Laura was part of the Graduate Group in Pharmacology. She graduated from Union College in upstate New York with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2009. Laura is originally from Albany, NY. In 2011, Laura won a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! In 2013, Laura won the John S. O'Brien Award for best oral presentation at the annual PGG Retreat. Laura defended her Ph.D. thesis: 'Fighting HIV infection by defining mechanisms to remodel semen-derived amyloid fibrils' in December, 2014. Laura went on to be a medical writer.


Castellano, L.M., R.M. Hammond, V.M. Holmes, D. Weissman, and J. Shorter. (2015). Epigallocatechin-3-gallate rapidly remodels PAP85-120, SEM1(45-107), and SEM2(49-107) seminal amyloid fibrils. Biol. Open. In press.

Lump, E.*, L.M. Castellano*, C. Meier, J. Seeliger, N. Erwin, B. Sperlich, C.M. Stürzel, S. Usmani, R.M. Hammond, J. von Einem, G. Gerold, F. Kreppel, K. Bravo-Rodriguez, T. Pietschmann, V.M. Holmes, D. Palesch, O. Zirafi, D. Weissman, A. Sowislok, B. Wettig, C. Heid, F. Kirchhoff, T. Weil, F.G. Klärner, T. Schrader, G. Bitan, E. Sanchez-Garcia, R. Winter, J. Shorter, and J. Münch. (2015). A molecular tweezer antagonizes seminal amyloids and HIV infection. eLife. In press. (*Co-first author).

Castellano, L.M., S.M. Bart, V.M. Holmes, D. Weissman, and J. Shorter. (2015). Repurposing Hsp104 to antagonize seminal amyloid and counter HIV infection. Chem. Biol. In press.

Torrente, M.P., L.M. Castellano, and J. Shorter. (2014). Suramin inhibits Hsp104 ATPase and disaggregase activity. PLoS ONE.9(10): e110115. pdf file link

Jackrel, M.E., M.E. DeSantis, B.A. Martinez, L.M. Castellano, R.M. Stewart, K.A. Caldwell, G.A. Caldwell, and J. Shorter. (2014). Potentiated Hsp104 variants antagonize diverse proteotoxic misfolding events. Cell. 156:170–182. pdf file link

Castellano, L.M., and J. Shorter. (2012). The surprising role of amyloid fibrils in HIV infection. Biology. 1:58-80. pdf file link

Turner J.R., Castellano L.M., Blendy J.A. (2011). Parallel anxiolytic-like effects and upregulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors following chronic nicotine and varenicline. Nicotine Tob. Res.13(1):41-6. pdf file link

Turner J.R., Castellano L.M., Blendy J.A. (2010). Nicotinic partial agonists varenicline and sazetidine-A have differential effects on affective behavior. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 334(2):665-72. pdf file link





Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics
University of Pennsylvania