Harvard University - Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF TUTORS

Walker, Suzanne, Ph.D.

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School

http://micro.med.harvard.edu/faculty/walker.html

We use chemical tools and approaches to study problems in biology and biochemistry such as petidoglycan biosynthesis, substrate binding antibiotics, and glycosyltransferases. Peptidoglycan biosynthesis: Peptidoglycan is a crosslinked carbohydrate polymer that surrounds bacterial cell membranes, and damage to the peptidoglycan layers results in bacterial cell death. Because peptidoglycan biosynthesis is highly conserved in eubacteria, it is a prime target for broad spectrum antibiotics. One major class of peptidoglycan biosynthetic enzymes remains poorly understood, and our group is developing tools with which to study those enzymes. We are interested in obtaining structural and mechanistic information on individual members of this enzyme class, and also in determining how the activities of these enzymes are coordinated during cell growth and division.Substrate binding antibiotics: Microorganisms produce many different antibiotics that disrupt cellular processes by binding to molecules presented on bacterial cell surfaces. A common target for such antibiotics is Lipid II, a key intermediate in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. We are interested in understanding how various peptide antibiotics recognize Lipid II and how that recognition process is coupled to bacterial cell death. Glycosyltransferases: Our early work on enzymes involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis led us to solve the X-ray structure of one of these enzymes: the glycosyltransferase MurG. This enzyme proved to be a model system for a superfamily of glycosyltransferases that share a highly conserved architecture but perform a remarkably diverse range of glycosyltransfer reactions. We are studying selected members of this superfamily to uncover the rules that govern substrate selectivity. This research is geared toward the development of glycosyltransferases with novel specificity. Such enzymes could be used to make biologically interesting glycoconjugates that are otherwise synthetically inaccessible; and to engineer glycosyltransferase pathways in order to probe the role of cell surface oligosaccharides in various recognition processes. We are also interested in strategies to develop glycosyltransferase inhibitors to probe the functions of glycosyltransferases in cells.

next tutor: Winston, Fred

Below is a listing of current tutors:

  • (1)   Aldovini, Anna , M.D., Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital
  • (2)   Auld, David , Ph.D., Department of Biology, Boston College
  • (3)   Ausubel, Frederick , Ph.D., Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • (4)   Berg, Howard , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (5)   Brenner, Michael , Ph.D., Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
  • (6)   Brenner, Tamara , Ph.D., Life Sciences Division, Harvard University
  • (7)   Buratowski, Stephen , Ph.D., BCMP, Harvard Medical School
  • (8)   Burton, Briana , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (9)   Carroll, Michael , Ph.D., CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Harvard Medical School
  • (10)   Chen, Bing , Ph.D., Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Children's Hospital
  • (11)   Chou, James , Ph.D., BCMP, Harvard Medical School
  • (12)   Clapham, David , M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology, Children's Hospital
  • (13)   Clardy, John , Ph.D., BCMP, Harvard Medical School
  • (14)   D'Souza, Victoria , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (15)   DePace, Angela , Ph.D., Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • (16)   Dulac, Catherine , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (17)   Eck, Michael , M.D., Ph.D., BCMP, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • (18)   Eggan, Kevin , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (19)   Engert, Florian , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (20)   Erikson, Raymond , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (21)   Fisher, David , M.D., Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • (22)   Fraenkel, Dan , Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • (23)   Fraenkel, Ernest , Ph.D., Division of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • (24)   Fraenkel, Paula , M.D., Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • (25)   Gaudet, Rachelle , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (26)   Goldfeld, Anne , M.D., CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Harvard Medical School
  • (27)   Goldstein, Richard , Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center
  • (28)   Gray, Nathanael , Ph.D., BCMP, Harvard Medical School
  • (29)   Guidotti, Guido , M.D., Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (30)   Haigis, Marcia , Ph.D., Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
  • (31)   Harrison, Stephen , Ph.D., BCMP, Harvard Medical School
  • (32)   Hedley, Mary Lynne , Ph.D., MGI Pharma Biologics
  • (33)   Hinds, Philip , Ph.D., Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts - New England Medical Center
  • (34)   Hung, Deborah , M.D., Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • (35)   Hunter, Craig , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (36)   Jasanoff, Alan , Ph.D., Nuclear Engineering/Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • (37)   Kahne, Daniel , Ph.D., Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University
  • (38)   Kay, Jeremy , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (39)   Kieff, Elliott , M.D., Ph.D., Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • (40)   Kirchhausen, Tomas , Ph.D., CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Harvard Medical School
  • (41)   Kishony, Roy , Ph.D., Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • (42)   Kleckner, Nancy , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (43)   Kolter, Roberto , Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • (44)   Kopcow, Hernan , Ph.D., Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • (45)   Kunes, Samuel , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (46)   Lahav, Galit , Ph.D., Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • (47)   Leschziner, Andres , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (48)   Liberles, Stephen , Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • (49)   Lichtman, Jeff , M.D., Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (50)   Lieberman, Judy , M.D., Ph.D., CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Harvard Medical School
  • (51)   Lilley, Brendan , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (52)   Livingston, David , M.D., Department of Genetics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • (53)   Loeken, Mary , Ph.D., Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School
  • (54)   Losick, Richard , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (55)   Lue, Robert , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (56)   Magasanik, Boris , Ph.D., Biology Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • (57)   McKeon, Frank , Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • (58)   Michel, Thomas , M.D., Ph.D., Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • (59)   Miller, Jeffrey , Ph.D., Neuromuscular Biology & Disease Group, Boston Biomedical Research Institute
  • (60)   Miller, Theodore , Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Reify Corporation
  • (61)   Moazed, Danesh , Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • (62)   Murthy, Venkatesh , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (63)   Navia, Manuel , , Oxford Bioscience Partners
  • (64)   Nelson, David , Ph.D., Department of Physics, Harvard University
  • (65)   Olesen, James , Ph.D., Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Door LLP
  • (66)   Peattie, Debra , MBA, Ph.D., Harvard University
  • (67)   Ranjbar, Shahin , Ph.D., Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • (68)   Rheinwald, James , Ph.D., Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • (69)   Rivera-Feliciano, Jose , Ph.D., Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University
  • (70)   Sabeti, Pardis , D.Phil, M.D., FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University
  • (71)   Sanes, Joshua , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (72)   Sassanfar, Mandana , Ph.D., Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • (73)   Sato, Vicki , Ph.D., Technology and Operations Management, Harvard Business School
  • (74)   Schier, Alexander , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (75)   Shamu, Caroline , Ph.D., Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • (76)   Shi, Yang , Ph.D., Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
  • (77)   Silberstein, Lev , M.D., Ph.D., Harvard University
  • (78)   Starnbach, Michael , Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • (79)   Stern, Bodo , Ph.D., FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University
  • (80)   Stern, Joel N.H. , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (81)   Strominger, Jack , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (82)   Sweadner, Kathleen , M.D., Harvard University
  • (83)   Tong, Jeffrey , Ph.D., Nora Therapeutics
  • (84)   Torello, A. Thomas , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (85)   Toth, Joseph , Ph.D., Merrimack Pharmaceuticals
  • (86)   Tucci, Greg , Ph.D., Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University
  • (87)   Vaughan, Cheryl , Ph.D., Graduate Program in Biotechnology, Harvard University
  • (88)   Viel, Alain , Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
  • (89)   Walker, Suzanne , Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • (90)   Winston, Fred , Ph.D., Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School