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Liliya Yatsunyk

Department Overview

Our laboratory focuses on non-canonical DNA structures, G-quadruplexes, i-motifs, and tandem repeats. Such sequences are found at telomeres and oncogene promoters, among other regions. Small molecule ligands strongly affect fold and stability of non-canonical DNA and may act as anticancer therapeutics. We strive to determine the structural details of DNA and DNA-ligand complexes and understand the reasons behind structural diversity of DNA. Our favorite techniques include X-ray crystallography, UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopies, circular dichroism (CD), fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), gel electrophoresis, and synthetic work.   

If you are interested in working in the Yatsunyk lab:

  • send Liliya an email at lyatsun1 

  • stop by her office in SC 286 or the lab SC 285

Lab News 2021

Charlotte Pohl, Kevin Li, Erin Chen, Sara Yun, and David Ye presented at the Sigma Xi poster session at Swarthmore on September 30th and October 1st.

Dana Bessio and Liliya Yatsunyk presented talks at the International Conference on Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, ICPP-11, which was run virtually from June 28th to July 3rd.

The lab welcomes Kailey Martin, our new research assistant, and Shawn Pfeil, an associate Professor of Physics at West Chester University.

Six students (Kevin Li, Charlotte Pohl, Zahara Martinez, Tamanaa Atrafi, Sara Yun, and David Ye) conducted research in person in the Yatlab over the summer. We have managed to solve the phase probelm for iHRAS and THM-RHPS4 projects and collect 2.3 A data for Oligo10-NMM project.

Liliya, Erin, and Kevin gave talks at the ACS Spring 2021 Virtual Meeting and Exposition. Liliya presented "Structure of T. thermophila telomeric DNA alone and with N-methylmesoporphyrin IX, NMM" on April 5th, Erin presented "Elucidating the structure of a four-repeat Satellite III DNA sequence” on April 7th, and Kevin presented "Water networks in G-quadruplexes" on April 14th. 

Dana gave a poster presentation at the meeting, "Biophysical and structural characterization of Tetrahymena thermophila G-Quadruplexes alone and in complex with N-methyl mesoporphyrin IX."

The lab welcomed in the spring new students: Charlotte Pohl, Sara Yun, Tamanaa Atrafi, David Ye, and Zahara Martinez.

Access our News Archives...

Enjoying beautiful weather and roses

Enjoying beautiful weather and roses: Tamanaa Atrafi '23, David Ye '23, Charlotte Pohl '21, Professor Yatsunyk, Zahara Martinez '23, Sara Yun '23, Kevin Li '22

Yatsunyk lab pizza lunch

Group members enjoy a delicious pizza lunch at Rinaldo's in the Ville: Kevin Li, Dana Bessio, Charlotte Pohl

Yatsunyk lab members cook breakfast

Lab members gather to cook breakfast together: Zahara Martinez '23, Kevin Li '22, Tamanaa Atrafi '23, Sara Yun, '23, David Ye '23, Professor Yatsunyk, Kailey Martin 

Yatsunyk Lab members hold up painting of DNA crystals

Yatsunyk Lab relax with a fun day of crystal painting: Kevin Li '22, David Ye, '23, Zahara Martinez '23, Sara Yun '23, Tamanaa Atrafi '23, Professor Yatsunyk

Lab members enjoy bonfire with Professor Yatsunyk

Lab members enjoy a bonfire: Kevin Li '22, Tamanaa Atrafi '23, David Ye '23, Sara Yun '23, Zahara Martinez '23, Charlotte Pohl '21

Enjoying beautiful weather and roses: Tamanaa Atrafi '23, David Ye '23, Charlotte Pohl '21, Professor Yatsunyk, Zahara Martinez '23, Sara Yun '23, Kevin Li '22

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