Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2015
Home Department: Chemical & Systems Biology
Faculty Advisors: Daria Mochly-Rosen (Chemical & Systems Biology) and KC Huang (Bioengineering, Microbiology & Immunology)

Research Title: Protein evolution and disease-causing mutations in an antioxidant-producing enzyme

Research Description: G6PD deficiency afflicts 400 million people worldwide, and is a risk factor for many Photo of Anna Cunningham.diseases such as diabetes, bipolar disorder, and Huntington’s disease. The deficiency can result from 160 different mutations in the protein glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD); these mutations disable the function of G6PD in various ways. Anna plans to use a bioinformatic method to study the evolution of G6PD, learn more about the effects of known G6PD mutations, and predict the effects of new mutations. This project will advance the understanding of this essential protein and guide the identification of a drug that could rescue G6PD mutations and possibly treat G6PD deficiency.


Anna is a software engineer at Freenome, a mid-size biotech startup developing a blood-based assay for early detection of colorectal cancer.