Dr. Ruiz received her Ph.D. in Physics at Brandeis University, MA. She joined the UVM Faculty in 2002.
The research of my laboratory focuses on the structural and functional relationship of macromolecular complexes involved in sugar metabolism, motility and bacterial adhesion. Muscle and cancer cells use glycolysis as their main energy pathway. Deficiencies of the key regulatory enzyme phosphofructokinase, whose structure is largely unknown, can lead to Acute Septic Cardiomyopathy and Tauri's Disease. We analyze the structure of eukaryotic phosphofructokinases by cryo-electron microscopy and image processing using different combinations of effectors and substrates to obtain a better understanding of the eukaryotic mechanism. Endocarditis and Atherosclerosis are associated with the presence of oral bacteria. Bacterial adhesion is essential for colonization and invasion, and is mediated by proteinaceous surface appendages. Through a combination of electron microscopy, biochemical and molecular genetic techniques, we intend to determine the structure of the external appendages, their anchorage to the bacterial membrane and interaction with the various human cell host components. Trainees working with in my laboratory will focus on solving specific biological problems while learning to ingeniously manipulate and develop imaging techniques to obtain the highest possible resolution.
Faculty Highlighted Publications
Azari F, Radermacher M, Mintz KP and Ruiz T. Correlation of the amino-acid sequence and the 3D structure of the functional domain of EmaA from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. Journal of Structural Biology. 2012 177:439-46.
Jiang X, Ruiz T, and Mintz KP. The extended signal peptide of the trimeric autotransporter EmaA of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans modulates secretion. Journal of Bacteriology. 2011 193:6983-94
Banaszak K, Mechin I, Obmolova G, Oldham M, Chang SH, Ruiz T, Radermacher M, KopperschlÃ¤ger G, Rypniewski W. The Crystal Structures of Eukaryotic Phosphofructokinases from Baker's Yeast and Rabbit Skeletal Muscle. Journal of Molecular Biology. 2011 407:284-97.
Ramboarina S, Garnett JA, Zhou M, Li Y, Peng Z, Taylor JD, Lee WC, Bodey A, Murray JW, Alguel Y, Bergeron J, Bardiaux B, Sawyer E, Isaacson R, Tagliaferri C, Cota E, Nilges M, Simpson P, Ruiz T, Wu H, Matthews S. Structural insights into serine-rich fimbriae from Gram-positive bacteria. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2010 285:32446-57
Yu L, Snapp RR, Ruiz T, Radermacher M. Probabilistic principal component analysis with expectation maximization (PPCA-EM) facilitates volume classification and estimates the missing data. Journal of Structural Biology. 2010 171:18-30.