Heather Pinkett Associate Professor

Research Summary:

The Pinkett Lab is interested in how nutrients, antibiotics and chemotherapeutics are transported into or out of the cell.  We focus on ABC transporters, proteins that use ATP hydrolysis to shuttle substrates across cellular membranes. Current projects include 1) deciphering how individual components of a transporter coordinate to allow for substrate uptake and 2) determining the mechanism in which transporters recognize a wide variety of compounds with implications for understanding viability, host-pathogen interactions and multidrug resistance.

Selected Publications:

Selective substrate uptake: The role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) importers in pathogenesis. Tanaka, K.J., Song, S., Mason, K., Pinkett, H.W. (2017). Biochim Biophys Acta. 25.

Diversity in ABC Transporters: Type I, II and III ImportersRice, A.J., Park, A., and Pinkett, H.W. (2014). Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 49(5):426-37

Effects of lipid environment on the conformational changes of an ABC importer. Rice A.J., Alvarez F.J., Davidson A.L., Pinkett H.W. (2014). Channels. 22;8(4).

Small substrate transport and mechanism of a molybdate ATP binding cassette transporter in a lipid environment. Rice A.J., Alvarez F.J., Davidson A.L., Pinkett H.W. (2014). Journal of Biological Chemistry 289(21):15005-13.

EPR Spectroscopy of MolB2C2-A Reveals Mechanism of Transport for a Bacterial Type II Molybdate Importer. Rice AJ, Alvarez FJD, Schultz KM, Klug CS, Davidson AL, and Pinkett HW. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2013 July 19;288(29):21228-21235.

Classification of a Haemophilus influenzae ABC Transporter HI1470/71 through Its Cognate Molybdate Periplasmic Binding Protein, MolA. Tirado-Lee L, Lee A, Rees DC, and Pinkett HW. Structure. 2011 November 9;19(11):1701-1710.

An Inward-Facing Conformation of a Putative Metal-Chelate-Type ABC Transporter. Pinkett HW, Lee AT, Lum P, Locher KP, and Rees DC. Science. 2007 January 19;315(5810):373-377.

Selected Honors:

Pew Biomedical Scholar

Searle Center Junior Teaching Fellow, Northwestern University

UNCF Merck Postdoctoral Fellow

James Irving Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar