Researchers


RNDr. Mgr. Jozef Hritz, Ph.D.

CEITEC MU

The project coordinator, Dr. Jozef Hritz received his PhD in Biophysics in
2005 (University of P. J. Safarik, Kosice, Slovakia). During his post-doctoral stay in the group of Professor Chris Oostenbrink at the Vrije University in Amsterdam, his research was primarily focused on development and optimization of the novel computational methodologies in the field of enhanced sampling and free energy calculations. Afterwards, he was successful in his application for outgoing international Marie-Curie fellowship with two strong bioNMR groups: the research group of prof. Angela Gronenborn at the University of Pittsburgh where he gained expertise in preparing and monitoring of protein samples by solution NMR spectroscopy and a variety of biophysical techniques.

During a return phase (in 2012-2013) in the group of prof. Vladimir Sklenář at the Masaryk University, Dr. Hritz extended his knowledge in the field of non-uniformly sampled NMR approaches. From 2014, he is supervising his own research team where both theoretical and experimental approaches are combined in a complementary way, benefiting from the extraordinary  infrastructure of Ceitec-MU, as well. The inter-disciplinary background of Dr. Hritz makes him a suitable coordinator for the InterTau consortium. In order to strengthen the connections within the consortium, Dr. Hritz planned at least one month visit to the commercial partner – AXON, as well as to each of the overseas partners. During periods when Dr. Hritz is not present at MU, prof. Lukas Zidek will supervise the solution NMR activities at MU. Most of the students supervised by Dr. Hritz and prof. Zidek are well experienced in NMR, cryo-EM, or computational techniques and will contribute to the natural communication environment during secondments of visiting ESRs.


Dr. Kristaps Jaudzems

Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis

Dr. Kristaps Jaudzems obtained his PhD in chemistry in 2011 from Riga Technical University. After two years of PhD (as external graduate student) with Nobel Prize winner prof. Kurt Wüthrich and six years of postdoctoral experience including a 2-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship he has developed a strong interdisciplinary expertise in biophysical chemistry and particularly in biomolecular NMR (solution and solid-state). In 2017, he established an independent research group at LIOS to carry out research in amyloid structural biology.


RNDr. Rostislav Škrabana, PhD.

Axon Neuroscience

PI from AXON (industrial partner), graduated in physical chemistry and obtained his PhD in molecular biology. He will lead WP1, WP6 and WP7. He works in AXON from the beginning of the company, participating on the pre-clinical and clinical research and development of therapeutics and diagnostics for Tauopathies. Dr. Skrabana's laboratory is using methods of protein chemistry, biophysics and structural biology to characterize disordered proteins of medical importance.

Prof. Jochen Prehn 

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Prof. Jochen Prehn leads a research group focusing on cell death mechanisms and their implication for human disease and apoptosis.

His group focuses on the Bcl-2 family of proteins which contain both pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins and regulate the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. The group investigates the role of BH3 only proteins in acute and chronic neurodegeneration, diabetes mellitus, and ER stress, as well as new target structures for the treatment of cancer, using both in vitro and in vivo models of human disease.

A second major research interest lies in real-time imaging of cell death signals in neurons and cancer cells, employing confocal GFP and FRET techniques., and their interaction with cellular bioenergetics. 

Dr. Ryan Mehl

Oregon State University

Ryan Mehl is currently an Associate Professor in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department at Oregon State University where he is also the Director of the Unnatural Protein Facility. He is also a faculty member in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, and adjunct faculty member in the Chemistry Department at OSU.

Dr. Mehl was an undergraduate at Moravian College, where he worked with Professor Daniel Libby to determine the mechanism of hydride transfer for NAD(P)H. He obtained his PhD at Cornell University in organic chemistry, working with Professor Tadhg Begley on the repair mechanisms of DNA lesions and the biosynthesis of thiamin. He was a post-doctoral scholar at the Scripps Research Institute with Professor Peter Schultz were he engineered the first self-sufficient unnatural organism in 2001.

In 2002 Ryan joined the faculty at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster Pennsylvania to assist in building their first Biochemistry program. He was tenured to the Franklin and Marshall Chemistry Department in 2008. In 2011 he moved to OSU as a tenured Associate professor to the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department and Director of the world's first Unnatural Protein Facility.


Igor Jurisica, PhD., DSc .

University Health Network

Dr. Igor Jurisica is a Senior Scientist at Krembil Research Institute, Professor at University of Toronto and Visiting Scientist at IBM CAS. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Computing, Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's University, Computer Science at York University, an adjunct scientist at the Institute of Neuroimmunology, Slovak Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Since 2015, he has also served as Chief Scientist at the Creative Destruction Lab, Rotman School of Management.

He has published extensively on data mining, visualization and cancer bioinformatics, including multiple papers in Science, Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Methods, J Clinical Investigations, J Clinical Oncology, and has over 13,795 lifetime citations (WOS) with h-index 52.

Dr. Jurisica has won numerous awards, including a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Integrative Cancer Informatics, the IBM Faculty Partnership Award (3-time recipient), and IBM Shared University Research Award (4-time recipient). He has been included in Thomson Reuters 2016, 2015 & 2014 list of Highly Cited Researchers and The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2015 & 2014 Reports. In 2019 he was included in the Top 100 AI Leaders in Drug Discovery and Advanced Healthcare list (Deep Knowledge Analytics).

Prof. Angela Gronenborn, PhD 

University of Pittsburgh

I am a structural biologist and my work aims to uncover the structural basis of cellular interactions. In my research, I ask questions about the molecular and atomic details that govern specificity in the intricate interplay between cellular components that result in the amazing functional diversity observed in living organisms.

My research group comprises postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates, all of whom bring unique perspectives to our work at the interface between biochemistry, physics, and biology. Most of the research in the lab uses Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) as a tool, augmented by X-ray crystallography, other spectroscopies, and numerous biophysical techniques. Increasingly, our work also includes cell biology for functional characterization. We try to characterize our systems in their “in vivo” context, especially those systems and protein structures that have been associated with pathologies and disease. In this context, in vivo refers to studies in living cells rather than studies using animal models.

Diego Martín Bustos

National Research Council of Argentina & Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

Prof. Dr. Diego M Bustos leads a research group focusing on protein phosphorylation and acetylation in cell signaling processes. Phosphorylation and acetylation are the major posttranslational modification on proteins and defects on it are implicated in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer among other disorders.

His group focuses on the 14-3-3 protein family which control the functional aspect of hundred of proteins, like turn over degradation, nuclear/cytoplasmic shuttling and enzyme activation. The group investigates the role of 14-3-3 proteins during human stem cell differentiation using both in vitro and in silico methodology.

Prof. Dr. Diego M Bustos is member of the Argentinean Research Council (CONICET) and is adjunct Profesor of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo where teaches Bioinformatics and Genetic Engendering to undergraduate and graduate students.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 873127 – InterTAU.

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