Research Interests

The objective of my research is to understanding of the structural basis of Ca2+ transport across the cell membranes. A family of integral membrane proteins – ion channels, regulates this process. Ryanodine receptors (RyR) – eukaryotic Ca2+ release channels play a crucial role in the generation of Ca2+ signals in excitation-contraction (EC) coupling in muscle cells. Functional RyRs form large homotetrameric complexes over 2 MDa that makes such techniques as NMR and X-ray not very suitable for structural analysis of the channels. The current understanding of molecular mechanisms that underlie the function of RyR channels in vivo is highly limited due to the lack of their high-resolution structures. The focus of my research is to obtain high-resolution structures of RyR type 1 in its native functional to understand its arrangement in native environment. For this work I utilize biochemical and biophysical characterization of the protein channel, single-particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM), electron cryotomography (cryo-ET) and computational methods.


  • Murray S.C., Flanagan J., POPOVA O.B., Chiu W., Ludtke S.J., Serysheva I.I. Validation of Cryo-EM Structure of IP3R1 Channel. Structure, 21, 2013, pp. 900-909
  • POPOVA O.B., Baker M.R., Tran T.P., Le T., Serysheva I.I. Identification of ATP-Binding Regions in the RyR1 Ca2+-Release Channel. PLOS One, vol. 7 (11), 2012, e48725
  • POPOVA O.B., Sanina N.M., Likhatskaya G.N., Bezverbnaya I.P. Effects of Copper and Cadmium Ions on the Physicochemical Properties of Lipids of Marine Bacterium Pseudomonas Putida IB28 at Different Growth Temperatures. Russian Journal of Marine Biology, vol. 34 (3), 2008, pp.179-185
  • Bakholdina S.I., Sanina N.M., POPOVA O.B., Shubin F.N., Solov`eva T.F. Thermotropic Behavior of Lipids and Morphology of Yersinia Pseudotuberculosis with a High Content of Lysophosphatidylethanolamine (in Russian). Microbiologiya, Moscow, vol. 76 (3), 2007, pp. 321-328
  • Bakholdina S.I., Sanina N.M., Krasikova I.N., POPOVA O.B., Solov`eva T.F The impact of abiotic factors (temperature and glucose) on physicochemical properties of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Biochimie, vol. 86 (12), 2004, pp. 875-881


Postdoctoral Research Fellow - UTHSC, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Advisor: Irina Serysheva, 2010-present

Ph.D. - Far Eastern Federal University, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Advisor: Nina M. Sanina, 2004-2009

M.S. (with Honors) - Far Eastern Federal University, Russia, 1999-2004

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