Nicholas Hertz

Nicholas Hertz


Graduate Student




Ph.D. Chemical Biology 2007-Present University of California, San Francisco
B.S. Biochemistry 2006 University of California, Los Angeles

Work History

2007-Present: Graduate Student, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco
2006-2007: Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles
2003-2004: Research Assistant, Department of Organic Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interests

How do cells receive external stimuli and process multiple signals at once to produce an outcome? To answer this question I will utilize mass spec based chemical genetics to disect multiple kinase signaling pathways that converge on one of the central signaling hubs of cells, the mitochondrion. Other than its recognized role in energy production, the mitochondrion also functions as one of the central controllers of controlled cell death, or apoptosis. These two pathways control metabolism, and ultimately degeneration of all cells, including neural cells. There are two mitochondrially associated kinases, GSK3 beta and PINK1, whose function is to directly control these processes. In order to elucidate the function of these clinically relevant kinases I will generate engineered enzymes which will utilize a bio-orthogonal ATP analog to specifically label their substrates, purify these labeled phospho peptides after tryptic digestion, and then identify these substrates by mass spectrometry.

Select Publications

Dumlao, D., Hertz, N., Clarke, S., Secreted 3-isopropylmalate methyl ester signals invasive growth during amino acid starvation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Biochemistry 47(2),698-709 (2008). [Pubmed]