2019 ASBMB FELLOWSHIP: JOE KACZMARSKI
Research School of Chemistry
Australian National University
Joe Kaczmarski completed a Bachelor of Philosophy (a research-focussed Science degree) with First Class Honours in Chemistry at the Australian National University. During his undergraduate studies, Joe undertook a number of research projects including studies on the dynamics of voltage-gated sodium channels, interactions of anti-malarial drugs and the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine-resistance transporter, and the structural basis for the evolution of herbicide-degrading enzymes.
Joe did his Honours project in 2014 under the supervision of Professor Colin Jackson. For this project, Joe and colleagues studied the evolution of cyclohexadienyl dehydratase activity from an ancestral solute-binding protein using ancestral protein reconstruction, enzyme kinetic assays, X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Joe was awarded a University Medal in Chemistry for his Honours work.
After a year travelling through South America, Joe returned to the Jackson Group in 2016 to begin this PhD. Joe’s PhD has focussed on using a combination of X-ray crystallography, MD simulations, isothermal titration calorimetry and surface plasmon resonance to study the structural basis for molecular recognition events that occur in a number of important biological systems. This has included studying the structural basis for the regulation of bicarbonate transport in cyanobacteria and characterising the polyvalent binding of antibodies to the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein.
Joe is currently in the final stages of his PhD. The ASBMB Fellowship will help Joe to travel to Canada to spend time in the laboratory of Nobuhiko Tokuriki at the University of British Colombia, Vancouver, where he will work on developing new directed evolution experiments.