Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, UNC-CH
Joint Appointment Biochemistry and Biophysics & School of Medicine
Member of Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
(PhD in Biochemistry – Washington State University)
Accepting Rotation Students
HONORS & AWARDS
- Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring Award, UNC, 2023
- Johnston Teaching Excellence Award, UNC, 2023
- Award for Excellence in Basic Science Mentoring, UNC Office of Graduate Education, 2019
- Glen H. Elder, Jr. Distinguished Term Professor of Research and Undergraduate Education, 2013
- Vice Chair of Facilities for UNC Chemistry, 2013
- NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, 2011
- Graduate Studies Committee, UNC Chemistry, 2010
My graduate students and I work in two areas: High-resolution protein NMR studies in living cells. Biophysics of tardigrade dessication-tolerance proteins.
Pielak lab works in three areas:
High-resolution protein NMR studies in living cells.
Oxidative damage to α-synuclein, a key protein in Parkinson’s disease.
Pressure perturbation calorimetry of peptides and proteins.
My goal is to understand the chemistry of proteins as it occurs in living cells. This knowledge is fundamentally important and essential for ensuring that simple, inexpensive in vitro experiments can be used with confidence to diagnose and treat human disease. My lab has pioneered the study of both globular and disordered proteins under actual biologically relevant conditions both in vitro and in cells. We do this by developing innovative techniques to measure protein stability and diffusion in the presence of huge amounts of solutes that interfere with standard measurement techniques.
REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS (click for Full Publication List)
|Brom JA., Petrikis RG, Pielak GJ. 2023. How sugars protect dry protein structure. Biochemistry, 62: in press.|
|Thole JF, Waudby C, Pielak GJ. 2023. Disordered proteins mitigate the temperature dependence of site-specific binding free energies Journal of Biological Chemistry, 299: in press.|
|Stewart CJ, Olgenblum GI, Propst A, Harries D, Pielak GJ. 2023. Resolving the enthalpy of protein stabilization by macromolecular crowding Protein Science, 31: e4573.|
|Eicher JE, Brom JA, Wang S, Sheiko SS, Atkin JM, Pielak GJ. 2022. Secondary structure and stability of a gel-forming tardigrade desiccation-tolerance protein. Protein Science,31, e4495.|
|Zhang C, Pei Y, Zhang Z, Xu L, Liu X, Jiang L, Pielak GJ, Zhou X, Liu M, Li C. 2022. C-terminal truncation modulates α-synuclein’s cytotoxicity and aggregation by promoting the interactions with membrane and chaperone. Communications Biology, 5: 798.|
|Brom J, Pielak GJ. 2022. Desiccation-tolerance- and globular- proteins adsorb similar amounts of water. Protein Science, 31: e4288.|
|Chu I-T, Stewart CJ, Speer SL, Pielak GJ. 2022. A difference between in vitro and in-cell protein dimer formation. Biochemistry, 61: 409-412..|
|Speer SL, Stewart C, Sapir L, Harries D, Pielak GJ. 2022. Macromolecular crowding is more than hard-core repulsions. Annual Review of Biophysics, 51: 267-300.|
|Crilly C, Brom JA, Warmuth O, Esterly HJ. 2022. Protection by desiccation-tolerance proteins probed at the residue level. Protein Science, 31: 396-406.|
|Crilly C, Eicher JE, Warmuth O, Atkin JM, Pielak GJ. 2021. Water’s variable role in protein stability uncovered by liquid-observed vapor exchange NMR. Biochemistry, 60: 3041–3045.|
Lab Rooms: Genome 3250
Lab Fax: 919-962-6714