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Spaller, Brian

B. Logan Spaller

Teaching Assistant MBS, Graduate Research Assistant
Biology Instruction Office, Molecular Biosciences


Elucidating Protein Homeostasis and Genetic Integrity
lspaller@utexas.edu


Office Location
NMS

Postal Address
2506 SPEEDWAY
AUSTIN, TX 78712

My research interests span the biochemical, biophysical, and molecular regimes with a broad focus in understanding protein homestasis and genetic integrity. From 2011-2013, I worked as a research assistant in Dr. Paulo Almeida's lab at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. There, I studied the kinetic and thermodynamic properties of membrane-active peptides, in hopes of developing ones that are good translocators to act as cargo delivery systems for drugs and other therapeutics.

In August, 2013 I moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked in Dr. Dorothy Erie's lab from 2013-2017. The Erie lab primarily focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying DNA mismatch repair, the pathway that corrects DNA replication errors. Using atomic force microscopy, I characterized two hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer mutants of the mismatch repair initiation protein, hMutSa. My research ultimately led to a better understanding of the aberrant activities of these mutants that cause deficient mismatch repair phenotypes.

After receiving a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2017, I moved to Austin, Texas to join the Biochemistry Ph.D. program in the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. I currently work in Dr. Andreas Matouschek's lab, where I study the ubiquitin proteasome system, which helps control cellular protein levels by degrading them. There are two primary components that determine if a substrate will be targeted to the proteasome: ubiquitination and a disordered initiation region. I use in vivo methods to study the interactions of these two targeting factors to better understand how the proteasome controls substrate specificity.

Ablan, F.D.O., Spaller, B.L., Abdo, K.I., Almeida, P.F. [2016] Charge Distribution Fine-Tunes the Translocation of alpha-Helical Amphipathic Peptides across Membranes, Biophysical Journal. Aug 30, 2016. Published.

Wheaten, S.A., Ablan, F.D.O., Spaller, B.L., Trieu, J.M., and Almeida, P.F. [2013] Translocation of Cationic Amphipathic Peptides across the Membranes of Pure Phospholipid Giant Vesicles, Journal of the American Chemical Society. Oct 23, 2013. Published.

Spaller, B.L., Trieu, J.M., and Almeida, P.F. [2013] Hemolytic activity of membrane-active peptides correlates with the thermodynamics of binding to 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine bilayers, Membr Biol. Jan 18, 2013. Published.