Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences
Associate Professor

Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences


Ph.D., University of Texas 1990

B.A. Biochemistry, Rice University 1983

Areas of Expertise

Research Areas: Application of atomic structures to biological and pharmaceutical problems using molecular biology, biochemistry, structure-based drug discovery and macromolecular X-ray crystallography

Opportunities for Collaboration: RNA structural studies (non-coding and small RNA) and RNA/protein complexes, antibiotic resistance (bacterial) mechanisms, bacterial antibiotic discovery, efficient cloning, large-scale protein production, any kind of X-ray crystallography problem and bacterial transcriptional studies

Honors, Awards, and Achievements
Research Interests

Dr. Momany’s research is focused on the application of atomic structures to biological and pharmaceutical problems. The research program is multidisciplinary in approach and bridges the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, and structure-based drug discovery- all centered around the use of macromolecular X-ray crystallography.

Current research of the Momany laboratory is focused in two directions.  One direction is understanding the process of bacterial transcriptional activation at a structural level.  LysR-type transcriptional regulators, LTTRs, are the largest family of regulators in bacteria, and as such display a wide range of functions spanning nitrogen fixation to virulence.  Our studies have far-reaching applications in the areas of bioremediation and drug discovery.  The second research direction is structural studies on RNA and the development of RNA production schemes.  RNA interference is a common innate immune system found in most eukaryotes.  dsRNA can be delivered as a therapeutic molecule to trigger RNAi responses, but synthesis in large scale is challenging.  Applications of dsRNA include crop protection, treatment of honey bee diseases, and the development of novel therapeutics in humans.

Selected Publications

Stoudenmire JL, Schmidt AL, Tumen-Velasquez MP, Elliott KT, Laniohan NS, Walker Whitley S, Galloway NR, Nune M, West M, Momany C, Neidle EL, Karls AC*. “Malonate degradation in Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1: operon organization andregulation by MdcR”. Microbiology. 2017 May 25. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000462. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28537542. Impact: 1.92

Alanazi Am, Neidle El, Momany C. (2013) “The Dna-Binding Domain Of BenM Reveals The Structural Basis For The Recognition Of A T-N11-A Sequence Motif By LysR-Type Transcriptional Regulators.” Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2013 Oct; 69(Pt 10):1995-2007. DOI 10.1107/S0907444913017320. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Nickolaus R. Galloway, Hannah Toutkoushian, Melesse Nune, Nandita Bose, and Momany C. (2013) “Rapid Cloning For Protein Crystallography Using Type IIs Restriction Enzymes”, Cryst. Growth Des, 13 (7), pp 2833–2839, DOI: 10.1021/Cg400171z, May 16, 2013 (Web)

Momany C, Neidle EL. “Defying stereotypes: the elusive search for a universal model of LysR-type regulation.” Mol Microbiol. Feb;83(3):453-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07960.x [Epub 2012 Jan 11], 2012.

Ruangprasert A., Craven S.H., Neidle E.L., and Momany C. (2010) “Full-Length Structures of BenM and Two Variants Reveal Different Oligomerization Schemes For LysR-Type Transcriptional Regulators” J. Mol. Biol. 404:568–586.

Parks J.M., Guo H., Momany C., Liang L., Miller S.M., Summers A.O., and Smith J.C. (2009) “Mechanism of Hg-C protonolysis in the organomercurial lyase MerB.” J Am Chem Soc. 131(37):13278-85.

Craven S.H., Ezezika O.C., Haddad S., Hall R.A., Momany C., and Neidle E.L. (2009) “Inducer responses of BenM, a LysR-type transcriptional regulator from Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1.” Mol Microbiol. 72(4):881-94. Epub 2009 Apr 8.

Lima S., Sundararaju B., Huang C., Khristoforov R., Momany C., and Phillips R.S. (2009) “The crystal structure of the Pseudomonas dacunhae aspartate-beta-decarboxylase dodecamer reveals an unknown oligomeric assembly for a pyridoxal-5′-phosphate-dependent enzyme.” J Mol Biol. 2009 Apr 24;388(1):98-108. Epub 2009 Mar 2.

Lima S., Kumar S., Gawandi V., Momany C., and Phillips R.S. (2009) “Crystal structure of the Homo sapiens kynureninase-3-hydroxyhippuric acid inhibitor complex: insights into the molecular basis of kynureninase substrate specificity.” J Med Chem. 52(2):389-96.

Grant Support
  • National Science Foundation
  • Department of Energy, Office of Science

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