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Lab Members

 

Jue Chen

Jue Chen, Ph.D.
Professor, Head of Laboratory
E-mail:jue.chen@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7807

Jue received her bachelor’s of science in chemistry from Ohio University, and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University, where she was advised by Dr. Don C. Wiley. She did postdoctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine with Dr. Florante A. Quiocho. She joined Purdue University in 2002 as assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 2007 and professor in 2011. She was named a Pew Scholar in 2003 and was named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2008. She joined Rockefeller’s faculty in 2014.

 

 

Zach Johnson

Karol Fiedorczuk, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail:kfiedorczu@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Karol received his MS degree in Biotechnology from the University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in Poland. His studies investigated interactions in the glioma microenvironment, conducted at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw. Later he spent one and a half years learning X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM techniques in the labs of Matthias Wilmanns (EMBL-Hamburg) and Venki Ramakrishnan (MRC-LMB). After that he pursued his PhD at MRC-MBU and IST Austria under the supervision of Leonid Sazanov. He defended his PhD thesis, "Cryo-EM studies of mammalian mitochondrial complex I," at the University of Cambridge, UK, in the summer of 2017, and joined the Chen Lab in November 2017.

 

Zach Johnson

Zachary Johnson, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail:zjohnson@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Zach received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 2009. He completed his doctoral work in Biochemistry at Duke University in 2015 under the guidance of Seok-Yong Lee. During his time at Duke, he studied the structure and function of concentrative nucleoside transporters (CNTs), elucidating the first three-dimensional structure of a member of the CNT family and examining the molecular origins of nucleoside and drug selectivity of CNTs. Following the completion of his graduate work, he joined the Chen lab in 2015.

 

Vincent

Vincent Kieuvongngam
Graduate Fellow
E-mail:vkieuvongn@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Vincent received a B.S. in Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015. He joined the Chen lab in 2016.

 

Vincent

James Lee
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail:jlee07@mail.rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

James received his B.S./M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 2012 and received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University in 2018 under the supervision of Daniel Kahne. His graduate studies focused on protein folding and insertion into the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria. He joined the Chen lab in 2018.

 

Jesper

Jesper Levring
Graduate Fellow
E-mail:jlevring@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Jesper received a Masters degree in Biochemistry from Exeter College at the University of Oxford in 2017. He joined the Chen lab in 2018.

 

“Fangyu”

Fangyu Liu
Graduate Student
E-mail:fliu@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Fangyu received her B.S. in Immunology from McGill University, Canada in 2015.

 

Lwin

Lwin Kyaw Myo, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail:klwin@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Lwin received his bachelor degree (1st Hons) in 2008 from University of Bradford (UK) in Singapore. After graduation, Lwin joined the Oi Lian Kon lab at the National Cancer Center Singapore (NCCS). Leong Siew Hong (a PhD student) and Lwin characterized recurrent chromosomal breakpoints in primary gastric tumors. From 2012 to 2017, Lwin pursued his doctoral dissertation on "Kinesin-related Smy1 involvement in Myo2-dependent secretory vesicle transport" in budding yeast under the supervision of Prof. Anthony Bretscher at Cornell University. Lwin also discovered a new Rho GAP protein that has a positive regulatory role in Myo2-dependent vesicle transport. He named the protein, GYM1 (GAP with Yeast Myo2). He joined the Chen lab in 2017. 

 

Michael Oldham

Michael Oldham, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
E-mail:michael.oldham@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Michael received his Bachelors degrees in Biochemistry (BS) and Biology (BA) at Indiana University. He pursued his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University under the guidance of Dr. Marcia Newcomer, where he studied the structure and function of eicosanoid biosynthesis in soft coral. As a postdoc in the Chen Lab at Purdue, he determined the structure of the E. coli maltose transporter in several conformational states. At Rockefeller University, Michael plans to focus his study on eukaryotic ABC transporters.

 

Natalie Omattage

Natalie Omattage, Ph.D.
Research Associate
E-mail:nomattage@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Natalie received her B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Richmond in 2012 and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018 under the guidance of Scott Hultgren and Peng Yuan. Her graduate studies focused on the structure and function of the outer membrane usher during Chaperone-Usher Pathway (CUP) pilus biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria. Her studies revealed the molecular basis for activation of the usher to initiate CUP pilus biogenesis and nucleated the development of small molecule inhibitors targeting the usher to prevent assembly of these ubiquitous bacterial virulence factors. She joined the Chen lab in 2018.

 

Ben Orr

Ben Orr
Research Assistant
E-mail:borr@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Ben received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Tufts University (2018), where he also completed a minor in Studio Art. At Tufts, he worked in the Kritzer Lab designing cyclic peptide inhibitors of the Eps15 - stonin2 interaction. He joined the Chen Lab in 2018 as a Research Assistant.

 

Donna Tallent

Donna Tallent
Administrative Assistant
E-mail:chen_admin@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7808

Donna is a writer and MFA candidate currently working on her thesis project. Her previous professional experience includes managing the accreditation of continuing education for physicians and nurses at a non-profit healthcare organization. She loves experimenting with new recipes and is excited to be a part of the Chen lab.

 

“Ana-Maria

Ana-Maria Tanasescu
Lab Coordinator
E-mail:atanasescu@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Ana-Maria received her B.S. in Medical Lab Science and Masters in Biology with Specialization in Biotechnology from Hunter College. She has previously done research in the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology (Fischetti Lab) at Rockefeller University while she was an undergraduate student at Hunter College. There, under the close mentorship of Dr. Assaf Raz, she studied the bacteria which causes strep throat called Streptococcus pyogenes and performed a series of experiments in which inhibition of sortase by small-molecule inhibitors lead to rapid elimination of the bacterium. These inhibitors are possible anti-bacterial agents since they work by preventing the anchoring of virulence factors to the cell wall of the bacterium and reduce the pathogenicity of S. pyogenes. She joined the Chen Lab as a Research Assistant in 2016. Ana-Maria is currently the Lab Coordinator and Cell Culture guru.

 

“Zhe

Zhe Zhang, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail:zzhang01@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Zhe received a B.S. in Biotechnology from Shandong University, China in 2008. In 2015, he received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His Ph.D. studies focused on the endocytosis process, specifically structural and functional studies of the Rab GTPases in complex with their GEF and effector proteins. He showed the molecular mechanism for the regulation of the Rabex-5 GEF activity and the binding specificity of Rab9A with RUTBC2. He joined the Chen lab in 2015.

 

Hongtu Zhao

Hongtu Zhao, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail:hzhao@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7809

Hongtu received a B.S. in Biology from Lanzhou University, China in 2010. He did his graduate work at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His doctoral work focused on structural studies of the Cascade complex in the CRISPR-Cas immune system and provided a detailed explanation for Cascade assembly and target DNA recognition. He joined the Chen lab in 2016.

 

 Jue Chen, Ph.D.Professor, Head of LaboratoryE-mail:jue.chen@rockefeller.edu212-327-7807Jue received her bachelor’s of science in chemistry from Ohio University, and Ph.D. in bioc