Ekaterina Nestorovich's Headshot


  • Biology
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Expertise

  • Biophysics of Ion-Conductive Nanostructures
  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

    Biological nanosensors: Ion-channel engineering to solve medical problems.

    Ekaterina M. Nestorovich earned her Ph.D. in electrochemistry from St. Petersburg State University, Russia under supervision of Prof. Valery Malev.  She performed a postdoctoral research in biophysics with Dr. Sergey Bezrukov at the National Institutes of Health.  While at the NIH, she mastered the art of ion channel reconstitution into planar lipid bilayers (the models of biological membranes) and modern methods of statistical analysis of ionic currents – powerful tools which allowed her to study kinetic and transport properties of channel-forming proteins at the single-molecule level. 

    In January 2011, she joined the faculty in the Department of Biology at The Catholic University of America as Assistant Professor of the new Biotechnology program.  The direction of her research is best described as medical biotechnology and biophysics. 

    From the biomedical science perspective, she searches for novel effective approaches to make good use of ion-conducting nanostructures in a variety of medical, chemical, and biotechnological applications.  From the biophysical perspective, she pursues a new level of understanding of biological structures through the physical forces that animate them.  By learning the physics and chemistry of biological structures’ functioning, Dr. Nestorovich strives to determine how to design new agents that effectively correct the deviant interactions associated with diseases.

    Teaching Interests

    • Biotechnology Project Management
    • Rational Drug Design
    • Biostatistics

    Selected Publications

    Momben Abolfath S, Kolberg M, Karginov V.A., Leppla S.H., Nestorovich E.M. (2019) Exploring the Nature of Cationic Blocker Recognition by the Anthrax Toxin Channel. Biophys J. 117:1751-1763.

    Kalu N., Atsmon-Raz Y., Momben Abolfath S., Lucas L., Kenney C., Leppla S.H., Tieleman D.P., Nestorovich E.M. (2018) Effect of late endosomal DOBMP lipid and traditional model lipids of electrophysiology on the anthrax toxin channel activity, BBA – Biomembranes, 1860:2192-2203.

    Kalu N., Alcaraz A., Yamini G., Momben Abolfath S., Lucas L., Kenney C., Aguilella V.M., Nestorovich E.M. (2017) Effect of endosomal acidification on small ion transport through the anthrax toxin PA63 channel, 591:3481-3492.

    Yamini G. and Nestorovich E.M. (2017) Relevance of the alternate conductance states of anthrax toxin channel, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; 114:E2545-E2546.

    Yamini G., Kalu N., and Nestorovich E.M. (2016) Impact of Dendrimer Terminal Group Chemistry on Blockage of the Anthrax Toxin Channel: A Single Molecule Study. Toxins (Basel); 8(11). pii: E337.

    Yamini G., Nestorovich E.M. (2016) Multivalent Inhibitors of Channel-Forming Bacterial Toxins. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol, 406:199-227.

    Bezrukov S.M., Nestorovich E.M. (2016) Inhibiting Bacterial Toxins by Channel Blockage. Pathog. Dis. 74(2).pii: ftv113.

    Bezrukov S.M., Nestorovich E.M. (2015) Inhibitors of Pore-forming Toxins. 1095-1134. The Comprehensive Sourcebook of Bacterial Protein Toxins.

    Gurnev P.A. and Nestorovich E.M. (2014) Channel-Forming Bacterial Toxins in Biosensing and Macromolecule Delivery. Toxins (Basel). 6:2483-2540.

    Roeder M., Nestorovich E.M., Karginov V.A., Schwan C., Aktories K., Barth H. (2014) Tailored Cyclodextrin Pore Blocker Protects Mammalian Cells from Clostridium difficile Binary Toxin CDT. Toxins (Basel). 6:2097-2114.

    Förstner P., Bayer F., Kalu N., Felsen S., Förtsch C., Aloufi A., Ng D.Y., Weil T., Nestorovich EM, Barth H. (2014) Cationic PAMAM Dendrimers as Pore-Blocking Binary Toxin Inhibitors. Biomacromolecules. 15:2461-2474.

    Nestorovich EM, Bezrukov SM. (2014) Designing inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Expert Opin Drug Discov.9:299-318

    Phillips D.D., Fattah R. J., Crown D., Zhang Y., Liu S., Moayeri M., Fischer E. R., Hansen B. T., Ghirlando R., Nestorovich E. M., Wein A. N., Simons L., Leppla S. H., Leysath C. E. (2013) Engineering Anthrax Toxin Variants That Exclusively Form Octamers, and Their Application to Targeting Tumors. J. Biol. Chem. 288:9058-9065.

    Nestorovich E.M., Karginov V.A., Berezhkovskii A.M., Parsegian V.A., and Bezrukov S.M. (2012) Kinetics and thermodynamics of binding reactions as exemplified by anthrax channel blockage with a cationic cyclodextrin derivative. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109:18453-18458.

    Nestorovich E.M. and Bezrukov S.M. (2012) Obstructing Toxin Pathways by Targeted Pore Blockage. Chemical Reviews. "Ion channels and disease" issue. 112:6388-6430.

    Bezrukov S.M., Liu X., Karginov V.A., Wein A.N., Leppla S.H., Popoff M.R., Barth H., Nestorovich E.M.  (2012) Interactions of High-Affinity Cationic Blockers with the Translocation Pores of B. anthracis, C. botulinum, and C. perfringens Binary Toxins. Biophys. J. 103:1208-1217.

    Nestorovich E.M., Karginov V.A., Popoff M.R., Bezrukov S.M., Barth H. (2011) Tailored ß-Cyclodextrin Blocks the Translocation Pores of Binary Exotoxins from C. Botulinum and C. Perfringens and Protects Cells from Intoxication. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23927.

    Yannakopoulou K., Jicsinszky L., Aggelidou C., Mourtzis N., Robinson T.M., Yohannes A., Nestorovich E.M., Bezrukov S.M., Karginov V.A. (2011) Symmetry requirements for the effective blocking of pore-forming toxins: Comparative study with {alpha}-, {beta}-, and {gamma}-cyclodextrin derivatives. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 55: 3594-3597.

    Nestorovich E.M., Karginov V.A. Bezrukov S.M. (2010) Polymer partitioning and ion selectivity suggest conical shape for the membrane pore formed by Epsilon toxin. Biophys. J. 99:782-789.

    Nestorovich E.M., Karginov V.A. Berezhkovskii, A.M., Bezrukov S.M. (2010) Blockage of Anthrax PA63 Pore by a Multi-Charged High-Affinity Toxin Inhibitor. Biophys. J. 99:134-143.

    Alcaraz A., Nestorovich E.M., Lidón López, M., García-Gimenez E., Bezrukov S.M. Aguilella V.M. (2009) Diffusion, exclusion, and specific binding in a large channel: A study of OmpF selectivity inversion. Biophys. J. 96:56-66.

    Karginov V.A., Nestorovich E.M., Schmidtmann F., Robinson T.M., Yohannes A., Fahmi N.E., Bezrukov S.M., Hecht S.M. (2007) Inhibition of S. aureus alpha-hemolysin and B. anthracis lethal toxin by beta-cyclodextrin derivatives. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 15:5424-5431.

    Karginov V.A., Nestorovich E.M., Yohannes A., Robinson T.M., Fahmi N.E., Schmidtmann F., Hecht S.M., Bezrukov S.M. (2006) Search for cyclodextrin-based inhibitors of anthrax toxins: synthesis, structural features, and relative activities. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 50:3740-3753.

    Nestorovich E.M., Sugawara E., Nikaido H., Bezrukov S.M., (2006) Pseudomonas aeruginosa porin OprF: properties of the channel. J. Biol. Chem. 281:16230-16237.

    Sugawara E., Nestorovich E.M., Bezrukov S.M., Nikaido H. (2006) Pseudomonas aeruginosa porin OprF exists in two different conformations. J. Biol. Chem. 281:16220-16229.

    Danelon C., Nestorovich E.M., Winterhalter M., Ceccarelli M., Bezrukov S.M. (2006) Interaction of zwitterionic penicillins with the OmpF channel facilitates their translocation. Biophys. J. 90:16171627.

    Karginov V.A., Nestorovich E.M., Moayeri M., Leppla S.H., Bezrukov S.M. (2005) Blocking anthrax lethal toxin at the protective antigen channel by using structure-inspired drug design. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102:15075-15080.

    Alcaraz A., Nestorovich E.M., Aguilella-Arzo M., Aguilella V.M., and Bezrukov S.M. (2004) Salting out the ionic selectivity of a wide channel: The asymmetry of OmpF. Biophys. J. 87:943-957.

    Nestorovich E.M., Bezrukov S.M. (2004) Voltage-induced "gating" of bacterial porin as reversible protein denaturation. In Proc. SPIE, Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems II; Derek Abbott, Sergey M. Bezrukov, Andras Der, Angel Sanchez; Eds. 5467:42-53.

    Nestorovich E.M., Rostovtseva T.K., and Bezrukov S.M. (2003) Residue ionization and ion transport through OmpF channels. Biophys. J. 85:3718-3729.

    Nestorovich E.M., Danelon C., Winterhalter M., Bezrukov S.M. (2003) Noise analysis of antibiotic permeation through bacterial channels. In Proc. SPIE, Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems; Sergey M. Bezrukov, Hans Frauenfelder, Frank Moss; Eds. 5110:57-62.

    Nestorovich E.M., Danelon C., Winterhalter M., Bezrukov S.M. (2002) Designed to penetrate: time-resolved interaction of single antibiotic molecules with bacterial pores. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99:9789-9794.

    Malev V.V., Schagina L.V., Gurnev P.A., Takemoto J.Y., Nestorovich E.M., Bezrukov S.M. (2002) Syringomycin E channel: A lipidic pore stabilized by lipopeptide? Biophys. J. 82:1985-1994.

    Rostovtseva T.K., Nestorovich E.M., Bezrukov S.M. (2002) Partitioning of differently sized poly(ethylene glycol)s into OmpF porin. Biophys. J. 82:160-169.