2012 Events
November: Scott Lab Group Photo
Left to right, back row: Aggi Walsh, Lindsay Astleford, Dr. Scott Front row, Fernando Estrada, Youbin Tu, Elyse Petrunak, Vickie Jasion
November: Welcome new postdocs
Two new postdocs join the Scott lab: Youbin Tu, below left, with experience in cytochrome P450 enzymes arrives from Candada and Victoria Jasion, below right, with experience in peroxidase and nitric oxide synthase arrives from California.
November: Goodbye Natasha

Natasha DeVore leaves the lab to take a position as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Geoffery Waldo at Los Alamos National Labs. But first, one last game night . . .
November: KU Cancer Center Symposium
Postdoc Aggi Walsh was selected to present a short talk at the KU Cancer Center Symposium. In addition her poster titled “Human Cytochrome P450 1A1 Structure and Utility in Predicting Drug Metabolism and Xenobiotic Activation” tied for first place.
November: GRASP NMR conference
Postdoc Fernando Estrada was selected to present a short talk at the GRASP conference titled “Solution NMR Study of the Interaction between a Human Cytochrome P450 Enzyme and its Redox Partner Cytochrome b5
October: International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX)
Dr. Emily Scott selected as the 2012 recipient of the North American New Investigator Award from the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics. Pictured Left to Right: XenoTech Chief Scientific Officer, David Buckley; North American New Investigator Award in Honor of James R. Gillette Winner, Emily Scott; Ronald Estabrook; Scientific Achievement Award in Honor of Ronald Estabrook, Sponsored by XenoTech Winner, R. Scott Obach; and ISSX Awards Committee Chair, John Miners.
Postdoctoral fellows Aggi Walsh and Natasha DeVore were awarded travel awards from the International Society of the Study of Xenobiotics to attend the 18th North American Regional ISSX Meeting in Dallas, TX.
Aggi’s poster titled “X-ray Structure of Human Cytochrome P450 1A1 and Insights into Function from Docking Studies” won 3rd place in the postdoctoral category. Natasha’s poster titled: “The Steroidogenic Cytochrome P45017A1: Residues with Key Roles in Binding and Catalysis” won 1st place in the postdoctoral category.
October: COBRE Symposium on Protein Structure and Function
Postdoctoral fellows Aggi Walsh and Fernando Estrada present their work on CYP1A1 and CYP17A1, respectively, at the COBRE 2012 Symposium on Protein Structure and Function.
October: Halloween at the Scott Lab
Heme pumpkin carving by graduate students Natasha DeVore, Elyse Petrunak, and Alex Salyer (not shown).
September: Chemical Biology Training Grant Symposium
Graduate student Elyse Petrunak presented a poster at the Chemical Biology training grant symposium on structure/function analysis of the A107L mutation of CYP17A1
July: Time for Celebration
Time for a celebration! Lab celebration of Fernando's NRSA fellowship and publication of two papers. Eva and Aggi’s paper on CYP2A inhibitor selectivity is published in Drug Metabolism and Disposition. Natasha’s paper on CYP2A nicotine and NNK structures is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
July: Fernando Awarded NRSA
Postdoctoral fellow Fernando Estrada is awarded a prestigious NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA). His project, titled “Application of solution NMR to (human) membrane cytochrome P450 17A1” will support his research for 2 years.
June: Going Away Lunch for Michelle and Linda
Left to right, Natasha DeVore, Elyse Petrunak, Linda Blake, Michelle Jackson, Fernando Estrada, Aaron Bart, Lindsay Astleford. Not shown, Anne Reed-Weston.
June: Picnic and Stargazing at Powell Observatory
The lab group enjoyed a picnic of Oklahoma Joe's BBQ followed by an evening of astronomy at Powell Observatory in Louisburg, KS. After a brief talk presented by members of the Astronomical Society of Kansas City we viewed the night sky using the Ruisinger telescope. Capable of gathering over 11,000 times the light of the human eye, this telescope yielded beautiful views including the rings of Saturn and the M13 cluster of ~300,000 stars.
June: Elyse Orals Exam
Graduate student Elyse Petrunak successfully completes her orals, receiving her M.S. and moving on to the Ph.D. stage of her research.
May: Eva Stephens M.S. Defense
Photo by A. Adams
Photo by A. Adams
Eva Stephens successfully defended her Master’s thesis titled "Cytochromes P450: Inhibition of CYP2A enzymes involved in xenobiotic metabolism and generation of CYP26 enzymes involved in retinoic acid metabolism." Celebrations followed with lab members, friends, and family (Eva with parents and sister shown at right).
May: Commencement
A picture of Linda Blake in her graduation gown with fellow graduates next to a Jayhawk statue.
Lab member Linda Blake (far right) participated in the 2012 Commencement along with two other Medicinal Chemistry graduates, Jennifer Treece (far left) and Juan Araya (middle).
April: MIKI Meeting
Eva Stephens and Charlie Fehl present posters at the 50th Annual MIKI Meeting held in Iowa City, IA. Charlie’s poster wins second place in the poster competition.
March and April: Michelle Jackson poster-mania
Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) student Michelle Jackson presents her work at three poster sessions in two months: the KU Annual Graduate Research Competition, the Office for Diversity in Science Training Annual Student Research Symposium at Haskell Indian Nations University, and Experimental Biology 2012 in San Diego.
March: Bowling at the KU Jaybowl
March: Linda Blake’s Defense Party
Linda successfully defends her Ph.D. dissertation research titled "Cytochromes P450 as therapeutic targets and counter-targets for the prevention of lung cancer and treatment of steroidogenic diseases", becoming the Department of Medicinal Chemistry's first Ph.D. graduate in the department's Biochemistry Track. Celebrations ensued at the reception following.
Linda with her parents
Linda with her parents
February: Higuichi Bioscience Center Science Talks
Natasha DeVore and Aggi Walsh present posters on CYP17A1 and CYP1A1.
January: Nature Paper Published
Graphic design (above) by Jing Jian
Graphic design (above) by Jing Jian
Structures of Human Cytochrome P450 17A1:
Insights into Drug Design for Prostate and Breast Cancers
  • Cytochrome P450 17A1 (CYP17A1) performs sequential hydroxylase and lyase reactions essential for the production of steroid hormones called androgens and estrogens.
  • Prostate cancer and breast cancer proliferate in response to androgens and estrogens, respectively.
  • Thus, inhibition of CYP17A1 is a new approach to treating prostate and breast cancer, but no structures of CYP17A1 were previously available to assist in drug design.
  • The first structures of CYP17A1 are complexes with drugs either recently approved by the FDA for metastatic prostate cancer (abiraterone or Zytiga®) or currently in clinical trials (TOK-001 or Galeterone®). These structures:
    • demonstrate that both drugs bind more perpendicular to the heme, rather than the parallel orientation proposed
    • reveal important opportunities to improve drug design
    • demonstrate similarities to steroid receptors that are likely the basis for the dual mechanism of action for TOK-001 at the androgen receptor
    • elucidate the structural roles of many mutations found in patients with diseases called 17-hydroxylase deficiencies
Structures of the human steroidogenic membrane cytochrome P450 17A1 are published in Nature: DeVore, N.M. and Scott, E.E. Cytochrome P450 17A1 structures with prostate cancer drugs abiraterone and TOK-001. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature10743.
January: 10th Annual K-INBRE Symposium
Aaron Bart presented his poster titled "X-ray Structure of the Human Enzymes Responsible for Adrenaline Biosynthesis"