Congratulations to Pharmacology Graduate Students at the GBS Symposium!

March 21, 2023 by zrb8mf@virginia.edu

Congratulations to Pharmacology Graduate Students Michael Chi and Mike Lemke on placing 1st and 3rd place respectively for their poster presentations at the 31st annual Graduate Bioscience Society Symposium on March 17th, 2023.

Michael Chi smiles while wearing a lab coat and glassesMichael Chi (1st place) presented on: “The Mechanism of Shieldin-mediated DNA Double-Strand Break Repair and Role in Mediating Sensitivity to PARP Inhibitors”  –My project focuses on the role of the Shieldin protein complex in DNA double strand break (DSB) repair and how its loss confers resistance to the PARP inhibitor olaparib. Currently, my data suggests that the effect of losing the Shieldin subunit proteins or its recruiting cofactors, RIF1 and 53BP1, on the two principal DSB repair pathways, namely nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR), is dependent on the number of double strand breaks. Furthermore, the loss of 53BP1 or RIF1 does not confer the same level of resistance to olaparib as the loss of the Shieldin subunits, suggesting a separation of function that is independent of BRCA1 status.

 

Mike Lemke sits in front of an oxygen tank wearing a blue shirt Mike Lemke (3rd place) presented on: Characterization of Microtubule Associated Serine/Threonine Kinase 2 in Anabolic Signaling” The mammalian microtubule-associated serine-threonine (Mast) family of protein kinases are an understudied group of proteins downstream of mTOR that have been implicated in a diverse array of pathologies including dysregulated lipid homeostasis in metabolic disease, cancer, and brain malformations. Despite these associations, the activity and function of the canonical Mast kinases are currently unknown. Using both biochemical and proteomic methods, my work focusses on defining the enzymatic profile and the physiological role of the first Mast protein to be identified, now called Mast2, as a potential pharmacological therapeutic target

 

The Pharmacology Department would also like to thank Katie Pavelec for her dedicated efforts to help organize the event. We appreciate you Katie!