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Department Seminar: “Mechanistic studies of DNA transacting enzymes and antiviral drugs” featuring Dr. Zucai Suo

March 13, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

“Mechanistic studies of DNA transacting enzymes and antiviral drugs”

Zucai Suo
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Ohio State University
Suo Research Lab 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Natural Sciences I, Room 1114

Primary research interests of my laboratory are to employ multiple disciplinary approaches to kinetically, dynamically, and structurally investigate how enzymes, particularly DNA polymerases and gene-editing enzymes, catalyze reactions and to design small molecules to inhibit pharmaceutically important enzymes, e.g. viral proteases and reverse transcriptases (RTs). We utilize pre-steady state kinetic methods, X-ray crystallography, protein NMR, single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer spectroscopy, and synthetic chemistry in our research projects. DNA polymerases are phylogenetically grouped into six families (A, B, C, D, X, and Y) and my lab has kinetically, dynamically, and structurally investigated a dozen DNA polymerases from the A-, B-, X-, and Y-families as well as HIV-1 RT. During this seminar, I will address how DNA polymerase kinetically and structurally replicate undamaged and damaged DNA. I will also show how DNA polymerases and HIV-1 RT bind and incorporate several blockbuster antiviral L-nucleoside drugs. In addition, I will briefly introduce the efficacy of a special formulation of traditional Chinese herbal medicine which has appeared to functionally cure HIV/AIDS in a small cohort of patients. Lastly, I will present our recent results on mechanistic studies of the two endonuclease activities of Streptococcus pyogenes CRISPR/Cas9, the most commonly used CRISPR/Cas9 system for genome engineering.

About Dr. Zucai Suo

Dr. Zucai Suo is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The Ohio State University. He received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry and physical chemistry from Fudan University and then obtained his Ph.D. in biological chemistry at the Pennsylvania State University in 1997. After being trained as a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund Post-doctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School for two years, he joined Eli Lilly & Company as a senior biochemist and helped early development of an FDA-approved anti-hepatitis C drug (Incivo® or telaprevir).

In Nov. 2001, he moved to OSU and started his own research lab. His research interests span from transient enzyme kinetics, X-ray crystallography, single molecule enzymology, and drug discovery. Dr. Suo is currently well funded by NSF and NIH and has published over 100 research articles and reviews in excellent journals, including Nature, Cell, PNAS, JACS, NAR, Chem Review, PloS Biology, EMBO J., JBC, JMB, DNA Repair, CRT, Biochemistry, as well as three patents on drug discovery.

Dr. Suo has won numerous awards including 2005 National Science Foundation Career Award and 2017 OKeanos-CAPA Senior Investigator Award. Dr. Suo is a faculty member of Faculty 1000 and an elected Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2013. Dr. Suo has served as regular and ad hoc reviewers for various NIH and NSF study panels. Besides reviewing papers for many journals, Dr. Suo has served as an editorial board member for four scientific journals and a guest editor of PNAS.

Dr. Suo is currently serving as Secretary and Treasurer Elect of the Chemical Toxicology Division, the American Chemical Society. He previously served for two terms as President of the Chinese-American Chemistry & Chemical Biology Professors Association in USA. Dr. Suo co-founded Nucorion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in San Diego, California, in 2015 to develop anti-hepatitis diseases and anti-cancer drugs.



March 13, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Natural Sciences I, Room 1114
Natural Sciences I, Room 1114
Irvine, CA 92697 United States
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