Current Research


In the Hinck laboratory, we are interested in utilizing the tools of structural biology to understand how the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules engenders them with their extraordinary ability to specifically and selectively bind partners and assemble into functional complexes.

In my laboratory, we rely heavily on NMR spectroscopy as a tool for studying the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules, but we also use X-ray crystallography and other accompanying biophysical tools, such as isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, my laboratory employs cell-based studies to assess the significance of molecular features we have identified in a cellular context.

In order to carry out the type of inter-disciplinary work underway in my laboratory, I employ undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and PhD level staff scientists. If you have a strong academic background in any of these areas and the research underway in my laboratory is of interest you, I invite you to contact me directly. If you are prospective PhD student and this type of research is of interest, you might also investigate the Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology and Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Programs, both of which offer outstanding training opportunities here at the University of Pittsburgh.

In my laboratory, a major area of emphasis is studying signaling proteins and receptors of the TGF-beta family, a highly diversified signaling family, with representative family members in both in invertebrates and vertebrates. In our research, we are interested in deciphering the molecular adaptations that the signaling proteins, single-pass transmembrane receptors, downstream effectors, and multitude of extracellular and intracellular modulators have acquired that enable the proteins of family to achieve their unique biological functions. In addition, we are interested in exploiting the unique adaptations our structural studies uncover to develop highly potent TGF-beta inhibitors for treatment of cancer or fibrosis. If you are interested in our research, you can learn more by exploring the links on the left.

Andrew Hinck, June 2016