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Taylor Fiolek

Chemical Biology group leader. Within the Tepe lab, Taylor runs the sub-group meetings with all the chemical biology students of the lab. He provides critical feedback, helps strategizing and guides problem solving for the group.

Taylor grew up in Mount Pleasant Michigan and always had a fascination with the sciences growing up. He attended Central Michigan University (CMU) where he studied biochemistry during his undergraduate degree. During this time, he worked in Dr. Choon Lee’s lab on the synthesis of building blocks for constructing antioxidant dendrimers. After obtaining his BS in 2015, he decided to continue his education at CMU in the form of a master’s degree in chemistry. He worked for Dr. Benjamin Swarts on the development of bioorthogonal chemical reporters for specific labeling of the mycomembrane of mycobacteria, like those that cause tuberculosis. This research fueled his desire to work in the field of drug discovery and development. Outside of the lab Taylor enjoys playing soccer, reading and video games.

Taylor joined Dr. Tepe’s lab in the Fall of 2017. His work focuses on the development of novel 20S proteasome activators and exploration of their effects on proteasome-mediated degradation of intrinsically disorder proteins that are involved with the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Nearing the conclusion of his first year at Michigan State University, Taylor was selected as a recipient of the Integrated Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (IPSTP) fellowship which included two years of funding and provided him with many additional training opportunities related to the fields of drug discovery and development. This also led him to beginning the process of obtaining a dual PhD in chemistry and pharmacology.

Publications and presentations:

Fiolek, T. J.; Banahene, N.; Kavunja, H. W.; Holmes, N.; Rylski, A. K.; Siegrist, M. S.; Swarts, B. M. Engineering the Mycomembrane of Live Mycobacteria with an Expanded Set of Trehalose Monomycolate Analogues. Chembiochem. 2019, 20, 1282-1291.  

Groenevelt, J.; Meints, L.; Stothard, A.; Poston, A.; Fiolek, T. J.; Finocchietti, D.; Mulholand, V.; Woodruff, P.; Swarts, B. Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of Trehalosamine, an Aminoglycoside Antibiotic and Precursor to Mycobacterial Imaging Probes. J. Org. Chem2018, 83, 8662-8667.  

Garcia-Heredia, A.; Pohane, A. A.; Melzer, E. S.; Carr, C. R.; Fiolek, T. J.; Rundell, S. R.; Lim, H. C.; Wagner, J.; Morita, Y. S.; Swarts, B. M.; Siegrist, S. M. Peptidoglycan precursor synthesis along the sidewall of pole-growing mycobacteria. eLife Sciences. 2018, 7, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.37243.  

Kavunja, H. W.; Piligian, B.; Fiolek, T. J.; Foley, H.; Nathan, T.; Swarts, B. A Chemical Reporter Strategy for Detecting and Identifying O-Mycoloylated Proteins in Corynebacterium. Chem Commun. 2016, 52, 13795-13798.  

Synthesis and Evaluation of an Expanded Set of Chemical Reporters for Probing Mycoloylation in Mycobacteria. Poster presented at 2016 Midwest Carbohydrate and Glycoscience Symposium, October 15th, 2016.

Synthesis and Evaluation of an Expanded Set of Chemical Reporters for Probing Mycoloylation in Mycobacteria. Poster presented at 2016 Wayne State Graduate Research Symposium, October 22nd, 2016.  

Synthesis and Evaluation of an Expanded Set of Chemical Reporters for Probing Mycoloylation in Mycobacteria. Poster presented at American Chemical Society Spring National Meeting, April 2-6th, 2017.

Development of a novel class of 20S proteasome activators and exploration of their effect on α-synuclein oligomer mediated inhibition of the proteasome. Poster presented at IPSTP retreat MSU, February, 2019.

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Latest News

May 23, 2022 Very grateful for the NIH's continued support of our work and the funding of our new grant!

Thank you Taylor, Sophie and Allison of all your hard work in helping me put this together and for the data needed to get his funded!

May 22, 2022 Congrats to Rahman Saleem, who was awarded the Vice Chancellors Award for Teaching Excellence at LUMS!

Rahman was selected as one of the five faculty members from Pakistan's leading research intensive university, LUMS, to receive this award. Rahman is currently an Associate Professor at LUMS after getting his PhD from the Tepe lab at MSU in 2011.

Congrats from all of us!

April 19, 2022 Congrats Evert and Allison on your new publication in Biomedicine! Great work.

 Biomedicines 2022, 10, 938. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10050938

Title: Small molecule 20S proteasome enhancer regulates MYC protein stability and exhibits antitumor activity in multiple myeloma.

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