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Ruth E. Stark
Title Distinguished Professor & Institute Director
Faculty Rank
Degree Ph.D.
Institution City College, CUNY
Department chemistry
Clusters Obesity and Metabolic Diseases
Obesity and Metabolic Diseases
CUNY Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies
CCNY Dept. of Chemistry MR-1208B
160 Convent Avenue
City New York
State NY
Postal Code 10031
Telephone 212-650-8916
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Title Affiliate/CUNY NMR liaison
Institution NY Structural Biology Center

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2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science Elected Fellow
2012 City of New York Alfred P. Sloan Public Service Award

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  The Stark Laboratory uses structural biology approaches to study plant protective polymers, lipid metabolism, and potentially pathogenic melanized fungal cells. Nondestructive study of the molecular and mesoscopic architectures underlying the integrity of cuticles in natural and engineered tomatoes and potatoes is undertaken using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), atomic force microscopy, and mass spectrometry. Ligand recognition and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor interactions of fatty acid-binding proteins are under investigation by solution-state NMR. The molecular structure and development of melanin pigments within fungal cells is probed using (bio)chemical synthesis and solid-state NMR.

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1. Lai MP, Katz FS, Bernard C, Storch J, Stark RE. Two fatty acid-binding proteins expressed in the intestine interact differently with endocannabinoids. Protein Sci. 2020 Apr 16.
2. Perez Rodriguez M, Dastmalchi K, Yoo B, Stark RE. Needle in a haystack: Antibacterial activity-guided fractionation of a potato wound tissue extract. Bioorg Med Chem. 2020 May 01; 28(9):115428.
3. Chrissian C, Camacho E, Fu MS, Prados-Rosales R, Chatterjee S, Cordero RJB, Lodge JK, Casadevall A, Stark RE. Melanin deposition in two Cryptococcus species depends on cell-wall composition and flexibility. J Biol Chem. 2020 Feb 14; 295(7):1815-1828.
4. Camacho E, Vij R, Chrissian C, Prados-Rosales R, Gil D, O''Meally RN, Cordero RJB, Cole RN, McCaffery JM, Stark RE, Casadevall A. The structural unit of melanin in the cell wall of the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. J Biol Chem. 2019 07 05; 294(27):10471-10489.
5. Dastmalchi K, Perez Rodriguez M, Lin J, Yoo B, Stark RE. Temporal resistance of potato tubers: Antibacterial assays and metabolite profiling of wound-healing tissue extracts from contrasting cultivars. Phytochemistry. 2019 Mar; 159:75-89.
6. Chatterjee S, Prados-Rosales R, Tan S, Phan VC, Chrissian C, Itin B, Wang H, Khajo A, Magliozzo RS, Casadevall A, Stark RE. The melanization road more traveled by: Precursor substrate effects on melanin synthesis in cell-free and fungal cell systems. J Biol Chem. 2018 12 28; 293(52):20157-20168.
7. Liu JJ, Hezghia A, Shaikh SR, Cenido JF, Stark RE, Mann JJ, Sublette ME. Regulation of monoamine transporters and receptors by lipid microdomains: implications for depression. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018 10; 43(11):2165-2179.
8. Jin L, Cai Q, Huang W, Dastmalchi K, Rigau J, Molinas M, Figueras M, Serra O, Stark RE. Potato native and wound periderms are differently affected by down-regulation of FHT, a suberin feruloyl transferase. Phytochemistry. 2018 Mar; 147:30-48.
9. Camacho E, Chrissian C, Cordero RJB, Liporagi-Lopes L, Stark RE, Casadevall A. N-acetylglucosamine affects Cryptococcus neoformans cell-wall composition and melanin architecture. Microbiology. 2017 Nov; 163(11):1540-1556.
10. Wang Q, Rizk S, Bernard C, Lai MP, Kam D, Storch J, Stark RE. Protocols and pitfalls in obtaining fatty acid-binding proteins for biophysical studies of ligand-protein and protein-protein interactions. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2017 Jul; 10:318-324.
11. Ceñido JF, Itin B, Stark RE, Huang YY, Oquendo MA, John Mann J, Elizabeth Sublette M. Characterization of lipid rafts in human platelets using nuclear magnetic resonance: A pilot study. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2017 Jul; 10:132-136.
12. Huang W, Serra O, Dastmalchi K, Jin L, Yang L, Stark RE. Comprehensive MS and Solid-State NMR Metabolomic Profiling Reveals Molecular Variations in Native Periderms from Four Solanum tuberosum Potato Cultivars. J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Mar 15; 65(10):2258-2274.
13. Dastmalchi K, Wang I, Stark RE. Potato wound-healing tissues: A rich source of natural antioxidant molecules with potential for food preservation. Food Chem. 2016 Nov 01; 210:473-80.
14. Fernandes C, Prados-Rosales R, Silva BM, Nakouzi-Naranjo A, Zuzarte M, Chatterjee S, Stark RE, Casadevall A, Gonçalves T. Activation of Melanin Synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by Antifungal Drugs. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Dec 28; 60(3):1646-55.
15. Chatterjee S, Matas AJ, Isaacson T, Kehlet C, Rose JK, Stark RE. Solid-State (13)C NMR Delineates the Architectural Design of Biopolymers in Native and Genetically Altered Tomato Fruit Cuticles. Biomacromolecules. 2016 Jan 11; 17(1):215-24.
16. Nosanchuk JD, Stark RE, Casadevall A. Fungal Melanin: What do We Know About Structure? Front Microbiol. 2015; 6:1463.
17. Prados-Rosales R, Toriola S, Nakouzi A, Chatterjee S, Stark R, Gerfen G, Tumpowsky P, Dadachova E, Casadevall A. Structural Characterization of Melanin Pigments from Commercial Preparations of the Edible Mushroom Auricularia auricula. J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Aug 26; 63(33):7326-32.
18. Dastmalchi K, Kallash L, Wang I, Phan VC, Huang W, Serra O, Stark RE. Defensive Armor of Potato Tubers: Nonpolar Metabolite Profiling, Antioxidant Assessment, and Solid-State NMR Compositional Analysis of Suberin-Enriched Wound-Healing Tissues. J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Aug 05; 63(30):6810-22.
19. Chatterjee S, Prados-Rosales R, Itin B, Casadevall A, Stark RE. Solid-state NMR Reveals the Carbon-based Molecular Architecture of Cryptococcus neoformans Fungal Eumelanins in the Cell Wall. J Biol Chem. 2015 May 29; 290(22):13779-90.
20. Chatterjee S, Prados-Rosales R, Tan S, Itin B, Casadevall A, Stark RE. Demonstration of a common indole-based aromatic core in natural and synthetic eumelanins by solid-state NMR. Org Biomol Chem. 2014 Sep 14; 12(34):6730-6.
21. Dastmalchi K, Cai Q, Zhou K, Huang W, Serra O, Stark RE. Solving the jigsaw puzzle of wound-healing potato cultivars: metabolite profiling and antioxidant activity of polar extracts. J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Aug 06; 62(31):7963-75.
22. Serra O, Chatterjee S, Figueras M, Molinas M, Stark RE. Deconstructing a plant macromolecular assembly: chemical architecture, molecular flexibility, and mechanical performance of natural and engineered potato suberins. Biomacromolecules. 2014 Mar 10; 15(3):799-811.
23. Yeats TH, Huang W, Chatterjee S, Viart HM, Clausen MH, Stark RE, Rose JK. Tomato Cutin Deficient 1 (CD1) and putative orthologs comprise an ancient family of cutin synthase-like (CUS) proteins that are conserved among land plants. Plant J. 2014 Mar; 77(5):667-75.
24. Lagakos WS, Guan X, Ho SY, Sawicki LR, Corsico B, Kodukula S, Murota K, Stark RE, Storch J. Liver fatty acid-binding protein binds monoacylglycerol in vitro and in mouse liver cytosol. J Biol Chem. 2013 Jul 05; 288(27):19805-15.
25. Sarkar S, Chatterjee S, Medina N, Stark RE. Touring the Tomato: A Suite of Chemistry Laboratory Experiments. J Chem Educ. 2013 Mar 12; 90(3):368-371.
26. Chatterjee S, Prados-Rosales R, Frases S, Itin B, Casadevall A, Stark RE. Using solid-state NMR to monitor the molecular consequences of Cryptococcus neoformans melanization with different catecholamine precursors. Biochemistry. 2012 Aug 07; 51(31):6080-8.
27. Serra O, Chatterjee S, Huang W, Stark RE. Mini-review: what nuclear magnetic resonance can tell us about protective tissues. Plant Sci. 2012 Oct; 195:120-4.
28. Chatterjee S, Sarkar S, Oktawiec J, Mao Z, Niitsoo O, Stark RE. Isolation and biophysical study of fruit cuticles. J Vis Exp. 2012 Mar 30; (61).
29. Zhang J, Zhao Y, Guan X, Stark RE, Akins DL, Lee JW. Formation of Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites from Carbon Dioxide Using Ammonia Borane. J Phys Chem C Nanomater Interfaces. 2012 Jan 17; 116(3):2639-2644.
30. Matas AJ, Yeats TH, Buda GJ, Zheng Y, Chatterjee S, Tohge T, Ponnala L, Adato A, Aharoni A, Stark R, Fernie AR, Fei Z, Giovannoni JJ, Rose JK. Tissue- and cell-type specific transcriptome profiling of expanding tomato fruit provides insights into metabolic and regulatory specialization and cuticle formation. Plant Cell. 2011 Nov; 23(11):3893-910.
31. He Y, Estephan R, Yang X, Vela A, Wang H, Bernard C, Stark RE. A nuclear magnetic resonance-based structural rationale for contrasting stoichiometry and ligand binding site(s) in fatty acid-binding proteins. Biochemistry. 2011 Mar 01; 50(8):1283-95.
32. Guan X, Stark RE. A general protocol for temperature calibration of MAS NMR probes at arbitrary spinning speeds. Solid State Nucl Magn Reson. 2010 Sep-Oct; 38(2-3):74-6.
33. Wang W, Tian S, Stark RE. Isolation and identification of triglycerides and ester oligomers from partial degradation of potato suberin. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jan 27; 58(2):1040-5.
34. Wu H, Su K, Guan X, Sublette ME, Stark RE. Assessing the size, stability, and utility of isotropically tumbling bicelle systems for structural biology. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Mar; 1798(3):482-8.
35. Isaacson T, Kosma DK, Matas AJ, Buda GJ, He Y, Yu B, Pravitasari A, Batteas JD, Stark RE, Jenks MA, Rose JK. Cutin deficiency in the tomato fruit cuticle consistently affects resistance to microbial infection and biomechanical properties, but not transpirational water loss. Plant J. 2009 Oct; 60(2):363-77.
36. Stark RE, Yan B, Stanley-Fernandez SM, Chen ZJ, Garbow JR. NMR characterization of hydration and thermal stress in tomato fruit cuticles. Phytochemistry. 2008 Nov; 69(15):2689-95.
37. Tian S, Fang X, Wang W, Yu B, Cheng X, Qiu F, Mort AJ, Stark RE. Isolation and identification of oligomers from partial degradation of lime fruit cutin. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Nov 12; 56(21):10318-25.
38. Zhong J, Frases S, Wang H, Casadevall A, Stark RE. Following fungal melanin biosynthesis with solid-state NMR: biopolymer molecular structures and possible connections to cell-wall polysaccharides. Biochemistry. 2008 Apr 22; 47(16):4701-10.
39. He Y, Yang X, Wang H, Estephan R, Francis F, Kodukula S, Storch J, Stark RE. Solution-state molecular structure of apo and oleate-liganded liver fatty acid-binding protein. Biochemistry. 2007 Nov 06; 46(44):12543-56.
40. Arrieta-Baez D, Stark RE. Using trifluoroacetic acid to augment studies of potato suberin molecular structure. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 27; 54(26):9636-41.
41. Arrieta-Baez D, Stark RE. Modeling suberization with peroxidase-catalyzed polymerization of hydroxycinnamic acids: cross-coupling and dimerization reactions. Phytochemistry. 2006 Apr; 67(7):743-53.
42. Yu B, Vengadesan G, Wang H, Jashi L, Yefremov T, Tian S, Gaba V, Shomer I, Stark RE. Magic-angle spinning NMR studies of cell wall bound aromatic-aliphatic biopolyesters associated with strengthening of intercellular adhesion in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tuber parenchyma. Biomacromolecules. 2006 Mar; 7(3):937-44.
43. Sang S, Lambert JD, Hong J, Tian S, Lee MJ, Stark RE, Ho CT, Yang CS. Synthesis and structure identification of thiol conjugates of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate and their urinary levels in mice. Chem Res Toxicol. 2005 Nov; 18(11):1762-9.
44. Sang S, Tian S, Stark RE, Yang CS, Ho CT. New dibenzotropolone derivatives characterized from black tea using LC/MS/MS. Bioorg Med Chem. 2004 Jun 01; 12(11):3009-17.
45. Sang S, Lambert JD, Tian S, Hong J, Hou Z, Ryu JH, Stark RE, Rosen RT, Huang MT, Yang CS, Ho CT. Enzymatic synthesis of tea theaflavin derivatives and their anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities. Bioorg Med Chem. 2004 Jan 15; 12(2):459-67.
46. Sang S, Tian S, Wang H, Stark RE, Rosen RT, Yang CS, Ho CT. Chemical studies of the antioxidant mechanism of tea catechins: radical reaction products of epicatechin with peroxyl radicals. Bioorg Med Chem. 2003 Aug 05; 11(16):3371-8.
47. Tian S, Garcia-Rivera J, Yan B, Casadevall A, Stark RE. Unlocking the molecular structure of fungal melanin using 13C biosynthetic labeling and solid-state NMR. Biochemistry. 2003 Jul 15; 42(27):8105-9.
48. Jhoo JW, Lin MC, Sang S, Cheng X, Zhu N, Stark RE, Ho CT. Characterization of 2-methyl-4-amino-5-(2-methyl-3-furylthiomethyl)pyrimidine from thermal degradation of thiamin. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jul 03; 50(14):4055-8.
49. Sang S, Cheng X, Stark RE, Rosen RT, Yang CS, Ho CT. Chemical studies on antioxidant mechanism of tea catechins: analysis of radical reaction products of catechin and epicatechin with 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl. Bioorg Med Chem. 2002 Jul; 10(7):2233-7.
50. Wang H, He Y, Kroenke CD, Kodukula S, Storch J, Palmer AG, Stark RE. Titration and exchange studies of liver fatty acid-binding protein with 13C-labeled long-chain fatty acids. Biochemistry. 2002 Apr 30; 41(17):5453-61.
51. Jhoo JW, Sang S, He K, Cheng X, Zhu N, Stark RE, Zheng QY, Rosen RT, Ho CT. Characterization of the triterpene saponins of the roots and rhizomes of blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides). J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Dec; 49(12):5969-74.
52. Glover KJ, Whiles JA, Wu G, Yu N, Deems R, Struppe JO, Stark RE, Komives EA, Vold RR. Structural evaluation of phospholipid bicelles for solution-state studies of membrane-associated biomolecules. Biophys J. 2001 Oct; 81(4):2163-71.
53. Sang S, Cheng X, Zhu N, Stark RE, Badmaev V, Ghai G, Rosen RT, Ho CT. Flavonol glycosides and novel iridoid glycoside from the leaves of Morinda citrifolia. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Sep; 49(9):4478-81.
54. Fang X, Qiu F, Yan B, Wang H, Mort AJ, Stark RE. NMR studies of molecular structure in fruit cuticle polyesters. Phytochemistry. 2001 Jul; 57(6):1035-42.
55. Sang S, Cheng X, Zhu N, Wang M, Jhoo JW, Stark RE, Badmaev V, Ghai G, Rosen RT, Ho CT. Iridoid glycosides from the leaves of Morinda citrifolia. J Nat Prod. 2001 Jun; 64(6):799-800.
56. Round AN, Yan B, Dang S, Estephan R, Stark RE, Batteas JD. The influence of water on the nanomechanical behavior of the plant biopolyester cutin as studied by AFM and solid-state NMR. Biophys J. 2000 Nov; 79(5):2761-7.
57. Yan B, Stark RE. Biosynthesis, molecular structure, and domain architecture of potato suberin: a (13)C NMR study using isotopically labeled precursors. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Aug; 48(8):3298-304.
58. Stark RE, Yan B, Ray AK, Chen Z, Fang X, Garbow JR. NMR studies of structure and dynamics in fruit cuticle polyesters. Solid State Nucl Magn Reson. 2000 May; 16(1-2):37-45.
59. Nagle JF, Liu Y, Tristram-Nagle S, Epand RM, Stark RE. Re-analysis of magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance determination of interlamellar waters in lipid bilayer dispersions. Biophys J. 1999 Oct; 77(4):2062-5.
60. Arshava B, Breslav M, Antohi O, Stark RE, Garbow JR, Becker JM, Naider F. Long-distance rotational echo double resonance measurements for the determination of secondary structure and conformational heterogeneity in peptides. Solid State Nucl Magn Reson. 1999 Jul; 14(2):117-36.
61. Rivera M, Qiu F, Bunce RA, Stark RE. Complete isomer-specific 1H and 13C NMR assignments of the heme resonances of rat liver outer mitochondrial membrane cytochrome b5. J Biol Inorg Chem. 1999 Feb; 4(1):87-98.
62. Zhou Z, Sayer BG, Hughes DW, Stark RE, Epand RM. Studies of phospholipid hydration by high-resolution magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance. Biophys J. 1999 Jan; 76(1 Pt 1):387-99.
63. Wang H, He Y, Hsu KT, Magliocca JF, Storch J, Stark RE. 1H, 15N and 13C resonance assignments and secondary structure of apo liver fatty acid-binding protein. J Biomol NMR. 1998 Jul; 12(1):197-9.
64. Qiu F, Rivera M, Stark RE. An 1H-13C-13C-edited 1H NMR experiment for making resonance assignments in the active site of heme proteins. J Magn Reson. 1998 Jan; 130(1):76-81.
65. Rodríguez-Marañón MJ, Qiu F, Stark RE, White SP, Zhang X, Foundling SI, Rodríguez V, Schilling CL, Bunce RA, Rivera M. 13C NMR spectroscopic and X-ray crystallographic study of the role played by mitochondrial cytochrome b5 heme propionates in the electrostatic binding to cytochrome c. Biochemistry. 1996 Dec 17; 35(50):16378-90.
66. Chen ZJ, Stark RE. Evaluating spin diffusion in MAS-NOESY spectra of phospholipid multibilayers. Solid State Nucl Magn Reson. 1996 Dec; 7(3):239-46.
67. Berger BJ, Dai WW, Wang H, Stark RE, Cerami A. Aromatic amino acid transamination and methionine recycling in trypanosomatids. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Apr 30; 93(9):4126-30.
68. Chen ZJ, Van Gorkom LC, Epand RM, Stark RE. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies of lipid hydration in monomethyldioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine dispersions. Biophys J. 1996 Mar; 70(3):1412-8.
69. Krainer E, Stark RE, Naider F, Alagramam K, Becker JM. Direct observation of cell wall glucans in whole cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae by magic-angle spinning 13C-NMR. Biopolymers. 1994 Dec; 34(12):1627-35.
70. Stark RE, Sohn W, Pacchiano RA, Al-Bashir M, Garbow JR. Following Suberization in Potato Wound Periderm by Histochemical and Solid-State 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Methods. Plant Physiol. 1994 02; 104(2):527-533.
71. Li KL, Tihal CA, Guo M, Stark RE. Multinuclear and magic-angle spinning NMR investigations of molecular organization in phospholipid-triglyceride aqueous dispersions. Biochemistry. 1993 Sep 28; 32(38):9926-35.
72. Wang D, Hadipour NL, Jerlin EA, Stark RE. Quantitation of model digestive mixtures by 13C NMR. J Lipid Res. 1992 Mar; 33(3):431-9.
73. Halladay HN, Stark RE, Ali S, Bittman R. Magic-angle spinning NMR studies of molecular organization in multibilayers formed by 1-octadecanoyl-2-decanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. Biophys J. 1990 Dec; 58(6):1449-61.
74. Garbow JR, Ferrantello LM, Stark RE. C nuclear magnetic resonance study of suberized potato cell wall. Plant Physiol. 1989 Jul; 90(3):783-7.
75. Stark RE, Storrs RW, Levine SE, Yee S, Broido MS. One- and two-dimensional NMR relaxation studies of dynamics and structure in bile salt-phosphatidylcholine mixed micelles. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1986 Aug 21; 860(2):399-410.
76. Stark RE, Manstein JL, Curatolo W, Sears B. Deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance studies of bile salt/phosphatidylcholine mixed micelles. Biochemistry. 1983 May 10; 22(10):2486-90.

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1. R. Prados-Rosales, S. Toriola, A. Nakouzi, S. Chatterjee, R.E. Stark, G. Gerfen, P. Tumpowsky, E. Dadachova, and A. Casadevall. J. Agric. Food Chem. Structural Characterization of Melanin Pigments from Commercial Preparations of the Edible Mushroom Auricularia auricula. 2015; 63(33):7326-7332 .
2. O. Serra,* S. Chatterjee,* M. Figueras, M. Molinas, and R.E. Stark. The Plant J. Deconstructing a plant macromolecular assembly: chemical architecture, molecular flexibility, and mechanical performance of natural and engineered potato suberins. 2014; 15(3):799-811.
3. T.H. Yeats, W. Huang, S. Chatterjee, H. M-F. Viart, M.H. Clausen, R. E. Stark, and J.K.C. Rose. The Plant J. Biochemical characterization of CD1 and Putative Orthologs Reveals an Ancient Family of Cutin Synthase-like (CUS) Proteins that are Conserved Among Land Plants. 2014; 77(5):667-675.
4. Stark RE, Yu B, Zhong J, Yan B, Wu G, Tian S. eMagRes. Environmental NMR: High-resolution Magic-angle Spinning. 2013; 2:377-388.
5. Chatterjee S, Santos F, Abiven S, Stark RE, Bird JA. Organic Geochemistry. Elucidating the chemical structure of pyrogenic carbon by multinuclear solid-state NMR and supporting physical methods. 2012; 51:35-44.

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