BMB Graduate Students
Chiara Del Piccolo
Chiara Del Piccolo grew up in Basalt, Colorado. She attended Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where she double-majored in Biology and Political Science, with an emphasis on International Relations. She also spent her junior year of college studying abroad at Oxford University (Exeter College). At Williams, Chiara participated in Cross-Country and Track and Field, where she won the Division III Cross-Country National Meet as a sophomore and was an All-American in the 10,000m run as a freshman. After graduation, she moved to Portland to start graduate school at OHSU and joined the lab of Dr. Michael Chapman, where she has had the opportunity to bring together the study of protein structure and dynamics with computational analysis. In the Chapman Lab, she is working to develop new computational methods that enable the integration of complementary information from emerging experimental approaches in NMR spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, and X-ray crystallography. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career as an academic researcher in the quantitative biosciences.
Ahn, J. W., Falahee, B., Del Piccolo, C., Vogel, M., &Bingemann, D. (2013). Are rare, long waiting times between rearrangement events responsible for the slowdown of the dynamics at the glass transition? Journal of Chemical Physics, 138(12).
Xin Wang, Ph.D., Chiara W. Del Piccolo, Bruce M. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., Edgar A. Buttner, M.D., Ph.D. (2014). Transient Receptor Potential M (TRPM) Channels Mediate Clozapine-induced Phenotypes in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Neurogenetics. 28 (86-97).
Sam works to elucidate mechanisms of extracellular matrix regulation in relation to primary open angle glaucoma. Specifically, he works with kinase regulation of matrix metalloproteinases involved in the breakdown of the extracellular matrix associated with the trabecular meshwork (TM). This region of tissue is responsible for aqueous humor outflow, and by varying said outflow rate by modulating matrix thickness and composition the TM can or in the glaucomatous disease state fail to control and maintain intraocular pressure.
I grew up in the tiny farming town of Dayton, Oregon and attended Concordia University in Portland for my undergraduate studies. I majored in General Biology, minored in Chemistry and worked as a lab assistant for several lab courses. My first exposure to laboratory research was in the CROET summer research program at OHSU, where I worked in the ab od Doris Kretzschmar. I worked with then-graduate student Jill Wentzel on elucidating the function of PKA-C3, a neuron-specific kinase involved in age-related neurodegeneration. I spent a second summer in the lab of Wendell Lim at the University of California, San Francisco where I worked with then-graduate student Scott Coyle on understanding the evolution of regulatory motifs in the yeast scaffold protein Ste5. After graduating Concordia, I went UCSF to work in the lab of Dr. David Morgan on how phosphorylation regulates the activity of the Anaphase-promoting Complex, a ubiquitin ligase that is the master regulator of the metaphase-anaphase transition during mitosis. I obtained my Master of Science degree in Biochemistry from UCSF before joining the MCB program at OHSU to work on my PhD in Steve Reichow's lab. In the Reichow lab, we are interested in the intermolecular interactions between proteins lead to conformational rearrangements, and how these rearrangements lead to regulatory changes. Currently, we are working on understanding how the calcium-regulated signaling protein calmodulin regulates permeability of the water channel Aquaporin-0.
Outside of the lab, I'm a football (soccer) fanatic and if I'm not in the lab on weekends, I'm usually playing/watching/attending football matches. That, or camping in the gorge.
Coyle, S.M., Flores J.A., Lim, W.A. Exploitation of latent protein allostery enables evolution of novel and divergent modes of MAP kinase regulation. Cell, 154,875-887.
Greg grew up in the heartland and attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, his hometown. He graduated with a degree in Biology in 2010, and as many young people these days, was unsure of his next step. However, he did know that he had an indelible curiosity and a nagging incapacity to just leave well enough alone, thus he knew science was for him. He soon landed the prestigious position of Research Associate at his alma matter in Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology. There, he studied mechanisms of neuronal diversity in the mammalian retina, specifically with regards to how retinal ganglion cells are produced and what makes certain ganglion cells not like those other ganglion cells. It was interesting work but was focused on whole-cell and even whole tissue-mechanisms, and Greg wanted to know exactly what was happening down to the atom. He has always had a fascination with chemistry, and a passion for biology, thus he knew that biochemistry was indeed his cup of tea. He escaped from the Midwest and landed in Portland for graduate school in the fall of 2012. He chose Dr. Show-Ling Shyng as a mentor and is now happily studying atomic-level mechanisms of KATP channel trafficking and gating regulation. Upon graduation, he hopes to pursue a life in academic science by first landing a post-doc somewhere studying more atomic-level mechanisms, likely in another membrane protein, as he has decided that membrane proteins are the bees-knees.
In 2009 Nathan started the PMCB program at OHSU, joining the lab of Hans-Peter Bächinger in 2010. The Bächinger lab employs approaches broadly from structural and biophysical, to organismal level biology to examine the complex and unique cellular machinery required for folding of collagen, which is involved in the etiology of connective tissue disorders. Nathan's project involves biochemically characterizing post-translational modifications of basement membrane collagen, underlying all epithelial cells, and to examine their role in protein-protein interactions.
After graduating, Nathan plans to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship in biochemistry outside of the beautiful pacific northwest, and expand the scale of his biological understanding, through education in bioinformatics, systems biology, or proteomics.
Sigrid graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Physics from University of Oslo in 2014. She spent one year of her undergraduate studies as an exchange student at the University of Oregon where she took classes and worked in the Parthasarathy lab. She assisted a graduate student in his research project that involved calculating the rigidity of biological membranes using light sheet fluorescence imaging. Sigrid joined the Baconguis lab June 2015 as a PhD student and her research is focused on the function and structure of sodium channels.
Loftus, A. F., et al. (2013). "Robust measurement of membrane bending moduli using light sheet fluorescence imaging of vesicle fluctuations." Langmuir 29(47): 14588-14594.
Jon grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California, where he attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating in 2011. He spent his first two years at the UCSC blissfully unfocused, taking courses in political science, writing, and obscure natural science courses in geology and astronomy until he discovered a passion for molecular biology, which has since been his educational focus. His first research efforts came as an assistant to a graduate student in the lab of Phil Crews in the Chemistry department, investigating the structure of novel marine natural products isolated from the Malbranchea fungus. After graduating from UCSU, Jon spent three years in industry research before returning to academia at OHSU, joining the lab of Ujwal Shinde in 2015. His research area is focused on mechanism of proprotein convertase regulations and inhibition, with special attention to developing selective markers and inhibitors, which can differentially target the highly conserved members of the convertase family.Publications:
Lind EF, et al. (2015) "miR-155 Upregulation in Dendritic Cells Is Sufficient To Break Tolerance In Vivo by Negatively Regulating SHIP1." J Immunology 195(10):4632-40.