Welcome to the Smith Lab at UMBC!

We are an interdisciplinary group of chemists, biochemists, structural biologists, and spectroscopists studying the structure-function relationship of metalloproteins. Specifically, we are interested in how metalloproteins are involved in such crucial biological processes as protein translation, peptide posttranslational modification, nutrient uptake, and protein regulation. Members of the Smith lab have the opportunity to learn a wide array of techniques from molecular biology and protein expression and purification (both soluble and membrane), to structural biology, spectroscopy, and anaerobic techniques. We welcome chemists, biochemists, and molecular biologists alike who are interested in understanding the role of inorganic elements in biological settings!

We're looking for a new postdoctoral research associate! Please see our ad here:

"The UMBC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has a postdoctoral position available in the laboratory of Prof. Aaron T. Smith (https://sites.google.com/a/umbc.edu/smithlab/home). The successful candidate for this position will focus on studying the structural and molecular underpinnings of pathogenic iron acquisition accomplished by bacterial soluble and membrane proteins. Candidates should have a strong background in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and protein expression and purification. Prior research experience in X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, and/or membrane proteins is desirable but not required. Candidates should also have strong communication skills, the ability to conduct research, to prepare manuscripts and presentations independently, and the ability and willingness to work with graduate and undergraduate students in the laboratory. Interested applicants who have (or are anticipated to have) a PhD in biochemistry, chemistry, biophysics or a closely related discipline should send a short cover letter describing their research interests and motivation for joining the lab, Curriculum vitae, and contact information of three referees to Dr. Aaron T. Smith (smitha@umbc.edu). Review of application materials will begin July 01, 2022. The position will remain open until filled.

UMBC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Applications from women, minorities, Veterans, individuals with disabilities and other traditionally under-represented groups in the sciences are especially encouraged."

We're also looking for a research technician! Please see the info here:

"The UMBC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has a lab technician position available in the laboratory of Prof. Aaron T. Smith (https://sites.google.com/a/umbc.edu/smithlab/home)! Applicants with a relevant B.A./B.S. in Chemistry/Biochemistry/Molecular Biology or related should e-mail Dr. Smith directly."

The group (above, September 2022)

Our Group Is Ironclad!

Latest Lab News

Novemeber 2022

Congrats to Dr. Verna Van, the second Ph.D. awardee from the lab! We are so proud of you!

Misti Cartwright passed her candidacy exam and is now a Ph.D. candidate. WAY TO GO!

October 2022

Welcome to the newest Smith lab member Candice Armstrong!

The lab also welcomes rotating graduate studen Rajat Kumar Jha!

September 2022

Verna's paper on the structure of ATE1 was just accepted in J. Mol. Biol. Congrats! Read the paper here.

Misti and Verna's paper on recombinant preparation of ATE1 was accepted in Methods Enzymol. Great job! Read the paper here.

The lab welcomes rotating graduate student Candice Armstrong!

August 2022

Alexander passed his candidacy exam and was awarded an HHMI Gilliam Fellowship! WAY TO GO!!

July 2022

Verna's paper on the structure of an ATE1 was deposited in bioRxiv! Read the pre-print here.

Janae and Mark's paper on the structure of VcFeoC and its binding to VcFeoB was just puplished in J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. Congrats! Read the paper here.

May 2022

Alex and Sean's paper on the preparation and biophysical characterization of FeoB was just accepted in BBA-Biomembranes! Congrats! Read the paper here.

The lab is both elated and sad to say good-bye to graduating memebers Dr. Alex Sestok and Nna-Emeka Ejimogu! You will both be missed, but we cannot wait to see everything you accomplish at the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy and the MD/PhD program at Johns Hopkins!

The lab is overjoyed to welcome its newest (and youngest!) lab member: Jonah Michael Brown! Congratulations Prof. Janae and Dr. Brown!!

April 2022

Verna received the Margaret E. Setter student award from the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) and will present in the "hot structures" category at the 72nd annual ACA meeting in Portland, Oregon. We are so proud!!

Emeka received the UMBC Faculty Award for Excellence in Biochemistry from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Way to go!

Aaron returned to Boston University to give a talk in the Chemistry Department at BU.

Congratulations to Dr. Alex Sestok, the first Ph.D. awardee from the lab!

Graduate student Alexander Paredes was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! CONGRATULATIONS!!

Verna and Mark presented at Experimental Biology (EB)/ASBMB 2022. Way to go!

Aaron gave a presentation on post-translational arginylation at EB 2022!

Verna, Mark, Misti, and Alexander all attended EB 2022, and the duck will not be forgotten!

March 2022

Congratulations to Noah and Chioma for being accepted to UMBC's U-Rise program! WAY TO GO!

Alex, Janae, and Sean's paper in collaboration with the Deredge and Garcin labs was just accepted for publication in J. Biol. Chem. Read it here. Congrats all!

Alexander, Mark, Misti, and Verna all participated in the 5th-annual Graduate Research Day!

Alexander was awarded a TA award at the 5th annual Graduate Research Day!

February 2022

Janae and Mark's pre-print describing the structure VcFeoC and its interaction with VcFeoB is now online at bioRxiv! Read the pre-print here!

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