Tara Sprules


I obtained a BSc in Honours Co-op Applied Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, and a PhD in the NMR group in the Biochemistry Department at McGill.

I was studying PBX, a homeodomain protein, which in a mutated form is implicated in pre B-cell leukemia. The project has involved determining the structure of the free PBX homeodomain, the homeodomain bound to DNA, and a trimeric complex of the homeodomain, DNA, and a peptide that increases the affinity of the homeodomain for its DNA recognition site. Looking at the changes that take place when PBX binds to DNA and its peptide binding partner aid in understanding its role in transcription, and how mutations can affect its functioning correctly. A variety of NMR techniques, including the use of filtered experiments to observe one component of the complex, and the measurement of residual dipolar couplings to orient the molecules relative to one another have been employed in my research.

Currently, NMR Facility Manager of Quebec/Eastern Canada NMR Centre.

contact: tara.sprules@mcgill.ca