— NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention, 2007
Honors Thesis – “Cell cycle control in bacteria:
of DNA replication and cell division in Escherichia coli.”
of Chicago, June 2005.
— J.M. Rubin Fellow, 2001-5 — Richter
Fund Grant for Undergraduate Research, 2004.
— Howard Hughes Summer
Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2004.
— Dean’s List, 2001-2005
Professor Ian Wilson
Department of Molecular Biology
Research at TSRI:
Influenza constitutes a significant threat to public health worldwide. The
1918, 1957, and 1968 pandemic viruses originated in birds, leading
to grave concern that a highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza virus
may seed the next major outbreak. However, it may be possible
to prevent or diminish the spread of a new pandemic virus if we could
A) predict which strains pose the greatest pandemic potential and
B) engineer a more potent vaccine that provides durable protection
against a broader range of influenza viruses. Towards these
ends, we are investigating the mechanism of receptor specificity
switching and antibody neutralization of the influenza virus hemagglutinin
using baculovirus display and by X-ray crystallography. This
work will aid the identification of influenza lineages that are most
likely to trigger the next human pandemic. Moreover, the identification
of highly conserved epitopes on hemagglutinin will facilitate the
design of improved vaccines that induce high quality, broadly neutralizing
“Antibody Recognition of a Highly Conserved Influenza Virus Epitope” Ekiert
DC, Bhabha G, Elsliger MA, Friesen RH, Jongeneelen M, Throsby M, Goudsmit
J, Wilson IA. Science, 2009, 324, 246-251.
“Sequential Cyk-4 binding to ECT2 and FIP3 regulates cleavage
furrow ingression and abscission during cytokinesis” Simon G.,
Schonteich, E., Wu, C., Piekny, A., Ekiert, D., Yu, X., Gould, G., Glotzer,
M., a nd Prekeris, R. EMBO J, 2008, 27, 1791-1803.
of DNA-free E. coli cells by 2-aminopurine requires mismatch repair
and non-methylated DNA” Matic, I., Ekiert, D., Radman, M., and
Kohiyama, M. J Bacteriol. 2006, 188, 339-342.
deficiency protects Escherichia coli from cell death and filamentation
due to thymine deficiency or DNA polymerase inactivation” Strauss,
B., Kelly, K., Ekiert, D. J Bacteriol. 2005, 187, 2827-2835.
“Cell death in Escherichia coli dnaE(ts) mutants incubated at
nonpermissive temperature is prevented by mutation in the cydA gene” Strauss,
B., Kelly, K., Dincman, T., Ekiert, D., Biesieda, T., Song, R. J
2004, 186, 2147-2155.