Project Title: Understanding the CXCR4 Signaling Network Through the Integration of Structural, Functional and Computational Approaches
CXCR4 is a key receptor in the proliferation of most cancers, and is a key therapeutic target. Here we plan to determine the structure of an active ternary complex of CXCR4, bound to heterotrimeric G protein. Understanding CXCR4 structure, and signaling mechanisms will facilitate the design of therapeutics targeting the receptor, or other downstream molecules.
Mentors: Drs. Tracy Handel, Irina Kufareva, Andres Leschziner and J. Silvio Gutkind, UC San Diego
Jui-Hung (Jody) Weng
Project Title: The structure of LRRK2 and the conformational changes that are associated with LRRK2 activation and Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis
Study the structure of LRRK2 decorated microtubules using cryo-Electron Tomography, and map the conformational states of LRRK2 using hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry. The structural information and the cellular studies will elucidate how LRRK2 activity is regulated and how its structure and regulation are perturbed by pathogenic mutations.
Mentors: Drs. Susan Taylor and Elizabeth Villa, UC San Diego