R. Andrew  Byrd, Ph.D.
R. Andrew Byrd, Ph.D.
Chief
Senior Investigator
Head, Macromolecular NMR Section

Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute

Building 538, Room 120
Frederick, MD 21702-1201
301-846-1407

Dr. Byrd has been prominent in developing NMR-based structural biology for the study of proteins, nucleic acids, polysaccharides, and protein complexes. Current research focuses on deciphering allosteric mechanisms in the ubiquitination pathway regulating protein degradation/homeostatis and the roles of ADP ribosylation factors and GTPase activating proteins in regulating membrane trafficking.

As Chief of the Structural Biophysics Laboratory and Head of the Macromolecular NMR Section, Dr. Byrd contributes to the development and impact of structural biology within the CCR and oversees an active, multidisciplinary research effort utilizing biophysics and NMR spectroscopy to provide mechanistic understanding of complex biological processes

Areas of Expertise
1) NMR 2) structural biology 3) biophysics 4) ubiquitination

The Structural Biophysics Laboratory (SBL) focuses on solution structural biology and biophysics aimed at understanding and regulating the mechanism of action of proteins and nucleic acids. The major structural tool for the SBL is nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and the Laboratory has a very strong interdisciplinary approach to understanding biochemical and biological mechanisms. Technologies incorporated in the research program include solution X-ray scattering, fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, calorimetry and novel binding methodologies including SPR and microscale thermophoresis. Research in the Byrd laboratory (Macromolecular NMR Section) focuses on protein-protein interactions in the ubiquitin-proteasome regulation pathway and the area of ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) family of GTP-binding proteins and their regulators, the Arf GTPase-activating proteins (Arf GAPs). We seek to provide detailed structural and mechanistic insight, which we combine with collaborations in molecular and cell biology to inform and modulate biological function

Scientific Focus Areas:
Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Structural Biology
Selected Key Publications
  1. Das R, Mariano J, Tsai YC, Kalathur RC, Kostova Z, Li J, Tarasov SG, McFeeters RL, Altieri AS, Ji X, Byrd RA, Weissman AM.
    Mol. Cell. 34: 674-85, 2009. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Das R, Liang YH, Mariano J, Li J, Huang T, King A, Tarasov SG, Weissman AM, Ji X, Byrd RA.
    EMBO J. 32: 2504-16, 2013. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Cecchi F, Pajalunga D, Fowler CA, Uren A, Rabe DC, Peruzzi B, Macdonald NJ, Blackman DK, Stahl SJ, Byrd RA, Bottaro DP.
    Cancer Cell. 22: 250-62, 2012. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Gaponenko V, Sarma SP, Altieri AS, Horita DA, Li J, Byrd RA.
    J. Biomol. NMR. 28: 205-12, 2004. [ Journal Article ]
  5. An NMR experiment for measuring methyl-methyl NOEs in 13C-labeled proteins with high resolution.
    Zwahlen C, Gardner KH, Sarma SP, Horita DA, Byrd RA, Kay LE.
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 120: 7617-25, 1998. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Byrd received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1977, specializing in high-resolution biomolecular NMR. He was a postdoctoral fellow and subsequently a research officer in the Molecular Biophysics Laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada, where he investigated biological membranes by solid-state NMR. Following a period as a senior investigator at the Center for Drugs and Biologics/FDA, he established the Macromolecular NMR Section of the ABL-Basic Research Program at the NCI-Frederick in 1992. He chaired the Experimental NMR Conference in 1992 and co-chaired the International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems in 1996. Dr. Byrd has been the Chief of the Structural Biophysics Laboratory in the Center for Cancer Research, NCI since 1999. He has served on multiple drug discovery panels for NCI and served as the Director of the Molecular Discovery Program from 2009-2011.

Name Position
Fa-An Chao Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Michelle Gill Research Fellow
Jess Li Research Biologist
Yifei Li Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Eric Shon Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Summary

Dr. Byrd has been prominent in developing NMR-based structural biology for the study of proteins, nucleic acids, polysaccharides, and protein complexes. Current research focuses on deciphering allosteric mechanisms in the ubiquitination pathway regulating protein degradation/homeostatis and the roles of ADP ribosylation factors and GTPase activating proteins in regulating membrane trafficking.

As Chief of the Structural Biophysics Laboratory and Head of the Macromolecular NMR Section, Dr. Byrd contributes to the development and impact of structural biology within the CCR and oversees an active, multidisciplinary research effort utilizing biophysics and NMR spectroscopy to provide mechanistic understanding of complex biological processes

Areas of Expertise
1) NMR 2) structural biology 3) biophysics 4) ubiquitination

Research

The Structural Biophysics Laboratory (SBL) focuses on solution structural biology and biophysics aimed at understanding and regulating the mechanism of action of proteins and nucleic acids. The major structural tool for the SBL is nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and the Laboratory has a very strong interdisciplinary approach to understanding biochemical and biological mechanisms. Technologies incorporated in the research program include solution X-ray scattering, fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, calorimetry and novel binding methodologies including SPR and microscale thermophoresis. Research in the Byrd laboratory (Macromolecular NMR Section) focuses on protein-protein interactions in the ubiquitin-proteasome regulation pathway and the area of ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) family of GTP-binding proteins and their regulators, the Arf GTPase-activating proteins (Arf GAPs). We seek to provide detailed structural and mechanistic insight, which we combine with collaborations in molecular and cell biology to inform and modulate biological function

Scientific Focus Areas:
Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Structural Biology

Publications

Selected Key Publications
  1. Das R, Mariano J, Tsai YC, Kalathur RC, Kostova Z, Li J, Tarasov SG, McFeeters RL, Altieri AS, Ji X, Byrd RA, Weissman AM.
    Mol. Cell. 34: 674-85, 2009. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Das R, Liang YH, Mariano J, Li J, Huang T, King A, Tarasov SG, Weissman AM, Ji X, Byrd RA.
    EMBO J. 32: 2504-16, 2013. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Cecchi F, Pajalunga D, Fowler CA, Uren A, Rabe DC, Peruzzi B, Macdonald NJ, Blackman DK, Stahl SJ, Byrd RA, Bottaro DP.
    Cancer Cell. 22: 250-62, 2012. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Gaponenko V, Sarma SP, Altieri AS, Horita DA, Li J, Byrd RA.
    J. Biomol. NMR. 28: 205-12, 2004. [ Journal Article ]
  5. An NMR experiment for measuring methyl-methyl NOEs in 13C-labeled proteins with high resolution.
    Zwahlen C, Gardner KH, Sarma SP, Horita DA, Byrd RA, Kay LE.
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 120: 7617-25, 1998. [ Journal Article ]

Biography

Dr. Byrd received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1977, specializing in high-resolution biomolecular NMR. He was a postdoctoral fellow and subsequently a research officer in the Molecular Biophysics Laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada, where he investigated biological membranes by solid-state NMR. Following a period as a senior investigator at the Center for Drugs and Biologics/FDA, he established the Macromolecular NMR Section of the ABL-Basic Research Program at the NCI-Frederick in 1992. He chaired the Experimental NMR Conference in 1992 and co-chaired the International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems in 1996. Dr. Byrd has been the Chief of the Structural Biophysics Laboratory in the Center for Cancer Research, NCI since 1999. He has served on multiple drug discovery panels for NCI and served as the Director of the Molecular Discovery Program from 2009-2011.

Team

Name Position
Fa-An Chao Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Michelle Gill Research Fellow
Jess Li Research Biologist
Yifei Li Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Eric Shon Postbaccalaureate Fellow