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Hendrik Szurmant, PhD

Associate Professor Adjunct
Department of Molecular Medicine
California Campus
Laboratory Website
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(858) 784-7945

Research Focus

We are interested in the mechanisms of signal detection and transmission processes in bacterial signal transduction. Our primary focus is on the essential YycFG two-component system, conserved in the Gram-positive bacteria and a proposed drug target. We have identified this system to be controlled by several auxiliary proteins and tied in with cell divisional processes. Details on the role of this system are studied utilizing a wide range of techniques including bioinformatic, genetic, biochemical and structural characterization. The high amplification of two-component signal transduction systems in the bacteria along with the ever expanding genomic databases provide an opportunity to extract statistically relevant data from this large set of homologous proteins. In collaboration with several biophysics labs we have developed a novel method combining traditional co-variance analysis with a statistical message-passing step. This method is capable of predicting protein interaction surfaces in two-component signaling down to amino acid resolution with astonishing accuracy. We are now in a position to apply this method to diverse protein interaction partners and create and test new predictions.


Ph.D., Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , 2004

Professional Experience

2016-2017 Associate Professor Adjunct, Molecular and Experimental Medicine (MEM), The Scripps Research Institute
2013-2016 Associate Professor, Molecular and Experimental Medicine (MEM), The Scripps Research Institute
2007-2013 Assistant Professor, Molecular and Experimental Medicine (MEM), The Scripps Research Institute
2004-2007 Postdoctoral Associate, The Scripps Research Institute
1999-2004 Research Assistant, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Selected References

All Publications

Szurmant, H., Bu, L., Brooks III, C.L. and Hoch, J.A. An essential sensor histidine kinase controlled by transmembrane helix interactions with its auxiliary proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105, pp. 5891-6. 2008

Szurmant, H., White, R.A. and Hoch, J.A. Sensor complexes regulating two-component signal transduction. Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 17, pp. 706-15. 2007

Santelli, E., Liddington, R.C., Mohan, M.A., Hoch, J.A., Szurmant, H. The crystal structure of Bacillus subtilis YycI reveals a common fold for two members of an unusual class of sensor histidine kinase regulatory proteins. J Bacteriol. 189, pp. 3290-5. 2007

Szurmant, H., Mohan, M.A., Imus, P.M. and Hoch, J.A. YycH and YycI interact to regulate the essential YycFG two-component system in Bacillus subtilis. J. Bacteriol. 189, pp. 3280-9. 2007