Mark Nakasone

Staff Position: 
Senior Postdoctoral Scientist (Structural Biology & Biophysics)
BSc, Biochemistry, 2007, McDaniel College
PhD, Biochemistry, 2013, University of Maryland

Mark’s path in basic research began in 2005 as an undergraduate researcher at McDaniel College (USA), studying protein-folding pathways under Melanie R. Nilsson. In 2008 Mark entered the ubiquitin field as a biochemistry graduate student in David Fushman’s NMR lab at the University of Maryland. For his doctoral work, Mark carried out the first structural study on “complex” polymeric ubiquitin. Upon earning his doctorate in 2013, the presidentially appointed Fulbright board awarded Mark a two year fellowship to carryout his ubiquitin research at the Technion in Haifa, Israel. While hosted in Michael H. Glickman’s lab, Mark undertook many collaborative projects and discovered the substrate preferences of proteasome-associated deubiquitinases. To expand his knowledge of ubiquitin signalling, Mark joined Danny T. Huang’s lab in 2016 at the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow. Working as an ERC research fellow, Mark characterised biologics that inhibit E3 ligases, a new form of ADP-ribosylated ubiquitin, and chemical methods to isolate E2/E3/substrate transition complexes for cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography. In 2022 Mark joined CeTPD on the academic side of the Ciulli lab to further explore the potential of E3 ligases. Outside of the lab Mark enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, photography, weightlifting, supporting open source software, and working to solve complex geopolitical problems.