Tonya Zeczycki - Assistant Professor

Dr. Zeczycki



  • Wisconsin Lutheran College, B.S. Chemistry and Biology, 1997-2002
  • Marquette University, PhD Inorganic Chemistry, 2002-2007
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Enzymology, 2007-2012

Research Interests:

The dynamic regulation of protein function maintains physiological homeostasis. In contrast, numerous disease pathologies arise from “protein dysfunction”. Included in these pathologies are both neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases; however, the underlying biochemical and biophysical mechanisms causing this dysfunction are unknown.

Considering the progressive and devastating nature of both neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders, we are focusing our efforts on defining the fundamental molecular mechanisms of protein dysfunction; these mechanisms include protein misfolding and oligomerization, impaired protein-protein interactions, and aberrant allosteric regulation. In doing so, our research both advances novel therapeutic development and expands our understanding of protein function and dysfunction.

Using transglutaminase 2 macromolecular complexes—which are comprised of α-synuclein or tau,calreticulin and phospholipase C δ1—and novel techniques common to the fields of biophysical chemistry, enzymology, structural, molecular, and chemical biology, we aim to answer the following questions:

  • How doesintrinsic disorder, protein dynamics, and macromolecular complex formation differentially regulate transglutaminase 2’s physiological and pathological activities?

  • What are the biochemical and biophysical consequences of transglutaminase 2’s modificationon pathogenic protein folding, oligomerization, and aggregation?

Additionally, research efforts focused on the mechanisms governing the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) complexes and supercomplexes aim to determine how aging and oxidative stress alter both the protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions necessary for the formation and the function of mitochondrial ETC complexes.  

If you would like more information about our research, potential collaborations, or doing undergraduate or graduate research in the Zeczycki lab, please contact Dr. Zeczycki at


View our current list of publications in PubMed.

Visit the Zeczycki Lab Website.

Contact Information:

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
ECDOI Office 4116 (Lab 4102-61) MS743
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, BSOM at East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27834
phone: 252-744-5609