Please join us in welcoming Dr. Thomas Tomasiak to CBC as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. During his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Professor Robert Stroud in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department at the University of California at San Francisco Medical School, Tomasiak discovered how a sterol substrate binds to cyp51, a major antifungal target via a membrane-oriented portal. The cyp51 molecular structure was one of the first of a full-length single transmembrane helix enzyme, shedding light on membrane interactions critical for drug development in the cytochrome p450 family.
Tomasiak is quickly becoming an expert in the field of high resolution cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM), through a collaboration with Professor Yifan Cheng, who is the co-mentor on Tomasiak’s NIH K99/R00 grant along with Professor Stroud. Tomasiak successfully used cryo-EM to obtain a structure for TmrAB, a heterodimeric bacterial ABC exporter protein, that had been considered too small at the time for cryo-EM analysis.
The Tomasiak lab in CBC@UA will continue to use advanced structural approaches (x-ray crystallography and cryo-EM) and membrane protein stabilization techniques based on lipid nanodiscs to address pharmacological problems involving eukaryotic lipid and drug transporters. Tomasiak will start at the UA in January, 2018.