Natosha L. Finley
Assistant Professor of Microbiology
My lab utilizes NMR and molecular biophysics to gain structural insight into biological processes that contribute to human pathophysiology such as the activation of bacterial exotoxins and impaired muscle contractility. One area of interest involves the study of the molecular interaction of adenylate cyclase toxins with host cell target activators. An atomic-level understanding of the association of host cell proteins with bacterial exotoxins may facilitate the rational design of novel therapeutics to combat opportunistic human pathogens. Another goal of my research program is to define the molecular basis by which thick filament proteins control muscle contraction. By examining the structural consequences of inheritable mutations in thick filament proteins, my lab seeks a molecular understanding of the transition from normal to diseased states in heart and skeletal muscle. Enhanced knowledge of the structural mechanisms of aberrant muscle contraction is crucial to the development of diagnostic and pharmaceutical approaches to treat muscle defects.
My lab is also involved in collaborative projects with Drs. Actis and Balish to study the protein structure/function relationships that play roles the pathogenesis of A. baumannii and Mycoplasma, respectively.