Steve Ealick's Research Group

Michael Fenwick


BSc: with Honors, Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 1999
Third year exchange student Imperial College, UK

PhD: Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, January, 2005


Modeling and simulation of antibody structure and the role antibodies play in the onset of follicular lymphoma (Fernando Escobedo's Lab)

Research Experience:

Corporate internships: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (Allentown, PA)

Corporate Science and Technology division. 6/98 – 8/98
Industrial Chemicals Technology division, Reaction Engineering, 5/97 – 9/97

Undergraduate: Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) 9/98 – 8/99

Computer simulation study of colloidal Brownian dynamics (David Sholl's Lab)
Awarded summer research grant from BL Tarmy Foundation.

Post-graduate: Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) 9/04 – 12/09

NMR studies of a glutamate receptor agonist binding protein (Robert Oswald's Lab)
Awarded 3 year NIH fellowship (training grant) in Molecular Medicine


Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi honor societies
2nd place finalist - Carnegie Institute of Technology undergraduate research competition

Current Project

Structural studies of enzymes acting on purine-derived compounds.


Sholl, D. S., Fenwick, M. K., Atman, E., and Prieve, D. C. (2000) Brownian dynamics simulation of the motion of a rigid sphere in a viscous fluid very near a wall, J. Chem. Phys. 113, 9268-9278. URL

Fenwick, M. K., and Escobedo, F. A. (2003) Hybrid monte carlo with multidimensional replica exchanges: Conformational equilibria of the hypervariable regions of a llama VHH antibody domain, Biopolymers 68, 160-177. PubMed

Fenwick, M. K., and Escobedo, F. A. (2003) Expanded ensemble and replica exchange methods for simulation of protein-like systems, J. Chem. Phys. 119, 11998-12010. URL

Fenwick, M. K., and Escobedo, F. A. (2004) On the use of Bennett's acceptance ratio method in multi-canonical-type simulations, J. Chem. Phys. 120, 3066-3074. PubMed

Fenwick, M. K. (2006) Accurate estimation of the density of states from Monte Carlo transition probability data, J. Chem. Phys. 125, 144905. PubMed

Fenwick, M. K., and Oswald, R. E. (2007) Backbone chemical shift assignment of a glutamate receptor ligand binding domain in complexes with five partial agonists, Biomol. NMR Assign. 1, 241-243. PubMed

Oswald, R. E., Ahmed, A., Fenwick, M. K., and Loh, A. P. (2007) Structure of glutamate receptors, Curr. Drug Targets 8, 573-582. PubMed

Fenwick, M. K. (2008) A direct multiple histogram reweighting method for optimal computation of the density of states, J. Chem. Phys. 129, 125106. PubMed

Fenwick, M. K., and Oswald, R. E. (2008) NMR spectroscopy of the ligand-binding core of ionotropic glutamate receptor 2 bound to 5-substituted willardiine partial agonists, J. Mol. Biol. 378, 673-685. PubMed

Maltsev, A. S., Ahmed, A. H., Fenwick, M. K., Jane, D. E., and Oswald, R. E. (2008) Mechanism of partial agonism at the GluR2 AMPA receptor: Measurements of lobe orientation in solution, Biochemistry 47, 10600-10610. PubMed

Ahmed, A. H., Thompson, M. D., Fenwick, M. K., Romero, B., Loh, A. P., Jane, D. E., Sondermann, H., and Oswald, R. E. (2009) Mechanisms of antagonism of the GluR2 AMPA receptor: structure and dynamics of the complex of two willardiine antagonists with the glutamate binding domain, Biochemistry 48, 3894-3903. PubMed

Fenwick, M. K., and Escobedo, F. A. (2009) Exploration of factors affecting the onset and maturation course of follicular lymphoma through simulations of the germinal center, Bull. Math. Biol. 71, 1432-1462. URL

Velez-Vega, C., Fenwick, M. K., and Escobedo, F. A. (2009) Simulated mutagenesis of the hypervariable loops of a llama VHH domain for the recovery of canonical conformations, J. Phys. Chem. B. 113, 1785-1795. PubMed

Fenwick, M. K., and Oswald, R. E. (2010) On the mechanisms of AMPA receptor binding to glutamate and kainate, J. Biol. Chem. 285, 12334-12343. PubMed

Fenwick M. K., Philmus B, Begley T. P., and Ealick S.E. Toxoflavin Lyase Requires a Novel 1-His-2-Carboxylate Facial Triad. Biochemistry 50:1091-1100 (2011). PubMed

Philmus B, Abdelwahed S, Williams HJ, Fenwick MK, Ealick SE, and Begley TP. Identification of the product of Toxoflavin lyase: degradation via a Baeyer-Villiger oxidation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134:5326-5330. (2012). PubMed

Lai RY, Huang S, Fenwick MK, Hazra AB, Zhang Y, Rajashankar KR, Philmus B, Kinsland C, Sanders JM, Ealick SE, and Begley TP. Thiamin pyrimidine biosynthesis in Candida albicans: a remarkable reaction between histidine and pyridoxal phosphate. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134:9157−9159. (2012). PubMed

Ahmed, A. H., Ptak, C. P., Fenwick, M. K., Hsieh, C.-L., Weiland, G. A., and Oswald, R. E. (2013) Dynamics of Cleft Closure of the GluA2 Ligand Binding Domain in the Presence of Full and Partial Agonists Revealed by Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange, J. Biol. Chem. 288:27658-66. PubMed

Fenwick MK, Mehta AP, Zhang Y, Abdelwahed SH, Begley TP, and Ealick SE. Noncanonical Active Site Architecture of the Radical SAM Thiamin Pyrimidine Synthase. Nat. Commun. 6:6480 (2015). PubMed (AtThiC and CcThiC)

Mehta AP, Abdelwahed SH, Fenwick MK, Hazra AB, Taga ME, Zhang Y, Ealick SE, and Begley TP. Anaerobic 5-Hydroxybenzimidazole formation from aminoimidazole ribotide: an unanticipated intersection of thiamin and vitamin B12 biosynthesis. J. Am. Chem. Soc.137:10444−10447 (2015). PubMed

Fenwick MK, Philmus B, Begley TP, and Ealick SE. Burkholderia glumae ToxA is a Dual Specificity Methyltransferase that Catalyzes the Last Two Steps of Toxoflavin Biosynthesis. Biochemistry 55:2748-2759 (2016). PubMed

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