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Acacia Dishman, Biochemistry and MSTP Student, Wins Paper of the Season Award

Acacia DishmanAcacia Dishman, fourth-year PhD candidate and Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) student in the Department of Biochemistry, won the spring Paper of the Season Award from the MCW Graduate School for her paper, Evolution of fold switching in a metamorphic protein.

Metamorphic proteins switch between different folds, defying the protein folding paradigm. It is unclear how fold switching arises during evolution. Dishman and the team used ancestral reconstruction and nuclear magnetic resonance to study the evolution of the metamorphic human protein XCL1, which has two distinct folds with different functions, making it an unusual member of the chemokine family. The discoveries of this project illuminate how one sequence has evolved to encode multiple structures, revealing principles for protein design and engineering.

This award program grants four awards per year - one during each season.