Brian F. Volkman, PhD
BS, Butler University, 1989
Dr. Volkman obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Physics from Butler University in 1989 and his Doctorate degree from The University of California at Berkeley. The latter was awarded in 1994 for structural studies on proteins involved in bacterial gene regulation using NMR spectroscopy. Dr. Volkman's postdoctoral training was in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2000, Dr. Volkman started at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he is Professor in the Biochemistry Department. Dr. Volkman's work focuses on the structural biology of immunological signaling molecules and the use of NMR spectroscopy in structural proteomics.
- Amino Acid Sequence
- Binding Sites
- Chemokine CCL21
- Chemokine CXCL12
- Chemokines, C
- Chemokines, CXC
- Computational Biology
- Crystallography, X-Ray
- Drug Design
Our goal is to invent new ways to treat cancer and other ailments by examining the three-dimensional architecture of proteins involved in disease and synthesizing new drug candidate molecules. This research links the expertise of chemists, structural biologists, and clinician-scientists who collaborate in the design and testing of potential therapies. Graduate students in my group have invented and patented new compounds that show promise as treatments for cancer and psoriasis. Your donation helps us accelerate the drug development process by paying for preclinical studies that most research grants simply won’t support - bridging the gap between our basic science discoveries and clinical trials.
We use NMR spectroscopy and many other techniques to (1) understand the transmission of biological signals in terms of molecular structure, recognition and dynamics and (2) exploit this knowledge for the design and discovery of new molecules with practical utility as research tools, bioactive nanomaterials, or new drugs.
Dynamics and folding. Protein function is exquisitely dependent on compactly folded structures that combine energetic stability with intrinsic flexibility. Our work has revealed surprising new examples of conformational variability and altered the established paradigm for protein folding to include the new category of ‘metamorphic’ proteins. We are now trying to define the thermodynamic and evolutionary origins of metamorphic folding using the divergence of human lymphotactin from the rest of the chemokine family as a prototypical example. Other projects analyze novel modes of conformational switching that control cell polarity and enzyme activity.
Molecular recognition. Biological signals are often controlled by promoting or disrupting the interaction between two proteins. Many chemokines have been directly implicated in human diseases. Compounds that block chemokine signaling might function as inhibitors of inflammation, cancer progression, viral infection or autoimmune disease. We recently used NMR to solve the structure of the first chemokine-receptor complex, and subsequently used the details of this interface to search for small molecule ligands that bind the chemokine and block its activity. A hybrid in silico/NMR approach to inhibitor screening is now being used to target multiple chemokines with the ultimate goal of drug discovery to treat metastatic cancer and psoriasis.
Back Row L. to R.: Chris Veldkamp, Francis Peterson, Rob Tyler, Anthony Getschman (hands), Austin Jiang,
Alex Chadwick, Davin Jensen, Dustin Whitney and Josh Weiner
Middle Row L. to R.: Chad Koplinski, Amanda Nevins
First Row L. to R.: Dr. Brian Volkman, Echo the dog, Jamie Wieting, Becky Holme
(Vaidya AS, Peterson FC, Eckhardt J, Xing Z, Park SY, Dejonghe W, Takeuchi J, Pri-Tal O, Faria J, Elzinga D, Volkman BF, Todoroki Y, Mosquna A, Okamoto M, Cutler SR.) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 21;118(38) PMID: 34531324 09/18/2021
(Gutjahr JC, Crawford KS, Jensen DR, Naik P, Peterson FC, Samson GPB, Legler DF, Duchene J, Veldkamp CT, Rot A, Volkman BF.) Sci Signal. 2021 Aug 17;14(696) PMID: 34404752 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85114418485 08/19/2021
(Eisa NH, Sudharsan PT, Herrero SM, Herberg SA, Volkman BF, Aguilar-Pérez A, Kondrikov D, Elmansi AM, Reitman C, Shi X, Fulzele S, McGee-Lawrence ME, Isales CM, Hamrick MW, Johnson MH, Chen J, Hill WD.) Bone. 2021 Aug 14;153:116154 PMID: 34403754 08/18/2021
(Rheinemann L, Thompson T, Mercenne G, Paine EL, Peterson FC, Volkman BF, Alam SL, Alian A, Sundquist WI.) J Biol Chem. 2021 Aug;297(2):100975 PMID: 34284061 PMCID: PMC8368996 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85112823120 07/21/2021
(Dishman AF, He J, Volkman BF, Huppler AR.) Pathogens. 2021 Jun 17;10(6) PMID: 34204234 PMCID: PMC8235156 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85108986032 07/03/2021
(Shi Z, Garcia-Melchor E, Wu X, Getschman AE, Nguyen M, Rowland DJ, Wilson M, Sunzini F, Akbar M, Huynh M, Law T, Kundu-Raychaudhuri SK, Raychaudhuri SP, Volkman BF, Millar NL, Hwang ST.) Arthritis Rheumatol. 2021 Jun 03 PMID: 34081845 06/04/2021
(Ren X, Getschman AE, Hwang S, Volkman BF, Klonisch T, Levin D, Zhao M, Santos S, Liu S, Cheng J, Lin F.) Lab Chip. 2021 04 20;21(8):1527-1539 PMID: 33616124 PMCID: PMC8058301 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85104501502 02/23/2021
(Parashar D, Geethadevi A, McAllister D, Ebben J, Peterson FC, Jensen DR, Bishop E, Pradeep S, Volkman BF, Dwinell MB, Chaluvally-Raghavan P, James MA.) NPJ Precis Oncol. 2021 Mar 02;5(1):16 PMID: 33654182 PMCID: PMC7925570 03/04/2021
(Chi YI, Stodola TJ, De Assuncao TM, Leverence EN, Tripathi S, Dsouza NR, Mathison AJ, Basel DG, Volkman BF, Smith BC, Lomberk G, Zimmermann MT, Urrutia R.) Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2021 02 05;16(1):66 PMID: 33546721 PMCID: PMC7866879 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85100579633 02/07/2021
(Dishman AF, Tyler RC, Fox JC, Kleist AB, Prehoda KE, Babu MM, Peterson FC, Volkman BF.) Science. 2021 01 01;371(6524):86-90 PMID: 33384377 PMCID: PMC8017559 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85099153095 01/02/2021
(Dishman AF, Peterson FC, Volkman BF.) Biopolymers. 2020 Sep 28:e23402 PMID: 32986858 PMCID: PMC8004533 09/29/2020
(Babu FS, Liang X, Enten GA, DeSantis AJ, Volkman BF, Gao X, Majetschak M.) Scientific Reports. 1 December 2020;10(1) SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85087690704 12/01/2020