CPB Welcomes New Faculty!

Meghna Gupta and Ben Barad, Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry

Meghna Gupta, Assistant Professor

Meghna Gupta started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry on February 1, 2024. Dr. Gupta specializes in biochemistry and structural analysis of membrane proteins using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). She expanded her research interest towards fatty-acid metabolism and cell biology of peroxisomes as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) through her K99/R00 pathway to independence award from the National Institute on Aging (NIA)/NIH.

The Gupta Lab broadly focuses on delineating the role of membrane proteins in human health and disease. One of her major projects is studying peroxisome biogenesis disorders and assessing the involvement of peroxisomes in metabolic, genetic, and age-related diseases. The program encompasses biochemistry, biophysics, and assay development for molecular characterization of macromolecules of interest. The lab will utilize the power of imaging at various scales including optical microscopy, cryo-EM, and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) to correlate molecular events and their cellular and physiological context. Dr. Gupta is excited to be a part of the OHSU community to develop her multi-faceted research plan.

Ben Barad, Assistant Professor

Benjamin Barad joined the CPB department at OHSU as an Assistant Professor on January 1, 2024. Dr. Barad is an expert in cellular cryo-electron tomography (CryoET), a microscopy technique that captures pristine three-dimensional snapshots of the cellular environment at unprecedented resolution without the need for chemical fixation or labeling, revealing membranes, filaments, and protein complexes in their native state. CryoET has the potential to connect protein structural biology with subcellular localization and morphology within a single experiment; the Barad lab will develop computational tools to connect and contextualize these different scales of biological organization. The Barad lab will use cryoET and these new computational tools to understand how mammalian cells remodel themselves in response to intracellular bacterial infection. Bacteria are masterful manipulators of mammalian cells, and by learning how bacterial effector proteins drive large scale cellular reorganization, the lab will aim to reveal the underlying regulatory mechanisms for cellular architecture. Dr. Barad is thrilled to join the growing community of cryo-EM-focused biologists at OHSU, and to work with the experts at the Pacific Northwest Cryo-EM Center.