• Title Postdoctoral Associate – Saeed Lab
  • Education Ph.D. Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany
  • Phone (617) 353-3186
  • Area of Interest Host-pathogen interactions, the role of proteases in viral infection

I am a Postdoctoral Associate in the laboratory of Dr. Mohsan Saeed in the Department of Biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine. Before joining the Saeed lab, I did my M. Phil in Biochemistry at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, Pakistan, and Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany. During my Ph.D., I performed biochemical and biophysical analysis of human nucleotide kinases and devised strategies to enhance the ability of these kinases to activate nucleoside-analog prodrugs with antiviral and anticancer properties.My current research explores the role of human proteases in viral infections. A human cell is estimated to contain approximately 600 proteases and protease-inhibiting proteins that work in concert with each other to orchestrate various biological processes, such as cell-cycle progression, cell proliferation, DNA replication, and tissue remodeling. In addition, cellular proteases have been shown to have important roles in virus infection, as evidenced by ACE2, TMPRSS2, CTSL, and DPP4 being critical host dependency factors for coronavirus replication. I utilize protein overexpression and depletion strategies to systematically analyze the role of cellular proteases in various steps of coronavirus infection. Once the candidate genes are identified, I take multidisciplinary approaches combining virology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and structural analyses to uncover the mechanisms through which cellular proteases contribute to virus infection.

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