John O'Bryan

    Email Address:
    College: Medicine Department: Pharmacology
    Title: Associate Professor
    Office: 4091 COMRB Phone: 312-996-6221
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    My laboratory is interested in the role of scaffold proteins in the spatiotemporal regulation of signal transduction pathways. Our specific interests center on understanding the biochemical and physiological function of the intersectin (ITSN) scaffold protein. ITSN consists of multiple modular domains each of which interact with a number of target proteins. We have demonstrated that ITSN regulates a variety of biochemical processes including endocytosis, kinase activation, ubiquitylation, and GTPase activation. Furthermore, we have found that ITSN plays a critical role in oncogenesis as well as neurodegeneration. Our current work is focused on understanding the myriad of targets for ITSN and their precise function in the cell. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of techniques involving molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, and physiology aimed at understanding ITSN function in vivo.

    KEYWORDS: Signal transduction, oncogenes, tumorigenesis, scaffold proteins, ubiquitylation, receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, monomeric GTPases, Ras, endocytosis, neurodegeneration, Alzheimer Disease, cancer, neuroblastoma,

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 20

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Min GPA 3.5. Students should have taken introductory Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry/Cell Biology. Preference for students in junior and senior year. Prior experience not required but helpful.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Students will be expected to master various experimental techniques to probe the function of ITSN. Students will initially work with a current member of the laboratory to gain training and experience in various experimental approaches. However, the goal is for a student to develop an independent project.

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