Katya Heldwein, PhD, Principal Investigator
Katya received her PhD from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, OR where she studied ligand recognition by bacterial transcription regulators using x-ray crystallography in the laboratory of Richard Brennan. She then did her postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Stephen Harrison where she initially worked on clathrin adaptor complexes and later delved into herpesvirus cell entry. She opened her own laboratory at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Fall of 2006.
Janna Bigalke, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
A native of Germany, Janna obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Molecualr Life Sciences at the University of Lübeck, Germany. She then got her PhD in Chemistry from the Technical University in Dortmund. Janna studies how herpesvirus capsids bud into the nuclear membrane during early stages of viral egress by carrying out the structural and mechanistic studies of the HSV-1 nuclear egress complex.
Heidi Burke, PhD Student, Molecular Microbiology MERGE-ID Program
Heidi obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Washington. She studies glycoproteins of human cytomegalovirus – a herpesvirus that causes severe infections in neonates and immunocompromised persons. Heidi’s ambition is to gain a better understanding of the cell entry mechanism of cytomegalovirus by determining the structures of these proteins and the complexes they form.
Rebecca Cooper, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Rebecca earned her BS degree from Rice University where she majored in Chemical engineering. After working as a chemical engineer, she got her PhD in Molecular Biophysics from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Rebecca’s goal will be to determine the structure of the full-length HSV-1 gB and to determine the nature of fusogenic conformational changes that it undergoes during viral entry.
Claire Metrick, PhD Student, Biochemistry Program
Claire graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and worked in pharmaceutical industry before starting her graduate studies. Her project deals with a trio of HSV-1 proteins that are necessary for the cytoplasmic budding of capsids yet mysteriously spend much of their time in the nucleus.
Jared Pitts, PhD Student, Molecular Microbiology Program
Jared graduated from Texas A&M University where he majored in Genetics and Biochemistry. His thesis project focuses on structural studies of tegument proteins involved in intracellular capsid trafficking of alphaherpesviruses.
Henry Rogalin, PhD Student, Biochemistry Program
Henry received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from University of Massachusetts in Boston. He is studying the mechanism by which HSV-1 gB mediates membrane fusion during viral entry, particularly, how it gets “kicked” into action by other entry proteins.