Congratulations to Sukrit Singh for being selected for the 2019 MilliporeSigma Fellowship in memory of Dr. Gerty Cori

Sukrit is a graduate student in the Computational and Molecular Biophysics program. He is doing his PhD thesis work in the lab of Dr. Greg Bowman. Sukrit’s thesis is focused on understanding and exploiting allostery and dynamics in cellular signaling to develop anti-cancer therapeutics.

Sukrit joined the Computational and Molecular Biophysics program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences after receiving his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis with a double major in chemistry and biology. Prior to starting his Ph.D. work, Sukrit worked in the lab of Prof. Garland Marshall using amino-acid analogs to design mimics of known anti-bacterials like gramicidin.

Currently Sukrit works in the lab of Prof. Gregory Bowman, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. His thesis work focuses on understanding and exploiting allostery and dynamics in cellular signaling. Signaling proteins are necessary for many biological functions; such as vision, taste, and neurotransmission; and their component amino-acids communicate with one another across large distances to facilitate these processes, a phenomenon referred to as allostery. Sukrit specifically focuses on the Gαq protein, which upon malfunctioning results in uveal melanoma. By combining long-timescale molecular dynamics simulations with his CARDS approach to identify correlated motions within proteins, he extracted the allosteric communication network within Gαq and identified key motions underlying its activation and signaling. His current work focuses on leveraging these insights to design an inhibitor for Gαq.

In addition, Sukrit serves as an organizer for the Science Friday Seminar series for the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and helps the Bowman lab with outreach initiatives for their crowd-sourced computing platform Folding@home, which they use to run long-timescale molecular dynamics simulations.

The Sigma award provides funds for educational expenses.
Sigma Chemical Company, which is now MilliporeSigma, created the fellowship in 1958 as a gift to the Department of Biological Chemistry (now Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics) in memory of Dr. Gerty Cori. Dr. Cori and her husband, Dr. Carl Cori, performed research in the Department of Biological Chemistry. They won a Nobel Prize in 1947 for their discoveries of how glycogen is broken down and re-synthesized within the body.