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Yearly Archives: 2021

Congratulations, Dr. Shashank Chavali!

We were thrilled to hear that Group Alumni Shashank Chavali (MS 2016) just defended his PhD dissertation “Use of Lab-Evolved Proteins to Guide Development of Inhibitors that Target HIV-1 TAR RNA” at the University of Rochester. He will be moving on to a joint postdoc between the Sindelar and the De La Cruz labs at Yale University, studying motor proteins. Congratulations Dr. Chavali!

New Paper Published in Journal of Chemical Physics

Liam’s paper “Spontaneous lipid binding to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in a native membrane” has been published! It is a contribution to the JCP Special Collection in Honor of Women in Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry, and is also the culmination of Liam‘s doctoral research, so it is particularly special to me! This paper uses coarse-grained molecular dynamics and a metric for lipid binding affinities to provide quantitative ranking of specific lipid binding in a very complex membrane. It builds on his previous papers identifying specifically-bound lipids in model membranes.

Congratulations, Liam!

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New Paper on Ketamine Binding in ACS Chemical Neuroscience

Tom’s paper investigating binding of ketamine analogues to GPCRs was just published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience!  Ketamine Metabolite (2R,6R)-Hydroxynorketamine Interacts with μ and κ Opioid Receptors” used atomistic MD simulations, streamlined alchemical free energy perturbation calculations, and G-protein recruitment assays to show that a ketamine metabolite is an inverse agonist for two opioid receptors. These results may help explain the mechanism by which ketamine successfully treats treatment-resistant depression. The paper includes a new pharmacological model for binding of ligands with multiple protonation states.

Congratulations, Tom!

Congratulations, Dr. Liam Sharp!

Liam successfully defended his dissertation “Boundary lipids of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in model and native membranes” in front of his committee, CCIB, and many enthusiastic family members today. He did a fantastic job. We wish him luck at his new postdoc in the lab of Dr. Edward Lyman at the University of Delaware. The lab won’t be the same without you, Liam!