Torres, Jorge Z.
Systems Biology and Biological Regulation
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Molecular Biology Institute, Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ACCESS
Young Hall 5072C
Young Hall 5110
Dr. Torres received his B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1998, where he conducted research under the mentorship of Dr. Eduardo Orias. He obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 2004 under the direction of Dr. Virginia A. Zakian. He conducted his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Peter K. Jackson at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Genentech Inc. until 2009 when he joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA.
The lab's major focus is to understand how multiple mechanisms and enzymatic activities coordinate the formation of the mitotic microtubule spindle during cell division. We are interested in identifying and characterizing novel proteins that are required for proper mitotic spindle assembly. Among these are molecular motors, phosphatases, methyltranferases, and ubiquitin ligases. We use human cell lines and in vitro systems along with a combination of approaches, including biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, chemical biology, and microscopy to determine the mechanism of action of these proteins.
Honors & Awards
- American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award 2014
- UCLA Faculty Career Development Award 2013
- Cottrell Scholar Award, Research Corporation for Science Advancement 2013
- Herbert Newby McCoy Award - 2012
- UCLA Faculty Career Developmental Award - 2012
- Basil O’Connor Award, March of Dimes - 2011
- V Scholar Award, The V Foundation for Cancer Research - 2010
- John McTague Career Development Chair - 2009
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Postdoctoral Fellowship - 2005
- Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, NIH (declined) - 2005
- Stanford University Cancer Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship - 2004
- Leadership Alliance/Schering-Plough Fellowship - 2003
- Princeton University Molecular Biology Teaching Award - 1999
- Ford Baccalaureate Incentive Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research - 1998
- UCSB Department of MCDB Graduation Commencement Speaker - 1998
[ Recent Publications ]
- Theoretical Approaches to Identify the Potent Scaffold for Human Sirtuin 1 Activator: Bayesian Modeling and Density Functional Theory Sakkiah,S., Arooj M., Lee K., and Torres J.Z. Medicinal Chemistry Research 2014 March 09, 23(5) 2161-2700. PMCID: In Progress
- Dynamic and Multi-pharmacophore Modeling for Designing Polo-box Domain Inhibitors Sakkiah S., Senese S., Yang Q., Lee K., and Torres J.Z. Plos One 2014 Jul 18, 9(7):e101405. PMCID: PMC4103762
- An Essential Requirement for the SCAP/SREBP Signaling Axis to Protect Cancer Cells from Lipotoxicity Williams KJ, Argus JP, Zhu Y, Wilks MQ, Marbois BN, York AG, Kidani Y, Pourzia AL, Akhavan D, Lisiero DN, Komisopoulou E, Henkin AH, Soto H, Chamberlain BT, Vergnes L, Jung ME, Torres JZ, Liau LM, Christofk HR, Prins RM, Mischel PS, Reue K, Graeber TG, Bensinger SJ. Cancer Research 2013 Apr 22;73:2850-2862
- STARD9 is a novel mitotic kinesin and antimitotic target Torres, J.Z. BioArchitecture 2012 Jan 1;2(1):19-22.
- The STARD9/Kif16a Kinesin Associates with Mitotic Microtubules and Regulates Spindle Pole Assembly Torres J.Z., Summers M.K., Peterson D., Brauer M.J., Lee J., Senese S., Gholkar A.A., Lo Y., Lei X., Jung K., Anderson D.C., Davis D.P., Belmont L., and Jackson P.K. Cell 2011, Dec;9(6):1309-1323.
- A specific form of PPP2 regulates APC/C association with spindle poles Torres J.Z., Ban K.H., and Jackson P.K. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2010 Mar;21(6):897-904.;21 897-904
- High-throughput generation of tagged stable cell lines for proteomic analysis. Torres Jorge Z, Miller Julie J, Jackson Peter K Proteomics, 2009; 9(10): 2888-91.
- The END network couples spindle pole assembly to inhibition of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome in early mitosis. Ban Kenneth H, Torres Jorge Z, Miller Julie J, Mikhailov Alexei, Nachury Maxence V, Tung Jeffrey J, Rieder Conly L, Jackson Peter K Developmental cell, 2007; 13(1): 29-42.
- The S. cerevisiae Rrm3p DNA helicase moves with the replication fork and affects replication of all yeast chromosomes. Azvolinsky Anna, Dunaway Stephen, Torres Jorge Z, Bessler Jessica B, Zakian Virginia A Genes & development, 2006; 20(22): 3104-16.
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rrm3p DNA helicase promotes genome integrity by preventing replication fork stalling: viability of rrm3 cells requires the intra-S-phase checkpoint and fork restart activities. Torres Jorge Z, Schnakenberg Sandra L, Zakian Virginia A Molecular and cellular biology, 2004; 24(8): 3198-212.
- Local chromatin structure at the ribosomal DNA causes replication fork pausing and genome instability in the absence of the S. cerevisiae DNA helicase Rrm3p. Torres Jorge Z, Bessler Jessica B, Zakian Virginia A Genes & development, 2004; 18(5): 498-503.
- The Pif1p subfamily of helicases: region-specific DNA helicases? Bessler J.B., Torres J.Z., and Zakian V.A. Trends in Cell Biology, 2001; 11(2): 60-65.