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Joseph E. Wedekind, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 273-4516

Fax: (585) 271-2683

Research Labs

The Wedekind lab uses biophysical, biochemical and cell-based techniques to investigate: (i) bacterial riboswitches, and (ii) lab-evolved proteins that target HIV-1 RNA.

Visit The Wedekind lab uses biophysical, biochemical and cell-based techniques to investigate: (i) bacterial riboswitches, and (ii) lab-evolved proteins that target HIV-1 RNA.  Lab Website

Faculty Appointments

Biography

Research

The Wedekind lab investigates the mechanisms of action of non-protein-coding (nc)RNAs. We are interested especially in the elegant, three-dimensional architectures of these RNAs, and how they bind to specific small molecules or peptides, leading to conformations that alter biological function. Model systems include: (i) metabolite-sensing riboswitches that regulate protein translation, and (ii) the application of lab-evolved proteins to target HIV-1 RNA. This work is relevant to the development of new antibiotics and anti-retroviral therapies. This work is funded by NIH/NIGMS grants R01 GM063162 and R01 GM123864.

Our lab employs a variety of biochemical, biophysical, and structural approaches, such as X-ray crystallography. We greatly acknowledge NIH/NCRR award S10 RR026501 for supporting this instrumentation. For access or further information see: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/structural-biology-biophysics.aspx

Credentials

Education

1990
B.Sc. | University of California at Riverside
Biochemistry (Magna Cum Laude)

1995
Ph.D. | University of Wisconsin at Madison
Biochemistry (Structural Enzymology)

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

1995 - 1999
RNA Biophysics, Dept. of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine. 1995-1999

Awards

2018 - 2022
Member, MSFB Study Section
Sponsor: Center for Scientific Review, NIH/PHS

2017 - 2019
Secretary, Medical Faculty Council
Location: University of Rochester SMD

2015
Faculty Teaching Award in Biophysics
Sponsor: University of Rochester SMD
Location: Dept. Biochemistry & Biophysics

2011 - 2016
Editorial Board Member, The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Sponsor: ASBMB

2010 - 2012
Executive Committee Member, CHESS Users' Group
Sponsor: Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, Ithaca NY

2010
Faculty Teaching Award in Biophysics
Location: University of Rochester SMD | Dept. Biochemistry & Biophysics

2007 - 2009
Elected Secretary (The Board of Directors)
Sponsor: The Pittsburgh Diffraction Society
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

2005
Faculty Teaching Award in Biophysics
Location: University of Rochester SMD | Dept. Biochemistry & Biophysics

1996 - 1999
Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow
Sponsor: Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Location: Dept. Structural Biology, Stanford, CA

1996
Individual NRSA Post-doctoral Fellowship (declined)
Sponsor: NIH
Location: Stanford, CA

1996
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Post-Doctoral Award (declined)
Sponsor: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Location: Stanford, CA

1995 - 1996
Dean's Fellow
Location: Stanford University School of Medicine

1992 - 1995
NIH Biophysics Training Grant Recipient
Sponsor: NIH/NIGMS

1990
Elected Member, Phi Beta Kappa
Location: Iota Chapter of California

1989
Edmondson Summer Research Fellow
Sponsor: Dept. of Pathology
Location: University of Southern California

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Publications

Journal Articles

1/11/2022
Schroeder GM, Cavender CE, Blau ME, Jenkins JL, Mathews DH, Wedekind JE. "A small RNA that cooperatively senses two stacked metabolites in one pocket for gene control." Nature communications.. 2022 Jan 11; 13(1):199. Epub 2022 Jan 11.

11/9/2021
Chavali SS, Mali SM, Bonn R, Saseendran A, Bennett RP, Smith HC, Fasan R, Wedekind JE. "Cyclic peptides with a distinct arginine-fork motif recognize the HIV trans-activation response RNA in vitro and in cells." The Journal of biological chemistry.. 2021 Nov 9; :101390. Epub 2021 Nov 09.

3/2021
Srivastava Y, Bonn-Breach R, Chavali SS, Lippa GM, Jenkins JL, Wedekind JE. "Affinity and Structural Analysis of the U1A RNA Recognition Motif with Engineered Methionines to Improve Experimental Phasing." . 2021 Mar; 11(3)Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Books & Chapters

2015
Chapter Title: Tails of Three Knotty Switches: How PreQ1 Riboswitch Structures Control Protein Translation
Book Title: eLifeSciences
Author List: Belashov I.A., Dutta D., Salim M., Wedekind J.E.
Published By: John Wiley & Sons, Inc 2015

2014
Chapter Title: Metal Dependence of Ligand Binding and Heavy-Atom Derivatization of Evolutionarily Distinct PreQ1 Riboswitches
Book Title: Chemical Biology of Nucleic Acids
Author List: Joseph E. Wedekind, Joseph A. Liberman, Jermaine L. Jenkins, Mohammad Salim
Published By: Springer 2014

2010
Chapter Title: Structural aspects of metal ion binding in small natural and artificial RNA enzymes
Book Title: Metal Ions in Life Sciences: Structural and Catalytic Roles of Metals in RNA
Author List: J.E. Wedekind
Edited By: A. Sigel, S. Sigel, R. Sigel
Published By: Wiley-Blackwell 2010

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