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Christopher D. Radka, PhD
Christopher D. Radka, PhD

Christopher D. Radka, PhD

Research Associate, St. Jude Faculty



PhD – University of Alabama at Birmingham
BS – University of Central Florida

Honors & Awards

  • 2022  MOSAIC K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award (2022)
  • 2013-2016  University of Alabama at Birmingham Equity and Diversity Enhancement Program Predoctoral Fellowship

Research Interests

  • Anaerobic bacterial physiology
  • Biosynthesis of bacterial immune modulators
  • Lipid signaling pathways 
  • Enzyme structure-function relationships

Selected Publications

Radka CD, Miller DJ, Frank MW, Rock CO. Biochemical characterization of the first step in sulfonolipid biosynthesis in Alistipes finegoldii. J Biol Chem 298(8):102195, 2022.

Radka CD, Rock CO. Mining fatty acid biosynthesis for new antimicrobials. Annu Rev Microbiol 76:281-304, 2022.

Subramanian C, Cuypers MG, Radka CD, White SW, Rock CO. Domain architecture and catalysis of the Staphylococcus aureus fatty acid kinase. J Biol Chem 298(6):101993, 2022.

Martirosyan A, Falke S, McCombs D, Cox M, Radka CD, Knop J, Betzel C, DeLucas LJ. Tracing transport of protein aggregates in microgravity versus unit gravity crystallization. NPJ Microgravity 8(1):4, 2022.

Whaley SG, Radka CD, Subramanian C, Frank MW, Rock CO. Malonyl-acyl carrier protein decarboxylase activity promotes fatty acid and cell envelope biosynthesis in Proteobacteria. J Biol Chem 297(6):101434, 2021.

Radka CD, Batte JL, Frank MW, Rosch JW, Rock CO. Oleate hydratase (OhyA) is a virulence determinant in Staphylococcus aureus. Microbiol Spectr 9(3):e01546-21, 2021.

Radka CD, Aller SG. Site 2 of the Yersinia pestis substrate-binding protein YfeA is a dynamic surface metal-binding site. Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun 77(Pt 9):286-293, 2021.

Radka CD, Batte JL, Frank MW, Young BM, Rock CO. Structure and mechanism of Staphylococcus aureus oleate hydratase (OhyA). J Biol Chem 296:100252, 2021. (**Editors’ Pick)

Radka CD, Frank MF, Yao J, Seetharaman J, Miller DJ, Rock CO. The genome of a Bacteroidetes inhabitant of the human gut encodes a structurally distinct enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabI). J Biol Chem 295(22):7635-7652, 2020.

Radka CD, Frank MF, Rock CO, Yao J. Fatty acid activation and utilization by Alistipes finegoldii, a representative Bacteroidetes resident of the human gut microbiome. Mol Microbiol 113(4):807-825, 2020.

5) Radka CD, Labiuk SL, DeLucas LJ, Aller SG. Structures of the substrate-binding protein YfeA in apo and zinc-reconstituted holo forms. Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol D75:831-840, 2019. (**Cover illustration)

Martirosyan A, DeLucas LJ, Schmidt C, Perbandt M, McCombs D, Cox M, Radka C, Betzel C. Effect of macromolecular mass transport in microgravity protein crystallization. GSR 7:33-44, 2019.

Radka CD, Radford LL, Massicano AVF, DeLucas LJ, Lapi SE, Aller SG. Essential Metal Uptake in Gram-negative Bacteria: X-ray Fluorescence, Radioisotopes, and Cell Fractionation. J Vis Exp (132):57169, 2018.

Radka CD, Chen D, DeLucas LJ, Aller SG. The crystal structure of the Yersinia pestis iron chaperone YiuA reveals a basic triad binding motif for the chelated metal. Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol D73:921-939, 2017.

Radka CD, DeLucas LJ, Wilson LS, Lawrenz MB, Perry RD, Aller SG. Crystal structure of Yersinia pestis virulence factor YfeA reveals two polyspecific metal-binding sites. Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol D73:557-572, 2017.

Last update: October 2022