Mr. Erich Hellemann, a 5th year Ph.D. student in the MBSB graduate program mentored by Dr. Jacob Durrant (Department of Biological Science, University of Pittsburgh) recently published his first-author paper, “Novel mutation in hexokinase 2 confers resistance to 2-deoxyglucose by altering protein dynamics,” in PLOS Computational Biology. Erich’s Ph.D. project studies how protein dynamics impact function and pharmacology. To characterize the molecular mechanism of a recently identified resistance mutation, he performed molecular dynamics simulations of hexokinase 2 from yeast, an enzyme critical for glucose metabolism. This work occupies the major component of his Ph.D. work. His Ph.D. defense is within his reach!!

Check out his paper!