Dr Vaithish Velazhahan
- College positions:
BS (Hons.) in Microbiology (Kansas State University); BS (Hons.) in Medical Biochemistry (Kansas State University); PhD in Biological Science (University of Cambridge)
I study a class of proteins present on the surface of cells called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). They are targets for approximately 34% of all clinical drugs and are implicated in several diseases. I work on developing new methodologies to determine their atomic-resolution structures and these provide high-resolution templates for novel drug development.
In the past I have taught human anatomy and physiology, including human cadaver dissection, at Kansas State University. I share an interest in teaching biochemistry, molecular, cell and structural biology, genetics and microbiology.
Awards and prizes
Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) Student
Award for outstanding PhD work with real-world applications (2022)
Max Perutz Student Prize for outstanding PhD work performed at the MRC LMB (2021)
Dr. GPCR Scientific Publication Award (2021)
Awarded Student Talk at the 18th Horizons Symposium of International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) of Molecular Biology (2021)
CALIXAR Best Presentation Prize at the 9th GDR3545 GPCR International Meeting (2020)
ERNEST ECI Best Presentation Prize at the 3rd ERNEST International Meeting (2020)
H.H. Haymaker Award for Outstanding Senior in Biology (prize for the top graduating senior of the department at Kansas State University) (2018)
Gates-Cambridge Scholarship (2018)
Barry M. Goldwater National Scholarship (2017)
Sigma Xi GIAR (Grants-in-aid of research) National Research Scholarship (2017)
Cancer Research Award from the Terry C. Johnson Cancer Research Center (2015-18)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) K-INBRE Scholarship (2015-17)
National Science Foundation (NSF) URM and REU Scholarship (2015-16)
APIASF/United Health Foundation National Scholarship (2015-18)
KSU Honors Scholarship (2014-18)
Velazhahan, V., Ma, N., Vaidehi, N. and Tate, C.G. Distinct activation mechanism of the Class D GPCR Dimer Ste2. Nature, 603, pp. 743-748.
Velazhahan, V., Ma, N., Pándy-Szekeres, G., Kooistra, A.J., Lee, Y., Gloriam, D.E., Vaidehi, N. and Tate, C.G., 2021. Structure of the class D GPCR Ste2 dimer coupled to two G proteins. Nature, 589(7840), pp.148-153.
(Faculty Opinions Recommendation; and featured on the cover page of Alberts’ Molecular Biology of the Cell 7th Edition Textbook)
Velazhahan, V., Glaza, P., Herrera, A.I., Prakash, O., Zolkiewski, M., Geisbrecht, B.V. and Schrick, K., 2020. Dietary flavonoid fisetin binds human SUMO1 and blocks sumoylation of p53. PloS one, 15(6), p.e0234468.
I enjoy singing, travelling and playing chess, cricket, basketball and badminton.