Atta Ahmad

Teaching Assistant Professor

Howell N306

Ahmad Lab


  • PhD Molecular and Structural Biology Division, Central Drug Research institute, Lucknow, India
  • Post Doc Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Post Doc Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Research Interests

My lab is interested in studying protein structure, function and its relation to human diseases. For some time DNA → RNA → Proteins appeared to be the central dogma of life but due to Nobel prize winning work of Christian Anfinsen (1972) and theoreticians like Cyrus Levinthal (Levinthal’s paradox 1969) the importance of protein folding code came to light and central dogma thus extended to DNA → RNA → Polypeptides → Functional Proteins. In other words, the forces or code responsible for maintaining protein in its proper 3D-structure and thus efficient function gained impetus in the last part of 20th century. The profound influence of this concept would soon be evident as mis-folded proteins (or toxic-folded) were found responsible for inclusion body problems in biotechnology projects and mis-fold triggered ordered protein aggregates “amyloid” were implicated in Prion, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The amyloid has since been found involved in more than 50 human diseases. In addition, protein folding studies resulted in the discovery of a group of enzymes and proteins called “chaperones” that are responsible for helping maintain protein structure and function. We focus specifically on following areas:

1)Protein structure and function: 

2)Metal toxicity: 

3)Hsp70 family Chaperone: 


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