Our lab uses an integrative and highly collaborative approach to identify the molecular determinants of protein function and dysfunction in various physiological contexts. We are particularly interested in enzymes and enzyme complexes that regulate metabolic processes such as nucleotide biosynthesis. We take a best tool for the job approach, drawing on the broad skill set of our team and the wide array of chemical, biochemical and biophysical techniques at our disposal. The overarching goal of our work is to exploit the knowledge that we obtain in these fundamental investigations to develop novel or improved therapies for a range of devastating human diseases.
NB: please bear with us as we continue to update our new website to bring you the most current information


June 2018 – Sally (Weijie Zhou) successfully defended her PhD thesis and earned her structure cake! Well done Sally and good look at Genentech. Update – Sally received an offer for a postdoc position at Boehringer Ingelheim in Connecticut. She’ll start her position there after completing her summer at Genentech. Best of luck at BI!


May 2018 – The group attended the annual Biochemistry and Cell Biology retreat at the Old Field Club. Iva presented a great talk entitled ‘Molecular mechanism of photoactivation of the blue light regulated protein BlsA’.


May 2018 – Congratulations to our new graduates, Sally (Chemistry PhD), Brian (Chemistry MS) and Ya (Chemistry MS).

April 2018 – Brian successfully defended his Masters thesis (Chemistry) today on ‘Identifying small molecule inhibitors of Sts-1 for the prevention of systemic candidiasis’. Excellent work Brian!


April 2018 – Congratulations Sally (Weijie)! The 2018 Department of Chemistry Graduate Student Awards were just announced and Sally was given the Chemistry Award for Outstanding Doctoral Student. This is a well-deserved honour, earned for her tremendous contributions to science, the lab and the department. Sally’s keen intellect, commitment to success and stellar work ethic over the past few years are what made this possible. Well done Sally!

April 2018 – Deb, Sally and Cindy attended the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) annual meeting in San Diego.

February 2018 – Jarrod was selected as one of 24 Cottrell Scholars for 2018. The Cottrell Scholar program ‘develops outstanding teacher-scholars who are recognized by their scientific communities for the quality and innovation of their research programs and their academic leadership skills’ (from the Cottrell Scholar website). Thanks so much to to the Research Corporation for Science Advancement for this great honour. Read the announcement on the Stony Brook SBU Happenings site here.

January 2018 – Congratulations to Deb – her paper with Nick Van Skike from the Krug Lab, entitled Viral FGARAT ORF75A promotes early events in lytic infection and gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis in mice was accepted for publication in PLOS Pathogens.

December 2017 – Congratulations to James (and Jinnette) – his paper entitled Variation in LOV photoreceptor activation dynamics probed by time resolved infrared spectroscopy was just accepted for publication in Biochemistry. Keep up the good work!

December 2017 – Wilson Nieves, an undergraduate researcher that has been with us since the summer of 2016, has been named a URECA researcher of the month. Read the whole story here.

November 2017 – Congratulations to Roger – his paper entitled Structural and functional basis for targeting Campylobacter jejuni agmatine deiminase to overcome antibiotic resistance was just accepted for publication in Biochemistry. We also want to thank our collaborators, Katherine Hicks and Christa Chatfield, for their important contributions.

October 2017 – The 11th annual Institute for Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery symposium entitled ‘Frontiers in Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery’ was a great success. The program featured exciting talks by leading researchers from both Stony Brook and Mount Sinai. In addition, the poster session (which Jarrod chaired) had over 60 posters that exemplified the innovative research being conducted at Stony Brook and neighbouring institutions.

September 2017 – Congratulations to James – his paper entitled Photoactivation of the BLUF protein PixD Probed by the Site-Specific Incorporation of Fluorotyrosine Residues was just accepted for publication in JACS.

September 2017 – Thanks in large part to everyone’s hard work over the last three years, Jarrod was just awarded an NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (R35) to support our research into the mechanisms that govern assembly and function of higher order protein structures of purine metabolic enzymes.

August 2017 – Jarrod participated in an alumni panel for the Tri-Institutional Chemical Biology Program (Weill Cornell, Rockefeller, Memorial Sloan Kettering) at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. It was great to see some old colleagues and meet the new generation of TPCB students.

July 2017 – Congratulations to Sally and Cindy; their paper entitled Structural and functional characterization of the histidine phosphatase domains of human Sts-1 and Sts-2 was just accepted for publication in Biochemistry.

May 2017 – Sally gave a great talk at the annual Biochemistry and Cell Biology retreat entitled ‘Phosphatase Suppressor of T-cell Receptor Signaling Pathway as a Novel Drug Target for Systemic Candidiasis’. Sally will also present a poster on this topic at the annual meeting of the American Crystallographic Association in New Orleans at the end of this month.

May 2017 – Best of luck to the latest French lab graduates, Tylene Hilaire (off to Penn. State for a PhD in Chemistry), Michael Yan (working at Enzo Biosciences while applying to medical schools), Andrew Tsai (applying to medical school), and Brian Coyne (currently completing his MS in Chemistry in our lab). The lab has benefited substantially from all of your great efforts – thanks for everything.

May 2017 – Two of our undergraduates presented their work at the annual Chemistry Department Senior Research Symposium. Brian Coyne presented his work on the ‘Analysis of Putative Nuclear Localization Sequence Mutagenesis on vFGAMS Nuclear Import’ and Tylene Hilaire presented her work on ‘Developing an Assay for the Kinetic Measurement of Nucleobase Transporters.’

April 2017 – Two of our undergraduate researchers, Andrew Tsai and Tylene Hilaire, presented posters at the URECA undergraduate research symposium. Andrews poster was entitled ‘Characterization of Nucleobase and Nucleoside Transporters in Humans and E. coli‘ and Tylene’s poster was entitled ‘Developing an Assay for the Kinetic Measurement of Nucleobase Transporters’.

March 2017 – Congratulations to Andrew Tsai for being awarded a Stony Brook University Undergraduate Recognition Award for Academic Excellence. A well-deserved honor.

January 2017 – Congratulations to Iva, Deb and Sally; their review of Higher order structures in purine and pyrimidine metabolism was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Structural Biology.

January 2017 – Congratulations to James for his recent paper in J. Phys. Chem. B, completed in collaboration with the Tonge Lab, entitled Femtosecond to Millisecond Dynamics of Light Induced Allostery in the Avena Sativa Lov Domain.

January 2017 – Jarrod gave an invited talk on The Complex problem of Purine Biosynthesis at the New York Structural Biology Discussion Group’s 12th Winter Meeting at the New York Academy of Sciences

November 2016 – Congratulations to Tylene for being selected to participate in the Collegiate Science, Technology, and Engineering Program (CSTEP) at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

November 2016 – Congratulations to Deb who just successfully completed her thesis proposal defense.

October 2016 – Congratulations to Wilson for being selected as an ACS Scholar by the American Chemical Society.

October 2016 – Congratulations to Iva who just successfully completed her thesis proposal defense.

August 2016 – James, Jinnette and Roger attended the Chemical Biology Training Program retreat at the Setauket Neighborhood house. They took part in informative, interactive sessions run by the SBU Alan Alda Center aimed at honing their science communication skills and teaching how to ‘distill your message’.

July 2016 – Sally and Iva attended 2016 annual American Crystallographic Association meeting in Denver, CO. Sally presented a poster entitled Characterization and Crystallization of the C-terminal Histidine Phosphatase Domain of Sts-1. Iva gave a presentation on the Structural Dynamics of Blue Light-sensing Using Flavin (BLUF) Domains and co-chaired a scientific session.

June 2016 – Congratulations to Iva for being selected for a student travel award to attend the 2016 annual American Crystallographic Association meeting in Denver, CO.

May 2016 – Roger, Iva, Deb and Sally attended a BioSAXS workshop held at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

May 2016 – Congratulations to Andrew and Tylene for being selected for a PSEG URECA fellowship and an Explorations in STEM fellowship, respectively, for summer research in our lab.

Feb. 2016 – Congratulations to Kafi for being selected as a W. Burghardt Turner Graduate Fellow.

Jan. 2016 – Congratulations to James for being selected for a second year to the Chemical Biology Training Program.

Featured Structure

Histidine phosphatase of Sts-1 showing active site histidines (ball and stick) and sulfate bound in active site (5VR6)

The suppressor of T-cell signaling (Sts) class of proteins has emerged as a potentially important target for immune regulation. Work from our collaborators lab has shown that mice lacking the Sts-1 and Sts-2 proteins are profoundly resistant to infection by deadly pathogens, including C. albicans. The structure above (solved at 1.87 Å) shows the histidine phosphatase domain of human Sts-1 in complex with sulfate. Structures of this catalytic domain of Sts-1 form the foundation of a long-term, structure-guided drug discovery program aimed at developing immuno-stimulatory therapies to treat deadly pathogen infections.