Brenda A. Schulman

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry


Primary Section: 21, Biochemistry
Membership Type: Member (elected 2014)

Biosketch

Schulman did PhD studies with Peter Kim at MIT and postdocs at MGH Cancer Center (with Harlow) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering (with Pavletich).  2001, she joined the faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where she retains an adjunct faculty position.  She was an HHMI Investigator at St. Jude until 2017, when she moved to the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry where she a Director.  Schulman has been recognized by awards including the Leibniz Prize and Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, EMBO, and Leopoldina.

Research Interests

Brenda Schulman's lab studies how proteins and lipids are regulated by becoming covalently linked to the small protein ubiquitin or to structurally related ubiquitin-like proteins (UBLs).  This is a widespread mechanism controlling timing, subcellular location, assembly, conformation, and activity of thousands of different human proteins and macromolecules.  Defects in ubiquitin and UBL pathways have been associated with numerous diseases, including cancers, neurodegenerative disorders, and viral infections.  Thus, understanding mechanisms underlying regulation by ubiquitin and UBLs is of broad importance for understanding signaling pathways and targeting them in diseases.  The Schulman lab attacks this problem by integrating top-down and bottom-up mechanistic approaches incorporating cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, chemistry, and structural biology.  Schulman is recognized for illuminating the mechanisms of ubiquitin and UBL ligation, and for distinctive biochemical approaches to identify novel in vivo regulatory pathways.

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