Gaya K. Amarasinghe, PhD

Alumni Endowed Professor of Pathology and Immunology
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

 

Additional Titles

  • Professor, Molecular Microbiology

Education

  • BS, Biochemistry: City College of New York/CUNY, New York, NY (1997)
  • PhD, Biochemistry: University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD (2001)

Research Lab

Recognition

  • Phi Beta Kappa Award, Department of Chemistry, The City College of New York, New York, NY, 1995
  • Baskerville Memorial Award, Department of Chemistry, The City College of New York, New York, NY, 1996
  • Mildred Curtman Award for Excellence in Research, Department of Chemistry, The City College of New York, New York, NY, 1996
  • Chemistry Department Alumni Association Award, Department of Chemistry, The City College of New York, New York, NY, 1996
  • Young Scientist Travel Award (NIH 1R13CADE87730), XIX ICMRBS, Florence, Italy, 2000
  • Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2002
  • Early Achievement in Research Award, Iowa State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2010
  • New and Notable Speaker, Biophysical Society, 59th Annual Meeting, 2015

Research Interests

The overarching goal of my research program is to develop a mechanistic understanding of host-pathogen interactions with biological consequences to pathogenesis. These interactions promote host immune suppression and enhance pathogen replication in cell and tissue specific manner, but remain incompletely described. Results from these studies will inform on molecular mechanisms of action during infection as well as insights into potential therapeutic targets and mechanisms of action. We currently use biochemical and biophysical methods to identify and characterize components from hosts and pathogens in order to develop an atomic resolution framework. Importantly, these efforts also provide opportunities to mentor a range of trainees, including undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

DBBS Affiliation

Immunology Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology, Molecular Microbiology

Publications

Pub Med Search

Leung DW, Ginder ND, Fulton DB, Nix J, Basler CF, Honzatko RB, Amarasinghe GK. Structure of the Ebola VP35 interferon inhibitory domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2009; 106(2):411-416. PMCID: PMC2626716
Leung DW, Prins K, Borek DM, Farahbakhsh M, Tufariello JM, Ramanan P, Nix JC, Helgeson LA, Otwinowski Z, Honzatko RB, Basler CF, Amarasinghe GK: Structural basis for dsRNA recognition and interferon antagonism by Ebola VP35. Nat Struct Mol Biol 2010;17:165-172. PMCID: PMC2872155
Binning JM, Wang T, Luthra P, Shabman RS, Borek DM, Liu G, Xu W, Leung DW, Basler CF, Amarasinghe GK. Development of RNA aptamers targeting Ebola virus VP35. Biochemistry 2013; 52(47):8406-8419. PMCID: PMC3909728
Hyde JL, Gardner CL, Kimura T, White JP, Liu G, Trobaugh DW, Huang C, Tonelli M, Paessler S, Takeda K, Klimstra WB, Amarasinghe GK, Diamond MS. A viral RNA structural element alters host recognition of non-self RNA. Science 2014; 343(6172):783-787. PMCID: PMC4209899
Brown CS, Lee MS, Leung DW, Wang T, Xu W, Luthra P, Shabman RS, Melito LM, Millan KS, Borek DM, Otwinowski Z, Ramanana P, Stubbs AJ, Peterson DS, Binning JM, Olson MS, Ready JM, Basler CF, Amarasinghe GK. In silico derived small molecules bind the filovirus VP35 protein and inhibit its polymerase co-factor activity. J Mol Biol 2014; 426(10):2045-2058. PMCID: PMC4163021
Leung DW, Borek D, Luthra P, Binning JM, Anantpadma M, Liu G, Harvey IB, Su Z, Endlich-Frazier A, Pan J, Shabman RS, Chiu W, Davey RA, Otwinowski Z, Basler CF, Amarasinghe GK. An Intrinsically Disordered Peptide from Ebola Virus VP35 Controls Viral RNA Synthesis by Modulating Nucleoprotein-RNA Interactions. Cell Rep 2015; 11(3):376-389. PMCID: PMC4599368
Xu W, Luthra P, Wu C, Batra J Leung DW, Basler CF, Amarasinghe GK. Ebola virus VP30 and nucleoprotein interactions modulate viral RNA synthesis. Nat Commun 2017; 8:15576. PMCID: PMC5472179
Chatterjee S, Luthra P, Esaulova E, Agapov E, Yen BC, Borek DM, Edwards MR, Mittal A, Jordan DS, Ramanan P, Moore ML, Pappu RV, Holtzman MJ, Artyomov,M, Basler CF, Amarasinghe GK, Leung DW. Structural basis for human respiratory syncytial virus NS1-mediated modulation of host responses. Nat Microbiol 2017; 2:17101. PMCID: PMC5739881
Xu W, Luthra P, Wu C, Batra J, Leung DW, Basler DW, Amarasinghe GK. Ebola virus VP30 and nucleoprotein interactions modulate viral RNA synthesis. Nat Commun 2017; 8:15576. PMCID: PMC5472179
Su Z, Wu C, Shi L, Luthra P, Pintilie GD, Johnson B, Porter JR, Ge P, Chen M, Liu G, Frederick TE, Binning JM, Bowman GR, Zhou ZH, Basler CF, Gross ML, Leung DW, Chiu W, Amarasinghe GK. Electron cryo-microscopy structure of Ebola virus nucleoprotein reveals a mechanism for nucleocapsid-like assembly. Cell 2018; 172(5):966-978. PMCID: PMC5973842
Johnson B, VanBlargan LA, Xu W, White JP, Shan C, Shi PY, Zhang R, Adhikari J, Gross ML, Diamond MS, Amarasinghe GK. Human IFIT3 modulates IFIT1 RNA binding specificity and protein stability. Immunity 2018; 48(3):487-499. PMCID: PMC6251713

Assistant
Rachel Ridings
314-273-3048
rachelridings@wustl.edu

Lab phone: 314-286-0619
Office Location: CSRB, Room 7752A