Campus Directory: Trushar Patel

University of Lethbridge

Trushar Patel
Associate Dean
Arts & Science, Dean's Office
Office: A562 (University Hall)
Phone: (403) 380-1813
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Office: SA9120
Phone: (403) 332-4443
Patel Lab
Room: L9Q1, SA9152
Phone: (403) 329-2297


RNA, Protein, Helicases, Host-viral Interactions, Biomolecular Interactions, RNA-protein interactions, Protein-Protein Interactions, Light Scattering, Solution X-ray Scattering, Integrated Approach, Structure-Function Relationships

Research Areas

Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics

About Me


Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Lethbridge
Jul 2023 -

Associate Dean (Acting), Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Lethbridge
Aug 2022 - June 2023

Interim Director, Synbridge Synthetic Biology Maker-Space
Sep 2021 - May 2022

Co-Founder and CEO, Quadrumix Biotechnology
Mar 2021 -

Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor (Tenured)
Jul 2020 -

Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor (Tenure-track)
Nov 2017 - Jun 2020

Co-Director of DiscoveryLab
Feb 2017 -

Assistant Professor (Term) Apr 2016 - Oct 2017

. Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow : University of Birmingham, UK 2013-2015

. CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow: University of Manitoba, Canada 2010-2012

. MICH Postdoctoral Fellow: University of Manitoba, Canada 2008-2010

. PhD: University of Nottingham, UK

. Alberta Newcomers Recognition Award, Government of Alberta, Oct 2023
. 2023 Speaker Research Award, University of Lethbridge, Jun 2023
. The Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee Medal, Government of Alberta, Jan 2023
. NSERC Leader, University of Lethbridge, Canada, Nov 2022 -
. Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (United Kingdom), May 2022
. 2022 University of Lethbridge Volunteer Award, University of Lethbridge, Jun 2022
. 2022 New Investigator Award from the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences, Jan 2022
. 2022 Young Investigator of the Biophysical Society of Canada, Sep 2021
. Member, College of Reviewers, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Canada, Apr 2021 -
. Biophysicists in Profile, Biophysical Society, USA, Oct 2019
. Selected by the Canadian Science Policy Centre and the Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor of Canada for Science Meets Parliament Program, Canada, Nov 2018
. Canada Research Chair (Tier II), Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Nov 2017 - Oct 2022

87 Peer-reviewed Publications, with an h-index of 31 (>4,000 citations, Google Scholar Nov 2023)

Delivered 46 oral presentations


Trushar is an emerging leader in the biophysical characterization of viral nucleic acids- human protein complexes that are at the heart of viral infections. His research focus is to obtain detailed insights into how viral nucleic acids interact with host proteins by employing interdisciplinary approaches. Information on the specific sites of host proteins that communicate with viral nucleic acids will ultimately allow the development of therapeutics that prevent host-viral communication. These interactions are essential for the survival and replication of the virus - stopping the interactions is thus of benefit for treating viral infection.

Trushar graduated with BSc and MSc degrees in Biotechnology from India. He joined the University of Nottingham, the UK for his PhD where he studied solution structure and interactions of plant polysaccharides. Subsequently, he joined the University of Manitoba, Canada where he studied structures of human extracellular matrix proteins. He also started working with RNA molecules at the later stage of his postdoctoral studies. At the Uni of Manitoba, he was supported by the Manitoba Institute of Child Health and Canadian Institutes of Health Research postdoctoral fellowships.

Subsequently, Trushar was successful in receiving the Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship from the European Union to work on a research program aimed at establishing the structure-function relationships of the human cytoskeleton protein called Zyxin at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Trushar started his career as an independent researcher at the University of Lethbridge in 2016. He was initially recruited on a non-tenure track position, which was converted to a tenure track in Nov 2017, when he received a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in RNA and Protein Biophysics. Trushar has published 87 peer-reviewed articles, and 35 Editorials and has served as a Guest Editor for 4 Special Volumes. He is also one of the editors of the European Biophysics Journal. Trushar has been very active in training the next-generation researchers as well as with scientific and science-policy-related conference organizing activities. In recognition of his early career success, he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020. He was featured by the Biophysical Society (USA) in 2019 and is the recipient of the 2022 Young Investigator Award of the Biophysical Society of Canada.

Selected Publications

Published articles: 87, > 4,000 citations with an h-index of 31.

• Below is a list of articles published since 2019. The ## and # represent co-corresponding and corresponding authorship respectively, whereas the * represents trainees.

87. Gemmill, D. L.*, Nelson, C. R.*, Badmalia, M. D.*, Pereira, H. S.*, Wolfinger, M. W. and Patel, T. R.#. (2023) The 3' terminal region of Zika virus RNA contains a conserved G-quadruplex and is unfolded by human DDX17.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (revisions were submitted in July 2023), Impact Factor: 3.73

86. Pereira, H. S.*, Gemmill, D. L.* Siddique MQ*, Vasudeva, G* and Patel, T. R.#. (2023) Genomic Mapping and Characterization of G-quadruplexes in Monkeypox Genomes.
Journal of Medical Virology, in press, Impact Factor: 20.58

85. Mrozowich T*, Park SM*, Waldl M, Henrickson A, Tersteeg S*, Nelson CR*, De Klerk A*, Demeler B, Hofacker IL, Wolfinger MT and Patel TR# (2023) Investigating RNA-RNA interactions through computational and biophysical analysis.
Nucleic Acids Research, Open-access article. Impact Factor: 19.16

84. Badmalia MD*, Siddiqui MQ*, Pereira HS* and Patel TR#. (2022) A comprehensive review of methods to study lncRNA-protein interactions in solution.
Biochemical Society Transactions, 50, 1415-1426, Impact Factor: 4.91

83. Tersteeg S*, Mrozowich T*, Henrickson A, Demeler B, and Patel TR#. (2022) Purification and Characterization of Inorganic Pyrophosphatase for in vitro RNA Transcription.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 100, 425-436, Open-access article. Impact Factor: 3.73.

82. D'Souza MD, Mrozowich T*, Badmalia MD*, Geeraert M,* Frederickson A, * Henrickson A, Demeler B, Wolfinger MT and Patel TR#. (2022) Biophysical Characterisation of Human LincRNA-p21 Sense and Antisense Alu Inverted Repeats.
Nucleic Acids Research, 50, 5881-5898. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 19.16

81. Aguilar R, Spencer KB, Kesner B, Rizvi NF, Badmalia MD*, Mrozowich T*, Mortison JD, Rivera C, Smith GS, Burchard J, Dandliker P, Patel TR, Nickbarg EB, Lee JT. (2022) Targeting Xist with compounds that disrupt RNA structure and X-inactivation.
Nature, 640, 160-166. Impact Factor: 69.50

80. Rutbeek NR, Rezasoltani H, Patel TR, Khajehpour M and Prehna G. (2021) Molecular mechanism of quorum sensing inhibition in Streptococcus by the phage protein paratox.
Journal of Biological Chemistry, 297, 100992, 1-15. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 5.48

79. Meier-Stephenson V*, Badmalia M*, Mrozowich T*, Lau KCK, Schultz SK*, Gemmill D*, Osiowy C, van Marle G, Coffin CS and Patel TR#. (2021). Identification and characterization of a G-quadruplex structure in the pre-core promoter region of hepatitis B virus covalently closed circular DNA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry, 296, 100589, 1-16. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 5.48

78. Siddique MQ*, Badmalia M* and Patel TR#. (2021). Bioinformatic Analysis of Structure and Function of LIM Domains of Human Zyxin Family Proteins.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(1), 2647. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 6.20

77. Nelson C, * Mrozowich T,* Gemmill DL,* Park SM,* and Patel TR#. (2021). Human DDX3X unwinds Japanese Encephalitis and Zika viral 5' Terminal Regions.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(1), 413. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 6.20

76. Nelson C, * Mrozowich T,* Park SM,* D'souza S,* Henrickson A, Vigar JRJ, Wieden H-J, Owens RJ, Demeler B and Patel TR#. (2021). Human DDX17 unwinds Rift Valley Fever Virus Non-coding RNAs.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(1), 54. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 6.20

75. Patel A, Treffers EE, Meier M, Patel TR, Stetefeld J, Snijder EJ and Mark BL#. (2020). Molecular characterization of the programmed ribosomal frameshifting complex generated by Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus.
Journal of Biological Chemistry, 295, 17904-17921. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 5.48

74. Badmalia M*, Siddique MQ*, Mrozowich T*, Gemmill D* and Patel TR#. (2020). Analytical ultracentrifuge: An ideal tool for characterization of non-coding RNAs.
European Biophysics Journal, 49, 809-818. Impact Factor: 2.33

73. D'souza S*, Lau KCK, Coffin CS and Patel TR#. (2020) Molecular Mechanisms of Viral Hepatitis Induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
World Journal of Gastroenterology, 26, 5759-5783. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 5.37

72. D'Souza MH* and Patel TR#. (2020). Biodefense implications of New-World Hantaviruses.
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, section Biosafety and Biosecurity, 8, 925, 1-20. Open-access article.
Impact Factor: 6.06

71. Koul A, Gemmill D*, Lubma N, Meier M, Booy EP, Stetefeld J, Patel TR## and McKenna S#. (2020) Structural and hydrodynamic characterization of dimeric human oligoadenylate synthetase 2.
Biophysical Journal, 118, 2726-2740. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 3.66

70. Aubrey D* and Patel TR#. (2020) The biomedical and bioengineering potential of protein nanocompartments.
Biotechnology Advances, 41, 107547. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 17.68

69. Mrozowich T*, Henrickson A, Demeler B and Patel TR#. (2020). Nanoscale structure determination of Murray Valley encephalitis and Powassan virus non-coding RNAs.
Viruses, 12, 190. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 5.81

68. Turton KL*, Meier-Stephenson V*, Badmalia MD*, Coffin CS and Patel TR#. (2020) Host transcription factors in Hepatitis B Virus RNA synthesis.
Viruses, 12, 160. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 5.81

67. Hernando M, Orris G, Perodeau J, Lei S, Ferens F, Patel TR, Stetefeld J, Nieuwkoop AJ and O'Neil J#. (2020) Solution structure and oligomeric state of the E. coli glycerol facilitator.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes, 1862, 183191. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 4.01

66. Zhao J##, Azad MB, Burton C, Crooks VA, Dawson J, Ford AT, Kaida A, Krishnaswamy A, Kouk C, Mah CL, McTaggart M, Moehring A, Robert D, Schulte-Hostedde A, Sparling H, De Vera M, Waterman S and Patel TR#. (2020) Canadian Science Meets Parliament: Building Relationships Between Scientists and Policymakers.
Science and Public Policy, scz062. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 2.08

65. Gemmill D*, D'souza S*, Meier-Stephenson V* and Patel TR#. (2020). Current approaches for RNA labelling to identify RNA-binding proteins.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 98, 31-41. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 3.73.
** Second Most Article Read Online and the Most Downloaded Article in Biochemistry and Cell Biology**

64. Kim DN, Thiel B, Mrozowich T*, Hennelley S, Hofacker I, Patel TR##, Sanbonmatsu K#. (2020) Zinc-finger
protein CNBP alters the 3-D structure of lncRNA Braveheart in solution.
Nature Communications, 11, 148. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 17.69

63. Yazdi MM, Saran S, Mrozowich T*, Lehnert C, Patel TR##, Sanders DA##, Palmer DRJ#. (2020) Asparagine-84, a regulatory allosteric site residue, helps maintain the quaternary structure of Campylobacter jejuni dihydrodipicolinate synthase.
Journal of Structural Biology, 209, 107409. Impact Factor: 3.23

62. Mrozowich T*, Winzor DJ, Scott DJ## and Patel TR#. (2019) Experimental determination of second virial coefficients by small-angle X-ray Scattering: a problem revisited.
European Biophysics Journal, 48, 781-787 Impact Factor: 2.33

61. Mrozowich T*, Winzor DJ, Scott DJ and Patel TR#. (2019) Use of molecular crowding for the detection of protein self-association by size-exclusion chromatography.
Analytical Biochemistry, 584, 113392. Impact Factor: 3.19

60. Krahn N*, Reuten R, Meier M, Koch M, Stetefeld J# and Patel TR#. (2019). Solution structure of C. elegans UNC-6: A nematode paralogue of the axon guidance protein netrin-1.
Biophysical Journal, 116, 2121-2130. Impact Factor: 3.66

59. Kermani AA, Roy R, Gopalasingam G, Kocurek KI, Patel TR, Alderwick LJ, Besra GS and Fütterer K#. (2019). Crystal structure of the TreS-Pep2 complex, initiating α-glucan synthesis in the GlgE pathway of mycobacteria.
Journal of Biological Chemistry, 294, 7348-7359. Open-access article. Impact Factor: 5.48

58. Mrozowich T*, Meier-Stephenson V* and Patel TR#. (2019) Microscale thermophoresis: Warming up to a new biomolecular interaction technique.
The Biochemist, 41, 2, 14-17. Open-access article. Impact Factor: N/A

57. Ferens F, Patel TR, Orriss G, Court D and Stetefeld J#. (2019). A cholesterol analog induces an oligomeric reorganization of VDAC.
Biophysical Journal, 116, 847-859. Impact Factor: 3.66

56. Patel TR##, Fowke K, Matejcic A, Evans DH, Grandvaux N, Halperin SA, MacDonald NE, van Marle G, Richardson S and Cooper C#. (2019). Proceedings of the Canadian Association for HIV Research - Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases Professional Development Workshop for Viral Researchers.
Journal of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease, 4, 90-101. Open-access article. Impact Factor: N/A

In The Media

Broadcast Interviews
10. Aug 2021. Global Lethbridge News at 5, 6 and 11 PM. Global News, Lethbridge

9. Mar 2021. How not to get viral. University of Lethbridge Public Professor Series

8. Dec 2020. Global Lethbridge News at 5, 6 and 11 PM. Global News, Lethbridge

7. Nov 2020. COVID19 Vaccines, CJOC Radio, Lethbridge

6. July 2020. University of Lethbridge researchers work to find COVID-19 treatment Global News, Lethbridge

5. October 2019. Path of learning has taken Justin Vigar around the world, University of Lethbridge

4. January 2019. Shining New Light on Virus Pandemics. Celebrating Research and Creative Excellence at the University of Lethbridge. University of Lethbridge Public Relations News.

3. April 2018. Building Our Future. Inside the SAB - Second Edition. University of Lethbridge Public Relations News.

2. April 2018. World-leading research scientist recruited through Canada 150 Research Chairs program. Evening News. Global News.

1. March 2017 Effect of Brexit on British Researchers and Talent Acquisition in Canada. CBC EyeOpener. CBC.

For Text Interviews, see details in attached CV.

Research Interests

Host Protein - Viral RNA Interactions

Viruses require host machinery to replicate. Although our immune system has several layers of defense mechanisms, often viral infection results in hijacking host cell machinery. A variety of host proteins recognize viral RNA molecules as a part of an innate immune system. On the other hand, often viral RNA recognize and employ host proteins to facilitate their replication and propagation. The main focus of our group is to understand, in fine detail, how viral components recognize DEAD-box helicases (e.g. DDX1, DDX3 and DDX5) and develop novel inhibitors that interfere with host-viral component interactions, resulting in inhibition of viral replication using a multidisciplinary approach.

Role of Focal Adhesion Proteins in Diseases

Our laboratory is also interested in investigating the role Zyxin and WTIP proteins that are primarily located at the focal adhesions but also able to travel to the nucleus. Zyxin is linked with cancer whereas WTIP plays a crucial role in maintaining normal activity of podocytes in kidney and acts as a transcription regulator. Our goal is to study how they mediate the transfer of signals from outside cell to inside, to understand their nuclear functions and to investigate their role in diseases such as cancer.

Internet Links

Google Scholar

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