University of Nebraska Medical Center

Borgstahl Structural Biology Laboratory

The Borgstahl Lab is interested in developing novel X-ray crystallography methods and in studying the macromolecules essential to the protection of biological macromolecules and the maintenance and replication of DNA.

We have developed protocols for the processing of incommensurately modulated diffraction data from protein crystals. We have studied these modulations through computer modeling and are creating software to refine these structures in (3+1)D superspace.


Professor, UNMC Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases
Co-Director, Eppley Structural Biology Facility
Research Focus: Drug discovery in cancer and structural biology of DNA repair complexes


Borgstahl Structural Biology Laboratory

Gloria Borgstahl

Research Interests

Our laboratory has had a long-standing interest in the proteins involved in DNA metabolism using X-ray crystallography and molecular modeling. In particular we study human replication protein A (RPA) and RAD52. RPA is a single-stranded DNA binding protein that is a key player in DNA metabolism and together with RAD52 anneals repetitive DNA sequences at double-strand breaks. This annealing reaction is a drug target in homologous recombination deficient hereditary cancers.

Our laboratory also has an interest in superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes that are critical in preventing damage to all biological macromolecules. We are investigating the catalytic mechanism by which superoxide dismutases affect oxygen radicals. We are employing neutron diffraction to solve crystal structures of SOD in order to see hydrogen positions and avoid reduction of the active site metal by x-rays. In order to obtain crystals of suitable size and purity for neutron diffraction, we grow crystals in microgravity on the international space station.


Dr. Borgstahl presented to a group in Prague in 2021 on Direct Detection of Coupled Proton and Electron Transfers in Human Mitochondrial Manganese Superoxide Dimutase.

Video Transcript

Laboratory Members

Lucas Stuble

Research Instructor

Jeff Lovelace

Research Manager

Jahaun Azadmanesh

Post Doc

Medhanjali Dasgupta

Post Doc

Savanna Wallin

Graduate Student

Andrew Pham

Graduate Student

Sneha Pandithar

Graduate Student

Miles Graham

Graduate Students

Valerie Fousek-Schuller

Graduate Student

Katie Slobodnik