Keriann Backus

Keriann Backus, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, Chemistry and Biochemistry



Contact Information

Scientific Interests

Dr. Keriann Backus's research focuses on the development of new chemical probes and chemical proteomics methodology to characterize and manipulate the human immune system. In particular, she is interested in combining activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) methodology with the synthesis of new chemical reporters to study and modulate cell-signaling cascades involved in cellular activation, proliferation and death. By uncovering new immunomodulatory small molecules, she hopes to develop new strategies for cancer immunotherapy.

Highlighted Publications

Hacker SM, Backus KM, Lazear MR, Forli S, Correia BE, Cravatt BF. Global profiling of lysine reactivity and ligandability in the human proteome. Nat Chem. 2017 Dec;9(12):1181-1190. doi: 10.1038/nchem.2826. Epub 2017 Jul 31.

Bar-Peled L, Kemper EK, Suciu RM, Vinogradova EV, Backus KM, Horning BD, Paul TA, Ichu TA, Svensson RU, Olucha J, Chang MW, Kok BP, Zhu Z, Ihle NT, Dix MM, Jiang P, Hayward MM, Saez E, Shaw RJ, Cravatt BF. Chemical Proteomics Identifies Druggable Vulnerabilities in a Genetically Defined Cancer. Cell. 2017 Oct 19;171(3):696-709.e23. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.08.051. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

Horning BD, Suciu RM, Ghadiri DA, Ulanovskaya OA, Matthews ML, Lum KM, Backus KM, Brown SJ, Rosen H, Cravatt BF. Chemical Proteomic Profiling of Human Methyltransferases. J Am Chem Soc. 2016 Oct 12;138(40):13335-13343. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Backus KM, Correia BE, Lum KM, Forli S, Horning BD, Gonzalez-Paez GE, Chatterjee S, Lanning BR, Teijaro JR, Olson AJ, Wolan DW, Cravatt BF. Proteome-wide covalent ligand discovery in native biological systems. Nature. 2016 Jun 23;534(7608):570-4. doi: 10.1038/nature18002. Epub 2016 Jun 15.

Briggs KJ, Koivunen P, Cao S, Backus KM, Olenchock BA, Patel H, Zhang Q, Signoretti S, Gerfen GJ, Richardson AL, Witkiewicz AK, Cravatt BF, Clardy J, Kaelin WG Jr. Paracrine Induction of HIF by Glutamate in Breast Cancer: EglN1 Senses Cysteine. Cell. 2016 Jun 30;166(1):126-39. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.042.