Vincent "Vinnie" Tagliabracci, Ph.D.
Dr. Tagliabracci received his B.S. in chemistry and biology from the University of Indianapolis. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Indiana University, where he worked with Dr. Peter Roach. As a graduate student, Vinnie made several important contributions to understanding how elevated levels of glycogen phosphate cause Lafora disease, a deadly form of epilepsy.
In 2010, Vinnie joined the laboratory of Dr. Jack Dixon as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego. There, he discovered a novel family of secreted kinases that phosphorylate proteins destined for secretion from the cell. As part of this work, he identified Fam20C as the bona fide Golgi casein kinase, an enzyme that escaped identification for many years.
In 2015, he joined the faculty at UT Southwestern as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, where he is an Endowed Scholar in Medical Science.
Vinnie is the recipient of the Esther L. Kinsley dissertation award from Indiana University School of Medicine, a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award from the National Institutes of Health, and Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Member award.
Krzysztof Pawlowski, Ph.D.
Krzysztof received his M.Sc. in biophysics from University of Warsaw, Poland. He got his Ph.D. in biophysics in 1997 from Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, working with Prof. Andrzej Bierzyński, and focusing on structural bioinformatics of calcium binding proteins. He moved to San Diego as a postdoctoral fellow to the lab of Dr. Adam Godzik at The Scripps Research Institute, and later at The Burnham Institute. There, he worked on bioinformatics identification and characterization of novel apoptosis-related proteins. Among others, he identified the novel NLRP protein family and the novel pyrin/PAAD structural domains within. Later these proteins turned out to be crucial to inflammasome and the innate immune system activation. After the postdoc, he spent six years at AstraZeneca R&D Lund, Sweden, working on bioinformatics aspects of early target discovery in respiratory diseases. Using bioinformatics, he showed that the CLCA protein family, believed at the time to be ion channels and drug targets for asthma and COPD, were in fact metalloproteases. This changed the focus of a few drug discovery projects. In 2007, Krzysztof moved back to academia and joined the faculty of the Nencki Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences and Warsaw University of Life Sciences. He is focusing on bioinformatics discovery of novel enzyme families using recognition of distant homology, and has identified a number of novel putative kinase, ADP-ribosyltransferase, protease, and other enzyme families. Experimental work on the novel families done by others in the Tagliabracci lab and other labs has been revealing unexpected catalytic activities and novel signaling mechanisms.
Gina graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Studio Art. As an undergraduate, she studied the role of tubulin polyglutamylation in neurite outgrowth. Outside of the lab, she enjoys painting, climbing, and exploring the great outdoors with her two dogs.
Yingjie received his undergraduate degree from Wuhan University, which is one of the most beautiful universities in China. In his senior year, he worked in Hongtao Yu's Lab at UT Southwestern for his thesis, where he studied detyrosination of alpha-tubulin.
Greg is a joint lab manager/technician for the Jewell and Tagliabracci Labs. Greg has an AAS degree in biotechnology from Collin College. He has been at UT Southwestern Medical Center since 2001.
Brenden received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry/chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He did his undergraduate research in the laboratory of Jack E. Dixon at UCSD and in the laboratory of William Schief at The Scripps Research Institute.
Victor received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry/chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He did his undergraduate research in the laboratory of Antonio De Maio, where he studied the interaction of heat shock proteins with lipid bilayers.
Adam received his engineering and Master's degrees in biotechnology from Lodz University of Technology, Poland. He wrote his M.Sc. thesis in Xuelian Luo's laboratory at UT Southwestern, working on protein-protein interactions in Hippo signaling as a participant in the Fulbright Visiting Research Graduate Traineeship Program.
Ting-Sung Hsieh, Ph.D.
Ting-Sung received his B.S. degree in biology/math and M.S. degree in biochemistry from National Taiwan University, Taiwan, and he did his Ph.D. work in Jen Liou lab at UTSW. Along the path, Ting-Sung used in vitro reconstitution and fluorescence imaging to study prokaryotic cytoskeletons and used super-resolution imaging to study autophagy and membrane contacts. Apart from science, Ting-Sung is an outdoor enthusiast. He has hiked 500+ miles in the U.S. national parks since he came to the U.S.
Genaro Hernandez, Ph.D.
Genaro earned his B.S. degree at San Diego State University and his Ph.D at UTSW under the mentorship of David Mangelsdorf and Steven Kliewer. His prior research experience includes the discovery of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) as a pancreatic paracrine secretagogue. He also identified the role of FGF21 in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis which has led to the development of new therapies for this disease. Genaro’s current projects in the lab include elucidating new chemistries for human atypical kinases as well as finding therapeutic targets against viral enzymes such as in the human SARS-CoV-2 virus. In his free time, Genaro enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing golf and lead guitar for UTSW’s most popular bands: The Nasty Eyebrows and the Cis-repressors.
Abir Majumdar, Ph.D.
Abir received his B.S. (chemistry) and his PhD (pharmacology) from the University of Minnesota. Abir completed his graduate thesis in the lab of Nicholas Levinson, with whom he demonstrated the role of allostery in kinase activation and inhibitor binding. Abir enjoys spending time in the kitchen, where his goal is to make something edible at least 50% of the time. He does not particularly enjoy running, but he subjects himself to a fair amount of it. Abir has an affinity for all animals.
Elena Purlyte, Ph.D.
Elena received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Braving the wind and the rain she remained in Scotland to do a PhD in the lab of Dario Alessi at the MRC Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit, University of Dundee where she investigated how the Parkinson's disease kinase LRRK2 interacts with its substrate and potential activator Rab GTPases. Her project also involved investigating the downstream effects of LRRK2 kinase activity revealing a conserved mode of phosphorylated Rab GTPase recognition by a set of phospho-specific effectors. Outside of the lab, Elena isan amateur painter, a board game enthusiast, and (to her neighbours' dismay) enjoys playing the piano.
James is a research technician for the Tagliabracci Lab. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry/chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He did his undergraduate research in the laboratory of Weiping Tang, where he studied the organic synthesis of carbohydrate derivatives. In his free time, James enjoys running outside, playing chess, and watching science documentaries.
James graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in computer science. He did his undergraduate research in the laboratory of Gill Bejerano, where he worked on a pathogenicity classifier for splice affecting single nucleotide variants. Outside of lab, James enjoys rock climbing, piano, and playing board games.