Current Members

Mohammad Zuhaib Qayyum

Postdoctoral Scholar

Mohammad Zuhaib Qayyum is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his PhD in biochemistry from Manipal University (supervisor: Dr. Ranjan Sen) while working at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in India. For his thesis work, Zuhaib investigated the in-vitro and in-vivo requirements, and the subsequent regulation of Rho-dependent transcription termination in bacteria. He also investigated the role of transcription elongation factor NusA in Rho-dependent termination. Using biochemical assays to monitor the stability of ECs with different NusA mutants, he proposed that NusA serves as a general antagonist of Rho. He then joined as a postdoc at Penn State University in 2016 (supervisors: Prof. Katsuhiko S. Murakami), and is currently pursuing the structure determination of bacterial and archaeal transcription complexes using X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy.

Manju Narwal

Manju Narwal

Postdoctoral Scholar

Manju Narwal is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Penn State University. She has done her doctorate in Structural virology (Supervisor: Dr. Shailly Tomar) from the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. Her research was mainly focussed on the structural and functional studies of the replication enzymes of the Alphavirus members. She investigated the structural aspects of non structural protease (esp. from Chikunugyna Virus) which are the main contributors in the specificity driven cleavage of its substrate sites. In addition, she has used the structural information to identify inhibitory molecules and studied their effects through biochemical activity assays. She has spend some time as DST N-PDF fellow in the lab of Dr. Manidipa Banerjee (KSBS, IIT Delhi). The research at KSBS was focused on the understanding of the mechanism of HAV 3C protease on the innate immunity factors NfκB through the use of structural techniques X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM. Presently in the lab of Prof. Katsuhiko Murakami, she is working on structural determination of bacterial RNA polymerase complexes using cryo-electron microscopy.

Catherine Sutherland

BMMB Graduate Student

Catherine Sutherland is a PhD student from Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology program at Pennsylvania State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY (Mentor: Dr. Gaia Bistulfi). She joined the Murakami lab in January 2016 and is currently studying rifampicin resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis RNA polymerase and the compensatory mutations that decrease the fitness cost of resistance.

Yeonoh Shin

BMMB Graduate Student

Yeonoh Shin is a Ph.D. student in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.S. degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences and M.S. degree in Biomedical Sciences from Thomas Jefferson University. He joined Dr. Murakami’s lab at 2015, and currently he is studying the mechanism of reiterative transcription using biochemical and structural approaches.

Asvini Krishnaprakash

Biotechnology Undergraduate Student

Asvini Krishnaprakash is an Undergraduate Freshman majoring in Biotechnology at Penn Sate University. She joined Dr. Murakami’s Lab in Spring 2018 and is working with graduate student Catherine Sutherland on rifampicin resistant M. tuberculosis RNA polymerase and its mutations. Asvini also takes great interest in dancing, listening to music and traveling.