Andrew P. Hinck
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Phone (412) 648-8533
Fax (412) 648-9008

University of Pittsburgh
1035 Biomedical Science Tower 3


Andrew Hinck

Professor, Department of Structural Biology
University of Pittsburgh

Andrew Hinck’s research is focused on using the tools of structural biology to understand how the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules engenders them with their extraordinary ability to specifically and seletively bind relevant partners and assemble into functional complexes. In my laboratory, we rely heavily on NMR spectroscopy as a tool for studying the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules, but we also use X-ray crystallography and other accompanying biophysical tools, such as isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, my laboratory employs cell-based studies to assess the significance of key molecular features we have identified in a cellular context. In my laboratory, a major area of emphasis is studying signaling proteins and receptors of the TGF-beta family, a highly diversified signaling family, with representative family members in both in invertebrates and vertebrates. In our research, we are interested in deciphering the molecular adaptations that the signaling proteins, single-pass transmembrane receptors, downstream effectors, and multitude of extracellular and intracellular modulators have acquired that enable the more than thirty proteins of family to achieve their unique biological functions. In addition, we are interested in exploiting the unique adaptations our structural studies uncovered to develop highly potent TGF-beta inhibitors for treatment of cancer or fibrosis. If you are interested in learning more my research and my research group, you can learn more by exploring the
Hinck laboratory website.

Education & Training

University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, USA
Magna Cum Laudem, 1987 in  Chemistry


University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
Ph.D., 1993 in Biochemistry, Advisor: John L. Markley

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
NIH Ruth Kirchenstein Postdoctoral Fellow,  Advisor: Laura L. Kiessling

National Institute of Dental Research, Bethesda, Md
NIH IRTA and Staff Fellow, Advisor: Dennis A. Torchia


Awards & Honors

2011           UT Health Sci. Ctr. San Antonio, Cancer Therapy Res. Ctr. Discovery of the Year Award
2011           U. Wisconsin-Madison, Dept of Biochemistry, Everson Lecturer
2008           Stanford Syn. Rad. Light Source Research Highlight
1994           NIH NRSA Kirchenstein Postdoctoral Fellowship
1993           U. Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. Biochemistry Sigrid Leirmo Memorial Award
1992           U. Wisconsin-Madison, Sigma Xi Outstanding Thesis Award


Representative Publications

Kim, S-K. K., Barron, L., Hinck, C. S., Petrunak, E. M., Cano, K. E., Thirangala, A., Iskra, B., Brothers, M., Vonberg, M., Leal, B., Richter, B., Kodali, R., Taylor, A. B., Du, S., Barnes, C. O., Sulea, T.,  Calero, G., Hart, P. J., Hart, M. J., Demeler, B., and Hinck, A. P. (2017) An engineered TGF-b monomer that functions as a dominant negative to block TGF-b signaling, J. Biol. Chem. (in press). PMID: 28228478

Villarreal, M. M., Kim, S-K., Barron, L., Kodali, R., Baardsnes, J., Hinck, C. S., Henen, M. A., Pakhomova, O., Mendoza, V., O’Connor-McCourt, M. D., Lafer, E. M., López-Casillas, F., and Hinck, A. P. (2016) Binding properties of the TGF-beta co-receptor betaglycan: proposed mechanism for potentiation of receptor complex assembly and signaling, Biochemistry, 55, 68800-6896.  PMID: 27951653

Hinck A. P., Mueller, T. D., and Springer, T. A. (2016) Structural Biology and Evolution of the TGF-b family Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, (in press). PMID: 27638177

Huang, T., Schor, S. L., Hinck, A. P., (2014) “Biological activity differences between TGF-β1 and TGF-β3 correlate with differences in the rigidity and arrangement of their component monomers” Biochemistry, 53, 5737-5749. PMID: 25204799

Huang, T., David, L., Mendoza, V., Yang, Y., Villarreal, M., De, K., Sun, L., Fang, X., López-Casillas, F., Wrana, J.L., and Hinck, A. P. (2011) “TGF-β signaling is mediated by two autonomously functioning TbRI:TbRII pairs”, EMBO J., 30, 1263-1276. PMID: 21423151.

Groppe, J., Hinck, C. S., Samavarchi-Tehrani, P., Zubieta, C., Schuermann, J., Taylor, A., Schwarz, P., Wrana, J., & Hinck, A. P. (2008) “Cooperative Assembly of TGF-β Superfamily Signaling Complexes is Mediated by Two Disparate Mechanisms and Distinct Modes of Receptor Binding”, Mol. Cell, 29, 157-168. PMID: 18243111

See also the preview by J. Massagué entitled “A very private TGF-β receptor embrace” (Mol. Cell, 29, 149-150) and research highlight by N. Gough in Science STKE (Science Signalling, 1, 46). PMID: 18243107

Active Grants


Ligand-Receptor Interactions in the TGF-beta Superfamily
National Institutes of Health
Pathogenesis of vascular malformations in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: from disease mechanism to new therapies
07/01/2017 - 6/30/2021
Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program
Focused Program Award
Interaction between blood flow and ALK1 signaling in AVM development
04/01/2017 - 03-31-2021
National Institutes of Health

Inhibition of the tumor-promoting effects of TGF-beta in advanced prostate cancer
National Institutes of Health