- Peter Butko
- Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
- Key word
- Supramolecular assemblies: Macromolecular interactions/Lipid membranes/Membrane-active peptides and proteins/Amyloid self-assembly
- In our laboratory we combine physical chemistry with biophysics and biochemistry. We have actively pursued three lines of research, mostly using fluorescence spectroscopy.
1. Interactions of molecules with lipid membranes are an important step in the mechanism of action of a diverse group of molecules, such as cytolytic toxins, antimicrobial and cell-penetrating peptides, membrane channels, and dendrimers. Better understanding of these interactions would allow for better protection of our cells against bacterial or insect toxins, for more effective killing of bacterial pathogens, and for improved efficiency and/or targeting in intracellular drug delivery.
2. Self-assembly of peptides and proteins into insoluble amyloid aggregates plays a positive role in life cycle of yeasts, fungi, and insects, but is pathogenic in higher organisms. Finding synthetic or natural-product inhibitors of this process would lead to novel strategies for treatment and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.
3. Macromolecular interactions are ubiquitous in the cell's biochemistry, and recently we embarked on a study of interactions between an enzyme that regulates cell proliferation and small synthetic molecules, with the aim of finding very specific inhibitors for possible treatment of cancer.
- 1974-1979 Student (Diploma in Physics)
- Komensky University, Bratislava, Slovakia1982 RNDr. (Doctor of Natural Sciences) in Biophysics/Chemical Physics
- Komensky University, Bratislava, Slovakia1982-1987 Graduate Student (Ph.D. in Biological Sciences)
- Hungarian Acad. Sci., Budapest, Hungary1987-1988 Postdoctoral Fellow (Physiology/Biophysics)
- Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA1988-1989 Postdoctoral Fellow (Pharmacology/Cell Biophysics)
- University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA1989-1990 Postdoctoral Fellow (Membrane Biophysics)
- Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA1990-1992 (Biological Sciences)
- Brock Univ., St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada1992-1994 Research Officer
- National Research Council, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada1994-1998 Research Fellow
- Brigham & Women’s Hosp./Harvard Med. School, Boston, MA, USA1998-2003 Assistant Professor (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
- University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA2003-2007 Associate Professor (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
- University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA2007-2010 Associate Professor (School of Pharmacy)
- University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA2010-2011 Adjunct Professor (Chemistry)
- Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD, USA2011-present G30 Designated Professor (Chemistry)
- Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
- 2008 Spirit Award, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
2002 Dean's Award for the Most Productive Junior Faculty, University of Southern Mississippi
2000 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities