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Tim Tim Acker (

I received my Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Emory University in 2013. My graduate studies were in the laboratory of Professor Dennis C. Liotta where I developed several classes of subunit-selective allosteric antagonists of the GluN2C- and GluN2D-containing NMDA receptors and elucidated the mechanism of action for one of the classes of compounds. In the Craik lab, I am interested in developing allosteric antagonists which act at the dimer interface of the human herpesvirus proteases as dimer disrupters. I am hoping to utilize x-ray crystallography and other biophysical techniques to guide the medicinal chemistry efforts against the protease targets and to validate the compounds that I develop in an ex vivo model of viral infection.

Markus Markus-Frederik Bohn (

I performed my PhD research at UMass Medical School on structure and biochemistry of APOBEC3 enzymes in the lab of Celia Schiffer. Thematically, I am interested in identifying novel therapeutic targets for antiviral strategies at the host-pathogen interface. Methodologically, I work at the interface between structural biology and data analytics, establishing new models for structure-function relationships of enzymatic activity. With my research I hope to elevate molecules that serve analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic purposes to the next level of precision-engineered tools.

Efrat Efrat Harel (

I received my BSc in Molecular Biochemistry (2006, Technion, Israel) and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2013, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) in Dr. Abraham Rubinstein's and Dr. Boaz Tirosh's labs. For my graduate research, I identified and targeted biomarkers in inflamed gut epithelial tissue with liposomal drug delivery systems. I am currently focusing on utilizing anti-urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) antagonist antibodies in addition to developing new anti-uPAR constructs.

Sam Sam Ivry (

I received my B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2012. Following graduation, I remained in Santa Barbara where I worked with Prof. Patrick Daugherty designing protease-activated antibodies for breast cancer treatment. In the Craik Lab, I am interested in applying unbiased activity-based approaches to identify proteases involved in malignancy. My initial work has focused on using our recently developed MSP-MS assay to stratify pancreatic cysts by their potential for malignant transformation. Outside of lab, I enjoy surfing the breaks along the San Francisco Peninsula and spending time with my family in the East Bay.

Flor Florencia La Greca (

I received my Ph.D. in Bioscience Engineering from the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Belgium. As a graduate student I investigated a neglected infectious disease caused by Trypanosoma vivax, with particular focus on the development of specific binders against the parasite as well as the study of its immunobiology. In the Craik Lab I am using the phage display technology to identify antibody fragments (Fabs) against particular antigens. In addition to producing such Fabs, I am participating in the characterization of the substrate specificity of a number of proteases.

Greg Greg Lee (
My research interest focuses on the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in the characterization of protein/enzyme structure-function relationships. Currently, my project involves the modeling the homodimer interactions and conformational dynamics regulating the activity of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV), a serine protease that is inactive in its monomeric form. In addition, NMR will be used to model the modes of interactions between KSHV and various peptidomemetic or small molecule substrates that either inhibit or enhance catalytic activity.
Nancy Nancy Yingxue Li (
I am a Chinese visiting undergraduate from Tsinghua University and will stay in UCSF for 2 years after which I will go back to Beijing to finish my PhD study. In the Craik lab, the goal of my project is to understand the different conformational states of certain ABC transporters and then to determine their various structures as they progress through the transport cycle. I am going to use Fab fragments to stabilize the transporters and enable structure determination of the locked-in transporters. Finally I hope to map the conformational cycle of transmembrane transporters
Andre André Luiz Laurenço (
I received my B.S. degree in Development Biosciences and my Msc in Pathology from the Fluminense Federal University (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). During my PhD I focused on the development of Restricted-Interaction Peptides (RIPs) for the non-invasive imaging of threatening blood clots in vivo through Near-infrared fluorescence and Positron-emission tomography (PET). My research interests lie in the understanding of disease-associated proteolysis, particularly in cardiovascular diseases and cancer, to proper optimize our RIP technology toward clinical translation.
Nicole Nicole Olson (
My work in the Craik lab focuses on developing a mass-spectrometry based method that can be used to profile the substrate specificity and catalytic efficiency of kinases. I am applying this technology to better understand how HIV proteins interact with host post translational modifying enzymes, and am particularly interested in how the activity of the host kinase P-TEFb is affected by HIV-1 Tat.
Matt Matt Ravalin (

My research interests center on the interface of cellular proteolysis and proteostasis. In particular, I am interested in understanding the emergent properties of products of protease activity and how these neo-epitopes interact with cellular proteostasis networks. I am using global and candidate-based approaches to characterize nodes at which proteolysis and proteostasis intersect, and exploring this interplay in the context of neurodegenerative disease. Prior to coming to UCSF to begin my doctoral work, I spent five years working in industrial drug discovery in San Diego after receiving by B.S. from UCSD. I try to spend as much of my free time as possible fishing, hiking, and generally enjoying the outdoors.

Natalia Natalia Sevillano (
I received my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2008, from the University of Granada (Spain). During my PhD I worked on the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), whose overexpression is implicated in numerous pathological processes such as long term complications associated with diabetes. In the Craik lab I'm using the Phage Display technology to find specific inhibitors of proteases involved in cancer and other diseases. Also, I'm going to use this technology to find Fabs fragments that can be used as crystallization chaperones for the HIV Integrase- LEDGF complex.
Tine Tine Thurison Sørensen (
I received my PhD in Molecular Biomedicine from Gunilla Hoyers-Hansens lab, The Finsen Laboratory, University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014. Here I studied the biomarker potential of cleaved forms of the urokinase receptor in varies cancers. In the Craik lab, I am generating novel imaging methods using protease activity as the driving force, with a particular focus on new diagnostics for pancreatic cancer.
Michael Michael Winter (
I received my PhD in chemistry (2011) from UC Berkeley in Michael Marletta's lab where I studied mechanisms of heme protein sensing and signaling. In the Craik lab, I am applying my interest in enzymology to examine protease function in vivo. In particular, I am using novel mass spectrometry-based approaches to uncover the roles of extracellular proteolysis in cancer progression.
Kathrin Kathrin Zuberbuhler (

I am a pharmaceutical scientist by training and I completed my PhD studies in the group of Prof. Dario Neri at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. My main focus was on site-specific conjugations of cytotoxic drugs to fucose-residues of vascular-targeting antibodies and their therapeutic efficacy in animal models. In the Craik lab, I am generating conformationally selective antibodies against secreted and membrane-bound proteases to elucidate their role in prostate cancer.


Jo JoAnne Williams (

Jo helps to keep the Craik lab running smoothly!


For list of alumni and their current contact information please see here