During Dr. Omid Haji-Ghassemi’s doctoral degree, he combined structural biology (X-ray crystallography) and computational approaches to elucidate the molecular mechanism of antibody-carbohydrate systems. His work has yielded multiple high resolution structures of antibody fragments in complex with their antigens, which provided crucial insights into both the genesis of autoimmune diseases via infection with Gram-negative bacteria as well as Chlamydial lipopolysaccharide recognition.
More recently, Haji-Ghassemi has determined the structure and biology of a plant carbohydrate-binding protein, which revealed the basis for its selectivity against a cancer glycobiomarker. He is now focusing his efforts on an ion channel protein, which is involved in the beating of our hearts, as a post-doctoral project in the Dr. Filip Van Petegem’s laboratory at University of British Columbia. There, he will integrate his X-ray crystallography expertise with additional methods including electrophysiology, isothermal calorimetry, and electron microscopy in order to study the mechanism responsible for the opening and closing of this channel protein.
For an up-to-date list of publications by Dr. Haji-Ghassemi, please see ResearchGate.