Andrea Szakal received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State University. While at Penn State, she studied the catalytic mechanism and folding pathway of the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme in Philip Bevilacqua's lab.She was then awarded an NRC/NIST Postdoctoral Fellowship and worked in John Marino's lab at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) (formerly the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB)) where she began investigating the structure of RNA from the HIV-1 genome using a variety of techniques, including fluorescence, NMR, and small-angle neutron scattering. She is currently a Research Chemist and is continuing the work from her postdoctoral appointment, and is interested in expanding upon her work to develop methods for the study of large-RNA structures.
Chadalavada, D.M., Cerrone-Szakal, A.L., Wilcox, J.L., Siegfried, N.A., & Bevilacqua, P.C. (2012) Mechanistic Analysis of the Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) Ribozyme: Methods for RNA Preparation, Structure Mapping, Solvent Isotope Effects, and Co-transcriptional Cleavage, Methods Mol Biol (ahead of print)
Brinson, R.G., Szakal, A.L., & Marino, J.P. (2011) Structural Characterization of the Viral and Complementary RNA Panhandle Motifs from the Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus. J Virol (ahead of print)
Cerrone-Szakal, A.L., Siegfried, N.A., & Bevilacqua, P.C. (2008) Mechanistic Characterization of the HDV Genomic Ribozyme: Solvent Isotope Effects and Proton Inventories in the Absence of Divalent Metal Ions Support C75 as the General Acid, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130: 14504-14520.
Cerrone-Szakal, A.L., Chadalavada, D.M., Golden, B.L., & Bevilacqua, P.C. (2008) Mechanistic Characterization of the HDV Genomic Ribozyme: The Cleavage Site Base Pair Plays a Structural Role in Facilitating Catalysis, RNA 14: 1746-1760.
Chadalavada, D.M., Cerrone-Szakal, A.L., & Bevilacqua, P.C. (2007) Wild-Type is the Optimal Sequence of the HDV Ribozyme Under Cotranscriptional Conditions, RNA 13: 2189-2201.
Bevilacqua, P.C., Cerrone-Szakal, A.L., & Siegfried, N.A. (2007) Insight into the Functional Versatility of RNA through Model-Making with Applications to Data Fitting, Q. Rev. Biophys. 40: 55-85.
Nakano, S., Cerrone, A.L., & Bevilacqua, P.C. (2003) Mechanistic Characterization of the HDV Genomic Ribozyme: Classifying the Catalytic and Structural Metal Ion Sites within a Multichannel Reaction Mechanism, Biochemistry 42: 2982-2994.