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Heran Darwin

Heran Darwin, PhD

Professor, Department of Microbiology

Keywords
Microbiology, Tuberculosis
Summary

My lab seeks to understand how Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, has become arguably the most successful pathogen on earth. M. tuberculosis naturally infects humans only, and one-third of the world’s population is infected by this bacillus.

Using genetics and biochemistry, my lab has characterized a protease complex called the proteasome, which is essential for M. tuberculosis to cause lethal infections in animal models. Proteasomes are a family of proteases that are conserved in all domains of life, from bacteria to humans. Over the years, we have identified proteins that function with the M. tuberculosis proteasome, several of which are unique to bacterial proteasome systems.

In addition to characterizing the mechanisms of proteasome-dependent degradation, we have identified pathways regulated by this sytem, many which are essential for the tubercle bacillus to persist in a mammalian host. We are currently employing genetics, proteomics, and metabolomics to understand these pathways.

Also of interest, over the years we have found that M. tuberculosis can harbor mutations that prevent the death of its host, yet the host’s immune system is unable to clear the infection. We are very interested in understanding how these bacilli remain in the host despite their inability to replicate robustly.

Phone

212-263-2624

Academic office

430 East 29th Street

Lab 324, Room 312

New York, NY 10016

Lab Website
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PhD from University of California, Los Angeles

Fellowship, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Bacterial Pathogenesis

Darwin, K Heran

EMBO reports. 2022 May 04; e55283

Darwin, K Heran; Stanley, Sarah A

Open biology. 2022 Apr; 12(4):220010

Darwin, K Heran

EMBO reports. 2022 Mar 18; e54958

Darwin, K Heran

EMBO reports. 2021 Dec 20; e54435

Janssen, Guido V; Zhang, Susan; Merkx, Remco; Schiesswohl, Christa; Chatterjee, Champak; Darwin, K Heran; Geurink, Paul P; van der Heden van Noort, Gerbrand J; Ovaa, Huib

Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology. 2021 Nov 03; 22(21):3082-3089

Darwin, K Heran

EMBO reports. 2021 Sep 06; 22(9):e53619

Ji, Daisy X; Witt, Kristen C; Kotov, Dmitri I; Margolis, Shally R; Louie, Alexander; Chevée, Victoria; Chen, Katherine J; Gaidt, Moritz M; Dhaliwal, Harmandeep S; Lee, Angus Y; Nishimura, Stephen L; Zamboni, Dario S; Kramnik, Igor; Portnoy, Daniel A; Darwin, K Heran; Vance, Russell E

eLife. 2021 06 21; 10:

Zhang, Hao; Hsu, Hao-Chi; Kahne, Shoshanna C; Hara, Ryoma; Zhan, Wenhu; Jiang, Xiuju; Burns-Huang, Kristin; Ouellette, Tierra; Imaeda, Toshihiro; Okamoto, Rei; Kawasaki, Masanori; Michino, Mayako; Wong, Tzu-Tshin; Toita, Akinori; Yukawa, Takafumi; Moraca, Francesca; Vendome, Jeremie; Saha, Priya; Sato, Kenjiro; Aso, Kazuyoshi; Ginn, John; Meinke, Peter T; Foley, Michael; Nathan, Carl F; Darwin, K Heran; Li, Huilin; Lin, Gang

Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2021 May 13; 64(9):6262-6272