Tom Lane under the direction of Dr. Kevin Slep, successfully defended his dissertation on November 3, 2017 and received his PhD!

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Tom Lane, PhD
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Structure Vol. 25 No. 7, July 5, 2017

Tom Lane under the direction of Dr. Kevin Slep, successfully defended his dissertation on November 3, 2017 and received his PhD! The title of his dissertation is “The Structure of the EF- Hand-GAR module of Spectraplakin ACF7 and the Delineation of Microbuble Determinants.”

Tom earned his M.S. in Biochemistry at UNC Greensboro where he conducted research on the computation analysis of GPCRs before attending UNC Chapel Hill. During his doctoral work, he solved the structure of a fragment of the cytoskeletal cross-linker ACF7 using X-ray crystallography and determined its microtubule binding site through mutagenesis studies (in vitro and cellular assays). The results from his research help us to understand the binding mechanism of the microtubule-binding functional domain of the integral spectraplakin protein family. His data were published in Structure, where it was featured on the cover. His thesis advisor Dr. Kevin Slep said, “During Tom’s tenure in our Biophysics Program he has formulated and tested key hypotheses on cytoskeletal structure and function using advanced biophysical and cellular assays. He perfected his teaching and mentoring skills and played a key role in advancing hundreds of undergraduates at Carolina. Not only has his work been recognized internationally, but he is now optimally positioned to lead advances in industry through his scientific insight and ability to lead group members.” Tom’s immediate plan is to enter the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on protein characterization by (biophysical analysis).