Personal HistoryI graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors in Integrated Sciences, completing dual ACS- and APS-certified majors in Chemistry and Physics. This education provided the foundation to pursue my goal of using chemistry and physics to answer salient questions in biology. I obtained a PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison working with M. Thomas Record, PhD using fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize fundamental mechanisms driving protein-nucleic acid interactions and co-developed predictive models to describe these phenomena. During my postdoctoral training with Gerald M. Wilson, PhD at the University of Maryland-Baltimore, I used biophysical approaches to study RNA conformational dynamics and post-transcriptional regulation important in cancer and auto-immune disorders. I joined the faculty at University of Maryland as a Research Associate in 2008.
Nuwaysir, E. F., Huang, W., Albert, T. J., Singh, J., Nuwaysir, K., Pitas, A., Richmond, T., Gorski, T., Berg, J. P., Ballin, J., McCormick, M., Norton, J., Pollock, T., Sumwalt, T., Butcher, L., Porter, D., Molla, M., Hall, C., Blattner, F., Sussman, M. R., Wallace, R. L., Cerrina, F., and Green, R. D. (2002) Gene expression analysis using oligonucleotide arrays produced by maskless photolithography, Genome Res. 12, 1749-1755.
Ballin, J. D., Shkel, I. A., and Record, M. T., Jr. (2004) Interactions of the KWK6 cationic peptide with short nucleic acid oligomers: demonstration of large Coulombic end effects on binding at 0.1-0.2 M salt, Nucl. Acids Res. 32, 3271-3281.
Shkel, I. A., Ballin, J. D., and Record, M. T., Jr. (2006) Interactions of cationic ligands and proteins with small nucleic acids: analytic treatment of the large Coulombic end effect on binding free energy as a function of salt concentration, Biochemistry 45, 8411-8426.
Brewer, B. Y., Ballin, J. D., Fialcowitz-White, E. J., Blackshear, P. J., and Wilson, G. M. (2006) Substrate dependence of conformational changes in the RNA-binding domain of tristetraprolin assessed by fluorescence spectroscopy of tryptophan mutants, Biochemistry 45, 13807-13817.
Fialcowitz-White, E. J., Brewer, B. Y., Ballin, J. D., Willis, C. D., Toth, E. A., and Wilson, G. M. (2007) Specific protein domains mediate cooperative assembly of HuR oligomers on AU-rich mRNA-destabilizing sequences, J. Biol. Chem. 282, 20948-20959.
Ballin, J. D., Bharill, S., Fialcowitz-White, E. J., Gryczynski, I., Gryczynski, Z., and Wilson, G. M. (2007) Site-specific variations in RNA folding thermodynamics visualized by 2-aminopurine fluorescence, Biochemistry 46, 13948-13960.
Bharill, S., Sarkar, P., Ballin, J. D., Gryczynski, I., Wilson, G. M., and Gryczynski, Z. (2008) Fluorescence intensity decays of 2-aminopurine solutions: lifetime distribution approach, Analytical Biochemistry 377, 141-149.
Ballin, J. D., Prevas, J. P., Bharill, S., Gryczynski, I., Gryczynski, Z., and Wilson, G. M. (2008) Local RNA Conformational Dynamics Revealed by 2-Aminopurine Solvent Accessibility, Biochemistry 47, 7043-7052.
Zhong, S., Chen, X., Zhu, X., Dziegielewska, B., Bachman, K. E., Ellenberger, T., Ballin, J. D., Wilson, G. M., Tomkinson, A. E., and MacKerell, A. D. (2008) Identification and Validation of Human DNA Ligase Inhibitors Using Computer-Aided Drug Design, J. Med. Chem. 51, 4553-4562.
Chen, X., Ballin, J. D., la-Maria, J., Tsai, M. S., White, E. J., Tomkinson, A. E., and Wilson, G. M. (2009) Distinct kinetics of human DNA ligases I, III alpha, III beta, and IV reveal direct DNA sensing ability and differential physiological functions in DNA repair, DNA Repair 8, 961-968.
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