Assistant professor earns UT System Rising STARs award to advance cryo-EM research

Oleg Klykov, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (also called UT Health San Antonio), is the recipient of a $100,000 UT System Rising STARs award.

Klykov plans to spend the funds on a cryo-confocal microscope.

“Thanks to the efforts of the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) facility team here on campus, there is sample preparation equipment that we can utilize for our pipeline,” Klykov said. “However, with cryo-operation being extremely new to UT Health San Antonio, and San Antonio in general, we can utilize no other advanced cryo-equipment. The cryo-confocal microscope will have no analogs in the area, which will help us to perform light microscopy imaging at the temperatures of liquid nitrogen (-196° Celsius) and help advance cryo-EM research.”

When asked what attracted him to conduct his research at UT Health San Antonio, Klykov shared that the collaborative and supportive team of scientists performing cutting-edge research drew him the university.

“The fact that UT Health San Antonio is a unique institution with a primary focus on serving a local community with an underrepresented background gives us additional motivation to perform clinically relevant research and serve the community in the future,” Klykov said.

“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Klykov has chosen UT Health San Antonio to establish and apply state-of-the-art imaging technologies to answer important scientific questions,” said Reuben Harris, PhD, professor and chair in the in the institution’s Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology and a distinguished Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Klykov, who received his PhD in 2019 in Pharmaceutical Sciences as a part of the Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics group from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, completed his post-doctoral fellowship in 2022 at Columbia University in New York and then worked as a research staff scientist at the New York Structural Biology Center before joining UT Health San Antonio in 2023.

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