigating the role of small heat shock proteins in stress using the zebrafish model.


Brinda Selvaraj

Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Program Manager, Molecular Basis of Genetic Diseases

The program of Molecular Basis of Genetic Diseases focuses towards the fundamental understanding of how mutations & variants modulate protein functions by altering their structure, function, physical associations, energy landscapes etc and thereby helping to mechanistically underpin the phenotype.

 

Molecular Basis of Genetic Diseases 

Overview

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Post-Doctoral Fellows

Reza Dastvan

Post-doctoral Researcher, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Multidrug transporters involved in the emergence of resistance in the treatment of bacterial infections and cancer.


Micheal Leser

Post-doctoral Researcher, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Working on understanding how conserved structural elements of the NSS family utilize different signals to carry out function.


Jinhee Park

Post-doctoral Researcher, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Investigating the role of small heat shock proteins in stress using the zebrafish model.


Graduate Students

Kevin L. Jagessar

Graduate Student, Chemical and Physical Biology Co-Vice President for Social Affairs, Chemical and Physical Biology Graduate Student Association

Mechanism of transport and biochemistry of multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) family of transporters.

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Diego del Alamo

Graduate Student, Chemical and Physical Biology Program

Spectroscopic characterization and computational modeling of transporter proteins (co-advised with Dr. Jens Meiler)


Alexandra Schwartz

Graduate Student, Chemical and Physical Biology Program

In this lab, I plan to study protein dynamics using molecular dynamic simulations and pulse EPR technique, double electron-electron resonance (DEER). In my initial studies, I am evaluating the structure of Leu-T, a bacterial homolog to many transporters of interest. In particular, I hope to elucidate mechanisms of the serotonin and dopamine transporters that could be targeted for novel drugs in the treatment of autism, depression, and Parkinson’s.


Undergraduate Students

Sara Howard

Intern, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Sara is a senior undergraduate student at Vanderbilt. She has helped develop the purification protocol for PCAT1 subtrate and assists in T4-Lysozyme preparations for DEER experiments.


Collaborators

Eric Gouaux

Senior Scientist, Vollum Institute (Portland, OR), Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Jennifer and Bernard Lacroute Term Chair in Neuroscience Research, Oregon Health and Science University

https://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/vollum/faculty/gouauxlab.cfm


Jens Meiler

Professor, Department of Chemistry, Vanderbilt University

http://www.meilerlab.org/


Osamu Nureki

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan

http://www.nurekilab.net/index.php/en?FrontPage