Marcy Hernick, PhD, NIH
Department of Biochemistry
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA
Dr. Marcy Hernick is currently an Assistant Professor in the Biochemistry Department at Virginia Tech. Dr. Hernick received her B.S. in Pharmacy from Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, NY in 1998. She earned her Ph. D in Medicinal Chemistry from Purdue University, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 2002 for her work on the design, synthesis, mechanisms of activation and biological activity of indoloquinone phosphoramidate prodrugs. Dr. Hernick completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Michigan Chemistry Department, where she studied the enzyme mechanism and molecular recognition properties of the metalloenzyme LpxC deacetylase. Dr. Hernick assumed her current position at Virginia Tech in 2007 where her research is focused on inositol metabolism in Mycobacterium species.
My research is focused on inositol metabolism. Specifically, the work in my laboratory is centered on studying enzymes involved in the metabolism of inositol derivatives found in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Inositol derivatives in mycobacteria are critical components of cellular membranes, function as immunomodulatory molecules, and carry out other critical cellular functions. Mycothiol is a specialized inositol derivative synthesized by mycobacteria that protects against oxidative damage and detoxifies xenobiotics that enter the cell. Due to the important functions that these molecules serve, the enzymes that are used to make inositol derivatives in M. tuberculosis are targets for vaccine and drug development. Our long-term goal is to use the information we gain about the structure and function of the enzymes that make inositol derivatives to design inhibitors with the potential to serve as therapeutic agents for the treatment of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis