College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
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Faculty Mentors:

Dr. Paul Weers (Chemistry & Biochemistry)


Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, Utrecht University, Netherlands (1994)

Post-doctoral training, Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Canada

Assistant Scientist, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, California

Research Interests:

My research aims to investigate apolipoprotein structure and function. Apolipoproteins (e.g. apoE, apoAI, and apoLp-III) play a critical role in lipid transport processes, and are associated with several types of disease such as arteriosclerosis. ApoLp-III, a small α-helical protein, is used as a model to study the structure-function relationship. It is a well characterized insect protein sharing a remarkable resemblance with human apoE. The protein exists in lipid-free and lipid-bound states, the latter being the biologically active form. To increase our understanding how apolipoproteins work, we aim to gain insight in their lipid binding properties employing a combination of molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics. This involves bacterial protein expression, site-directed mutagenesis, fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Recent studies showed a new role for apolipoproteins in innate immunity and we are currently investigating this novel function.

Office location:

MLSC 250


MLSC 244

Campus Phone:

(562) 985-4948