As part of the Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research I have been invovled in the study of the biogenesis and quality control decisions of several clinically important ion channels. We investigate the factors that lead to folding or degradation of these proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum and have identified important chaperone proteins that regulate this process.
In a separate project I have been characterizing the biochemical properties of wild type and mutant forms of the yeast Hsp70 chaperone protein Ssa1. These studies will provide insight into the biochemical alterations of Ssa1 mutants and provide a better understanding of the Ssa1 activities that lead to altered phenotypes seen in yeast expressing the mutant protein.
Dr. Needham received his Ph.D. from the Medical College of Ohio in 2002 after working in the lab of Dr. Robert Trumbly. He completed post doctoral work with Dr. James Trempe at the Medical College of Ohio and with Dr. Dan Masison at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He joined the department in 2008 working in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky as the primary researcher of the yeast model organisms core lab of the Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research.