U1-Research 2F Microscope Lab-Grad-hero
Alex Garces_Academic Profile

Alex Garces

Graduate Student


  • Biophysics

Contact Information


Mentor: Michael Lerch, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2019
Previous Education: BS, Physics, Marquette University, 2018

Research Interests

The Lerch Lab studies the molecular mechanisms of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling, with a long-term goal of improving structure-based drug discovery. In my projects, I focus on two post-translational modifications of the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR), palmitoylation and glycosylation. This receptor regulates cardiovascular function and is an important drug target for a variety of diseases including asthma and heart failure. I am interested in the effect of palmitoylation and glycosylation on the structure and dynamics of β2AR, which I study using a combination of techniques including variable-pressure continuous-wave and pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), mass spectrometry, and functional assays. Additionally, I am interested in developing methods for modeling protein structure and technology to increase throughput for EPR experiments used in our lab and others.


Cheng G, Zielonka M, Dranka B, Kumar SN, Myers CR, Bennett B, Garces AM, Dias Duarte Machado LG, Thiebaut D, Ouari O, Hardy M, Zielonka J, Kalyanaraman B. (2018). Detection of mitochondria-generated reactive oxygen species in cells using multiple probes and methods: Potentials, pitfalls, and the future. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(26):10363–80. doi: 10.1074/jbc.ra118.003044

Siebers EM, Choi MJ, Tinklenberg JA, Beatka MJ, Ayres S, Meng H, Helbling DC, Takizawa A, Bennett B, Garces AM, Dias Duarte Machado L, Dimmock D, Dwinell MR, Geurts AM, Lawlor MW. (2018). Sdha /- rats display minimal muscle pathology without significant behavioral or biochemical abnormalities. Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, 77(8):665–72. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nly042