Hughes Lab in the News

A collection of lab related news items, some research related, some not:

Review article accepted by Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Dr. Hughes’ review article “A Compendium of Chemical and Genetic Approaches to Light Regulated Gene Transcription” is currently in production and will appear in CRBMB soon!

CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT GRADUATION 2018 featured lab member Abu Kuyateh as one of two student speakers. Nice work Abu!

Abu Kuyateh speaks at the Department of Chemistry Graduation Ceremony held on Saturday, May 5th.

ECU Research & Creative Activity Week Presentations March 26 & 28


Congratulations to all who presented as part of ECU RCAW!

Oral Presentations

Abu-Bakarr Kuyateh   March 26, 2018 Graduate Symposium

Jessica Norris March 28, 2018 Undergraduate Symposium

Colby Godwin March 28, 2018 Undergraduate Symposium


Nathaneal Green March 28, 2018 Undergraduate Symposium

Will Taylor March 28, 2018 Undergraduate Symposium

Abu, in a celebratory pose after his successful RCAW presentation.

3D Printed Labware

ECU undergraduate researcher Nathaneal Green proposed a solution to the lab’s sub-optimal (that’s being nice) cardboard stand for chromatography columns……ECU’s 3D printing lab (3Dprinting@ECU). Nate designed his own prototype online and had the model printed using one of the 3D printers in Joyner Library. Below are photos of Nate with his invention and the prototype in action (we’re hoping for a 3D printed centrifuge next – keep it up Nate!):

Norris and Hughes article accepted for publication by FEBS OpenBio

In the forthcoming article “protaTETHER: A method for the incorporation of variable linkers in protein fusions reveals impacts of linker flexibility in a PKAc-GFP fusion protein“, Norris & Hughes describe a straightforward cloning method for the implementation and evaluation of focused linker libraries in protein fusions. The Hughes lab is currently utilizing this method to develop optimized protein fusions for biotech applications. Read more here:


ECU Seniors Colby Godwin and Jacob Burch were notified of their acceptance to dental school in early December. They are not pictured below.

Not an actual dentist

(Probably not an actual dentist)


Colby presented his research at SERMACS 2017 in Charlotte, NC. Also present at the meeting were lab members Jessica Norris, Nathan Green, and Abu Kuyateh.

poster session pic

Colby at the SERMACS poster session


Dr. Hughes quoted in Daily Reflector @ Wahl-Coates Elementary School Open House:

Daily Reflector Article

FALL 2016 – Research by Hughes, et al published in Angewandte Chemie and featured by C&E News:

C&E News Article

Also featured by other science-oriented websites:

Feature Articles on the Web

And Twitter:

Featured Tweets

SCIENCE OLYMPIAD @ Wahl-Coates Elementary School

Yes, it is true…….a dynamic duo of Wahl-Coates Elementary students garnered FIRST PLACE in the fiercely competitive MARSHMALLOW CATAPULT event held in the spring of 2017 @ J.H. Rose High School.

marshmallow catapult

The S’moresinator

marshmallow catapult

Post-event – celebrating accurate marshmallow tosses of 3 and 5 meters

Here’s a link to a Facebook post featuring work with Wahl-Coates Science Olympiad participants:

Wahl-Coates Facebook Page

ACS – San Francisco – Spring 2017

Despite being badly in need of a haircut, Dr. Hughes soldiered on and presented a poster at the ACS San Francisco meeting. While in San Francisco, he also had to purchase a new pair of shoes. But that’s a story for another time.

poster presentation pic

Poster @ ACS National Meeting – San Franciso, CA Spring 2017

Grant Funding

The Hughes lab was fortunate to receive a doctoral new investigator award from the ACS Petroleum Research Fund (ACS PRF). With these funds, we’ll be undertaking a rational design approach to the development of biocatalysts for asymmetric transformations in non-aqueous media.

Undergraduate George Hoffmann received a CURE Award from the ECU Department of Chemistry to support his optogenetics project.

Out and About

Masters student Abu-Bakarr Kuyateh represented the Chemistry Department at the What’s Up Bio? event sponsored by the ECU Department of Biology. Pictured below are Abu (Hughes lab graduate student) and Katie (Spuches Lab graduate student). Thanks guys!

What's Up Bio?

Abu & Katie work their grad student magic on prospective Biology & Chemistry majors at the What’s Up Bio? event (September 8, 2017).

Chemistry Department Homecoming 2017

The department had a great turnout for its annual Homecoming event. 18 posters from across the department were presented at the poster session, with projects ranging from asymmetric catalysis to chemical education to the mass spec identification of pharmaceuticals. Below are some photos of student presenters from the Hughes lab.


Undergraduate Nathan Green describes his project to Assistant Vice Chancellor and Biology Professor Dr. Mary Farwell.


George Hoffman with his illuminating poster.


Colby Godwin discusses his work with a fellow ECU student.


Graduate student Fatema Salem discusses her work with Dr. Banerjee (ECU Chemistry).


Graduate Student Fatema Salem stands by her work on biosensors for oxidative stress.


Graduate student Abu Kuyateh with his poster on actin-nucleotide interactions.

Nate 2

Nathan Green with his biocatalysis poster.


Colby Godwin with his optogenetics poster.


Jessica Norris with her poster on the expression and characterization of a TEV Protease protein fusion.

Nate 3

Nate describes his project to Dr. Joi Walker (ECU Chemistry).