Deborah F. Kelly, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, College of Science, Virginia Tech
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Deborah Kelly's research focuses on developing innovative methodologies to study complex biological machinery. In particular, Kelly is 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, Kelly and her research team 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 researchers to view biological processes in a completely new fashion. The scientists 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 more complete listing of Deborah 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
- Harvard Medical School
Awards and Honors
- Young Investigator Award, The Concern Foundation, 2014
- Beckman Young Investigator Finalist, 2014
- Elected member, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013
- Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, National Science Foundation, Florida State University, 1999-2003
- John Van Norman Graduate Research Award, Old Dominion University, 1996
- American Chemical Society Outstanding Graduate Award in Biochemistry, Old Dominion University, 1994
- Liang Y, Dearnaley WJ, Varano AC, Winton CE, Gilmore BL, Alden NA, Sheng Z, Kelly DF. (2017). Structural analysis of BRCA1 reveals modification hotspot. Science Advances 3(9).
- Varghese RT, Lian Y, Guan T, Franck CT, Kelly DF, Sheng Z. (2016). Survival kinase genes present prognostic significance in glioblastoma. Oncotarget.
- Gilmore BL, Winton CE, Demmert AC, Tanner JR, Bowman S, Karageorge V, Patel K, Sheng Z, Kelly DF. (2015). A Molecular Toolkit to Visualize Native Protein Assemblies in the Context of Human Disease. Scientific Reports 5.
- Pohlmann ES, Patel K, Guo S, Dukes MJ, Sheng Z, Kelly DF. (2015). Real-time visualization of nanoparticles interacting with glioblastoma stem cells. Nano Letters 15(4): 2329-35.
- Boudreaux CE, Kelly DF, McDonald SM. (2015). Electron microscopic analysis of rotavirus assembly-replication intermediates. Virology 477: 32-41.
- Guo S, Liang Y, Murphy SF, Huang A, Shen H, Kelly DF, Sobrado P, Sheng Z. (2015). A rapid and high content assay that measures cyto-ID-stained autophagic compartments and estimates autophagy flux with potential clinical applications. Autophagy 25.
- Rahimi A, Varano AC, Demmert AC, Melanson LA, McDonald SM, Kelly DF. (2015). A non-symmetric reconstruction technique for transcriptionally-active viral assemblies. Journal of Analytical and Molecular Techniques 2: 1-6.
- Varano AC, Rahimi A, Dukes MJ, Poelzing S, McDonald SM, Kelly DF. (2015). Visualizing virus particle mobility in liquid at the nanoscale. Chemical Communications 2: 1-6.
- Boudreaux CE, Vile DC, Gilmore BL, Tanner JR, Kelly DF, McDonald SM. (2013). Rotavirus core shell subdomains involved in polymerase encapsidation into virus-like particles. J Gen Virol 94: 1818-26.
- Dukes MJ, Jacobs BW, Morgan DG, Hegde H, Kelly DF. (2013). Visualizing nanoparticle mobility in liquid at atomic resolution. Chem Commun (Camb) 24(29): 3007-9.