Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Protein Structure & Function (COBRE-PSF)
The objectives of the COBRE-PSF program were:
- To strengthen institutions’ biomedical research infrastructure through establishment of a thematic multi-disciplinary center.
- To continue growing a critical mass of new and continuing investigators focused on the broad theme of protein structure and function.
- To create, support, and strengthen core laboratories by expanding their capabilities and use.
In pursuit of developing a strong cadre of successful biomedical research faculty, COBRE-PSF provided senior faculty mentors to junior faculty participants, organized monthly research meetings, and coordinated occasional regional workshops on scientific topics. In this way we grew a durable Center that has lasting impact in the state of Kansas. During the 16 years of the program, COBRE-PSF has supported 58 junior and senior faculty investigators at our four participating universities (Kansas State University, Wichita State University, University of Kansas, and University of Kansas School of Medicine) by providing research support and a professional development program.
COBRE-PSF created and supported three core laboratories, each directed by a highly experienced PhD scientist. These core laboratories are still operational and offering their services to investigators in Kansas and the region.
|Name||COBRE PSF Role||Title/ Dept||Institution|
|Robert P. Hanzlik||Program Director||Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry||University of Kansas|
|Mary Lou Michaelis||Program Co-Director||Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology||University of Kansas|
|Roberto De Guzman||Leadership Committee||Professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences||University of Kansas|
|P. Scott Hefty||Leadership Committee||Professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences||University of Kansas|
|Liskin Swint-Kruse||Leadership Committee||Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology||University of Kansas Medical Center|
|Cynthia Beall||Program Manager||COBRE in Protein Structure and Function||University of Kansas|
|Jenny Ding||Accountant||O'Leary Shared Service Center||University of Kansas|
COBRE Pilot Project Leaders were tenured or tenure-track faculty who were interested in developing a promising new line of research that incorporates a significant emphasis on protein structure and function, and that took advantage of both the interactivity among Center participants and the Center's Core Labs. Pilot Project Leaders were either junior faculty, returning COBRE Graduates, or more established faculty researchers whose participation was strengthening the center overall. These grants supported proposals of high quality in terms of originality, scientific interest, and likelihood of growing into a larger project that will be competitive for funding through the NIH R01 mechanism.
Pilot Project Directors
|Name||Institution||Project Title||Time Period|
|Katsura Asano||Kansas State University||Molecular basis of control of translational initiation in eukaryotes||2012-13|
|Ryan Altman||University of Kansas||Inhibition of Bacterial Resistance Enzymes using Structure-guided Drug Design||2016-17|
|Inhibition of Bacterial Aminoglycoside Resistance Enzymes using a Fragment-based Drug Design Approach||2015-16|
|James Bann||Wichita State University||Structure and Mechanism of CS1 Pilus Assembly||2005-07|
|Moriah Beck||Wichita State University||Regulation of palladin structure and function||2014-15|
|Fariba Behbod||University of Kansas Medical Center||Role of BCL9 in STAT3 Signaling and DCIS Invasive Progression||2015-16|
|Cory Berkland||University of Kansas||Antigen-drug Conjugates as Potent Antigen-specific Immunotherapies||2015-16|
|Xue-Wen Chen||University of Kansas||Computational Proteomics: Protein Interaction Prediction||2004-07|
|Jeremy Chien||University of Kansas Medical Center||Structure and function of RABL3 in paclitaxel resistance||2014-15|
|David Davido||University of Kansas||Determination of Protein-Protein Interactions of the HSV-1 ICP0 C-terminal Domain||2016-17|
|A. Sally Davis||Kansas State University||Characterization of protease TMPRSS2 and its interaction with influenza A||2016-17|
|Roberto de Guzman||University of Kansas||Interactions of Salmonella Needle and Tip Proteins||2008-10|
|Structure and Dynamics of Bacterial Needle Proteins||2005-07|
|Eric Deed||University of Kansas||Characterizing and developing inhibitors of proteasome assembly||2017-18|
|David Eichhorn||Wichita State University||Synthesis of Model Complexes for Nitrile Hydratase||2004-07|
|Mark Farrell||University of Kansas||Targeting viral sweet spots with lectin mediated immunotherapy||2018-19|
|The inhibition of polysialytransferase ST8Sia II: A novel approach toward the prevention of cancer metastasis||2017-18|
|Erika Geisbrecht||Kansas State University||Metabolic defects promote pathogenesis in a muscular dystrophy model||2018-19|
|Revathi Govind||Kansas State University||Structure-function studies on Clostridium difficile anti-sigma factor TcdC||2012-13|
|P. Scott Hefty||University of Kansas||Structural and functional genomics for Chlamydial hypothetical proteins||2012-13|
|Weijun Huang||University of Kansas||Structural and Functional Studies on D52 Tumor Proteins from Humans||2004-07|
|Wonpil Im||University of Kansas||NMR and Computational Studies of Protein Translocation in Bacterial Needles||2008-10|
|Carey K. Johnson||University of Kansas||Understanding conformational control of nitric oxide synthase activity||2017-18|
|Tracking Nitric Oxide Synthase Conformations and Dynamics||2015-16|
|John Karanicolas||University of Kansas||Towards Novel Inhibitors of OX40L-OX40: A Dominant Negative Approach (ARRA)||2009-11|
|Krzysztof Kuczera||University of Kansas||Fast processes in optogenetic systems: Experiments and modeling||2017-18|
|Alexey Ladokhin||University of Kansas Medical Center||Conformational switching in diphtheria toxin translocation (T) domain: From protein folding to targeted drug delivery||2017-18|
|Audrey Lamb||University of Kansas||Structural Analysis of Siderophore Biosynthesis||2004-05|
|Jed Lampe||University of Kansas Medical Center||Defining the Hydrophobic and Electrostatic Interactions between CYP3A and CYPb5||2015-16|
|Ping Li||Kansas State University||Engineering Human NRMT1 for its Substract Profiling||2015-16|
|Expression and purification of an obesity-important enzyme hGOAT in E.coli||2012-13|
|Shiguang Liu||University of Kansas Medical Center||Identification of Inhibitors and Substrates of Phex||2004-07|
|Robin Maser||University of Kansas Medical Center||Heterotrimeric G Protein Binding by Polycystin-1, an Atypical GPCR||2015-16|
|Kristin Michel||Kansas State University||Structure and Target Protease of Anopheles SRPN6, an Inhibitor of Malaria Parasite Infection (ARRA)||2009-11|
|Katie Mitchell-Koch||Wichita State University||Structure-dynamics of cofactor binding in human aldose reductases||2017-18|
|Alexander Moise||University of Kansas||Structural Characterization of Lecithin:Retinol Acyltransferase (ARRA)||2009-11|
|Silvia Mora||Kansas State University||Protein Interactions that Regulate Leptin Secretion||2004-06|
|Jackob Moskovitz||University of Kansas||Effect of Methionine Substitution and Oxidation on the Structure-Function of COMT||2015-16|
|Minae Mure||University of Kansas||Crystallization and inhibitor screening of lysyl oxidase-like 2||2018-19|
|Screening of crystallization conditions of human LOXL2 and fragment library screening of its specific inhibitors||2017-18|
|Kristi Neufeld||University of Kansas||Structure function analysis of tumor suppressor APC protein||2017-18|
|Ho Leung Ng||Kansas State University||Identifying antimalarial drug targets||2018-19|
|Raymond Perez||University of Kansas Medical Center||Rational design of SPRY2-Cbl inhibitors as potential anticancer drugs||2014-15|
|Jurgen Richt||Kansas State University||Interaction between Rift Valley Fever Virus glycoprotein and heparan sulfate||2017-18|
|Mario Rivera||University of Kansas||A new approach to antimicrobial discovery: Design protein/protein interaction modulators to perturb bacterial iron metabolism||2014-15|
|Dynamics and Interactions in the Release of Iron Stored in Bacterioferritin||2010-12|
|Mechanisms of Heme Capture by the Hemophore Secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa||2008|
|Raymond R.R. Rowland||Kansas State University||Structure and Nucleolar Function of SARS N Protein||2004-06|
|Emily Scott||University of Kansas||Structure and Function of CYP17A1, a Critical Enzyme in Human Androgen Biosynthesis||2010-12|
|Kathrin Schrick||Kansas State University||Ligand-binding and structural studies of the START domain from HD-Zip proteins||2016-17|
|Alexandre Shvartsburg||Wichita State University||Characterization of histone proteoforms using ion mobility separations||2016-17|
|Irina Smirnova||University of Kansas Medical Center||Proteomic Approach to Study Diabetic Heart Protein Posttranslational Modification||2005-07|
|Liskin Swint-Kruse||University of Kansas Medical Center||The Cra-FruK complex alters regulation of central metabolism of gamma-proteobacteria||2014-15|
|Liang Tang||University of Kansas||Mechanisms of Genome Packaging in DNA Viruses||2010-12|
|Signal Transduction of Two-Component System||2008-10|
|John Taylor||University of Kansas Medical Center||Fragment based screen towards the development of novel PDK inhibitors||2018-19|
|Robert Unckless||University of Kansas||A functional dissection of the maintenance genetic variation in immune genes||2017-18|
|Michael Zhuo Wang||University of Kansas||Expression and Function of CYP5122A1, an Essential Leishmanial Sterol Biosynthesis Enzyme||2016-17|
|Christopher Ward||University of Kansas Medical Center||Delineate the X-ray structure of CU062, a polycystin-1 ligand||2018-19|
|Qize Wei||Kansas State University||Roles of MyoGEF and its Interacting Partners in Cell Division and Cell Signaling||2005-07|
|Kandatege Wimalasena||Wichita State University||Structure-Activity Relationship Studies of Dopamine beta-Monooxygenase||2009-12|
|Michael Wolfe||University of Kansas||Targeting the Malarial Presenilin Homolog||2017-18|
|Liang Xu||University of Kansas||Fragment based discovery of chemical probes for RNA-binding protein Musashi-2||2017-18|
|Fragment-based drug discovery for inhibitors of RNA-binding protein HuR||2014-15|
|Asma Zaidi||University of Kansas||Trafficking of the Plasma Membrane CA2+-ATPase to Rafts||2004-07|
|Hao Zhu||University of Kansas Medical Center||Atomic Structure of a Multi-Domain Redox Enzyme Ncb5or Implicated in Diseases||2015-16|
|Wolfram Zueckert||University of Kansas Medical Center||Structure-function of a bacterial lipoprotein secretion chaperone||2017-18|
The COBRE External Advisory Committee was comprised of a group of prominent scientists. These scientists have strong records of training and mentoring, and outstanding credentials in research in areas highly relevant to the theme of this COBRE. In addition, they have extensive experience in management of research projects and research grants, particularly NIH grants. They were all excellent advisors and scientist role models.
Most Recent Members
|Gary L. Gilliland||Director Emeritus||Structural Biology||Janssen Biotech, Inc.|
|Brian Matthews||Professor Emeritus||Physics||Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon|
|Carol B. Post||Professor||Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology||Purdue University|
|Stephen R. Sprang||Professor||Division of Biological Science||University of Montana|
|Gerald Carlson||Professor & Chair||Biochemistry & Molecular Biology||University of Kansas Medical Center|
|Kathryn R. Ely||Principal Consultant||Protein Connections|
|Catherine C. Fenselau||Professor||Chemistry and Biochemistry||University of Maryland|
|Lila Gierasch||Professor||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Chemistry||University of Massachusetts|
Mentoring Program Components
Much of our Center's success in regard to launching junior investigators on successful career paths during the three phases of the program was attributable to our mentoring program. Each COBRE Investigator was mentored by at least one senior faculty Mentor selected on the basis of his/her experience and a genuine interest in the success of the mentee. In some cases two Mentors were appointed for a given mentee to obtain an appropriate balance between local campus knowledge and specific scientific expertise. Mentors were compensated for their effort through the Administrative Core. Each Investigator had a personal mentoring plan that was prepared in collaboration with the Mentor. The COBRE program director met with each new COBRE Investigator and his/her Mentor at the start of their program to review COBRE objectives and the elements of the individual mentoring plan for that Investigator. At that meeting each new Investigator was provided with a copy of the book "At the Helm" by Kathy Barker as one avenue of preparing him/her for the challenges they might encounter on the road ahead. Finally, the Mentor and Mentee together prepare a written mentoring progress report as part of our overall Annual Progress Report to NIH.
Each COBRE investigator and his/her mentor met with the program director and the Leadership Committee twice annually to discuss progress in achieving their individual goals as well as the goals of the COBRE program. This was concurrent with updating their entry on the Career Progress Table that COBRE-PFS used to track progress and accomplishments of the junior investigators (i.e., formative assessment). Evidence of good progress in meeting the milestones set out in the individual mentoring plans were necessary for continued support.
In 2014 COBRE-PSF initiated a Writing Program to strengthen the academic and proposal writing skills of faculty, with the long-term goal of improving funding rates and supporting publication. The program provided workshops on grant writing and other science writing topics and worked individually with participants on academic and professional documents. The program was launched in summer 2014 with eight faculty participants from four Kansas universities (Kansas State University, Wichita State University, University of Kansas, and University of Kansas School of Medicine).
The essence of a Center is a group of investigators with overlapping interests interacting synergistically and productively around shared facilities (i.e., Core Labs). The COBRE-PSF monthly meetings brought together all pilot project investigators, mentors, Core directors, the program director, previous COBRE graduates and others. These meetings were fundamental to the success of the COBRE. Junior (and senior) faculty shared current research progress and plans with a diverse set of engaged scientists who provided helpful criticism, technical advice, and in many cases offered assistance. These meetings also fostered the development of new collaborations among the participants, cooperation between the four participating institutions, and they contributed to the sense of a vigorous, thematic Center of Excellence. Pilot project leaders were expected to participate as fully as possible in these meetings.
In line with our goal of enhancing the overall professional development of junior faculty, COBRE investigators were asked to identify well-known scientists in their field whom they would like to get to know personally, and then work with the Administrative Core to invite them for a seminar visit. In addition to their seminar, visitors spent part of their visit meeting with COBRE participants, and with the investigator who invited them providing the investigator an extended opportunity to discuss research topics of mutual interest. Thus each hosting junior investigator had an opportunity for an individual consultation with a recognized expert in his or her field.
The COBRE center has sponsored 22 regional workshops and symposia, many on topics suggested by one or more COBRE PIs. COBRE investigators benefited greatly not only from the scientific and technical perspectives of the workshop but also in terms of professional networking, and the experience of planning a larger-scale event like a regional workshop. The Great Plains Regional Annual Symposium on Protein and Biomolecular Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (GRASP NMR) meeting that was started in 2006 by a COBRE investigator is just one example of this. The GRASP NMR symposium series succeeded so well it became a free-standing annual event that is still held yearly.
List of Workshops
- Workshop on Fragment-based Drug Discovery (June 11, 2013)
- Biacore Workshop (June 12, 2012)
- Teaching Workshop on Protein Mass Spectrometry (March 10, 2007)
- Stress Proteins and Chaperones in Medicine and Biology (October 30, 2003)
- From Cloning to Crystallization (July 14-15, 2003)
- Analyzing Protein Interactions: A Workshop (March 11, 2003)
List of Symposia and Seminars
- 2016 SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier) Symposium (March 25, 2016)
- Symposium on Protein Structure and Function (October 7-6, 2012)
- What's Hot: Working with The University of Kansas Biomedical Core Laboratories (September 14, 2012)
- Great Plains Regional Annual Symposium on Protein and Biomolecular NMR (held annually 2006 to present)
- Structural Biology Center Dedication and Symposium on Protein Structure and Function (October 15-16, 2004)
Our External Advisory Committee (EAC) is comprised of four outstanding protein scientists representing both academic and industrial settings. As a group, they visited the COBRE Program annually. During these visits, our EAC members heard formal presentations of research progress from all our investigators. Time was also scheduled to allow private one-on-one meetings of COBRE investigators with one or more of our EAC members. These meetings were extremely popular with both the EAC members and our investigators. They provided an additional opportunity for junior faculty to interact with highly successful individual scientists and learn from their feedback and example.