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Meet Casey Solomon

Graduate School Trainee
Advisor: Dr. Hiroshi Matsuo

Research interests:
My main research interests are two fold, first I want to understand how APOBEC3 proteins specifically target single stranded DNA, how they differentiate between DNA and RNA, as well as how HIV's Vif proteins binds and targets them for degradation during HIV infection. More broadly I am interested in the structural characteristics of human and HIV proteins focusing on their interactions. Second, I am really enamored with NMR. I find the whole technique fascinating and my main interest in this area is finding new and innovative ways to use NMR to study biological systems. 
What am I working on right now?:
Currently I am working on identifying the amino acids in APOBEC3G that are responsible for targeting specific sequences in DNA for mutation as well as the mechanism by which A3G specifically selects DNA from RNA. The main goal of this project is to determine a structure of A3G bound to substrate DNA.
Why the U of M?:
Two reasons, I worked in Kylie Walters lab as an undergraduate and really enjoyed both the people that I worked with and the research itself. So when I was given the opportunity to work with Hiroshi after coming back from Afghanistan I jumped on it. Secondly, the new NMR facility was just opening up and I wanted the chance to work at a state of the art facility with the highest field magnets in the country.
Plans after graduation:
I would like to pursue a career in teaching and research, ideally a PI position at a tier 1 research university. I really like to teach students and I have focused part of my education here at the U on training to be a teacher through the Preparing Future Faculty course as well as seminars. 
Fun fact:
I am an assistant coach for the Lakeville hockey association, where I help my friend coach one of the Junior Gold B teams. Ohhhh, and I just became and uncle for the first time on September 6th.