Dr. Kendall Byler
Kendall Byler is a research associate in computational chemistry/biology in the biology department. He began his education at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, receiving both a B.S. in chemistry, focusing on natural products, and an M.S. in chemistry, focusing on ab initio calculations of DNA-intercalator interactions, followed by doctoral studies at the Computer Chemie Centrum in computational chemistry (3D-QSAR) at Erlangen, Germany. This was followed by postdoctoral appointments at The University of British Columbia, Mayo Clinic and Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. Kendall also began teaching chemistry at Indian River State College, and later returned to UAH to teach general and organic chemistry as a lecturer in the chemistry department while continuing independent research in improving molecular docking methods for the identification of natural product structures active in targets in neglected tropical diseases, such as Zika virus, in association with ResNet NPND. His experience in computational chemistry ranges from ab initio transition state calculations to quantitative structure activity/property modeling using machine learning to molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations of ligand-receptor interactions of biological systems associated with disease states.
Dr. Byler is investigating the prediction of tissue-specific cytochrome P450 metabolites of xenobiotics and harmful tobacco product components using structure-based techniques
The structure of indole bound to the heme group of human lung CYP2A13.
Anna Petroff is a PhD candidate in the Biotechnology program. After completing degrees at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC (B.A. English Literature Hon.) and Appalachian State University in Boone, NC (M.A. Experimental Psychology), she returned to her hometown of Huntsville, AL. Prior to returning to university, she worked as an educator and non-profit consultant in the area of health psychology. Her overarching research interest is to explore the actions of proteins implicated in the development and persistence of psychological disorders. Her interdisciplinary background has afforded her a range of experiences, from clinical experiments to molecular modeling of membrane proteins.
Anna Petroff is currently researching membrane-bound desaturases using all-atom molecular dynamics.
The figure above shows a model of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (red) in a membrane (magenta) with substrate (yellow).
Jay Spencer is originally from Sevierville, TN. He completed a baccalaureate degree in biological sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville (‘17). Upon graduation, he followed his undergraduate advisor, Dr. Jerome Baudry to The University of Alabama Huntsville to pursue a Ph.D in Biotechnology, with a concentration in computational biology. He is currently funded through an R01 grant to develop a group A strep vaccine targeting the M protein using molecular dynamics and in silico epitope prediction.
Jay Spencer is currently working towards a group A strep vaccine.
Electrostatic surface map of the N-terminus of M3, a GAS serotype commonly linked to rheumatic heart disease.
Meredyth is a Huntsville native who first attended the University of Montevallo for fine arts with a concentration in illustration and 2D design. Mid-degree she fell in love with the biological science and transferred to UAH to pursue bachelors degrees in Biology and Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry. Meredyth hopes to use her passion for problem-solving and her knowledge of biological systems and chemistry to research new methods of drug discovery and delivery
Meredyth Kinsella is working towards understanding the enzymatic mechanism of bacterial Pth1 and finding an inhibitor.
P. aeruginosa peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase (Pth1) - PDB ID 4FYJ
Corinne is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with a minor in computer science. She has a strong interest in data science and computational biology. Working under Dr. Menon and Dr. Baudry, Corinne analyzes biomedical datasets on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and uses this data to train machine learning algorithms to help identify active bindings between drug candidates and the target protein. GPCRs are a large family of integral membrane proteins that regulate most of a human's physiological responses to hormones, neurotransmitters, and environmental stimulants, making GPCRs ideal for target proteins in the drug discovery and development process. The main objective of her work is to develop a method that can overcome the class imbalance problem that is often found in biomedical datasets in order to maximize the predication rate of drug-candidates for target proteins.
Although she grew up in southern California, Amy Ridings has called the South her home since 2005. She attended Middle Tennessee State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the Honors College. From there, she went to Tennessee Technological University, where she studied computational chemistry, and earned her master's degree in Chemistry in May 2019. Her research interests are rooted in drug discovery, natural products, especially those from Traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and molecular modeling.
Jana Whittle is native of Huntsville. She started her undergraduate work at UAH and then completed her BS degree at UAB in mathematics with a concentration in statistics. Jana worked as a software developer in the private sector for over 12 years, specializing in user-interface design. Following this work, Jana returned to school at UAH for a degree in Biotechnology. She wants to explore biological questions using computational and big data methods.
Jana Whittle worked to develop methods to computationally determine favorably bound ligands based on descriptors of protein conformation properties.
The figure above shows the binding pocket of GPCR protein ADORA2A.
Dr. Noriko Inoguchi
Dr. Inoguchi is a postdoctoral research assistant originally from Japan. She completed her bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary studies in Science and Math at Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, MO) and worked as a student researcher for 3 years during the undergraduate period mentored by Dr. Walt Lilly and Dr. Allen Gathman. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with emphasizing X-ray protein crystallography at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE) under the supervision of Dr. Hideaki Moriyama. She started her postdoctoral research at iXpressGenes, Inc. at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology (Huntsville, AL) focusing on neutron crystallography with Dr. Joseph Ng as a supervisor, then moved to University of Alabama in Huntsville to work on computational biophysics with continue working on protein biochemistry and X-ray/neutron protein crystallography with Dr. Ng.
Dr. Inoguchi worked on deciphering the molecular mechanism of Thermococcus IPPase by crystallography and molecular dynamics.
Water-network identified by neutron crystal structure (PDBID: 5TY5)
Kyrie is interested in the molecular interactions and regulation between proteins, ligands, and DNA. She is currently working to identify potential proteins that can be targeted for anti-inflammatory drug development. The ConceptalEyes semantic search program, which is a form of A.I., facilitates identification of potential proteins that may interact with active organic molecules isolated from certain plant extracts. The objective is to create a matched list of protein targets, active molecules, and diseases that can speed the process of drug discovery. Kyrie plans to pursue a PhD to apply bioinformatics to the rapidly developing field of Regenerative Medicine.
Shayenne is a pre-med student aspiring to be a psychiatrist. She has a strong interest in pharmacology, especially psychopharmacology. In Dr. Baudry's lab, Shayenne is computationally mapping mutations that render a specific enzyme dysfunctional and contribute to the genetic disorder tyrosinemia type 1 (TT1). TT1 is a disorder in which the patient is unable to efficiently break down tyrosine due to a defect in the enzyme fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase. Patients with this condition may present with developmental delays, and understanding the biological basis of this genetic disorder grants medical professionals the potential to develop improved treatment for affected patients, including psychiatric and pharmaceutical treatments.