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Ardala Katzfuss, PhD

Teaching Faculty III

I am an Enzymologist and Molecular Biologist, with over 10 years of experience in characterization of molecular targets and development of mechanism-based selective inhibitors, from discovery to preclinical stage. I have ample experience in upstream and downstream processes, selection and characterization of essential proteins and metabolic pathways as selective drug targets. As a mechanistic enzymologist, my research has focused on the use of enzyme kinetics to explore the rate-limiting step(s) of the chemical and kinetic mechanisms of reaction of molecular targets for the development of highly selective and transition-state based inhibitors.

I've worked with several Neglected Tropical Diseases, with publications covering the characterization of enzyme drug targets from Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei, Plasmodium falciparum, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. I have a long track record of managing complex multi-centric research grants, contracts, and projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by the NIH/NIAID; and I have acted as consultant for CROs and CMOs interested in engaging in research sponsored by the US government. I have also mentored undergraduate and graduate students for over 10 years now.

I am originally from Brazil, where I got my BSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology, MSc in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology, and PhD in Enzymology.

I lived in Texas from 2013 to 2023, where I worked as a Research Scientist and PM at Texas A&M University.

I am new to Wisconsin, and excited to be part of the Applied Drug Development program. 

Highlighted Publications:

Selected publications from past 2 years:

  • Kinetic and structural characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi hypoxanthine-guanine-xanthine phosphoribosyltransferases and repurposing of transition-state analog inhibitors. Glockzin, Kayla; Meneely, Kathlee Hughes, Rya Maatouk, Sea Pina, Grace; Suthagar, Kajitha; Clinch, Keith; Buckler, Joshua; Lamb, Audrey; Tyler, Peter; Meek, Thomas; Katzfuss, Ardala. Biochemistry. 2023 Jul 18;62(14):2182-2201. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.3c00116.
  • Kinetic Characterization and Inhibition of Trypanosoma cruzi Hypoxanthine–Guanine Phosphoribosyltransferases. Kayla Glockzin, Demetrios Kostomiris, Yacoba V. T. Minnow, Kajitha Suthagar, Keith Clinch, Sinan Gai, Joshua N. Buckler, Vern L. Schramm, Peter C. Tyler, Thomas D. Meek, Ardala Katzfuss. Biochemistry 2022, 61, 19, 2088–2105.
  • The design of protozoan phosphoribosyltransferase inhibitors containing non-charged phosphate mimic residues. Sinan Gai, Kajitha Suthagar, Karl J. Shaffer, Wanting Jiao, Yacoba V.T. Minnow, Kayla Glockzin, Sean W. Maatouk, Ardala Katzfuss, Thomas D. Meek, Vern L. Schramm, Peter C. Tyler. Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry. 74, 15 November 2022, 117038.
  • Self-Masked Aldehyde Inhibitors of Human Cathepsin L Are Potent Anti-CoV-2 Agents. Jiyun Zhu, Linfeng Li, Aleksandra Drelich, Bala C Chenna, Drake M Mellott, Zane W Taylor, Vivian Tat, Christopher Z Garcia, Ardala Katzfuss, Chien-Te K Tseng, Thomas D Meek. Frontiers of Chemistry, 2022; 10: 867928.
  • Characterization of adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) activity in Trypanosoma brucei: Only one of the two isoforms is kinetically active. Glockzin K, Meek TD, Katzfuss A. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 16(2): e0009926, 2022.
  • A clinical-stage cysteine protease inhibitor blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection of human and monkey cells. Mellott, Drake; Tseng, Chien-Te; Drelich, Aleksandra ; Fajtová, Pavla ; Chenna, Bala; Kostomiris, Demetrio Hsu, Jason ; Zhu, Jiyu Taylor, Zane; Tat, Vivian ; Katzfuss, Ardala ; Li, Linfeng; Giardini, Miriam; Skinner, Danielle; Hirata, Ke Beck, Sungju Carlin, Aaro Clark, Alex; Berreta, Laura; Maneval, Daniel; Frueh, Felix; Hurst, Brett; Wang, Hong; Kocurek, Klaudia; Raushel, Frank; O'Donoghue, Anthony; Siqueira-Neto, Jair; Meek, Thoma McKerrow, James. ACS Chem Biol. 2021 Apr 16;16(4):642-650.
  • Dinitrosyl Iron Complexes (DNICs) as Inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease. Pectol, D. Chase; DeLaney, Christopher; Zhu, Jiyu Mellott, Drake; Katzfuss, Ardala; Taylor, Zane; Meek, Thomas; Darensbourg, Marcetta. Chem. Commun. 2021, 57:8352-8355. 


See complete list of publications: