Foster Lab Members

Foster Lab, Summer 2019
Foster Lab, Summer 2019: Rodrigo, Cameron, Weicheng, Nicole, Mark, Bennett (SLDS), Pepsi, Tiff (SLDS), Deepak, Haoyun, Antonia, Aparna, Vibhuti, Devante, Kye, Xiao, Jen

Mark P. Foster, PhD

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Ohio State University
484 West 12th Ave, Columbus OH 43210
B.S. University of Illinois, 1987
Ph.D University of Utah, 1993
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Scripps Research Institute, 1993-1997
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Aparna Unnikrishnan

Biophysics graduate program, (email)

I am keenly interested in the structural and functional nature of biological macromolecules. Currently, my efforts are focused on studying the regulatory functions of TRAP protein. This system serves as a great model to study the allosteric nature of macromolecular interactions. Additionally, I am beginning to work with DNA recombinases, whose fascinating structural nature is yet to be fully explored. For these studies, I employ techniques such as ITC, CD spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry and NMR.

B. Tech, 2012, National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India



Vibhuti Wadhwa

Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate program,(email)
Defining structures of biological macromolecules and deriving their functional aspects is one of the most fascinating areas of biochemistry. I am currently working on Anti-TRAP and will soon begin work on another zinc binding protein, Loz1.
B.E. Biotechnology, 2014, PES University, Bangalore, India



Melody “Pepsi” Holmquist


Ohio State Biochemistry Program, Cellular, Molecular and Biochemical Sciences Program (email)
I am co-advised by Mark Foster and Vicki Wysocki, an expert in the application of mass spectrometry to the study of macromolecules. My research project involves the use of mass spectrometry, complemented with solution experiments, to understand the structures, assemblies and intermediates involved in the regulation of oligomeric protein function.

BS Chemistry, 2012, NTID: Rochester Institute of Technology



Xiao Ma

Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate program, (email)

I am interested in the structural basis for recognition between proteins and nucleic acids. Currently, I am currently working with ProXp-ala, and hoping to better understand its interaction with its substrate, mischarged Ala-tRNAPro.

B.S. Biological Sciences, 2015, South China Agricultural University



Weicheng Li

Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate program, (email)

I am interested in, and motivated to decipher gene regulation mechanisms of  proteins via biophysical approaches. I am currently working to understand how Brd4 participates in gene expression in cancer cells, and hope that knowledge can lead to new therapies.

B.S. Bioengineering, 2014, Beijing University of Chemical Technology



Kye Stachowski

Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate program, (email)

DNA recombining enzymes are important tools for genome engineering, a method of which peaks my curiosity. I am studying the tyrosine recombinase, Cre, to understand the dynamic and structural characteristics of Cre intermediates.

B.S. Chemistry, 2016, Purdue University



Cameron Jamshidi

Ohio State Biochemistry Program, (email)

I am fascinated by the principles of NMR spectroscopy and how it can be applied to study the structures of the molecules that govern life, as well as the unique ways they interact with one another. I am particularly eager to apply NMR in tandem with other biophysical techniques to learn more about how proteins interact with nucleic acids.

B.S. Biochemistry, 2016, Miami University of Ohio



Antonia Duran

Ohio State Biochemistry Program, (email)

Describing the structural basis of protein-protein interactions provides valuable information for the development of therapeutic drugs. I am currently studying Brd4, a potential target for treating a variety of diseases, including cancer.

B.S. Biochemistry, 2017, University of New Mexico



Devante Potter

Lab Technician (email)

I enjoy the fluidity of mechanistic approaches to solving problems. As such, being able to work with Cre recombinase provides a great opportunity to do just that. As well as the opportunity to learn more about NMR!

B. S. Microbiology, 2018, OSU



Deepak Kumar Yadav

Postdoctoral Researcher (email)

Deciphering the molecular basis by which biological process are accomplished by biomacromolecules is a major aspect of biochemistry and biophysics research. My interests are to understand how the 3D dimensional structure and assemblies of biomacromolecules leads to their the function.

M.Sc. 2009, SLS DAVV Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
PhD 2013, Department of Biophysics, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
2013-2018, Postdoctoral Researcher, CEITEC, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic



Jen Tuokkola

OSU Biochemistry Student

Enthralled by the chance to learn new things and am constantly on a search for new knoI am interested in proteins and how they relate to both the causes and cures of disease. I am working with Brd4 and studying how its interactions with other proteins may play a valuable role in cancer therapies.

B.S. Biochemistry, 2020, Ohio State University





Haoyun Yang

OSU Chemistry Program

I am interested in the field of RNA biochemistry. It is fascinating how macromolecules like RNA can carry so many critical functions in any organisms. My goal is to study the dynamic nature of RNA by utilizing powerful tools such as NMR and SHAPE. Currently, I am working on understanding the dynamics of the Smk box riboswitch.

B.S. Biochemistry, 2017, Virginia Tech



Nicole Wagner

Ohio State Biochemistry Program, Email

I am interested in connections between macromolecular structure, dynamics, and function. Motivated by an interest in protein/DNA interactions, I am currently working to understand how the sequence-dependent dynamics at LoxP DNA sites may impact site selection and efficiency of the recombination reaction mediated by Cre.


B.S. Biochemistry, 2018, Edinboro University