Emory News: New Emory Initiatives Drive Innovation in the Basic Sciences

The Emory News Center recently published an article outlining a series of initiatives through which Emory University hopes to foster scholarly and research eminence. As part of its mission, titled “One Emory: Engaged for Impact”, Emory aims to inspire “Innovation through Scholarship and Creative Expression”. To achieve this goal, a Task Force on the Future of Basic Science Research was organized to identify how to maximize the success and impact of our research efforts.

This task force was co-chaired by Guida Silvestri and the Department of Chemistry’s own Dr. Huw Davies. Two priority research initiatives were decided upon as a result of this effort: “Biological Discovery through Chemical Innovation” and “From Molecular Pathogenesis to Global Pandemics”. Dr. Davies, along with Dr. Haian Fu, leads the “Biological Discovery through Chemical Innovation” initiative with the aim of accelerating the development of the next generation of research tools, effective and safe drugs, and diagnostic agents.

“The idea is to enhance molecular science at Emory broadly,” says Davies. “The focus is not just on the potential for developing drugs, but on achieving more impactful basic science by deepening knowledge of biology and novel chemistry.”

To read the entire article, click [here].

April Research Round-Up

Congratulations to our amazing research teams here in the Department of Chemistry for their publications this month!

Bowman Group

Qu, C., & Bowman, J. M. (2019). A fragmented, permutationally invariant polynomial approach for potential energy surfaces of large molecules: Application to N-methyl acetamideThe Journal of chemical physics150(14), 141101.

Yang, B., Zhang, P., Qu, C., Stancil, P., Bowman, J., Balakrishnan, N., & Forrey, R. (2019). Full-dimensional quantum rovibrational scattering of SO with H2*Bulletin of the American Physical Society.

Dunham Group

Srinivas, P., Goralski, T. D., Keiler, K. C., & Dunham, C. M. (2019). Alternative mechanisms of ribosome stalling rescue in the gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensisThe FASEB Journal33(1_supplement), 628-3.

Hoffer, E. D., Maehigashi, T., Fredrick, K., & Dunham, C. M. (2019). Ribosomal am biguity (ram) mutations promote 30S domain closure and thereby increase miscodingThe FASEB Journal33(1_supplement), 628-2.

Dunham, C. M., Hoffer, E. D., Nguyen, H. A., Subramanian, S., Hong, S., & Maehigashi, T. (2019). RNA-mediated Mechanisms of Translation ControlThe FASEB Journal33(1_supplement), 100-1.

Zaldana, K. S., Pavelich, I., Moller, A., & Dunham, C. M. (2019). Dissecting the gene regulation of Proteus vulgaris Rts1 HigB-HigA toxin-antitoxin systemThe FASEB Journal33(1_supplement), 458-20.

Pavelich, I., & Dunham, C. M. (2019). Mechanism and stability of type II bacterial toxin-antitoxin complexes and the role of regulated antitoxin proteolysis that releases toxinThe FASEB Journal33(1_supplement), 463-8.

Nguyen, H. A., & Dunham, C. M. (2019). Importance of the m1G37 modification and 32–38 pairing in tRNAPro (CCG) on decoding and tRNA stabilityThe FASEB Journal33(1_supplement), 630-6.

Dyer Group

Sanchez, M. K., Wu, C. H., Adams, M. W., & Dyer, R. B. (2019). Optimizing electron transfer from CdSe QDs to hydrogenase for photocatalytic H 2 productionChemical Communications.

Deng, H., Dyer, R. B., & Callender, R. (2019). Active Site Glu165 Activation in Triosephosphate Isomerase and its Deprotonation KineticsThe Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

Evangelista Group

Zhang, T., Li, C., & Evangelista, F. A. (2019). Improving the efficiency of the multireference driven similarity renormalization group via sequential transformation, density fitting, and the non-interacting virtual orbital approximationarXiv preprint arXiv:1903.11637.

Li, C., Lindh, R., & Evangelista, F. A. (2019). Dynamically weighted multireference perturbation theory: Combining the advantages of multi-state and state-averaged methodsThe Journal of Chemical Physics150(14), 144107.

Heemstra Group

Lackey, H., Peterson, E. M., Chen, Z., Harris, J. M., & Heemstra, J. M. (2019). Thermostability Trends of TNA: DNA Duplexes Reveal Strong Purine DependenceACS synthetic biology.

Ayele, T., Knutson, S. D., Ellipilli, S., Hwang, H., & Heemstra, J. M. (2019). Fluorogenic Photoaffinity Labeling of Proteins in Living CellsBioconjugate Chemistry.

Heaven Group

Le, A. T., Nakhate, S. G., Nguyen, D. T., Steimle, T. C., & Heaven, M. C. (2019). Characterization of gas-phase thorium nitride. The Journal of chemical physics150(14), 144304.

Hill Group

Tao, M., Li, Y., Geletii, Y. V., Hill, C. L., & Wang, X. (2019). Aerobic oxidation of glycerol catalyzed by M salts of PMo12O403-(M= K+, Zn2+, Cu2+, Al3+, Cr3+, Fe3+)Applied Catalysis A: General.

Tian, Y., Plonka, A. M., Ebrahim, A. M., Palomino, R. M., Senanayake, S. D., Balboa, A., … & Mitchell, M. B. (2019). A Correlated Multimodal Approach Reveals Key Details of Nerve-Agent Decomposition by Single Site Zr-Based Polyoxometalates. The journal of physical chemistry letters.

Ke Group

Wang, W., Chen, S., An, B., Huang, K., Bai, T., Xu, M., … & Wei, B. (2019). Complex wireframe DNA nanostructures from simple building blocksNature communications10(1), 1067.

Musaev Group

McLarney, B. D., Hanna, S. R., Musaev, D. G., & France, S. (2019). A Predictive Model for the [Rh2 (esp) 2]-catalyzed Intermolecular C (sp3)-H Bond Insertion of β-carbonyl Ester Carbenes: Interplay Between Theory and ExperimentACS Catalysis.

Tian, Y., Plonka, A. M., Ebrahim, A. M., Palomino, R. M., Senanayake, S. D., Balboa, A., … & Mitchell, M. B. (2019). A Correlated Multimodal Approach Reveals Key Details of Nerve-Agent Decomposition by Single Site Zr-Based PolyoxometalatesThe journal of physical chemistry letters.

Wuest Group

Zhao, W., Cross, A. R., Crowe-McAuliffe, C., Weigert-Munoz, A., Csatary, E. E., Solinski, A., … & Wuest, W. (2019). The natural product elegaphenone potentiates antibiotic effects against Pseudomonas aeruginosaAngewandte Chemie.

Cheng, A. V., & Wuest, W. M. (2019). Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Conjugate and Prodrug Strategies as Targeted Delivery Vectors for AntibioticsACS infectious diseases.

Wilt, I. K., Hari, T. P. A., & Wuest, W. M. (2019). Hijacking the Bacterial Circuitry of Biofilm Processes via Chemical” Hot-Wiring”: An Under-explored Avenue for Therapeutic DevelopmentACS infectious diseases.

Research from the Dunham Lab Wins Cozzarelli Prize

Congratulations to Dr. Christine Dunham and colleagues on their recent publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This manuscript has won the journal’s Cozzarelli Prize, which recognizes one outstanding contribution each year to each of the six disciplines of the National Academy of Sciences and celebrates “scientific excellence and originality”.

The manuscript entitled “Mechanism of tRNA-mediated +1 ribosomal frameshifting” discusses ribosomal frameshifting, a perturbation of the protein assembly process. With an enhanced understanding of this process, we can begin to understand more about how proteins are synthesized as well as how some antibiotics can hijack this process and re-engineer it for new applications.

To read more about this, click [here]!

November Research Round-Up

Congratulations to our amazing research teams here in the Department of Chemistry for their publications this month!

Bowman Group:

Chen, Q., & Bowman, J. M. (2018). Quantum approaches to vibrational dynamics and spectroscopy: is ease of interpretation sacrificed as rigor increases?Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

Yang, B., Zhang, P., Chen, Q., Stancil, P., Bowman, J. M., Naduvalath, B., & Forrey, R. C. (2018). Inelastic Vibrational Dynamics of CS in Collision with H2 Using a Full-dimensional Potential Energy SurfacePhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

Dunham Group:

Hong, S., Sunita, S., Maehigashi, T., Hoffer, E. D., Dunkle, J. A., & Dunham, C. M. (2018). Mechanism of tRNA-mediated+ 1 ribosomal frameshiftingProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences115(44), 11226-11231.

Rivera, S., Young, P. G., Hoffer, E. D., Vansuch, G. E., Metzler, C. L., Dunham, C. M., & Weinert, E. E. (2018). Structural Insights into Oxygen-Dependent Signal Transduction within Globin Coupled SensorsInorganic chemistry.

Hoffer, E. D., Maehigashi, T., Fredrick, K., & Dunham, C. M. (2018). Ribosomal ambiguity (ram) mutations promote the open (off) to closed (on) transition and thereby increase miscodingNucleic Acids Research.

Hill Group:

Sullivan, K. P., Wieliczko, M., Kim, M., Yin, Q., Collins-Wildman, D. L., Mehta, A. K., … & Hill, C. L. (2018). Speciation and Dynamics in the [Co4V2W18O68] 10-/Co (II) aq/CoOx Catalytic Water Oxidation SystemACS Catalysis.

Kaledin, A. L., Troya, D., Karwacki, C. J., Balboa, A., Gordon, W. O., Morris, J. R., … & Musaev, D. G. (2018). Key Mechanistic Details of Paraoxon Decomposition by Polyoxometalates: Critical Role of Para-Nitro SubstitutionChemical Physics.

Lian Group:

Clark, M. L., Ge, A., Videla, P. E., Rudshteyn, B., Miller, C. J., Song, J., … & Kubiak, C. P. (2018). CO2 Reduction Catalysts on Gold Electrode Surfaces Influenced by Large Electric FieldsJournal of the American Chemical Society.

Lutz Group:

Williams, E., Jung, S. M., Coffman, J. L., & Lutz, S. (2018). Pore engineering for enhanced mass transport in encapsulin nano-compartmentsACS synthetic biology.

Musaev Group:

Kaledin, A. L., Troya, D., Karwacki, C. J., Balboa, A., Gordon, W. O., Morris, J. R., … & Musaev, D. G. (2018). Key Mechanistic Details of Paraoxon Decomposition by Polyoxometalates: Critical Role of Para-Nitro Substitution. Chemical Physics.

Salaita Group:

Hong, J., Ge, C., Jothikumar, P., Yuan, Z., Liu, B., Bai, K., … & Palin, A. (2018). A TCR mechanotransduction signaling loop induces negative selection in the thymusNature Immunology, 1.

Weinert Group

Rivera, S., Young, P. G., Hoffer, E. D., Vansuch, G. E., Metzler, C. L., Dunham, C. M., & Weinert, E. E. (2018). Structural Insights into Oxygen-Dependent Signal Transduction within Globin Coupled SensorsInorganic chemistry.

Fontaine, B. M., Duggal, Y., & Weinert, E. E. (2018). Exploring the Links Between Nucleotide Signaling and Quorum Sensing Pathways in Regulating Bacterial VirulenceACS infectious diseases.

Wuest Group:

Kontos, R. C., Schallenhammer, S. A., Bentley, B. S., Morrison, K. R., Feliciano, J. A., Tasca, J. A., … & Minbiole, K. P. (2018). An Investigation Into Rigidity‐Activity Relationships in bisQAC Amphiphilic AntisepticsChemMedChem.

Shapiro, J. A., Varga, J. J., Parsonage, D., Walton, W., Redinbo, M. R., Ross, L. J., … & Goldberg, J. B. (2018). Identification of Specific and Non‐specific Inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis Type III Pantothenate Kinase (PanK)ChemMedChem.

Kilgore, M. B., Morrison, K. R., Wuest, W. M., & Chandler, J. D. (2018). Influence of pH on the reactions of heme peroxidase-derived oxidants with R19SFree Radical Biology and Medicine128, S101-S102.

October Research Round-Up

Congratulations to our amazing research teams here in the Department of Chemistry for their publications this month!

Bowman Group:

Nandi, A., Qu, C., & Bowman, J. M. (2018). Diffusion Monte Carlo Calculations of Zero‐Point Energies of Methanol and Deuterated Methanol. Journal of computational chemistry.

Davies Group:

Davies, H. M., Itami, K., & Stoltz, B. M. (2018). New directions in natural product synthesisChemical Society Reviews.

Evangelista Group:

Huang, Y., Xu, Z., Jin, S., Li, C., Warncke, K., Evangelista, F. A., … & Egap, E. (2018). Conjugated Oligomers with Stable Radical Substituents: Synthesis, Single Crystal Structures, Electronic Structure and Excited State DynamicsChemistry of Materials.

Heaven Group

Torbin, A., Pershin, A., Zagidullin, M., Heaven, M., Mebel, A., & Azyazov, V. (2018). Ozone recovery in the presence of CO and N2O. In MATEC Web of Conferences(Vol. 209, p. 00016). EDP Sciences.

Tolstov, G. I., Zagidullin, M. V., Khvatov, N. A., Medvedkov, I. A., Mebel, A. M., Heaven, M. C., & Azyazov, V. N. (2018). Measurements of rate constants of O2 (b) quenching by CH4, NO, N2O at temperatures 300-800 K. In MATEC Web of Conferences(Vol. 209, p. 00006). EDP Sciences.

Heaven, M. C. (2018, October). Optically pumped rare gas lasers (Conference Presentation). In High-Power Lasers: Technology and Systems, Platforms, and Effects II(Vol. 10798, p. 1079806). International Society for Optics and Photonics.

Heemstra Group

Wilson, C. J., Bommarius, A. S., Champion, J. A., Chernoff, Y. O., Lynn, D. G., Paravastu, A. K., … & Heemstra, J. M. (2018). Biomolecular Assemblies: Moving from Observation to Predictive DesignChemical reviews.

Morris, F. D., Peterson, E. M., Heemstra, J. M., & Harris, J. M. (2018). Single-Molecule Kinetic Investigation of Cocaine-Dependent Split-Aptamer AssemblyAnalytical chemistry.

Hill Group

Kaledin, A. L., Hill, C. L., Lian, T., & Musaev, D. G. (2018). A bulk adjusted linear combination of atomic orbitals (BA‐LCAO) approach for nanoparticlesJournal of computational chemistry.

Ke Group

Wang, P., & Ke, Y. (2018). Attack on the Cell Membrane: The Pointy Ends of DNA Nanostructures Lead the Way.

Wang, D., Song, J., Wang, P., Pan, V., Zhang, Y., Cui, D., & Ke, Y. (2018). Design and operation of reconfigurable two-dimensional DNA molecular arraysNature protocols, 1.

Kindt Group

Patel, L. A., & Kindt, J. T. (2018). Simulations of NaCl Aggregation from Solution: Solvent Determines Topography of Free Energy LandscapeJournal of computational chemistry.

Guo, Z., & Kindt, J. T. (2018). Partitioning of Size-mismatched Impurities to Grain Boundaries in 2-d Solid Hard Sphere MonolayersLangmuir.

Lian Group

Kaledin, A. L., Hill, C. L., Lian, T., & Musaev, D. G. (2018). A bulk adjusted linear combination of atomic orbitals (BA‐LCAO) approach for nanoparticlesJournal of computational chemistry.

Huang, Y., Xu, Z., Jin, S., Li, C., Warncke, K., Evangelista, F. A., … & Egap, E. (2018). Conjugated Oligomers with Stable Radical Substituents: Synthesis, Single Crystal Structures, Electronic Structure and Excited State DynamicsChemistry of Materials.

Lynn Group

Wilson, C. J., Bommarius, A. S., Champion, J. A., Chernoff, Y. O., Lynn, D. G., Paravastu, A. K., … & Heemstra, J. M. (2018). Biomolecular Assemblies: Moving from Observation to Predictive DesignChemical reviews.

Musaev Group

Kaledin, A. L., Hill, C. L., Lian, T., & Musaev, D. G. (2018). A bulk adjusted linear combination of atomic orbitals (BA‐LCAO) approach for nanoparticles. Journal of computational chemistry.

Haines, B. E., Nelson, B. M., Grandner, J. M., Kim, J., Houk, K. N., Movassaghi, M., & Musaev, D. G. (2018). Mechanism of Permanganate-Promoted Dihydroxylation of Complex Diketopiperazines: Critical Roles of Counter-cation and Ion-PairingJournal of the American Chemical Society.

Wuest Group

Ernouf, G., Wilt, I., Zahim, S., & Wuest, W. M. (2018). Epoxy isonitriles, a unique class of antibiotics–Synthesis of their metabolites and biological investigationsChemBioChem.

 

New Catalyst Developed by CCHF

Side view of the new catalyst. Graphic image by Kuangbiao Liao via escienceommons.

Chemists have developed another catalyst that can selectively activate a carbon-hydrogen bond, part of an ongoing strategy to revolutionize the field of organic synthesis and open up new chemical space.

The journal Nature is publishing the work by chemists at Emory University, following on their development of a similar catalyst last year. Both of the catalysts are able to selectively functionalize the unreactive carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds of an alkane without using a directing group, while also maintaining virtually full control of site selectivity and the three-dimensional shape of the molecules produced.

Read the full story by Carol Clark on the Emory esciencecommons blog!

Dunham Group Publication in Nature Chemical Biology

Graduate student Ha An Nguyen of the Dunham Group recently published a News and Views article for the journal Nature Chemical Biology entitled, “Genome Mining: Digging the Tunnel for Chemical Space” based on a July article published in the same journal, “Klebsazolicin Inhibits 70S Ribosome by Obstructing the Peptide Exit Tunnel”.

In her review, Ha An summarizes the major findings of the Metelev et al. paper and emphasizes the value of genome mining in the discovery of new antimicrobials. “We previously thought we had beaten bacterial infections with ‘miracle drugs’ but if you look at the numbers from the CDC, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections in the United States alone,” Ha An says. “Techniques such as genome mining used in this paper can help sift through tons of sequencing data and can lead us to places we would have never thought of to look.”

Beyond its scientific contributions to the field, this manuscript held particular value to Ha An. “As a novice scientist, this paper on klebsazolicin provides a nice story of a scientific study that walks through the project from conception in silico and into the laboratory for mechanistic and structural investigation,” she says. “It also let me dip my toes into making figures of ribosomes structures, which I am hoping to do a lot of during my time in the Dunham lab to tease out the details of bacterial translation with atomic-level resolution.”

Wuest Group Featured in ChemBioChem

Research from the Wuest Group is featured on the cover of the August issue of ChemBioChem. The article is “Efflux Pumps Might Not Be the Major Drivers of QAC Resistance in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.”

The inside cover picture shows that
cell-membrane composition might be
the primary driver of bacterial resistance to quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs). Our findings shed light on this daunting phenomenon with world-wide impact as QACs are ubiquitous in household cleaners and typically serve as the last line of defense in home sanitation.