O'Shea Lab

People

O'Shea Lab

Clodagh O'Shea

Clodagh O'Shea
Associate Professor
oshea@salk.edu
[ CV ]

Clodagh O’Shea received her Ph.D in Immunology from London’s Imperial Cancer Research Institute. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Sharmistha Acharya

Sharmistha Acharya
Research Associate
sacharya@salk.edu

Sharmistha has his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Calcutta, India. She got her first MS degree in Biochemistry from Calcutta, India and her second in Animal Sciences/Molecular Biology from University of Maryland, College Park, US. She is a versatile and dedicated Biochemist with extensive knowledge in Protein Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology.

She started her career at the National Institute on ageing in Baltimore, MD. She joined O’shea lab at the Salk Institute as a lab manager in 2012 after working for more than 6 years at the Scripps Research Institute, California. She became interested in targeted therapy for cancer, as each of the myriads of mutations that can lead to cancer, needs to be addressed specifically in a unique way so that the real patients can be benefited directly from it. She got fascinated about how adenovirus, which encodes a very small number of proteins that could overcome all the checkpoints of the abnormal replication, can be used as powerful tool for tumor targeting and therapy. She got immensely interested in the research of the O’shea group as delineating these adenoviral targets in the cell can provide informative insight in tumorigenic potentials of the same.

Zohreh AkhavanAghdam

Zohreh AkhavanAghdam
Graduate Student
zakhavanaghdam@salk.edu

Zohreh AkhavanAghdam is a graduate student in the O’Shea lab. She earned her B.S in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA where she worked at as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Elaine Tobin’s lab studying circadian rhythms. She then worked as a research technician for one year at Dr. Joe Gray’s lab in Lawrence Berkeley Lab where she performed high throughput drug screens on a panel of breast cancer, ovarian, and prostate cell lines. She is currently working on determining whether a Herpes Simplex viral protein targets a subset of the TRIM family, in addition to PML, for degradation as a broader effort to perturb critical cellular networks.

Carine Bossard

Carine Bossard
Research Associate
cbossard@salk.edu

Carine Bossard received her PhD from the University of Toulouse France, where she worked on the angiogenic factor FGF-2. After a first postdoc at UCSD in Vivek Malhotra’s lab, she joined Clodagh O’shea’s lab in 2009 where she is currently working on the tumor suppressor p53 and characterizing a new interacting protein that modulates p53 activity through ubiquitination.

Aaron Yun Chen

Aaron Yun Chen
Research Associate
aychen@salk.edu

With a B.S. degree in environmental chemistry from Nanjing University, China, I spent the first two years of my graduate studies applying synthetic and pharmacological approaches to study the metabolism of estrogens and the potential roles of natural estrogen metabolites in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Following the passion in virology, I earned the Ph.D. degree focusing on the interaction between human parvovirus and the host. Driven by the enthusiasm of understanding the molecular detail of how viruses meticulously hijack the host and eventually take complete control, I joined the Rosenfeld lab at UCSD to mold my skills in molecular biology, with focus on the three dimensional re-organization of the nuclear architecture during nuclear receptor-mediated transcriptional activation and the involvement of non-coding RNAs.

Viruses are fascinatingly delicate. With minimum size and genetic code (e.g. 24k base pairs for adenovirus and 5.5k bases for parvovirus), viruses can take over hosts that are millions of times larger in physical size with genomes consist of billions of base pairs. They are the finest minimal molecular machines found in nature that can take complete control over the host. Studying these fine molecular machines, we can not only understand the fundamental molecular details of biological principles of the human cells, but also engineer novel therapeutic complexes/machines to treatment refractory diseases.

Jason DeHart

Jason DeHart
Research Associate
jdehart@salk.edu

Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens typically with minimal genomes and limited coding capacity. As such viruses have evolved to encode a minimal number of highly potent genes capable of disrupting large complex cellular signaling networks in order to commandeer the host cellular machinery for viral replication. Interestingly, many of the signaling pathways viruses take control of, such as cell cycle regulation, DNA damage response and apoptosis, are the same pathways targeted during tumorigenesis. As a graduate student, while working on HIV-1 which also de-regulates cell cycle progression and apoptosis, I became interested in using viruses as molecular tools to understand normal cellular signaling pathways and as guides to identify key components of these pathways which are commonly targeted by both viruses and cancers. Since joining the O'Shea lab I have been working to understand how Adenovirus is able to specifically silence p53 target genes through de novo heterochromatin formation thus inactivating a key tumor suppressor that is mutated or inactivated in nearly all cancers.

Kristen Espantman

Kristen Espantman
Graduate Student
kespantman@salk.edu

My work has revealed that viral proteins known to target PML, such as Adenovirus E4-ORF3 and Herpex Simplex Virus-1 ICP0, actually converge on a large subset of the family of Tripartite Motif Protiens, of which PML is a member. TRIM proteins are a superfamily with over 70 members in humans with a conserved tripartite motif at their N-terminus. I am now exploring the functions of TRIM proteins during viral infection to reveal if and what their anti-viral role is.

Jennifer Higginbotham

Jennifer Higginbotham
Graduate Student
jhigginbotham@ucsd.edu

Jenny Higginbotham is a graduate student in the O'Shea lab through the Biomedical Sciences Program at UCSD. She did her undergraduate studies at Xavier University in Ohio, during which she worked in the lab of Susa Wells at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Working here piqued her interest in studying DNA viruses and cancer, and her desire to continue these studies brought her to the O'Shea lab. She is currently investigating how adenovirus induces chromatin remodeling in the cell.

Sachin Kumar

Sachin Kumar
Research Associate
skumar@salk.edu

Gene regulation has been responsible for the complexity and diversity of organisms through evolution and adaptation. Gene regulatory networks are the most important hierarchical level of gene regulation in cells where a signal from a systemic response is responsible for changes in gene expression. Cis-elements may be one of the most important factors involved in gene regulatory networks. Morphological changes may result from an expansion of cis-regulatory elements and an increase in the complexity of transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. Cis-regulatory elements control the timing, quantity and region of gene expression. These elements include enhancers, silencers and insulators. I am interested in the role of non-coding regions and their role in gene expression.

I received my M.S. in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee, India. Then I entered a PhD program in the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg where I focused on the elucidation of early regenerative responses upon spinal cord injury and graduated in 2010 with a PhD in Mathematics and Natural Sciences from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Shigeki Miyake-Stoner

Shigeki Miyake-Stoner
Graduate Student
shigekims@salk.edu

Shig did his undergraduate studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA where he worked in the lab of Dr. Ryan Mehl using non-sense suppression unnatural amino acid (UAA) tools to study and utilize enzyme substrate promiscuity, and developed UAAs as FRET probes for studying protein folding and stability. He is currently a graduate student in the O'Shea lab through UCSD Biological Sciences. He is developing a new strategy for adenovirus targeting to enable controlled infection of refractory cell types, and manipulating virus genes that interact with the Rb tumor-suppressor pathway to develop selective and potent oncolytic adenoviruses.

Horng Ou

Horng Ou
Research Associate
hou@salk.edu

Form follows function or function follows form? How do 2 interacting proteins find each other in a cell within millions of other macromolecules? Since my college days at UCSD, I have always been fascinated by protein structures and how they encode functions within them. To search for these answers, I have traveled from San Francisco (US), Frankfurt (Germany), and Oxford (England), and returned back to San Diego again. This time I am attracted to viral proteins structures and seeking to understand how small viral proteins can disrupt large cellular macromolecular complexes.

William Partlo William Partlo
Research Associate
wpartlo@salk.edu

William received a B.S. in electrical engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987 and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UC-Berkeley in 1992 (Yes, those dates are correct!).  After spending nearly 20 years working in the semiconductor industry, he switched disciplines to biological sciences and entered the UCSD graduate program in 2012.  He is currently working on oncolytic viruses as part of the O’Shea lab synthetic biology sub-group.

Colin Powers

Colin Powers
Research Associate
cpowers@salk.edu

Colin completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the University of Iowa having worked in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Stinski studying the regulation of gene expression in human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. He moved on to earn his PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Oregon Health and Science University. There he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Klaus Frueh identifying and characterizing CMV immune evasion mechanisms and helped identify how CMV is able to superinfect animals with existing anti-CMV immunity. He joined Dr. O’Shea’s lab as a postdoc where he works on applying aspects of synthetic biology, virus re-targeting, and immunomodulation to oncolytic virus development.

Govind Shah

Govind Shah
Graduate Student
gshah@salk.edu

I am a graduate student in the O’Shea lab. I earned my bachelor’s in molecular, cell, and developmental biology at UCLA, where I worked in the laboratory of Steve Jacobsen.

My project focuses on determining why adenoviral proteins inactivate the p53 transcription factor and the DNA damage response network—two important (and well studied) tumor suppressor pathways. I hope to elucidate the antiviral features of these tumor suppressor pathways and bring us closer to understanding why DNA viruses converge on inactivating them. Given that homologs of p53 and multiple DNA damage response proteins are conserved throughout metazoans, it is interesting to speculate that antiviral properties may be some of their most ancient functions.

When I’m not all up in TC, I like to draw. Check out my work at this website.

 

O'Shea Lab Alumni

Fanny Estermann
Research Associate
CRLC Val d'Aurelle

Conrado Soria
(MCBL-O Lab Manager)
Industry

 

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