Mateusz Czub is the Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author for the December 2020 issue. At the time of manuscript preparation, he was a pre-doctoral trainee at the School of Medicine, University of Virginia, under the supervision of
his mentor, Prof. Wladek Minor. He recently successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and completed the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Biophysics. In January 2021, Mateusz will start his postdoctoral training in the group of Prof. Michel
Steinmetz at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, and will study the organization of microtubule plus-end tracking proteins and their interactions with actin. The Molecular Pharmacology article that earned his selection as a Highlighted
Trainee Author is titled “Structure of the Complex of an Iminopyridinedione Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 4A3 Phosphatase Inhibitor with Human Serum Albumin” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/molpharm.120.000131
Dr. Czub’s area of research during his Ph.D. studies was focused on the interactions of serum albumin, the most abundant protein in mammalian blood plasma, with different classes of FDA-approved drugs and metabolites. In his work, Dr. Czub used
structural and biophysical methods to characterize these interactions at the molecular level. The crystal structures of albumin complexes with several drugs reveal that multiple medications may compete for the same binding sites on albumin.
Dr. Czub hopes that information about the location of drug sites in albumin and their potential modification or inaccessibility due to the presence of common metabolites (e.g., elevated glucose levels in diabetic patients) may be used to explain why certain
drugs are ineffective in some patients. This highlights the importance of predicting possible unwanted and dangerous drug interactions, such as drug-drug displacement or drug co-binding.
Outside of his research, Mateusz enjoys reading books, traveling, and trying culinary delicacies with his wife.