Andrew V. Oleinikov, Ph.D., is Professor of Biomedical Science at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University. He got his M.S. in Engineering Physics in 1983 from St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and his Ph.D. in Biology in 1989 from Moscow State University in Russia. His doctoral and post-doctoral research (1991-1996 at UC Davis) was focused on studies of protein biosynthesis machinery, ribosome. He studied structure/function relationships of the key proteins involved in process of elongation of polypeptide chain. In his second post-doc term at UC Davis, Dr. Oleinikov studied mechanisms of autoimmunity during idiopathic membranous glomerulonephritis using rat model. As the main target for autoimmunity was a giant endocytic receptor megalin, Dr. Oleinikov extended his studies into normal function of this protein after becoming a Research Assistant Professor at UC Davis in 1997. He identified a first intracellular ligand of this protein, Disabled-2 (Dab2) adaptor protein. This was a seminal discovery, which moved Dr. Oleinikov to the hypotheses that megalin is involved in signal transduction through Dab2, and that Dab2 is the link to the endocytotic machinery for megalin. Both hypotheses have been confirmed later in a multitude of works. Dr. Oleinikov currently continues his studies of megalin, which is expressed in various tissues.
In 2000, Dr. Oleinikov moved to Combimatrix Corp. as a Principal Scientist and Group leader, where he headed a lab working on high throughput approaches utilizing semiconductor microchips. He developed several novel technologies including long gene assembly, self-assembling protein arrays, and electrochemical detection of protein-ligand interactions on the surface of biochips. His work on high throughput approaches was supported by NIH grants.
In 2004, Dr. Oleinikov moved to Seattle Biomedical Research Institute as a Principal Scientist, where he used his experience in high throughput approaches for studies of malaria and developed his interest to the highly diverse family of parasite proteins expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes, called PfEMP1. Dr. Oleinikov worked as collaborator on two international consortiums, headed by Dr. Duffy and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, to study children’s severe malaria and development of vaccine against placental malaria. He also obtained several grants from NIH, including R01 funding, to study PfEMP1 proteins as virulence factors and vaccine candidates, and to develop adjunct anti-adhesion therapy against severe malaria.
In 2013, Dr. Oleinikov moved to FAU as an Associate Professor, got his tenure in 2017 and was promoted to full professor in 2019. His current research interests include functions of surface proteins of human parasite Plasmodium falciparum and mechanisms of parasite-host interactions, malaria vaccine candidates, molecular mechanisms of low birth weight in placental malaria, and anti-adhesion drugs. In addition, he works on development of tools and technologies for single cell analysis, tissue-on-a-chip, and high throughput approaches, in collaboration with College of Engineering (Drs. Du and Yi), as well as functional role of a giant endocytic and signaling receptor megalin in placenta. His research is supported by numerous grants from National Institutes of Health. In 2018 he received the FAU Researcher of the Year Award.
In addition to research, Dr. Oleinikov enjoys teaching at FAU. He created a new course “Advanced Molecular and Cell Biology” for graduate students, was nominated for the FAU Teacher of the year by the College of Medicine, and received a FAU Degree of Difference award for teaching in 2015. Dr. Oleinikov mentors a number of graduate and undergraduate students in his lab, many of whom have won awards for their laboratory studies including FAU GRIP grant (J. Libbert), several 1st places at the COM and FAU conferences, and COM Student Research Awards (J. Merritt, V. Goldberg, P. Visitdesotracul).