S. Saif Hasan

Assistant Professor

Hasan Group

Contact

Email: sshasan@som.umaryland.edu

Call: (240) 314-6396

Education

  • Postdoctoral Research, Purdue University, 2013-2019
  • Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 2013
  • M.Sc., Biotechnology, University of Pune, India, 2006
  • B.Sc., Biochemistry, Aligarh Muslim University, India, 2004

Profile

PUBLICATIONS AND NEWS

March 2023: We received funding from the American Thoracic Society! 

February 2023: Our manuscript on the structural and functional implications of SARS-CoV-2 spike trafficking is now available at biorxiv

November 2022: First cryoEM structure of the lab: the full-length spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in detergent by Suruchi! Data collected at PNCC on a Titan Krios TEM.

May 2022: Debajit has received a Travel Award from the American Society for Virology to present his structural work on the evolution of trafficking signals in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

February 2022: Our research on the biophysical and structural basis of molecular mimicry displayed by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was published today in Communications Biology! 

December 2021: Finally, we have determined the co-crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike tail complexed with the coatomer WD40 domain. This took over a year of trial-and-error by Debajit. 

July 2021: Read our review article on the structural biology of Eastern equine encephalitis virus, which caused a major outbreak in North America in 2019.

April 2021: Take a look at our review article on the structural biology of flaviviruses that infect nearly 400 million people every year.

January 2020: Suruchi and Matt join the lab.

September 2020: We received our first extra-mural grant from the American Thoracic Society and Glaxo Smith Kline!

August 2020: We received support from MPower to investigate the structural biology of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

March 2020: Debajit joins the lab.

Here is a link to our publications on Google Scholar.

HOW DO ORGANELLES TALK AND VIRUSES EAVESDROP?

          Our research: Biological processes are complex and require coordinated activity of multiple proteins in vastly distinct biochemical environments. These specialized biochemical environments are sequestered in membrane bound organelles. The coordinated activity of cellular organelles ensures that complex multi-step biological tasks are executed correctly to maintain cellular homeostasis. We are interested in determining the fundamental principles of how trafficking and communication between eukaryotic organelles are hijacked by epidemic causing coronaviruses to achieve virus propagation and progeny assembly. A primary focus is on host hijacking by SARS-CoV-2 and newly emerging coronaviruses in farm animals. These viruses employ sequence similarity with host cargo proteins to divert metabolic resources towards viral progeny assembly. As such, these viruses provide critical molecular tools to probe and discern the structural and biophysical basis of inter-organelle trafficking. We hope that comparative investigations of coronavirus proteins will advance the fundamental understanding of cellular metabolism and of diseases such as cancers, cardiac diseases, and neurodegeneration.

          Our tools: Our research mainly uses a combination of latest high-resolution structural technologies such as single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and X-ray crystallography and biophysical assays to deduce high-resolution insights into the molecular basis of inter-organelle communication and virus-host interactions. Our laboratory is in IBBR in Rockville MD, which is home to a new cryo-EM facility that includes a 200 keV Talos Arctica TEM equipped with a Falcon 3 direct electron detector. A second 200 keV TEM, a Glacios, is currently being installed with a K3 direct electron detector and a Volta Phase Plate. We have access to a 950 MHz NMR spectrometer and latest crystallographic data-collection facilities, which complement our cryoEM investigations.

          Our collaborations: Our structural research is enriched by collaborative NMR analyses of protein conformational dynamics, , mass spectrometry-based determination of post-translational modification landscapes, computational protein design, and cell biology of coronavirus trafficking and assembly.

          Our workplace: We are always looking for post-doctoral researchers interested in structural investigations of membrane protein complexes and assembly of epidemic causing viruses. Feel free to drop an email to Saif to enquire about vacancies. IBBR is home to research groups from University of Maryland Baltimore, University of Maryland College Park, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. As part of our team, you will have opportunities to interact with colleagues working on a wide variety of research questions in virology, immunology, onco-biology, bacterial pathogenesis, plant biology, in-silico structure prediction, methodology development, and biomanufacturing.

          Our city: Rockville is a picturesque, multi-cultural, diverse, and welcoming city, which is well connected to the rest of the world through IAD, BWI, and DCA airports. If you are adventurous in your food, we have everything from local seafood to scrumptious cuisines from Asia, Africa, and Europe. If you enjoy natural history (dinosaurs maybe), nature (anyone up for the cherry blossom festival?), and animals (small rodents to big elephants), then this is the right place for you as we are connected by the red metro line to Washington DC, which has the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. With two young kids, Saif is a self-proclaimed jedi master who employs mind tricks with juice-boxes and cheese sticks to ensure smooth excursions to DC. 

We hope to have you onboard soon!

PUBLISHED STRUCTURES

PDB IDs (graduate and post-doctoral research): 2ZT9, 4H0L, 4H13, 4H44, 4I7Z, 4OGQ, 4PV1, 5UHY, 6MUI, 6MW9, 6MWC, 6MWV, 6MWX, 6MX4, 6MX7 

EMDB IDs (post-doctoral research): 8548, 9249, 9274, 9275, 9278, 9279, 9280, 9281, 200259340

From Hasan Lab: 7S16, 7S22, 7S23

ALUMNI

Niki Gooya (Undergraduate researcher, June-August 2019): Neurobiology graduate student, Johns Hopkins University

Matthew Martin (Post-bac, January-June 2021): Structural biology graduate program in University of Pittsburgh

Corrinne Wilson (Post-bac, July 2021-September 2022): Patient Coordinator and Analyst, Healthy Foundations Group