Seminar Series: Friday, January 20, 2017 at 11:00 A.M.

JSNN Seminar Series

Title: “Toward a Systems-Level Understanding of Crosstalk between Phosphorylation- and Redox-dependent Signaling.”

Speaker: Robert Newman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Toxicology

Date and Time: Friday, 1/20/2017, 11:00 A.M.
Location: JSNN Auditorium

2907 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, NC 27401


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are emerging as critical second messengers in many signaling pathways related to health and disease. While much progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms by which ROS levels are regulated inside cells, less is known about the molecular signaling events that occur downstream of ROS. Protein phosphatases are perhaps the best-characterized ROS effectors, suggesting that crosstalk readily occurs between ROS- and phosphorylation-dependent pathways. This notion is further supported by recent studies demonstrating that several protein kinases are also directly regulated by ROS modification. However, unlike phosphatases, whose activity is almost universally inhibited by oxidation, the effect of oxidation on kinase function is more idiosyncratic, with both oxidation-induced activation and inactivation being reported (sometimes for the same kinase). We hypothesize that oxidation leads to differential phosphorylation of proteins and may even shift the substrate preference of a given kinase such that distinct sets of substrates are targeted by the oxidized and reduced forms of the kinase. To answer this question, we are using functional protein microarrays to examine the global substrate selection of several kinase family members under oxidized and reduced states. Importantly, in many cases, the redox sensitive Cys in the affected kinases is conserved among other members in the same kinase family. This raises the possibility that reversible oxidation may be a general means of regulating kinase function inside cells.


Dr. Newman is an Assistant Professor of Toxicology at North Carolina A & T State University.  He received his B.A. in Biochemistry and Biology from McDaniel College in 1999 before receiving his Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from John Hopkins University School of Public Health in 2006.  Before joining the NC A&T faculty Dr. Newman was a Post-Doctoral fellow in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Dr. Newman’s research is centered on understanding how cellular signaling networks are altered in disease states such as diabetes, cancer and various immune disorders. To accomplish this, his lab utilizes proteomics approaches and novel fluorescent-based technologies to study the organization and regulation of cellular signal transduction pathways. Since joining the faculty at NC A&T in 2012, Dr. Newman has published nine peer-reviewed articles, obtained multiple grants and is the 2016 Outstanding Young Investigator and Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award’s winner. He is also the co-editor of Fluorescent Protein-Based Biosensors: Methods and Protocols and the organizer of the National and North Carolina Build-A-Genome Network Workshops. His work has been cited over 400 times with eight high index publications and thus far he has contributed to one patent.