New Faculty: Alexei Korennykh
Dr. Alexei Korennykh is interested in understanding cellular signaling pathways at the level of individual receptors and their interactions. Dr. Korennykh received his BS degree in Chemistry at Moscow State University (Russia). During his PhD work at the University of Chicago (1999-2005), he focused on recognition of RNA and eukaryotic ribosomes by enzymes that site-specifically modify large ribosomal RNA. For his postdoctoral work (2006-2011), he joined the laboratory of Peter Walter at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). At UCSF he worked on a signaling mechanism by which cells deal with protein misfolding. This mechanism is called Unfolded Protein Response and involves upregulation of hundreds of protein folding genes. In some eukaryotic cells, such as yeasts, the entire UPR program is controlled by a single receptor kinase/ribonuclease Ire1 in the membrane of endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Dr. Korennykh found that Ire1 is activated by assembling into a high-order oligomer and determined the crystal structure of this oligomer with a synthetic small molecule modulator bound. This work received UCSF Dean's 2010 Postdoctoral Prize and served as the basis for two international patent applications. His PhD and postdoctoral work was supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and by The Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research. Dr. Korennykh's current work focuses on structural biology of the UPR and on signaling pathways in the innate immune system.