Dr. Tarjani Thaker
Membrane proteins and their macromolecular complexes are critical targets in treating diseases ranging from infections and cancer to neurodegenerative conditions. Recent advancements in structural techniques including cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and AlphaFold have revolutionized our ability to investigate links between these elusive systems and human diseases. My recent and ongoing research focuses thematically on Allostery and Asymmetry in the regulation of the following clinically-relevant membrane protein complexes: 1) HER2 and HER3 receptor tyrosine kinase complexes in cancer, 2) the BmrCD multi-drug transporter complex in bacterial drug resistance, and 3) the ADCK3/ADCK4 mitochondrial kinase complex in nephrotic disease. By applying approaches in bioinformatics, biochemistry, and structural biology, significant progress has been made towards understanding the mechanistic basis for their contributions to disease progression and to drug resistance. Moreover, these studies highlight a promising pipeline for advancing precision medicine as the standard of care.