CDT Research Fellows
Andrew Sayyoukohn Browne
Andrew Browne received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry (Biochemistry) from Georgia State University in 2019. He is a second-year chemistry PhD student in Dr. Suri Iyer’s laboratory currently working on characterizing the binding of multiple small molecule dual inhibitors to their oncoprotein targets by utilizing crystallography. Fully characterizing and understanding how the small molecules bind to their targets could lead to alterations in the structures of the small molecules. These alterations could not only increase the affinity for their targets, but also could lead to the development of new molecules that can more feasibly undergo large-scale synthesis.
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.
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. Yuan Liu’s lab at Georgia State University as part of the PhD Biological Sciences 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.
Mohammad Sazid Hassan
Mohammad Sazid Hassan received his Associate of Science in Chemistry from Georgia State University Perimeter College in May 2016; while enrolled there, he was awarded with Academic Achievement and Scholar of Excellence Awards in his Freshman and Sophomore years. He later transferred to GSU’s Atlanta campus and was awarded with a Campus Atlanta Scholarship. In his final year as an undergraduate, his research focus was the synthesis of selenium modified nucleic acids. Sazid received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from GSU in May 2018.
To continue his research on selenium modified nucleic acids, he enrolled into GSU’s MS Thesis program in Chemistry; and after 2 years, he received his Masters of Science in May 2020 with his thesis entitled, “An Innovative Way to Synthesize 2’SeMeANA-U and 2’SeMeANA-C”. His thesis research focused on the synthesis of the 2’ arabino modification of selenium on the uridine and cytidine nucleosides, which can aid in the synthesis and enhance crystallization of B-form DNA’s, the most naturally available DNA’s. For the past three years, Sazid’s research concentration has been Organic and Analytical Chemistry. In Fall 2020, he will be a Ph.D. research student working in the lab of Dr. Jun Yin, where his research concentration will be Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, with primary focus on the synthesis of UAA and protein ubiquitination.
Jacques Kumutima graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and two minors of Mathematics and Biology. He also received Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Rwanda presidential scholarships. While at Morehouse, he became interested in researching protein biochemical mechanisms and worked in organic synthesis in Professor Brian Lawrence’s laboratory studying the three-dimensional structure of amino acids and peptides via NMR spectroscopy. While continuing research in this laboratory during all academic years, he was also selected to work in other various labs as an intern. At Washington University in St. Louis, in Professor Garland Marshall’s lab, he conducted computational simulations to design and synthesize cyclic tetra-peptides as reverse-turns mimetic toward potential therapeutics for malaria. At Georgia Institute of Technology, in Professor Andres J. Garcia’s lab, he developed computational methodologies to determine the mechanical properties that cells exert to the extracellular matrix in order to understand cell shape and function. At Princeton University, in Professor Joshua Shaevitz’s lab, he conducted computational mapping of the stereotyped behavior of freely moving fruit flies using Mat Lab software in order to understand the sex and age-related behavioral changes in the Drosophila melanogaster. These strong research experiences and training have moved him further to pursue graduate studies to understand the structure-function studies of biomolecules such as proteins. In addition, Jacques has earned a Master’s degree in biophysics from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. While there, he worked on two projects that resulted in publication. He investigated studies on Myoglobin interaction with hydrogen sulfide and the effects of mutations on Neuroglobin interaction with hydrogen sulfide; and he also has industry experience at Mead Johnson where he worked on electrochemical detection of choline in baby formula.
Jacques is currently a PhD candidate in computational biophysical chemistry working under the supervision of Professor Donald Hamelberg here at Georgia State University. His focus is on various forms of molecular dynamics to the understand the catalysis of Cyclophilin D(CypD), which is a drug target for various types of cancer. His work on CypD was recently published: “p53 Is Potentially Regulated by Cyclophilin D in the Triple-Proline Loop of the DNA Binding Domain”.
Corbett Ouellette received his Master’s degree in Biological Sciences from Middle Tennessee State University 2018, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Middle Tennessee State University in 2011. He earned his MS investigating Gardnerella vaginalis strain specific growth and cytotoxicity in human monocytes, as well as the isolation and testing of vaginolysin to investigate immune response in aforementioned monocytes. From 2015-2020, he worked in the brewing industry, focusing on quality control and testing for bacterial and wild yeast in fermented, cellared, and finished product. He maintained yeast culture propagation, sterility, vitality monitoring, and developed and implemented lab protocols and Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for biological and other operation systems. Corbett will be joining the PhD program at GSU in Fall 2020, where he will be working in Dr. Yuan Liu’s lab and plans to dedicate himself to the investigation of cancer-related immunological mechanisms, particularly how monocytes confer tumor resistance to radiation therapy through promoting wound-healing and inhibiting tumor-specific T cell cytotoxicity. Given his industrial experience, he will also be involved in the development of SIRPant therapies – a novel series of tumor immunotherapy – against solid tumors.
|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|