YEAR OF GRAD STUDY: 07/01/14 – present
MENTOR(S): Amnon Kohen
SOURCE(S) OF SUPPORT: Teaching Assistantship; Fellowship through T32 Training Grant
Vanderbilt University B.A.2008 mathematics, French and chemistry
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, M.S. 2012 chemistry
HONORS: (while being supported by the fellowship):
Director’s Poster Award, Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing Conference, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, October 20-21, 2014.
TEACHING EXPERIENCE (at Iowa):
Teaching Assistant for Principles of Chemistry I Lab (fall 2013); Teaching Assistant for General Chemistry II discussion (Spring 2014).
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (prior to entering program):
Summer 2005 (undergraduate, Wasserman Laboratory, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, molecular biology and animal care); July 2009-July 2010 (research specialist, Weisblum Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, viral methyltransferase inhibition project); November 2010-May 2011 (graduate student, Baranger Laboratory, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, protein-RNA interaction and inhibition studies); May 2011-May 2012 (graduate student, Morrissey Laboratory, polyphosphate modification for blood coagulation studies).
CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITIES (brief description):
I am striving to analyze mutants of E. coli thymidylate synthase and also human thymidylate synthase with an eye toward gaining evidence about the existence of a newly proposed bridged intermediate that is composed of both substrates. This medically relevant enzyme could be targeted with an inhibitor that is better than those currently available for chemotherapeutic use. Knowledge of whether this inhibitor is on the catalytic path for the enzymes in these two organisms is important for this purpose. Techniques such as steady-state kinetics and kinetic isotope effects may be used to gain insight into this system.
COURSES TAKEN (this graduate program):
Organometallic Chemistry; Introduction to Biocatalysis; Biophysical Chemistry; Chemical Kinetics; Fundamental of Gene Expression; Fundamentals of Dynamic Cell Processes.
POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING APPLIED FOR: N/A
APPLICATION(S) FOR POSTDOCTORAL FUNDING: N/A
Islam, Z.; Strutzenberg, T.S.; Gurevic, I.; Kohen, A. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014, 136, 9850-9853.