Timothy Stachowski Wins one of the 2019 Linus Pauling Poster Prizes at ACA Annual Meeting

We are pleased to announce that Timothy Stachowski, a University at Buffalo Ph.D. candidate, studying in the Snell Group at HWI, was awarded one of the Linus Pauling Poster Prizes at the 2019 American Crystallographic Association (ACA) meeting. The international meeting focused on X-ray crystallography, one of HWI’s strongest methods in structural biology, was held from July 20-24 in Covington, Kentucky.

The Pauling Poster Prize was established by the ACA to recognize promising young researchers in honor of Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, a pioneer in crystal structure research.

Stachowski’s prize-winning poster was titled “Structural consequences on TGFB-1 activation from near therapeutic X-ray doses.” The winning poster was created as part of his doctoral thesis project, and it is the first study to make use of tools designed to understand and mitigate radiation damage in the crystallography setting.  Tim’s research provides visibility into the impact of therapeutic processes – specifically the type of radiation that patients experience during cancer treatment or that first responders experience during a nuclear accident.

 “There is a large gap between the magnitude of radiation that is used in structural biology methods and what is used in medical applications.  We are trying to bridge that gap by adapting current structural biology techniques and developing new ones to understand how protein structure is affected by therapeutic levels of radiation. This approach includes repeating these experiments, many times, at low radiation levels to capture high-resolution structural information. We also use the X-rays as a probe and apply complementary techniques to monitor structural changes from exposure,” says Stachowski.

Stachowski is a 4th-year Biophysics Ph.D. candidate at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University at Buffalo. He is mentored by Dr. Edward H. Snell, President and CEO of HWI and BioXFEL Director, “Tim is pioneering a new research area that will have direct impact on the clinical use of radiation therapy,” Dr. Snell said of Stachowski’s research.

Dr. Snell’s research group uses complementary techniques to extract structural and dynamic information from biological macromolecules. This research includes the development of crystallization methodology and the resulting analysis with an emphasis on high-energy light sources. 

The Linus Pauling Poster Prize is awarded to up to three students (graduate or undergraduate) during each ACA annual meeting and comes with cash and other prizes.

Timothy Stachowski Head Shot