Biography

Dr. Parra is the author of more than 20 academic articles. She has mentored more than 50 students, high school through fellowship.

Education

  • Ph.D., SUNY UPSTATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY, Syracuse, New York, 1998.
  • M.S., UNIVERSIDAD SIMON BOLIVAR, Caracas, Venezuela, 1992.
  • B.S., UNIVERSIDAD SIMON BOLIVAR, Caracas, Venezuela,1990.

Achievements & Awards

  • MARC Travel Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Summer Research Conference Transport ATPases: From Molecules to Maladies, 2010.
  • MARC Travel Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Summer Research Conference Transport ATPases, 2007.
  • Undergraduate Faculty Travel Award, The Education and Professional Development Committee (EPD) of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2006.
  • MARC Travel Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

      Summer Research Conference Transport ATPases, 2005.

  • Undergraduate Faculty Travel Award, the Education and Professional Development Committee (EPD) of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2005.
  • Undergraduate Faculty Travel Award, The Education and Professional Development

      Committee (EPD) of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2004.

  • MARC Travel Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Summer Research Conference Transport ATPases, 2003.
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel Award, Gordon Research Conference in Bioenergetics, 2003.
  • Undergraduate Faculty Travel Award, The Education and Professional Development Committee (EPD) of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2002.
  • MARC Travel Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Summer Research Conference Transport ATPases, 2001.

Key Publications

  1. Fogarty S, Yu-Chan Chen, Hallie Rane, Karlett J. Parra, Francesco Manoni, Liubo Li, Jared Rutter, Patrick G. Harran. Callyspongiolide is A Potent Inhibitor of the Vacuolar ATPase. Journal of Natural Products (undergoing minor revisions).
  2. Rane H, Hayek S, Frye J, Abeyta E, Bernardo S, Parra K, Lee S. Candida albicans Pma1p contributes to growth, pH homeostasis and hyphal formation. Frontiers in Microbiology (2019) May 9;10:1012. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01012. eCollection. PMID: 31143168
  3. Licon-Munoz Y, Fordyce CA, Raines Hayek S., and Parra KJ. V-ATPase-Dependent Repression of Androgen Receptor in Prostate Cancer Cells. Oncotarget (2018) Jun 22;9(48):28921-28934.
  4. Parra K.J. and Hayek Summer. A lysosomal proton pump turns on when glucose runs out. Biol. Chem. 293(23) 9124 –9125. (2018)
  5. Licon-Munoz PhD, Michel Vera, Fordyce CA., Parra K.J. F-actin Reorganization by V-ATPase Inhibition in Prostate Cancer. BIOLOPEN Nov 15;6(11):1734-1744 (2017).
  6. Chan CYPhD, Dominguez DMS, Parra KJ. Regulation of Vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) Reassembly by Glycolysis Flow in 6-Phosphofructo-1-kinase (PFK-1)-deficient Yeast Cells. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291(30):15820-9 (2016) PMID: 27226568.
  7. Kulkarny VV, Chavez-Dozal A, Rane HS, Jahng M, Bernardo SM, Parra KJ, Lee SA. Quinacrine Inhibits Candida albicans Growth and Filamentation at Neutral pH. Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy. 58(12):7501-9 (2014). PMID: 25288082
  8. Rane HS, Bernardo SM, Hayek SR, Binder JL*, Parra KJ, Lee SA. The contribution of Candida albicans vacuolar ATPase subunit V1B encoded by VMA2 to stress response, autophagy, and virulence is independent of environmental pH. Eukaryotic Cell. 13(9):1207-21(2014). PMID: 25038082
  9. Chan CYPhD and Parra KJ. Yeast Phosphofructokinase-1 Subunit Pfk2p is Necessary for pH Homeostasis and Glucose-Dependent V-ATPase Reassembly. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(28):19448-19457 (2014). PMID: 24860096
  10. Rane H., Bernardo S., Raines S., Binder J.*, Parra KJ., and Lee C. albicans VMA3 is necessary for V-ATPase assembly and function and contributes to secretion and filamentation. Eukaryotic Cell. 2013. 12(10):1369-82 (2013). PMID: 23913543
  11. Raines SM, Rane HS, Bernardo SM, Binder JL*, Lee SA, Parra KJ. Deletion of Vacuolar Proton-translocating ATPase Voa Isoforms Clarifies the Role of Vacuolar pH as a Determinant of Virulence-associated Traits in Candida albicans. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 288(9):6190-201 (2013). PMID: 23316054
  12. Michel V., Licon-Munoz Y. PhD, Trujillo K., Bisoffi M., and Parra KJ. Inhibitors of Vacuolar ATPase Proton Pumps Inhibit Human Prostate Cancer Cell Invasion and Prostate-Specific Antigen Expression and Secretion. International Journal of Cancer. 32(2):E1-10. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27811. (2013). PMID: 22945374.
  13. Chan CYPhD, Prudom C, Raines SM, Charkhzarrin S, Melman SD, De Haro LP, Allen C, Lee SA, Sklar LA, and. Parra KJ. Inhibitors of V-ATPase proton pump transport reveal uncoupling functionas of the tether linking cytosolic and membrane domains of the Vo subunit a (Vph1p). Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287(13):10236-50 (2012). PMID: 22215674
  14. Rebecca M. Johnson*, Chris Allen, Sandra D. Melman, Anna Wallar, Larry A. Sklar, and Parra KJ. Inhibitors of Yeast V-ATPase Proton Pumps Identified by HTS Flow Cytometry, Analytical Biochemistry, 15:398(2):203-211 (2010). PMID: 20018164
  15. Karlett J. Parra, Marcy Osgood, and Donald Pappas Jr. A Research-Based Biochemistry Laboratory Course Designed to Strengthen the Research-Teaching Nexus, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 38(3): 172–179 (2010). PMID: 21567820
  16. Benjamin Ediger*, Sandra D. Melman, Donald L. Pappas Jr., Mark Finch*, Jeremy Applen, and Karlett J. Parra.  The Tether Connecting Cytosolic (N-terminus) and Membrane (C-terminus) Domains of Yeast V-ATPase Subunit a (Vph1) is Required for Assembly of Vo Subunit d, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284:19522-19532 (2009). PMID: 19473972
  17. Margaret A. OwegiMS, Donald L. Pappas Jr., Mark W. Finch*, Sarah A. Bilbo*, Cruz A. ResendizHS, Lori J. Jacquemin*, Aswathy Warrier, John D. Trombley*, Kathryn M. McCulloch*, Katrina L. M. Margalef*, Melissa J. Mertz*, Jason M. Storms*, Craig A. Damin* and Karlett J. Parra. Identification of a domain in the Vo Subunit d that is critical for coupling of the Yeast V-ATPase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281: 30001-30014 (2006). PMID: 16891312
  18. Margaret A. OwegiMS, Anne Carenbauer, Nicole Wick*, Jamie BrownMA, Kari TerhuneMA, Sarah Bilbo*, Rebecca Weaver*, Rebecca Shircliff*, Natalia Newcomb*, and Karlett J. Parra-Belky. Mutagenesis Analysis of the Stator Subunit E of the Yeast V-ATPase, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280: 18393-18402 (2005). PMID: 15718227
  19. Karlett J. Parra-Belky, Kathryn McCulloch*, Nicole Wick*, Rebecca Shircliff*, Nicolas Croft*, Katrina Margalef*, Jamie BrownMA, Todd CrabillMA, Ryan JankordMA, and Eric Waldo*. Immunoprecipitation of Protein Complexes from Yeast. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 33: 289-292 (2005).
  20. Parra-Belky, Karlett J. Identification of Yeast V-ATPase Mutants by Western Blots Analysis of Whole Cell Lysates. Journal of Chemical Education, 79: 1348-1350 (2002).
  21. Karlett J. Parra, K. Keenan, and P. M. Kane. The H Subunit (Vma13p) of the Yeast V-ATPase Inhibits the ATPase Activity of Cytosolic V1 Journal of Biological Chemistry, 275: 21761-21767 (2000). PMID: 10781598
  22. Karlett J. Parra, and P. M. Kane. Reversible Association Between The V1 and Vo Domains of The Yeast Vacuolar H+-ATPase is an Unconventional Glucose-Induced Effect. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 18: 7064-7074 (1998). PMID: 9819393
  23. Zhang, J., K. J. Parra, J. Liu, and P. M. Kane. Characterization of a Temperature-Sensitive Vacuolar ATPase Mutant with Defects In Bud Morphology and Cytokinesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 273:18470-18480 (1998). PMID: 9660816
  24. Karlett J. Parra and P. M. Kane. Wild-type And Mutant Vacuolar Membranes Support pH-Dependent Reassembly of the Yeast Vacuolar H+-ATPase In Vitro. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 271:19592-9598 (1996). PMID: 8702654

Research

The V-ATPase Physiology and Pathophysiology Laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms that regulate V-ATPase proton pumps and the downstream consequences of inhibiting V-ATPase proton transport in fungi (S. cerevisiae, C. albicans), cancer cell lines and primary cells.

The emphasis is on the mechanisms by which V-ATPases sustain cellular pH homeostasis, interact with glucose metabolism and contribute to fungi pathogenesis and cancer.

Our goals include:

  • Defining the contribution of V-ATPase-mediated pH homeostasis in health and disease
  • Identifying V-ATPase-dependent pathways and cellular events that could be used to selectively target V-ATPase pumps and control processes relevant to disease
  • Establishing the molecular mechanisms that regulate activity and assembly of V-ATPase proton pumps

Courses Taught

Medical Curriculum

 Phase I, Gastrointestinal Block, University of New Mexico Health Science Center.

Lecturer

 2013: 5 lecture hours/year (120 students/year). Lectures:  Review of

Proteins and Enzymes, Mitochondrial Energetics (Parts I & II), Amino Acid Metabolism (Parts I & II).

2008 – 2012: 10 lecture hours/year (75 students/year). Lectures:  Review of

Proteins and Enzymes, Mitochondrial Energetics (Parts I & II), Amino Acid Metabolism (Parts I & II), Protein Synthesis and Secretion, and Nucleotide Metabolism (Parts I & II). 

2012: 7 lecture hours/year (110 students/year). Lectures: Review of Proteins and Enzymes, Mitochondrial Energetics (Parts I & II), Amino Acid Metabolism (Parts I & II), and Nucleotide Metabolism (Parts I & II).

Tutor

2008 - 2009, 35 tutoring hours/year (Co-Tutor with Dr. William Black).

 

Undergraduate Biochemistry Curriculum

 Biochemistry of Disease (BIOCHEM 463/563), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, SOM.

Instructor.

2020: 5 weeks (online).

2007-2019: 7.5  - 10 lecture hours/year.

Description:  A seventy-five-minute lecture scheduled twice a week in the Fall semester (40-65 biochemistry senior students plus ~5 graduate students). Lectures review structure(s) and mechanism(s) of V-ATPase proton Pumps, with emphasis on V-ATPase potential as drug targets.

Biochemical Methods (BIOCHEM 448L; Sec 001 & Sec 002), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, SOM.

Laboratory Instructor.

2007-2008, 18 laboratory hours/year plus 2 lecture hours/year.

Description: The course meets four and half hours weekly in the fall semester (12 students/year/section). Students conduct research-based experiments which were a direct extension of my research interests. Research protocols (immunochemistry) were adapted to fit the constraints of a weekly biochemistry laboratory course schedule.

 

Undergraduate and Graduate Chemistry Curriculum

 Principles of Biochemistry I (CHEM 463/563), Department of Chemistry, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

  Course Instructor and Director, 2001-2004 & 2006, 42.5 lecture hours/year.

Description: Intense biochemistry course introduce students to the chemistry, structure, and function of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids.

Fifty-minute lectures scheduled three times a week in the fall semester were presented primarily to junior and senior undergraduate students majoring in chemistry and pre-medicine (30-40 students/year). These courses (augmented somewhat) were also offered to graduate students in chemistry, biology, and the health sciences including physiology, human performance, and physical education.

 

Principles of Biochemistry II (CHEM 464/564), Department of Chemistry, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

    Course Instructor and Director, 2001-2005, 42.5 lecture hours/year.

Description: Intense biochemistry course introduce students to metabolism. Fifty-minute lectures scheduled three times a week were presented in the spring semester primarily to junior and senior undergraduate students majoring in chemistry and pre-medicine (30-40 students/year). These courses (augmented somewhat) were also offered to graduate students in chemistry, biology, and the health sciences including physiology, human performance, and physical education.

 

Biochemistry Laboratory Techniques (CHEM 465; Sec 001 & 002), Department of Chemistry, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

Laboratory Instructor and Director, 2000-2004 & 2006, 102 laboratory hours/year.

Description: Each session met three hours weekly in the fall semester and introduced chemistry junior and senior students (12 students/year/section) to techniques used in biochemical research. I conducted research-based experiments from 2003 to 2006. Experiments were a direct extension of my research interests and involved mutagenesis and biochemical characterization of the mutants made.

 

Essentials of Biochemistry (CHEM 360/560; CHEM 360L Sec 001 & 002), Department of Chemistry, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

Course Instructor and Director, 2001-2002, 21.5 lecture hours/year, 51 laboratory

      hours/year 2003-2004, 42.5 lecture hours/year 102 laboratory hours/year

Description: Lectures scheduled twice a week in the spring semester were presented to junior and senior undergraduate students majoring in biology, nutrition, health sciences, and pre-medicine (70 students/year). Lectures were offered with a laboratory (CHEM 360L). I was the instructor of the laboratory course as well.

 

General Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 111L), Department of Chemistry, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

      Laboratory Instructor, 2000 & 2005, 34 laboratory hours/year.

Description: Course met every week for two hours and introduced sophomore students majoring in science to basic chemical techniques.

 

General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory for Nurses (CHEM 101L), Department of Chemistry, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

      Laboratory Instructor, 2005, 51 laboratory hours/year.

Description: The course met every week for three hours and introduced freshman students majoring in nursing to basic chemical techniques.

 

Special Topics in Biochemistry (CHEM 375), Department of Chemistry, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

Course Instructor, 2002-2003, 17 small group session hours/year.

Description: One-credit hour special topics in biochemistry (Biochemistry and Health in 2002; Membrane Transporters in 2003) met once a week to discuss recent literature in cancer, anthrax, malignant hyperthermia, mad-cow disease, energy production, and trace metal nutrients transport and homeostasis. The class was team-taught with Dr. Scott Pattison; we equally contributed to the ideas, planning, and both give equal input to class discussions.

 

Undergraduate Biology Curriculum

 

General Biology I, Biological Sciences Department, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY.

        Course Instructor, 1999, 42.5 lecture hours/year, 34 laboratory hours/year.

Description: Lectures and the corresponding laboratory course were offered to freshman biology major students the fall semester.

 

Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY.

      Course Instructor, 2000, 42.5 lecture hours/year, 51 laboratory hours/year.

Description: Lectures and the corresponding laboratory course were offered to senior biology major students the spring semester.