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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of Biochemistry & July Molecular Biology Issue #6/Summer 2017 The UF College of Medicine recently announced five faculty

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  • Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology July Issue #6/Summer 2017

    The UF College of Medicine recently announced five faculty members that have been appointed to UF Research Foundation (UFRF) Professorships for 2017. These awards, given to tenured faculty who have a distinguished record of research, aim to recognize professors for their recent contributions and provide incentives for continued excellence in research.

    The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is pleased to congratulate Dr. Suming Huang, Professor, in receiving this distinguished honor!

    The primary selection criteria includes the professors performance in the past five years and evidence of a strong research agenda that is likely to lead to continuing distinction in the professors field.

    At the conclusion of the three-year UFRF Professorship term, the recipients will provide a short report to the Vice President for Research reviewing their accomplishments during the period they held the award and their expectations for the future.

    The four additional recipients of this award are

    Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

    Stephanie M. Karst, Ph.D. | Associate Professor

    Department of Pediatrics

    Barry J. Byrne, M.D., Ph.D. | Professor

    Michael J. Haller, M.D. | Professor

    Desmond A. Schatz, M.D. | Professor

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    STUDENT NEWS AND AWARDS

    Bronze Award:

    Rosha Poudyal | Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

    Mentor: Michael Kladde, PhD

    The Epigenomes of Latent and Lytic Kaposis Sarcoma-

    Associated Herpesvirus

    Council of Academic Chairs Scholarship Recipient:

    Carrie Lomelino | Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

    Mentor: Robert McKenna, PhD

    Advancement to Candidacy Award Recipients Avni Bhatt | Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Mentor: Robert McKenna, PhD

    Carrie Lomelino | Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

    Mentor: Robert McKenna, PhD

    Kristen Solocinski, Ph.D. Graduate Student, was selected to

    receive an American Physiological Society (APS) Caroline tum Suden/

    Frances Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award and presented

    her research at the 2017 Experimental Biology meeting in Chicago,

    April 22-26. Her abstract was entitled, Sex-Dependent Regulation of

    Blood Pressure by the Circadian Clock Protein Per1." Solocinski,

    conducting her research in Dr. Michelle Gumz's laboratory, was

    among 36 men and women selected from over

    100 applicants. This award, which carries a $500

    prize, is a tribute to the role of Dr. Caroline tum

    Suden and Dr. Hellebrandt's commitment to

    physiological research and the advancement of

    women in science.

    Pictured to the right are Kristen Solocinski,

    Doctoral Graduate Student, and Lauren Douma,

    Ph.D., former biochemistry graduate student,

    presenting their poster at this year's Experimental

    Biology meeting.

    AVNI BHATT

    ROSHA POUDYAL

    CARRIE LOMELINO

    KRISTEN SOLOCINSKI

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    Structure-guided evolution of antigenically

    distinct adeno-associated virus variants for

    immune evasion

    Longping Victor Tsea , Kelli A. Klinca , Victoria J. Madiganaa,b, Ruth M. Castellanos Riveraa,

    Lindsey F. Wellsa, L. Patrick Havlika,b, J. Kennon Smithc,d, Mavis Agbandje-McKennac,d, and

    Aravind Asokana,b,e,1

    aGene Therapy Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; bDepartment of

    Genetics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; 27599; cDepartment of Biochemistry

    and Molecular Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611; dCenter for Structural Biology, The McKnight

    Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611; and eDepartment of Biochemistry and Biophysics,

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599

    Journal: E4812E4821 | PNAS | Published online May 30, 2017 Click here for full article.

    Significance: Preexisting neutralizing

    antibodies (NAbs) against adeno-associated

    viruses (AAVs) pose a major, unresolved challenge

    that restricts patient enrollment in gene therapy

    clinical trials using recombinant AAV vectors.

    Structural studies suggest that despite a high

    degree of sequence variability, antibody

    recognition sites or antigenic hotspots on AAVs and

    other related parvoviruses might be evolutionarily

    conserved. To test this hypothesis, we developed a

    structure-guided evolution approach that does not

    require selective pressure exerted by NAbs. This

    strategy yielded highly divergent antigenic

    footprints that do not exist in natural AAV isolates.

    Specifically, synthetic variants obtained by evolving

    murine antigenic epitopes on an AAV serotype 1

    capsid template can evade NAbs without

    compromising titer, transduction efficiency, or

    tissue tropism. One lead AAV variant generated by

    combining multiple evolved antigenic sites

    effectively evades polyclonal anti-AAV1 neutralizing sera from immunized mice and rhesus

    macaques. Furthermore, this variant displays robust immune evasion in nonhuman primate and

    human serum samples at dilution factors as high as 1:5, currently mandated by several clinical

    trials. Our results provide evidence that antibody recognition of AAV capsids is conserved across

    species. This approach can be applied to any AAV strain to evade NAbs in prospective patients for

    human gene therapy. For more information see UF Health website.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/114/24/E4812.full.pdfhttps://ufhealth.org/news/2017/altered-virus-may-expand-patient-recruitment-human-gene-therapy-trials-researchers-find

  • Page 4

    NO SESSIONS UNTIL FALL 2017 SEMESTER

    Brittany Rife Magalis Friday, 7/21, 2:00pm Topic: Evolutionary Dynamics and Phyloanatomy of Intra-host HIV/SIV Subpopulations During Disease Progression Location: ARB R3-265

    BMB JOURNAL CLUB/BCH 6936 EPIGENETICS JOURNAL CLUB/GMS 6195 STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY JOURNAL CLUB/BCH 6875

    CENTER FOR STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES CENTER FOR EPIGENETICS BMB FACULTY RESEARCH DISCUSSIONS

    There will be no departmental seminars during the remainder of Summer 2017

    semester. Fall 2017 sessions will be announced early in the semester.

    Three alumni of the UF Department of

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology were

    recently reunited in Chicago at the FASEB

    (Federation of American Societies for

    Experimental Biology) meeting. From left to

    right, (1) Michelle Gumz, Ph.D.,

    Department of Medicine/Nephrology, BMB

    Department/2004 graduate of the Dr. Brian

    Cain lab, (2) Fangliang Zhang, Ph.D.,

    Assistant Professor of Pharmacology/

    University of Miami, BMB Department/2005

    graduate of the Dr. Dan Purich lab, (3)

    Debbie Zies, Ph.D., Associate P rofessor

    of Biology at the University of Mary

    Washington, BMB Department/2003

    graduate of the Dr. Brian Cain lab.

  • Page 5

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