Nikolay V. Dokholyan

Nikolay V. Dokholyan, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. The Dokholyan Group focuses on understanding etiologies of human diseases, such as cystic fibrosis (CF), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and pain conditions, such as hyperalgesia.

Nikolay V. Dokholyan

UNC-Chapel Hill
Molecular Therapeutics

Genetics Medicine

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Area of interest

The mission of my laboratory is to develop and apply integrated computational and experimental strategies to understand, sense, and control proteins, and uncover the etiologies of human diseases. In collaboration with Prof. Hahn laboratory, we are working toward developing genetically-encoded proteins that bind and report rare/intermediate conformations of target molecules (proteins and RNA). We currently have prototypes for Erk and Src biosensors, but aim to generalize this approach to a diverse range of targets.

We are also working toward developing genetically-encoded proteins that control target proteins with light and/or drugs. We have developed novel approach for drug activation/deactivation of kinases, and light-activatable protein to manipulate protein function with light. We are working toward extending these approaches to other classes of proteins and on multiplexing, whereby we selectively activate/control several distinct cellular pathways via targeting several proteins simultaneously.

We have also developed an accurate computational drug screening platform MedusaDock that is capable of identifying small molecules that bind to a specific target. Using MedusaDock we have already identified active compounds for two targets and we plan to use it for cancer relevant targets.

Awards and Honors

2011-present      Book Series Editor, Series in Computational Biophysics

2011    Editor-in-Chief, Research and Reports in Biochemistry

2004-2006       March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award

2004    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill IBM Junior Faculty Development Award

2003    Recipient of a UNC Research Council Award

1999-2002       NIH postdoctoral fellowship

1998-1999       NIH Molecular Biophysics Predoctoral Traineeship

1995,1998,2001          NSF Young Scientist Travel Award

1994    "Red Diploma" (equivalent to summa cum laude in Former USSR)

1990-1994       Recipient of Honorary Stipend, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

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