Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly, PhD

Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, College of Science, Virginia Tech

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Research Program Summary

My research focuses on developing innovative methodologies to study complex biological machinery. In particular, I am interested in using a combination of structural and functional tools to understand how signaling pathways influence human development and disease. Cryo-Electron Microscopy (EM) is an ideal technique to visualize macromolecular assemblies, such as ribosomes, at sub-nanometer resolution. Still, a major obstacle in the field is that many active cellular complexes are too labile or in too low abundance for conventional purification schemes. To address this issue, we developed the monolayer purification method and the functionalized Affinity Grid, that make it possible to rapidly purify complexes from crude cell lysates directly onto an EM Grid. These novel techniques provide a powerful approach for gathering structural information and allow us to view biological processes in a completely new fashion. We are now applying this technology to examine signaling complexes that regulate stem cell development in both normal and cancerous tissues. The knowledge gained from this line of research will shed light on the early events of stem cell commitment and cancer formation.

For a full listing of Dr. Kelly's publications, visit PubMed.

Education and Training

  • Florida State University: Ph.D., Molecular Biophysics
  • Old Dominion University: M.S., Chemistry
  • Old Dominion University: B.S., Biochemistry

Previous Positions

  • Harvard Medical School Postdoctoral Fellow

Selected Publications

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