CDT Research Fellows
Emmanuel Ramsey Buabeng
Emmanuel Ramsey Buabeng received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from University of Science and Technology in Ghana, where he worked on’’ The determination of active antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in the leaves of Azadirachta indica’’ under the tutorship of Dr. Nathaniel Boadi. After successful completion of this project, his interest for therapeutic agents became very strong because he realized that the leaves possess some therapeutic potentials that mankind can utilize. In the year 2012, Emmanuel moved to the United States, where he enrolled into a Master’s of Science program at Youngstown State University. At YSU, he worked on ‘’Towards the synthesis of novel glycomimetic of D-ManNAcA and derivatives’’ under the supervision of Dr. Peter Norris. These glycomimetic could serve as potential inhibitors for the enzymes that catalyze the biosynthesis of the capsules found in Staphylococcus aureus. In the Fall 2018, Emmanuel accepted graduate admission into the PhD Chemistry program offered at Georgia State University, where he is now serving as graduate assistant working under the direction of Dr. Maged Henary.
His research work focuses on two areas. The first work is to synthesize sugar-based sulfonamides-triazole small molecules that will inhibit the isoenzyme Carbon Anhydrase IX. This metalloenzyme have been known to be tumor associated, thereby, synthesizing small molecules that can serve as competitive inhibitor will be of prime importance in this piece of work.
The second phase of the work will be to synthesis novel Near Infra-Red Window II contrast agents for biomedical imaging and metal sensing.
Xiaonan (Shawn) Deng
Xiaonan (Shawn) Deng received his Bachelors degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, China in 2015. He worked as a volunteer in the College of Pharmacy at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, doing research on orthogonal ubiquitin transfer through engineered E1-E2 cascades for protein ubiquitination. In 2016, he joined Dr. Jenny Yang’s lab at Georgia State University as a Ph.D. student and became a CDT Fellow. His research mainly focuses on the molecular mechanism of calcium sensing receptor (CaSR), a family C GPCR, uncovering how calcium, magnesium, other agonists and antagonists cooperatively regulate the conformational change of extracellular domain of calcium sensing receptor would facilitate the drug discovery for CaSR related diseases. He is also working on developing a group of fast kinetics genetically encoded calcium indicators with single calcium binding site to monitor subcellular calcium dynamics.
Amany Elsharkawy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York in 2020. She came to the United States in 2016 after receiving a fully-funded scholarship from the USAID to finish her undergraduate degree. During this time, she worked as an organic chemistry teaching assistant which not only deepened her understanding of the subject, but also fueled her interest in organic synthesis and its applications. In 2017, she worked as an intern at Biomed Pharmaceutical in Research and Development where she focused on the processes of drug synthesis and purification. In 2018, she worked with Dr. Irene Evans on near infrared molecules to target prostate-specific surface antigens using a human carcinogenic cell line. The ability of cancer cells to express antigens was exploited to visualize the binding of Targeted Molecular Imaging Agents to the expressed surface antigens via confocal microscopy. While working on this project, she developed a special interest in fluorescent agents and their therapeutic applications in the medical field. In Fall 2020, she will be joining Dr. Maged Henary’s lab at Georgia State University as part of the PhD Chemistry program.
Her research interests also include developing and synthesizing small fluorescent molecules which can be utilized as anticancer agents that can interfere with the malignancy formation. She ascertains that scientific research in imaging techniques will make it possible to advance current treatments and further introduce unpreceded clinical therapeutics.
Zachary Alexander Fultz
Zachary Alexander Fultz earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Georgia. After graduation, Zachary worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through an ORISE fellowship for four years. He currently conducts research into the development of prodrugs of gasotransmitters such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide under the guidance of Dr. Binghe Wang.
Zongxiang Gui received his Bachelor of Engineering in Material Science and Engineering from Tianjin University, China in 2015, and the Master’s degree in Chemical Biology from University of Science and Technology of China in 2018. He joined Dr. Jenny Yang’s lab as a Ph.D. student in August 2018. His research mainly focuses on the development and engineering of targeted protein-based MRI contrast agents with high relaxivity and sensitivity as well as for molecular imaging of chronic liver and heart diseases and cancer biomarkers for non-invasive early detection. The developed contrast agents will be used to stage different diseases such as liver fibrosis as well as monitoring treatment. In addition, he will be using a range of biochemical, and biophysical techniques as well as protein design and engineering to modify the protein-based MRI contrast agents, aiming to achieve higher sensitivity, targeting specificity and deep tumor penetration.
Dandan Liu is a first year Ph. D student in the laboratory of Dr. Suri S. Iyer. She received her B. S. degree in Pharmacy Department at Shandong University in Shandong province, China. As an undergraduate student, she isolated compounds from Litsea glutinosa and characterized its physicochemical properties, then detected the effects of these compounds to Nrf2 / ARE signaling pathway.
Dandan joined in Dr. Suri S. Iyer’s laboratory in January 2016. Her research at GSU focuses on the development of diagnostics for infectious diseases such as influenza viruses, noroviruses using electrochemical and fluorescent based assays. Also she synthesized the lead compounds to measure enzyme kinetics and improve the electrochemical assay.
She is very interested in biochemistry, which promotes her understanding the biochemical mechanisms very well.
Oluwatosin (Tosin) received her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 2011. She is currently a PhD student in Dr. Jenny J. Yang’s lab, where she focuses on the development of novel metal-binding protein imaging reagents with broad applications for disease diagnosis. Using various biochemical and biophysical methods, she aims to improve metal binding affinity and selectivity, as well as and biomarker targeting capability in vitro and in vivo.
Meek received her BSc (Hons) in Analytical and Testing Sciences and MSc in Analytical Chemistry from the Hong Kong Baptist University in 2018 and 2019 respectively. She is a first year Ph.D student in the laboratory of Dr. Ning Fang, where she works on imaging for biophysical study as well as particle tracking. She also works on the Calcium sensor project which is a cooperation with Dr. Jenny Yang’s lab who invented the CatchER+, a genetically-encoded Ca2+ sensor; she uses live imaging technique HILO, super resolution dSTORM imaging to monitor minute changes of Ca2+-dependent signaling process throughout the cell when drug treatment is applied.
Nick received his B.Sc in Chemistry from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia in 2018. As part of his undergraduate experience, he worked on the research and development of α,β-substituted vinyl phosphonates. He currently studies for his Ph.D. in Dr. Samer Gozem’s lab.
Nick’s interests are in developing and applying computational approaches to study light-responsive proteins. He is currently developing QM/MM tools to predict the effects of mutations on the absorption and emission properties of fluorophores located inside proteins. The understanding derived from such QM/MM simulations may aid in the rational design of fluorescent proteins and biosensors. Nick is also interested in applying electronic structure calculations to investigate the mechanism of organic reactions.
|Name||Year Awarded Fellowship||Lab||Current Position||Location|
|Dr. Ramazan Atalay
||2012||Dr. Nikolaus Dietz||Faculty Member, Biomedical Engineering; Gediz University||Ismir, Turkey|
|Dr. Sarah (Burroughs) Zingales
||2013||Dr. Binghe Wang||Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry; Georgia Southern University||Savannah, Georgia|
|Dr. Katherine Fange Liu
||2012||Dr. Aimin Liu||Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics; University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Dr. You Feng
||2012||Dr. George Yunjin Zheng||Research Fellow, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Harvard Medical School||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Dr. Liang-Wei Li
||2013||Dr. Zhi-Ren Liu||Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Biology; Georgia State University||Atlanta, GA|
|Dr. Eric Owens
||2013||Dr. Maghed Henary||Patent Agent; Cooley LLC||New York, NY|
|Dr. Vaishali Pannu
||2013||Dr. Ritu Aneja||Research Scientist II, Research and Development; Caris Life Sciences||Tempe, AZ|
|Dr. Hangjin Peng
||2012||Dr. Binghe Wang||Research Associate, Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD|
|Dr. Crystal Smitherman Rosenberg
||2013||Dr. Giovanni Gadda||Director of Development, Aalto Scientific||Atlanta, GA|
|Dr. Zhenghua Andy Tang
||2012||Dr. Gangli Wang||Associate Professor, South China University of Technology||Guangzhou, China|
|Dr. Shuo Wang
||2013||Dr. David Wilson||Senior Scientist, Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc.||Takeda, CA|
|Dr. Alice Chen Zhang
||2012||Dr. Jenny Yang||Postdoctoral Researcher, La Jolla Institute of Immunology||La Jolla, CA|
|Dr. Ying Zhang
||2013||Dr. Irene Weber||Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Massachusetts Medical School||Worcester, MA|