Dr Buranda recieved a BA degree in Chemistry and Physics from Augustana College, Rock Island IL (1984), an MS in Chemistry from University of Toledo, OH (1987) and a PhD degree in Chemistry from Wayne State University, MI (1992). Following his PhD he completed a post doctoral Fellowship at the NSF Center for Photoinduced Charge Transfer at the University of Rochester, NY.

Personal Statement

I am formally trained in experimental physical chemistry, specializing in optical and vibrational laser spectroscopy and measuring fast electron and energy transfer processes in molecular complexes. I gained expertise in cell biology through a five-year NIAID-funded Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award (K25) entitled “Membrane Organization in Cell Signaling and Adhesion” funded in 2004-2010. Through this training and interactions with different mentors, I developed an interest in cell signaling proteins such as integrins, G-protein coupled receptors, and small GTPases. I later developed an interest in virology when I received training in Laboratory Biosafety training at the BSL-3 level locally and at The University of Texas Medical Branch. I developed an interest in using inactivated and fluorescently tagged BSL-3 pathogens, such as pathogenic hantaviruses and Sars-CoV-2, as tools for studying their interactions with receptors and signaling in a BSL-2 setting. I'm also interested developing assay tools for measuring cell signalling due to cellular interactions with pathogens.

Areas of Specialty

1) Integrin affinity regulation: developing tools for real-time analysis of integrin conformation and affinity, and their control by signaling pathways. Understanding of integrin functionality to address the novel mechanism of integrin activation associated with hantavirus infectivity.

2) G protein signaling: Developing a patented flow cytometry-based assay to interrogate GTP binding to small GTPases caused by viruses or bacteria. The assay is capable of measuring GTP loading of up to 6 targets simultaneously and a basis an assay for early detection of blood borne bacterial infection associated with sepsis.

3) Pathogenesis of hantavirus infections. Severe cases of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) have a 30-40% mortality rate. We performed a proteomic profile (2D gel electrophoresis and mass spectroscopy) of the HCPS patient plasma samples, and revealed for the first time that mortality in HCPS is connected to dysregulated expression of plasminogen activation inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1). Understanding the underlying mechanism of PAI-1 upregulation will provide the means for therapy.

4) High throughput screening assay development for small molecule inhibitors of BSL-3 viral infections




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