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Daniela Fera

Assistant Professor

Biochemistry

Contact

  1. Email:dfera1@swarthmore.edu
  2. Phone: (610) 690-3308
  3. Science Center 290
Daniela Fera, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry,  Swarthmore College

Education

B.A., Chemistry (Honors) and Mathematics, New York University

Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Molecular Medicine,
Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Teaching

CHEM 048: Biological Chemistry II

CHEM 058: Advanced Experimental Biological Chemistry

CHEM 094: Research Project

CHEM 118: Special Topics in Biochemistry and Its Applications

 

Research

Research in the Fera lab focuses on understanding the development of antibodies against viruses. Antibodies play an important role in the immune system by identifying and fighting off such pathogens and preventing infectivity. Sometimes, however, deregulated pathways can result in antibodies that target a host’s own tissues, resulting in disease. Protein kinases, which act as molecular on/off switches in the cell, are important for generating the correct responses when faced with a pathogen. Thus, the long-term goal of our research is to merge biochemical studies and three-dimensional structures to create models for guiding the development of vaccines and therapies. Towards this goal, students will employ a variety of biochemical techniques, including X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, to investigate these molecules and their complexes.

Recent Publications (undergraduate students are underlined)

Finkelstein*, M.TMermelstein*, A.G.Parker Miller, E.Seth, P.C.Stancofski, E.D., and Fera, D. (2021) Structural Analysis of Neutralizing Epitopes of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike to Guide Therapy and Vaccine Design Strategies. Viruses. 13(1), 134; DOI: 10.3390/v13010134 

Nguyen, D.Lin, YZhou, J.O.Kibby, E.Sia, T.Tillis, T.Vapuryan, N.Xu, M.R.Potluri, R.Shin, Y.J.Erler, E.Bronkema, N.Boehlmer, D.Chung, C., Burkhard, C., Zeng, S.H., Grasso, M., Acevedo, L.A., Marmorstein, R., and Fera, D. (2020) Identification and Characterization of a Critical Alpha Helix in B-Raf Kinase Critical for the Activity of MEK Kinase in MAPK Signaling. Biochemistry. 59, 4755-4765; 
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.0c00598

Zhou, J.O.Zaidi, H.A.Ton, T.,  and Fera, D.  (2020) The effects of framework mutations at the variable domain interface on antibody affinity maturation in an HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibody lineage. Frontiers in Immunology. 11:1529.
       DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01529

Bajic, G., Maron, M., Caradonna, T., Tian, M., Mermelstein, A.Fera, D., Kelsoe, G., Kuraoka, M, Schmidt, A. (2020) Structure-guided molecular grafting of a complex broadly neutralizing viral epitope. ACS Infect Dis. 6(5):1182-1191. DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00008.

Zhou, J.O.Ton, T.Morriss, J.W.Nguyen, D.Fera, D.,  (2018) Structural Insights from HIV-Antibody Co-Evolution and Related Immunization Studies. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses34(9):760-768. DOI: 10.1089/AID.2018.0097.

Fera, D., Lee, M.S., Wiehe, K., Meyerhoff, R.R., Piai, A., Bonsignori, M., Aussedat, B.,Walkowicz, W.E., Ton, T., Zhou, J.O., Danishefsky, S., Haynes, B.F., and Harrison, S.C. (2018) HIV Envelope V3 Region Mimic Embodies Key Features of a Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Lineage Epitope. Nature Communications. 9(1111). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03565-6