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  • Nicholas E. Burgis, PhD
    Nicholas E. Burgis, PhD
    Associate Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 204A
    Phone: 509.359.7901
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Dr. Burgis was trained in the fields of DNA repair and toxicology.  He earned his Ph.D. from The University at Albany, S.U.N.Y. and his post-doctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current research interests focus on understanding the mechanisms of nucleotide metabolism, toxicology and chemoresistance using biochemical techniques.  His lab is currently investigating the mechanism of substrate specificity and catalysis of ITPase; a key enzyme important for the exclusion of noncanonical purines from nucleic acid precursor pools.  By studying the human ITPase, and orthologs in other organisms, his lab aims to contribute to the fields of cardiovascular development, purine metabolism, cancer development, drug metabolism and bioterrorism. Additional projects aim to understand links between DNA damage and protein metabolism.  Techniques used in this research program include molecular cloning, protein purification, biochemical assays (including enzyme kinetics) drug sensitivity assays and the use of tissue culture.  Dr. Burgis' research program is supported by external grants from the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society.  He is currently serves on the American Chemical Society Biochemistry Examination Committee and is Editor-In-Chief of the Open-Access Journal of Bioterrorism and Biodefense.

     

    Selected publications:

    Gall, A.D., Gall, A, Heid, S. Mori, A., Aune, M., Moore, A.C., and Burgis, N.E.  (2013) Analysis of human ITPase nucleobase specificity by site-directed mutagenesis. Biochimie 95(9): 1711-1721.  

    Sipes, R.K., Xue, X., Lewis, B.S., and Burgis, N.E. (2012) Evidence that aberrant protein metabolism contributes to chemoresistance in multiple myeloma cells.  Oncology Reports 27(6): 2031-2038. 

    Pang, B., McFaline, J.L., Burgis, N.E., Dong, M., Taghizadeh, K., Sullivan, M.R., Elmquist, C.E., Cunningham, R.P., Dedon, P.C. (2012) Defects in purine nucleotide metabolism lead to substantial incorporation of xanthine and hypoxanthine into DNA and RNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(7):2319-24.  

    Herting, G., Barber, K., Zappala, M.R., Cunningham R.P. and  Burgis, N.E. (2010) Quantitative in vitro and in vivo characterization of the human P32T mutant ITPase. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta- Molecular Basis for Disease 1802(2): 269-274.   

    Burgis, N.E. and Samson, L. D. (2007) The protein degradation response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to classical DNA-damaging agents. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 20(12): 1843-1853.   

    Burgis, N.E. and Cunningham, R.P. (2007) Substrate specificity of the RdgB protein, a deoxyribonucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 282(6): 3531-8.   

    Burgis, N.E., Brucker, J.J. and Cunningham, R.P. (2003) Repair system for noncanonical purines in Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology, 185(10):3101-10.

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