Click on the names of lab members to see pictures, find out more about each person, and learn about research projects.
Halo Apa Kabar?
Hello How are you?
My name is
My name is Ardian Soca Wibowo, however I prefer to be called by my middle name, Soca. Currently, I am a Research Scientist in the Dann group. In this position, I have combined responsibilities as the Facility Manager of the Macromolecular Crystallography Facility (MCF) in addition to continuing aspects of research on the human folate receptors in the Dann laboratory. The MCF provides all the necessary equipment to facilitate research in all aspects of crystallography and structural biology at IUB. The new Crystallization Automation Facility (CAF) allows high throughput protein crystallography by the use of advanced robotics from Rigaku. The home source R-Axis IV++ X-Ray generator affords the ability for diffraction screening and data collection. Lastly, computational resources facilitate structure determination and refinement with the latest programs available. As the Facility Manager, I hope to teach and encourage researchers in their endeavors in structural biology. The MCF provides a great centralized resource to grant access to structural biology projects for all IUB researchers.
A little background about myself - I am originally from Indonesia, but have been in the states since I was 6 years old. My family now resides in Indiana, PA, near Pittsburgh. I obtained my undergraduate degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, graduating in Spring of 2005 with a Bachelors in Biochemistry. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University in December 2011. My thesis involved the structure determination of the cell surface folate receptors that are upregulated in many cancers and also inflammatory diseases. The folate receptor structures in complex with various ligands provide molecular details as to how the natural folate metabolites as well as commercial drugs in clinical use for cancer and autoimmune disease are bound within the receptor. We hope to better understand the specificity and binding affinity of various ligands to the receptor. Our findings may facilitate rational drug design strategies for cancer and inflammatory therapeutics based on structural information rather than strictly on empirical principles.
P.S. I'm a Ninja. Also, Soca - my middle name - means Danger. No lies.
Namaskar = Hello
Aap kaise hain?
How are you?
Hello, my name is Mirage Singh. I am from India and completed my Ph.D. in life sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
I joined the Dann group as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2011. Currently, my research project is structural studies on the human folate receptors. Humans have three hFRs, i.e., FRα, FRβ and FRγ. FRα is present on the basolateral surface of normal cells while it is overexpressed on all surfaces of cancerous cells to meet the folate demand in tumors. This receptor has been characterized as a potential antitumor target. My research goal is to elucidate the three dimensional structure of this receptor. This structural information will be utilized to develop specific inhibitors against FRα. I also aim to determine the structure of FRγ, which is a secreted form of folate receptor bindig domain and shares high sequence similarities with FRα and FRβ. This structural study on FRγ will help to understand the structure function relationship of folate receptors in more detail.
I aim to establish myself as an independent researcher and contribute to science. I also have interest in teaching and wish to join academia for teaching and research in future.
Hi, I am Xiaohui Gao. Actually, our lab members call me schwing! Why? That’s my big secret! Furthermore, I am suppose to be a ”Kung-fu master” who always fights with someone who is supposed to be a Ninja, no lies!
Right now, I am working on a project correlating with c-di-GMP signaling in Bacillus subtilis. As a ubiquitous secondary messenger in prokaryotes, bis-(3'–5')-cyclic-dimeric-guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) has been of increasing interest due to its central roles in microbe adaptability and regulation mechanisms. C-di-GMP is involved in bacterial processes related to human health, such as switching planktonic bacteria to a biofilm lifestyle and stimulating pathogenic virulence. Current studies reveal that c-di-GMP is prevalent in Gram-negative bacteria but a couple rare examples in Gram-positive bacteria have been studied. In our study, Bacillus subtilis, a model laboratory organism, was used to analyze the function of c-di-GMP in Gram-positive bacteria. We are combining different techniques including microbial genetic, biochemistry and X-ray crystallography to characterize and identify important factors in c-di-GMP signaling of B. subtilis Additionally, we aim to develop a novel c-di-GMP biosensor to help with c-di-GMP signaling characterization in multiple bacteria species.
In my personal perspective, science is a career that can inspire my intelligence and give me peace. I look forward to the challenges of science in my future!
中文 : Chinese
董 霄 鸢尾
Dong, Xiao Iris
(Chinese characters of my name!)
Hi, my name is Xiao Dong. But please call me Iris (my favorite flower)! I came from China at fall of 2009 and found my wonderland at Bloomington, a tranquil and colorful small town. By joining chemistry department of Indiana University, I chose biological chemistry as my major. I decided to join the Dann lab after doing my second rotation here.
Right now I am a third year graduate student and have been working on the structural and functional characterization of MoCo riboswitch since the second year. Although fulfilled with challenges, the exploration of RNA world has provided so much exciting features of novel regulation mechanisms in cells. The study of riboswitch will not only add another example to RNA regulation models, but also shed light on the discovery of new antibiotics.
As for my future career after graduate school, currently there are two paths that I find my interests in. First of all, it is exciting to work in industry to do research in a more practical manner. At the same time, two years of teaching experiences in graduate school point out another promising job for me.
Finally a little test for you, can you find a green rabbit in the upper left-hand picture? That’s the animal that represents the year I was born in China~
Hi, my name is Siobhan Deis. I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and attended Cathedral High School. I then moved to the tiny town of Greencastle, Indiana, to attend DePauw University, where I received my B.A. in Biochemistry. While at DePauw, I had the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in Cork, Ireland. I absolutely loved Ireland and was grateful to be able to experience my ancestors' culture. My amazing academic and research experiences at DePauw led me to pursue graduate school. I started in the Biochemistry Ph.D. program at IU in August 2011 and joined the Dann lab by the end of December.
I am continuing the lab’s work on interactions between novel antifolates and their target proteins. I recently set up E. coli expression systems for GAR and AICAR Transformylases, which transfer a formyl group from formyl-tetrahydrafolate to their substrates during de novo purine synthesis. Therefore, the inhibition of these proteins by antifolates leads to cancer cell death (healthy cells rely on salvage purine synthesis). However, the antifolates we focus on have a dual-specificity so that they are transported via folate receptors that are unique to cancer cells. Therefore, specificity for both the transformylases and folate receptors is key to our research. I will study the protein and antifolate interactions via crystallization and biochemical binding studies. Our collaborators will be able to use my characterization to design more effective and specific antifolates.
As a second year graduate student, I am not very sure where I will end up after IU. Currently, I believe that I would like to work in the pharmaceutical industry.
My name is Guangming Chen. You can call me Guangming but not Chen or Ming, because the village I was born everyone is called Chen and all my cousins have a Ming in their names. I come from FoShan, China. It is the hometown of Bruce Lee and his Shifu, YeWen (lower photo). For more, please go to Google. I love biochemistry, but I’m not good at it at all, that’s why I study science. Sorry, this is how Chinese philosophy works! Study something you are already good at is just a waste of your time, right?
I have been in the states since August 2012, and I just started my PhD project on human Tyrosylprotein sulfotransferases (TPSTs). These enzymes catalyze the reaction of tyrosine O-sulfation, a post-translational modification, in the trans-Golgi network. This modification plays important roles in inflammatory response, immunity and HIV entry. However, the modification motif is not fully understood, which makes the prediction of target substrates difficult. The aim of my project is to identify all putative substrates across the genome by using peptide library and proteomic approaches. To gain insight to the catalytic mechanism, we also plan to crystallize TPST1 and TPST2 from a mammalian expression system.
Since I joined the lab, I have nearly destroyed the FPLC and X-ray facility. Don’t be too surprised, this is the way that I learned how things work, also my Taiji.
I am Sundharraman Subramanaian and I preferred to be called Sundhar. I earned my B.Tech degree in Industrial Biotechnology from Sastra University, India. My hometown is Madurai, which is one of the ancient cities in India.
My introduction to structural biology was through my undergraduate project. I am always amused and interested in nature’s ability to encode function within proteins. Studying structure function relationships is of my primary interest.
I will be working on the structural aspects of c–di–GMP signaling pathway and my aim will be to study proteins involved in c-di-GMP metabolism.
As a researcher I want to progress my research with equal and respectful interest on the research of others. My short-term goal is to succeed in my project and add value to my lab.
Hi, I’m Paige Matthews! I grew up mainly in Connecticut, though I have also lived in Boston, Texas, and Georgia before moving to Indiana my junior year of high school. I’m currently a junior and am pursuing a BS in biochemistry along with minors in biology and Italian. In my free time I love to keep in shape by running and lifting weights. I also love baking and anything that is brightly colored or has animal print on it. I started working in the Dann lab with Xiaohui (Schwing!) the summer after my freshman year about a year ago. I have enjoyed being a part of the lab and I plan to continue my career in science by going to medical school and becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
Hello my name is Caleb Cooper! I moved to Indiana at the beginning of my junior year of high school but before that I lived in North Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, and Wisconsin. I am currently a sophomore pursuing a B.S. in biochemistry with minors in biology and psychology. For fun I play soccer, play the guitar, write and record music, and I love to go hiking and canyoneering (yes that's a real thing)! I officially joined the lab the first semester of my sophomore year and started work on my project at the beginning of the next semester. Currently I am studying a "spinach" fluorescent tagging system. When ready, it will be used to further our study of the M-box riboswitch, an RNA sequence used for metalloregulation in some bacteria.
So far I have really enjoyed being a part of the Dann lab and I am looking forward to doing research full time this coming summer. After I graduate I hope to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor and attend medical school. I am not exactly sure what I want to do just yet (not for a lack of trying though... I'm just interested in too many things), but at this point I believe that I want to go into a specialty more related to biochemistry such as endocrinology or even immunology. Also I am now considering pursuing joint M.D./Ph.D. degrees because of my experience in the Dann lab.
My name is Brooks Platt. I am an undergraduate from Munster, Indiana planning to graduate in 2015. I am currently pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Math. After undergrad, I hope to go to medical school to pursue a career in Pediatrics.
Aside from intense number crunching and scientific research, I have a fairly eclectic set of interests. In my free time, I train for triathlons, including a recently completed Ironman, which I am obligated to brag about at every opportunity. I also enjoy sailing, baseball, and pretty much everything Disney.
In the Dann lab, I help Soca “Danger” Wibowo Ph.D. in determining the structure of human folate receptors that are overexpressed on cancer cells. The benefit of such research includes the more efficient design of anti-cancer drugs.
I’m Austin Collins. I am currently a freshman undergraduate at Indiana University, planning to graduate in 2016. I was born in Kaufman, Texas, but I spent the majority of my childhood in Goshen, Indiana. I intend to receive B.S. degrees in both Biochemistry and Physics. After my undergraduate studies, I intend to go to graduate school and continue to do research.
Apart from my studies, I spend a lot of my time playing the guitar and running. I enjoy being outside have spent much of my summers canoeing and hiking at various places around the country, including the Boundary Waters region of Minnesota, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and a segment of the Appalachian trail. I also have a love for classical literature and attend the many operas, concerts, and musical events of the Jacob’s School of Music whenever I can.
In the Dann lab, I assist Soca Wibowo Ph. D (and Master Ninja) in the purification of human folate receptor protein (hFR) from cell media and the crystallization of hFR-ligand complexes for analysis with x-ray crystallography. Further understanding of these complexes could lead to better chemotherapeutic drugs.
Kristen will be attending graduate school at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) starting in the fall. UAB has long been at the forefront of immunology research, and Kristen will be studying at the intersection of immunology, cancer biology and inflammatory disease. Having been in the lab as long as I have been at IU, it is bittersweet to see Kristen go. Bitter because she served as the heart and soul of the lab while acting as my hands in the lab at the same time. Sweet because I have seen her grow over the years and expect her to reach great heights as she pursues a career as an independent scientist. Best wishes from everyone in the lab! - CD3
My name is Kristen Reeder, though in lab I go by many aliases: K-machine, K-mac, K-K. . . . I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in a small town on the Indiana/Ohio boarder called Brookville. In high school we moved to Carmel, Indiana, where I graduated high school in 2005. As an undergraduate I initially had a hard time finding placement in a research lab at IU. Finally, in 2008 I was fortunate enough to find a home in the Dann Lab. I began work in October of 2008 and was the second official member of the Dann Lab. I was awarded the Harry G. Day research scholarship that allowed me to work through the summer of 2008. I recently graduated from IU (May 2010) with a degree in Biochemistry. I am now a Research Associate/Lab Manager for the Dann Lab. I am very excited for the opportunity to continue working with the group. The Dann Lab has provided the perfect environment for growing scientists and undergraduates looking to gain research experience. Eventually I hope to attend to graduate school and study Molecular Medicine, Immunology, or Structural Biology.
Alex will be joining the Biochemistry Ph.D. graduate program at Duke University Medical Center in Fall 2012. Alex joined the lab after working at Eli Lilly as a summer intern in 2009. Given his motivation to attend graduate school after graduation from IU, I did not hesitate to give Alex some difficult research projects throughout his time in the lab. Though he may admit to these projects being frustrating at times (developing new methods is always a trying experience), I have no doubt that he is well prepared for the rigors of graduate school. Alex's combination of intellect and humor will be missed in the lab... as will the Power of Grayskull!! Good luck He-man! - CD3
Hello. My name is Alex Kovach, but I am often called He-man by the rest of the lab. I am a senior and will be graduating in May 2012 with a BS in biochemistry. I plan to attend graduate school next year to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry. I joined the lab as a sophomore and I have worked predominantly on the folate project. My current focus is solving the crystal structure of FRbeta bound to a monoclonal antibody. I am originally from Indianapolis and have also lived in San Diego. I enjoy running, cycling, camping, karaoke, and traveling. My parents currently live in Strasbourg, France, and I try to visit a couple times a year.
Alicia was a joy to have in the lab over the summer of 2012. She will return to DePauw University in Spring 2013 after studying abroad in Argentina for the Fall 2012 semester. Alicia took to the lab quickly and was an asset to many in the lab, particularly Siobhan, with whom she worked closely. Alicia was the first non-IU student I have taken as an undergraduate researcher, and given the positive experiences we all had with Alicia, I will not hesitate to consider other summer students from surrounding campuses. I'm not certain what her plans are for next summer, but we would welcome her back! Best of luck Alicia! - CD3
Hi! My name is Alicia Erwin and I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, where I attended North Central High School and graduated in 2010. I currently attend DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and will be a junior this year. I am pursuing a B.A. in biochemistry as well as Spanish and I have a minor in economics. This fall I will be in Buenos Aires, Argentina studying public health. I love traveling, playing with my puppy and being outdoors.
My research experience last semester at DePauw stimulated my interest in research. Specifically, I am interested in research with direct implications to human disease and/or novel therapeutics, which made the Dann Lab a perfect fit for me. I worked with Siobhan in Summer 2012 and was able to experience the life of scientists beyond undergraduate school- something that DePauw can’t provide. I've learned a lot this summer, and I am very grateful to have had this experience. I am not sure where I will end up after DePauw, but I will likely pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry.
Hannah was the youngest undergraduate to join the lab, beginning her work prior in the final weeks of Summer 2010 prior to the start of her freshman year at IU. We have always enjoyed Hannah's presence in the lab, even when she says off the wall things followed up by comments like, "I am a horrible person..." In essence, Hannah speaks her mind and often says what all of us are thinking but are afraid to voice! Hannah spent the summer of 2012 as an intern at Eli Lilly and combined with her work in the lab, she has gained ample research experience if she chooses to pursue a career that involves scientific research. Though only a junior this fall, Hannah has decided to focus on coursework and aspects of undergraduate life beyond lab research. We will miss you, but feel free to stop in any time! - CD3
Hi, I'm Hannah Kenninger. I grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and I graduated from Brownsburg High School in May 2010. I am an avid sports fan, and I love to play tennis. I am finishing my sophomore year and am pursuing a BS in Biochemistry with minors in Mathematics and Spanish. I was fortunate to become a part of the Dann lab through the IFLE program in July of 2010. Throughout my almost two years in the lab I have worked with Kristen and Iris. I enjoy working in the lab and have been exposed to many great people and have gained valuable research experience. This summer I will continue lab training while working for Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis as an intern. I am not sure what I want to do after I graduate, but hopefully I will figure that out soon. Oh and my favorite color is pink as most of the lab members know!
Alicia is currently working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on projects along the Ohio River in southern Indiana, southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. True to her reserved nature, she did not provide too many details on her projects with the corps, though I think she will definitely be content if the tasks involve more outdoor components and fewer microbes than her work in the lab! Take care Alicia! - CD3
My name is Alicia Munchel, and my hometown is Brookville, IN. I am a born-and-raised Hoosier (although I was technically born in Ohio). I am a senior and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minors in chemistry and animal behavior in May 2012. I have been working in the Dann Lab for almost three years now under the guidance of Xiaohui Gao, and have most recently been developing fluorescent reporter systems. Working in the lab has been a great learning experience for me and has certainly been a lot of fun.
After graduation, I will be taking a year or two to either work/intern or volunteer with AmeriCorps or another organization yet to be determined. I plan to attend graduate school in a biology related field after my short break from academics and would like to incorporate my love of marine ecosystems and the environment into my career (even though my family is under the impression that I just want to be a professional SCUBA diver).
Bengali : English
Apni kamon achen?
Hello How are you?
You Take Care
Deblina finished her M.S. degree at the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester and was promptly hired in October 2011 as an Associate Scientist at Cook Pharmica here in Bloomington. Though details of her research projects are not available, she will certainly be using her skills as a protein biochemist to use developing expression or production of a biomolecule for therapeutic use. We are proud of you Deblina! Congratulations! - CD3
Hello, My name is Deblina De Ghosh. I am from India. I was born in a small beautiful town named Jhargram where my parents still live. I have finished my B.Sc. in Chemistry from Calcutta University and M.Sc in Organic Chemistry from G.G. University in India.
I joined Dann group in November 2008. The main objective of my research project is the structural and biochemical analysis of preQ1 riboswitch. This preQ1 riboswich contains the smallest known natural aptamer domain, which specifically binds to preQ1 to regulate gene expression in cis. PreQ1 is the biosynthetic precursor of a hypermodified nucleoside named queuosine (Q), which is important for translational fidelity. Biochemical binding assays as well as engineering studies will be done to study the specificity and affinity of this riboswitch towards its natural ligand as well as additional small molecule effectors that may serve as antibiotic drugs. These RNAs could also be used as inducible switches or sensors. Thus unraveling the structure and biology of this riboswitch could greatly benefit our understanding of gene regulation and human disease.
After graduating from IU, Josh applied for jobs in industry and accepted a position with a structural crystallography company, Shamrock Structures, based out of Chicago. It's a fitting company to join as he does have a shamrock tattoo on his back (seriously!). Josh is routinely at the synchrotrons across the U.S., Canada and Europe collecting and processing enoromous amounts of crystallographic data, primarily for big pharma companies. I hope he finds some time to sleep!! - CD3
My name is Joshua Carter. I was born in Columbus, Indiana and grew up in a small farm town nearby called Hartsville. I’m a senior achieving a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology. I recently transferred from the Bauer Lab to the Dann Lab, after having two years experience as an undergraduate. I made this switch in order to gain knowledge of new laboratory skills and offer assistance where needed. My future plans are to either go to medical school or become a professional nurse. I enjoy spending time with friends and family. My hobbies include working out, eating, and occasionally sleeping.
I will primarily focus on scientific methods concerning binding characteristics and affinity. Such methods include: Isothermal Titration Calorimetry, Surface Plasmon Resonance, and Fluorescence Anisotropy. I also plan to contribute to x-ray crystallography efforts.
Enough with the seriousness! My real name is Hulk with a capital H. I was recruited to the Dann Lab for the sole purpose of keeping ninjas (Soca) in line. Other nicknames include: Tweedle Brawh Rib Kicker, Awesome, Frat Man. (No I’m not in a fraternity). I plan to invest much time and effort in my research with the Dann Lab, but at the same time have fun with what I’m doing.
Italian : English
Hello How are you?
My name is…
Chelsea took a year off after graduating from IU with a degree in chemistry in 2009. She worked full time in the lab during this 'year off' to gain some research experience from Summer 2009 to Spring 2010. She has been accepted into medical school at Indiana Univeristy School of Medicine and will start in August 2010. To hear about her lab experiences in her own words, see below. Good luck Chelsea! - CD3
My name is Chelsea Adalen Troiano. Schwing (Xiaohui) usually calls me Woo Girl, so I respond to almost anything. I was born and raised in Indiana, going to Cathedral High School and then to Indiana University, Bloomington, where I graduated with a Bachelors in Chemistry. Currently, I am taking a year in between undergraduate and medical school to explore my love for science research, and it's so much fun! (I am also a yoga master. When we have some free time, I lead everyone in lab in practice that will bring positive karma to our experiments!)
I work with Schwing on cis-regulatory RNA elements called riboswitches. Specifically, we work with GEMM motif riboswitches which bind specifically to the secondary messenger, cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP). This ligand is especially interesting because varying cellular concentrations have been shown to influence bacterial lifestyles. Therefore, understanding the pathway in which these riboswitches are involved, may lead to the ability to manipulate bacterial behavior. The importance of this is significant for in-body medical devices such as pacemakers, heart and urinary catheters. Such devices serve as surfaces for biofilm formation which invites microbial infections. Upon solving the mystery of the relationship between GEMM motifs and lifestyle, we could prevent biofilm formation and thus infection!! Yay!!
Hopefully I will be able to take all that I have learned to do further research in medical school, as these riboswitches may serve as a new antibiotic target. I love science and I love medicine, and this project is perfect as a combination of the two!
Kalyn was accepted into graduate school and decided to attend North Carolina State University where she will be working toward her Ph.D. in the Department of Chemistry. She worked as an undergraduate in the lab from Fall 2009 to Spring 2010. To hear about her lab experiences in her own words, see below. We wish you the best as you grow into the role of an independent scientist! Best wishes to you Kalyn! - CD3
My name is Kalyn Brown. I was born and raised in Richmond, Indiana, where my parents still live today. I am a senior biochemistry major at IU. I will graduate in May 2010 and hope to attend graduate school in the fall. I have applied to biochemistry and molecular biology programs in a number of universities including Kentucky, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Wake Forest University.
I started working in the Dann Lab in October 2008 as an undergraduate research assistant to a graduate student, Soca Wibowo. My major role in the project is doing protein purification using a variety of expression systems including bacterial, insect, and CHO mammalian cells. I have also helped in crystallization trials and have limited experience on the X-Ray diffractometer.
My time in the Dann Lab has helped me to identify my research interests in the area of proteins, specifically in determining their structure that will lead toward treatment of diseases. This is very similar to the project that I have worked on while in the Dann Lab. I hope to continue this type of research in graduate school.
As for career plans, I hope that my graduate school studies can give me a push in the right direction. At this time, I think the ultimate job would be working at the CDC or the NIH. I am also drawn to working in the pharmaceutical industry. I also have some curiosity about teaching. As you can tell, I truly have no idea where I want to end up in 10 years.
Page updated 4 February 2013