Carlo Barnaba

Carlo Barnada
  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Contact Info

Multidisciplinary Research Building Room 320D, MRB Laboratory 336
2030 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045


Postdoctoral Associate, Michigan State University, 2023, East Lansing, MI
Postdoctoral Associate, University of Michigan, 2018, Ann Arbor, MI
Ph.D. in Chemistry , Washington State University, 2016, Pullman, WA
M.S., Università degli Studi di Parma, 2007, Parma, Italy
B.S., Università degli Studi di Parma, 2007, Parma, Italy


Research Mission:

Our research mission is driven by a passion for advancing pharmaceutical discoveries through cutting-edge quantitative imaging and genomic approaches, with a strong commitment to the translational impact of our work. Our lab is dedicated to shedding light on the complex cellular processes that maintain metabolic homeostasis in the face of nutrient and chemical stress. To achieve this mission, my lab employs a unique skill set that includes genome editing, live-cell imaging, computational biology, and omics, ensuring that we uncover unprecedented mechanistic details. The combination of these tools will allow us to make substantial contributions to the fields of pharmaceutical chemistry and cancer research, ultimately translating our findings into innovative solutions for improved healthcare and precision medicine.


Selected Publications

Barnaba, C.*, Broadbent, D. G.*, Perez, G. I., & Schmidt, J. C. (2023). AMPK Regulates Phagophore-to-Autophagosome Maturation. bioRxiv, 2023-09.

Barnaba, C.*, Broadbent, D. G.*, Perez, G. I., & Schmidt, J. C. (2023). Quantitative analysis of autophagy reveals the role of ATG9 and ATG2 in autophagosome formation. Journal of Cell Biology, 222(7), e202210078.

Barnaba, C., Sahoo, B. R., Ravula, T., Medina‐Meza, I. G., Im, S. C., Anantharamaiah, G. M., ... & Ramamoorthy, A. (2018). Cytochrome‐P450‐induced ordering of microsomal membranes modulates affinity for drugs. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 57(13), 3391-3395.

Barnaba, C., Taylor, E., & Brozik, J. A. (2017). Dissociation constants of cytochrome P450 2C9/cytochrome P450 reductase complexes in a lipid bilayer membrane depend on NADPH: a single-protein tracking study. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(49), 17923-17934.

Barnaba, C., Martinez, M. J., Taylor, E., Barden, A. O., & Brozik, J. A. (2017). Single-protein tracking reveals that NADPH mediates the insertion of cytochrome P450 reductase into a biomimetic of the endoplasmic reticulum. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(15), 5420-5430.

Barnaba, C., Yadav, J., Nagar, S., Korzekwa, K., & Jones, J. P. (2016). Mechanism-based inhibition of CYP3A4 by podophyllotoxin: aging of an intermediate is important for in vitro/in vivo correlations. Molecular pharmaceutics, 13(8), 2833-2843.

Creative Works

Project I - Cytochrome P450 Metabolon:

Any drug or xenobiotic entering the human body is metabolized by a class of monooxygenases enzymes named cytochrome P450s. By utilizing genome editing techniques and quantitative proteomics, our objective is to decipher the transcriptional regulation of P450s, a direct influencer of drug-drug interactions. Moreover, our research delves into the dynamic protein-protein interactions within the P450 metabolon, shedding light on the kinetics of drug metabolism. This comprehensive methodology combines both in vitro and in vivo strategies. The expected outcomes of our research are twofold. First, we aim to provide a deeper understanding of how the P450 metabolon responds to various pharmacological cues. This knowledge will not only enhance drug design but also refine pharmacokinetic models. Second, our work contributes to the field of precision medicine by offering valuable insights into the assembly and regulation of the cytochrome P450 metabolon, which plays a pivotal role in maintaining metabolic homeostasis and mitigating harmful drug interactions.


Project II - Autophagy Mechanisms in Cancer:

The second pillar of our research delves into autophagy, a cellular catabolic process crucial for recycling macromolecules and supplying metabolites to cells. Our focus is on understanding the intricate mechanisms of autophagy, particularly in the context of cancer metabolic reprogramming. Utilizing state-of-the-art high-resolution live-cell imaging techniques and advanced genetic manipulation strategies, our primary objective is to comprehensively elucidate the intricate mechanism of autophagy. This involves closely monitoring the dynamic processes within cells, allowing us to capture the precise sequence of events during autophagy. By employing genetic manipulation, we can precisely modify and control specific aspects of the autophagic pathway, thereby providing a deeper understanding of the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern this crucial cellular process. Our research endeavors to unravel the intricate details of autophagy, shedding light on how it functions, and paving the way for innovative insights into its role in cancer resistance and treatment outcomes.