Gouaux Lab: Members

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Shanshuang Chen, PhDShanshuang Chen email

Shanshuang received a BA degree from Zhejiang University, China. In 2008, he started his graduate studies under the supervision of Dr. Jue Chen in Purdue University, Indiana, with a research focus on structural and functional investigation of carbon catabolite repression, in particular the inhibition of E. coli maltose transporter by a central regulatory protein known as EIIAGlc. After receiving his PhD in 2013, he continued as a postdoc for one year in the same lab. In 2014, he relocated with the Chen lab to the Rockefeller University, New York, and left shortly afterwards to join the Gouaux Lab. His current research aims to understand the working mechanisms of ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors using a combination of structural and functional approaches.


Sandipan Chowdhury, PhDSandipan Chowdhury email

Sandipan graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India in 2008 with bachelors and masters degrees in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering. In 2014 he received his PhD in Biophysics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In his doctoral research he used a combination of theoretical, computational and electrophysiological approaches to study the thermodynamics of voltage dependent gating of ion channels. In addition, through the de novo design of a temperature modulated ion channel, his research postulated a molecular framework to understand gating mechanisms of naturally occurring temperature gated channels. Sandipan joined the Gouaux laboratory in the summer of 2014 to study structural mechanisms of ligand dependent gating of neurotransmitter receptors.


Sarah ClarkSarah Clark email

Sarah received a BS degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Davis in 2011. She then completed an MS degree in Systems Engineering at George Washington University while working at a startup pharmaceutical company in Maryland that focused on the development of therapeutic antibodies. Sarah joined the lab of Dr. Elisar Barbar at Oregon State University in 2013. In her doctoral research, she explored the structure and dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins using NMR spectroscopy. After receiving her PhD, Sarah joined the Gouaux lab in March 2018 to study the structure and function of transmembrane proteins.


Jonathan ColemanJonathan Coleman email

Jonathan studied Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada earning a BS degree in 2007. As an undergraduate student, he explored the mechanism of protein secretion through the Sec translocon. Jonathan earned his PhD in 2013 at UBC as a student in the lab of Dr. Robert Molday investigating the membrane biology of photoreceptors. His thesis examined an aminophospholipid transporting P4-ATPase and provided valuable insights into the transport mechanism and function in neuronal biology. Jonathan joined Eric Gouaux’s lab in early 2013 and is interested in the structure and pharmacology of neurotransmitter transporters.


Johannes ElferichJohannes Elferich email

Johannes received a BA degree in Molecular Biotechnology from the Technical University Munich, Germany in 2010. He then joined the lab of Dr. Ujwal Shinde at OHSU. In his doctoral work he investigated the effect of pH on activation of proprotein convertases using computational and biophysical techniques. After receiving his PhD in 2015 he joined the Gouaux lab to study the structure and function of transmembrane proteins.


Jingpeng GeJingpeng Ge email

Jingpeng received his BS degree in chemistry and biology from Jilin University, China in 2010. He then joined Dr. Maojun Yang’s laboratory at Tsinghua University, where he studied the structure and mechanism of mammalian mechanosensitive channel Piezo1 using both cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography. After receiving his PhD degree, Jingpeng joined the Gouaux lab in February 2016 to investigate the structure and function of transmembrane proteins.


April GoehringApril Goehring email
Senior Research Associate

April Goehring earned a BA in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1993, and as an undergraduate participated in projects to characterize the regulation of MAP kinase kinase. In her graduate research, April’s work focused on the identification and characterization of proteins in yeast involved in polarized cell growth. She was granted a PhD in Biochemistry in 2002 from the University of Oregon. Her postdoctoral training was carried out at the Vollum Institute where she studied anchored PKA signal transduction. Since joining the Gouaux lab in 2008, she has spent her time studying the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter transporters and receptors.


Farzad Jalali-YazdiFarzad Jalali-Yazdi email

Farzad received his BS degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology from MIT. At MIT, he worked with Professors Langer and Cima to develop implantable devices to monitor hCG concentrations in cancer patients. After MIT, Farzad worked for two years as a scientist and engineer at BioScale, Inc., a biotechnology startup company in Cambridge, developing accurate and sensitive assays on a new MEMS platform. He received his PhD in 2015 from USC, working to develop and characterize peptide ligands using mRNA display. His research in Professor Roberts' laboratory focused on developing a peptide-targeted peptide ligand capable of stopping HCV virus particle production in human liver cells, as well as using mRNA display and NextGen sequencing to characterize the binding kinetics for thousands of ligands simultaneously. He joined the Gouaux lab in fall of 2016 to study the structural mechanisms of neurotransmitter receptor functions by cryo-electron microscopy.


Shian LiuShian Liu email

Shian earned a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Capital Normal University, China, in 2010, and continued on to pursue Ph.D. training at Texas A&M University, where he investigated ion binding and permeation properties of K+ channels under the supervision of Dr. Steve Lockless. After graduation in 2016, Shian moved to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus in Virginia to work with Dr. Tamir Gonen on developing a MicroED method to solve membrane protein (e.g., ion channel) structures of micro- to nano-sized crystals. In 2018, Shian joined the Gouaux lab to study the structure and function of ligand-gated ion channels located at synapses.


Vikas NavratnaVikas Navratna email

Vikas graduated from Osmania University, India, with a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology in 2005 and master's degree in Biochemistry in 2007. He then joined the Molecular Biophysics Unit (MBU) of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India, for a PhD program in Structural Biology and Biochemistry. His research work in Prof. B. Gopal's laboratory comprised structural and biochemical characterization of proteins involved in peptidoglycan synthesis, antibiotic resistance and essential amino acid metabolism in gram-positive bacteria. He received his PhD in 2014 and continued working at IISc as a Research Associate. He studied RNA degradosome machinery of gram-positive bacteria briefly, before joining the Gouaux laboratory in February of 2015 to research the structural and mechanistic aspects of neurotransmitter transporters.

Swastik PhuleraSwastik Phulera email

Swastik received his BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical Science in 2008 from Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Science, University of Delhi. He went on to pursue a MSc in Biotechnology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. For his masters dissertation he joined Dr. Devapriya Choudhury and used principal component analysis over large sequence datasets. In 2010 he joined Dr. Shekhar C. Mande at the Laboratory of Structural Biology, initially at the Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad and subsequently at the National Centre for Cell Science, Pune. His PhD work included understanding the structure-function relationships of Redox proteins from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Swastik joined Eric Gouaux's lab in July 2017 and is interested in the structure and pharmacology of neurotransmitter receptors using cryo-electron microscopy.


Natalie SheldonNatalie Sheldon email
Lab Manager

Natalie was born and raised in Oregon and earned a BS in Biology from Hope College in Holland, MI.  While earning her degree she worked on the transporter system xc- in Leah Chase’s lab. After graduation in 2006 she joined the Gouaux lab, and her primary role has been to do support work for the entire lab. Natalie also does the purchasing for the lab and tries her hardest to maintain some organization and cleanliness around the lab.


Dongxue YangDongxue Yang email

Dongxue received her BS degree in Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2011. She then joined the lab of Professor Ruiming Xu in the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, to study the structure of a nucleosome-related complex. After earning her PhD, Dongxue joined the Gouaux lab in September of 2016 and is currently investigating the structure and function of neurotransmitter transporters.


Nate YoderNate Yoder email
Graduate Student

Nate received bachelor's degrees in Physiology and Chemistry from Michigan State University in 2011. While working as a research technician in the laboratory of Dr. Jason Shepherd, Nate studied the structure of Arc/Arg3.1, a synaptic protein involved in experience-dependent AMPA receptor trafficking. Now a graduate student at OHSU, Nate is interested in the molecular mechanisms that govern ion channel function and synaptic regulation at central nervous system synapses. He joined the Gouaux Lab in 2015 to study the structure and function of acid sensing ion channels using a combination of x-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and electrophysiology approaches.


Jie YuJie Yu email

Jie received a BS degree in biology from Jilin University, China in 2010, then joined the lab of Dr. Maojun Yang in the Center for Structural Biology at Tsinghua University. In her graduate research, she mainly focused on the underlying mechanism for substrate specificity of amino acid ABC transporters using X-ray crystallography. After receiving her Ph.D. degree in the summer of 2015, Jie joined the Gouaux Lab in early 2016 and is currently investigating the structural and functional properties of the key proteins in the development of chronic myelogenous leukemia, combining X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy.


Yan ZhaoYan Zhao email

Yan received his BS degree in Biophysics in 2010 and then was admitted to the University of Science and Technology of China for doctoral study. In July 2011, he joined Professor Cai Zhang's lab in the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, to study the structure and function of transporters that belong to the major facilitator superfamily. After earning his PhD degree, Yan joined the Gouaux lab in the summer of 2015 and is currently investigating the structure and function of neurotransmitter receptors.


Hongtao ZhuHongtao Zhu email

Hongtao received his BA degree from Ocean University of China in 2009, then began his PhD work in the lab of Ping Zhu at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he worked mainly on virus-like particles using CryoEM. After receiving his PhD in 2014, he continued his work in the Zhu lab for a year. Hongtao joined Eric Gouaux's lab in November 2015 to study the structure and function of neurotransmitter receptors.

NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence

Steve MansoorSteven Mansoor email
Assistant Professor, OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute

Steve graduated from Reed College in 1997 with a BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology before matriculating into the MD/PhD program at Oregon Health & Science University in 1999. For his PhD dissertation, he developed fluorescence techniques to study membrane protein structure and conformational changes, with a focus on understanding the dynamics of G-protein coupled receptor activation. Currently, Steve is an assistant professor in the Knight Cardiovascular Institute at OHSU and has been awarded an NIH K99 Pathway to Independence Award to study the structure/function of purinergic receptors under the mentorship of Eric Gouaux.


Alanna McCarthyAlanna McCarthy email
Research Assistant II

Alanna earned her B.S. degree in Cell and Molecular Biology with a Chemistry minor from Seattle University in 2017. As an undergraduate, she investigated instances of cardiac myopathy in mice with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and characterized homing endonuclease structure and activity. Alanna currently works as an assistant to Dr. Steve Mansoor studying the structure/function of purinergic receptors.


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