Phini Katsamba

Phini Katsamba


Senior Experimental Scientist
Honig-Shapiro Lab


(212) 851-4656

Phini Katsamba is a research scientist in the laboratories of Barry Honig and Lawrence Shapiro. In her research she applies her knowledge of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensors to characterize the heterophilic binding properties of adhesion molecules. In collaboration with crystallographers and bioinformatics experts, Phini’s goal is to understand the mechanisms that determine recognition and specificity between interacting molecules and how their behavior at the molecular level can explain their cellular behavior in adhesion as observed during morphogenesis and tissue remodeling. 

Prior to joining the Honig/Shapiro group, Phini was a postdoctoral scientist with David Myszka’s group at the University of Utah, where she employed the use of SPR biosensors in studies of macromolecular interactions. She obtained her PhD from the University of Southern California, where she studied the binding kinetics of RNA binding proteins with their RNA targets in the group of Ite Laird-Offringa

Education History

PhD, University of Southern California
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 

BSc, University of California San Diego
Chemistry and Biochemistry


* equal author contributions

Goodman KM, Yamagata M, Jin X, Mannepalli S, Katsamba PS, Ahlsén G, Sergeeva AP, Honig B, Sanes JR, Shapiro L. Molecular basis of sidekick-mediated cell-cell adhesion and specificity. Elife. 2016 Sep 19;5. pii: e19058.

Harrison OJ, Brasch J, Lasso G, Katsamba PS, Ahlsen G, Honig B, Shapiro L. Structural basis of adhesive binding by desmocollins and desmogleins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jun 28;113(26):7160-5.

Vendome J, Felsovalyi K, Song H, Yang Z, Jin X, Brasch J, Harrison OJ, Ahlsen G, Bahna F, Kaczynska A, Katsamba PS, Edmond D, Hubbell WL, Shapiro L, Honig B. Structural and energetic determinants of adhesive binding specificity in type I cadherins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 7;111(40):E4175-84.

Harrison OJ, Vendome J, Brasch J, Jin X, Hong S, Katsamba PS, Ahlsen G, Troyanovsky RB, Troyanovsky SM, Honig B, Shapiro L. Nectin ectodomain structures reveal a canonical adhesive interface. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2012 Sep;19(9):906-15.

Koehnke J*, Katsamba PS*, Ahlsen G, Bahna F, Vendome J, Honig B, Shapiro L, Jin X. Splice form dependence of β-neurexin/neuroligin binding interactions. Neuron. 2010 Jul 15;67(1):61-74.

Ciatto C, Bahna F, Zampieri N, VanSteenhouse HC, Katsamba PS, Ahlsen G, Harrison OJ, Brasch J, Jin X, Posy S, Vendome J, Ranscht B, Jessell TM, Honig B, Shapiro L. T-cadherin structures reveal a novel adhesive binding mechanism. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2010 Mar;17(3):339-47.

Harrison OJ, Bahna F, Katsamba PS, Jin X, Brasch J, Vendome J, Ahlsen G, Carroll KJ, Price SR, Honig B, Shapiro L. Two-step adhesive binding by classical cadherins. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2010 Mar;17(3):348-57.

Katsamba P*, Carroll K*, Ahlsen G, Bahna F, Vendome J, Posy S, Rajebhosale M, Price S, Jessell TM, Ben-Shaule A, Shapiro L. Honig BH. Linking molecular affinity and cellular specificity in cadherin-mediated adhesion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jul 14;106(28):11594-9.

Rich RL, Papalia GA, Flynn PJ, Furneisen J, Quinn J, Klein JS, Katsamba PS, et al. A global benchmark study using affinity-based biosensors. Anal Biochem. 2009 Mar 15;386(2):194-216.

Koehnke J, Jin X, Trbovic N, Katsamba PS, Brasch J, Ahlsen G, Scheiffele P, Honig B, Palmer AG 3rd, Shapiro L. Crystal structures of β-neurexin 1 and β-neurexin 2 ectodomains and dynamics of splice insertion sequence 4. Structure. 2008 Mar;16(3):410-21. 

Natarajan S, Katsamba PS, Miles A, Eckman J, Papalia GA, Rich RL, Gale B, Myszka DG. Continuous-flow microfluidic printing of proteins for array-based applications including surface plasmon resonance imaging. Anal Biochem. 2008 Feb 1;373(1):141-6.

Papalia GA, Leavitt S, Bynum MA, Katsamba PS, Wilton R, Qiu H, Steukers M, Wang S, Bindu L, Phogat S, Giannetti AM, Ryan TE, Pudlak VA, Matusiewicz K, Michelson KM, Nowakowski A, Pham-Baginski A, Brooks J, Tieman BC, Bruce BD, Vaughn M, Baksh M, Cho YH, Wit MD, Smets A, Vandersmissen J, Michiels L, Myszka DG. Comparative analysis of 10 small molecules binding to carbonic anhydrase II by different investigators using Biacore technology. Anal Biochem. 2006 Dec 1;359(1):94-105.

Katsamba PS, Navratilova I, Calderon-Cacia M, Fan L, Thornton K, Zhu M, Bos TV, Forte C, Friend D, Laird-Offringa I, Tavares G, Whatley J, Shi E, Widom A, Lindquist KC, Klakamp S, Drake A, Bohmann D, Roell M, Rose L, Dorocke J, Roth B, Luginbuhl B, Myszka DG. Kinetic analysis of a high-affinity antibody/antigen interaction performed by multiple Biacore users. Anal Biochem. 2006 May 15;352(2):208-21.

Law MJ, Linde ME, Chambers EJ, Oubridge C, Katsamba PS, Nilsson L, Haworth IS, Laird-Offringa IA. The role of positively charged amino acids and electrostatic interactions in the complex of U1A protein and U1 hairpin II RNA. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006 Jan 10;34(1):275-85. 

Karlsson R, Katsamba PS, Nordin H, Pol E, Myszka DG. Analyzing a kinetic titration series using affinity biosensors. Anal Biochem. 2006 Feb 1;349(1):136-47.

Ferguson CG, James RD, Bigman CS, Shepard DA, Abdiche Y, Katsamba PS, Myszka DG, Prestwich GD. Phosphoinositide-containing polymerized liposomes: stable membrane-mimetic vesicles for protein-lipid binding analysis. Bioconjug Chem. 2005 Nov-Dec;16(6):1475-83.

Swaminathan GJ, Myszka DG, Katsamba PS, Ohnuki LE, Gleich GJ, Acharya KR. Eosinophil-granule major basic protein, a C-type lectin, binds heparin. Biochemistry. 2005 Nov 1;44(43):14152-8.

Law MJ, Chambers EJ, Katsamba PS, Haworth IS, Laird-Offringa IA. Kinetic analysis of the role of the tyrosine 13, phenylalanine 56 and glutamine 54 network in the U1A/U1 hairpin II interaction. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 May 24;33(9):2917-28. 

Katsamba PS, Bayramyan  M, Haworth IS, Myszka DG, Laird-Offringa IA. Complex role of the β2-β3 loop in the interaction of U1A with U1 hairpin II RNA. J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 6;277(36):33267-74.

Katsamba PS, Park S, Laird-Offringa IA. Kinetic studies of RNA-protein interactions using surface plasmon resonance. Methods. 2002 Feb;26(2):95-104. 

Katsamba PS, Myszka DG, Laird-Offringa IA, Two functionally distinct steps mediate high-affinity binding of U1A protein to U1 hairpin II RNA. J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 15;276(24):21476-81. 


Lab Staff