Andrew  Feig

Andrew Feig

Director, Research Enrichment Core, ReBUILDetroit


313-577-8822 (fax)

 Chem 455

Curriculum Vitae

Social Media

Twitter: @afeig_novi



Andrew Feig



Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  • Post-transcriptional gene regulation by non-coding RNAs; RNA-protein interactions; RNA folding thermodynamics of structural rearrangements

  • Clostridium difficile; mechanisms of action of large clostridial toxins, toxin inhibition, re-engineering of clostridial toxins for cellular delivery

  • STEM Education: understanding barriers to the adoption of evidence-based instructional practices by STEM faculty; intervnetions to improve retention of underrepresented groups in STEM; adoption of course-based undergraduate research experieces (CURES)



STEM Education: Education work focuses on the barriers for facutly to adopt evidence-based pedagogies in their classrooms. We work on multiple levels. Through new faculty workshops, we help faculty learn about these techniques before they develop their own teaching style. Through workshops on campus we help faculty at all levels understand what these techniques are and how one can implement them effectively in the classroom. Through the management of a faculty learning community, we support teams of faculty interested in the adoption and who wish to learn together with new adopters. The SSTEPs fellows program helps provide resources that buy faculty the time necessary to implement these reforms. Additional support for student-based pedagogies is available through a Learning assistants (LA) program that provides mentors in the classroom for teams working on in class exercises.

Diversity Programs: ReBUILDetroit is a multicenter program focused on improving diversity in the biomedical research enterprise. The program works with students intensively during the summer prior to freshman year and then throughout their first year in college to ensure a successful transition to college and provide an early entry into research. First year students take a research methods course (UGR1050) as well as a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience in lieu of one of their introductory lab courses (replaces Intro Bio, Intro Chem Lab or as an add-on to the Introduction to Public Health). Scholars are then placed into mentored research experiences by the summer after their freshman year. 

LABORATORY SCIENCE:  Our laboratory is interested in biological molecules that structurally rearrange as part of their normal activity.

Mechanistic Analysis of the Large Clostridial Cytotoxins. The laboratory is also investigating the mechanistic enzymology and biophysics of toxins A and B from Clostridium difficile, a common enteric bacterium. Infection with this organism is the primary cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (a condition that afflicts >3 million patients annually). Toxins A and B catalyze mono-glucosylation of the RhoA sub-family of small G-proteins, inducing apoptosis in the afflicted cells. We have cloned and expressed both the 66kD glucosyltransferase domain as well as the intact 300 kD holotoxin. We are using these materials to explore structural transitions required for translocation across cellular membranes during pathogenesis and substrate recognition. We have developed irreversible inhibitors of toxin function and are working to further optimize those. 

Non-coding RNAs and the proteins with which they interact. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are involved in a variety of regulatory processes associated with mRNA stability and post-transcriptional gene regulation. We are using a variety of methodologies including structure mapping, CD spectroscopy, fluorescence, and microcalorimetry to probe the structural changes associated with the biology of ncRNAs. One system under study is DsrA, a ncRNA from E. coli involved in the cold shock response. Together with Hfq, a bacterial homolog of the Sm- and Lsm proteins, DsrA regulates RpoS translation. We have probed the different faces of Hfq and shown that they both bind RNAs but with different specificities. Hfq also interacts with a variety of proteins. We are looking at the way in which the RNAs bound to Hfq help to specify the protein components in this dynamic RNA-protein particle.

Thermodynamics of RNA Folding. RNA folding and RNA structural rearrangements are important determinants of the biological activity. We use CD, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to probe these structural changes and the fundamental thermodynamics of RNA folding transitions. We have been looking extensively at heat capacity changes (ΔCP), the temperature dependence of the ΔH. We are exploring the fundamental properties of this thermodynamic parameter, such as its physical origin in RNA folding, its dependence on oligonucleotide length and sequence, its dependence on ion condensation and water interactions, and the way it responds to divalent ion binding. We have found that the ΔCP can be used, among other things, to reveal information about the residual structures in the “unfolded” state. Such structures have a major impact on isothermal folding.


Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • B.S. Yale University 1990
  • Ph.D. MIT, 1995
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 1995-1999, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder

Awards and Grants

  • Grants:

    NSF-IUSE (PI): (DUE-1524878) WSU-Student Success Through Evidence-Based Pedagogies 8/1/15 – 7/31/20 $2,995,000

    NSF-WIDER (PI):  (DUE-1347576) WSU-Widening Implementation and Dissemination of Evidence-based Reoforms. 9/15/13 – 1/31/16 $250,000

    NSF-CHE (CHE-1306063) Protein Translocation Using Chimeric Toxins (PI) 7/15/13 – 5/31/17 $400,000

    Research Corporation for Science Advancement (PI) Cottrell Scholars Collaborative – New Faculty Workshops in Chemistry
    10/01/12 - 09/30/17 $45,000

    Research Corporation for Science Advancement and German Fulbright Commission (PI - Frolich) Cottrell Scholars Collaborative – Bridges to Germany. 10/01/16 - 09/30/18 $25,000

    NIH - WSU-BEST (Broadening Experiences for Scientific Training) (PI – Mathur) 9/20/13 – 8/19/18 $1,800,000

    NIH DPC (Director, Research Enrichment Core): Research Enhancement for BUILDing Detroit (Director, PI – Gary Kuleck)  9/1/14 – 8/31/19 $21,435,853


  • Awards: 

    2018 Fellow of the American Chemical Society

    2018 Inaugural Member, WSU Academy of Teachers

    2017 RNA Society, Lifetime Service Award

    2015 Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year

    2013 Wayne State University, President’s Award for Teaching Excellence

    2012 Wayne State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Award

    2008 Wayne State University, Career Development Award

    2007 Wayne State University, Faculty Mentoring Award,

    2002 Cottrell Scholar of Research Corporation

    1995 NSF Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Chemistry

    1986 Westinghouse Science Talent Search Scholarship

Selected Publications

  • Farron McIntee, Kendra R. Evans, Jeanne M. Andreoli, Abigail J. Fusaro, Melanie Hwalek, Ambika Mathur, Andrew L. Feig. Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (2018). Developing Undergraduate Scientists by Scaffolding the Entry Into Mentored Research. 2(1) 4-14. doi: 10.18833/spur/2/1/5.
  • Mathur A, Chow CS, Feig AL, Kenaga H, Moldenhauer JA, Muthunayake NS, et al. (2018) Exposure to multiple career pathways by biomedical doctoral students at a public research university. PLoS ONE 13(6): e0199720.
  • Lisa Corwin, Erin Dolan, Andrew L. Feig and Joi Walker. (2018) Assessment of CUREs. In Expanding the CURE Model: Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences: Bringing Research to the Classroom. Rory Waterman and Jennifer Heemstra, Eds.Tucson, AZ. p. 75-89
  • Dennin, M, Schultz, ZD, Feig, A, Finkelstein, N, Greenhoot, AF, Hildreth, M, Leibovich, AK, Martin, JD, Moldwin, MB, O'Dowd, DK, Posey, LA, , TL, Miller, ER. (2017) Aligning Practice to Policies: Changing the Culture to Recognize and Reward Teaching at Research Universities. CBE Life Sci Educ. Winter;16(4). pii: es5. doi: 10.1187/cbe.17-02-0032.
  • Ngong Kodiah Beyeh, Isabel Dıez, S. Maryamdokht Taimoory, Daniel Meister, Andrew L. Feig, John F. Trant, Robin H. A. Ras, and Kari Rissanen. (2017) Chemical Sciences, High-affinity and selective detection of pyrophosphate in water by a resorcinarene salt receptor. DOI: 10.1039/c7sc05167k
  • Peter Hitchcock, Ambika Mathur, Jabbar Bennett, Patricia Cameron, Christine Chow, Philip Clifford, Robert Duvoisin, Andrew Feig, Kevin Finneran, Diane M Klotz, Richard McGee, Mary O'Riordan, Christine Pfund, Christopher Pickett, Nancy Schwartz, Nancy E Street, Elizabeth Watkins, Jonathan Wiest, and David Engelke. (2017) ELife. Point of View: The future of graduate and postdoctoral training in the biosciences eLife 2017;6:e32715 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.32715
  • Andreoli, J. M.; Feig, A.; Chang, S.; Welch, S.; Mathur, A.; Kuleck, G. (2017) A Research-Based Inter-institutional Collaboration to Diversify the Biomedical Workforce: ReBUILDetroit. Biomed. Central Proc. DOI 10.1186/s12919-017-0093-6.
  • Rory Waterman and Andrew Feig, Eds. (2017) Educational and Outreach Projects from the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative. Volume 2: Professional Development and Outreach. ACS Symposium Series 1259. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. pp. 95. ISBN: 9780841232426. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2017-1259.
  • Rory Waterman and Andrew Feig, Eds. (2017) Educational and Outreach Projects from the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative. Volume 1: Undergraduate and Graduate Education. ACS Symposium Series 1248. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. pp. 121. ISBN: 9780841232082. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2017-1248.
  • Rigoberto Hernandez,* Marilyne Stains, Karen S. Bjorkman, Ashley Donovan, Peter Dorhout, Andrew L. Feig, Philip W. Hammer, Jennifer L. Ross, Jodi Wesemann, and Srikant K. Iyer. (2017) Leadership Training for Teacher-Scholars. The Cottrell Scholars Collaborative New Faculty Workshop: Early Lessons for Change in Teaching. In Educational and Outreach Projects from the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative. Vol. 2. Professional Development and Outreach. ACS Symposium Series, 1259. Rory Waterman and Andrew Feig, Eds. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. p. 35-49. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2017-1259.ch004
  • Rory Waterman* and Andrew Feig* (2017) The Cottrell Scholars Collaborative New Faculty Workshop: Early Lessons for Change in Teaching. In Educational and Outreach Projects from the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative. Vol. 2. Professional Development and Outreach. ACS Symposium Series 1259, Rory Waterman and Andrew Feig, Eds. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. p. 23 – 34. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2017-1259.ch003.
  • Jennifer M. Heemstra,* Rory Waterman,* John M. Antos, Penny J. Beuning, Scott K. Bur, Linda Columbus, Andrew L. Feig, Amelia A. Fuller, Jason G. Gillmore, Aaron M. Leconte, William C. K. Pomerantz, Jennifer A. Prescher, Levi M. Stanley. (2017) Throwing Away the Cookbook: Implementing Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) in Chemistry In Educational and Outreach Projects from the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative Vol. 1 Undergraduate and Graduate Education. ACS Symposium Series, 1248. Rory Waterman and Andrew Feig, Eds. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. p. 33 – 63. DOI: DOI: 10.1021/bk-2017-1248.ch003.
  • Andrew L. Feig, Leah Robinson, Song Yan, Mark Byrd & Ambika Mathur (2016) Using Longitudinal Data on Career Outcomes to Promote Improvements and Diversity in Graduate Education, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 48:6, 42-49, DOI: 10.1080/00091383.2016.1247582
  • Carrie A. Cowardin, Brianna M. Jackman, Zannatun Noor, Stacey L. Burgess, Andrew L. Feig, William A. Petri, Jr. (2016) Glucosylation Drives the Innate Inflammatory Response to Clostridium difficile Toxin A. Infect. Immun. 84, 2317-2323. DOI: 10.1128/iai.00327-16.
  • Methods in Enzymology vol. 567. Calorimetry Feig, AL. Editor. (2016)
  • Meyers, F.J., Mathur, A, Fuhrmann, CN, O’Brien, TC, Wefes, I, Labosky, PA, Duncan, DS, August, A, Feig, A, Gould, KL, Friedlander, MJ, Schaffer, CB, Wart, AV and Chalkley, R,  (2016) The origin and implementation of the Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training programs: an NIH common fund initiative. FASEB J. 30, 507-514.
  • Feig, AL Ed. (2016) Methods in Enzymology - Microcalorimetry.Vol. 567. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(15)00652-7
  • Cowardin CA, Jackman BM, Noor Z, Burgess SL, Feig AL, Petri WA Jr. (2016) Glucosylation Drives the Innate Inflammatory Response to Clostridium difficile Toxin A, Infect Immun. 2016 Jul 21;84, 2317-23. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00327-16
  • Bradforth SE, Miller ER, Dichtel WR, Leibovich AK, Feig AL, Martin JD, Bjorkman KS, Schultz ZD, Smith TL. (2015) University learning: Improve undergraduate science education. Nature 523(7560):282-4. doi: 10.1038/523282a
  • Feig AL.(2015) Reflections on 20 years of RNA science. RNA 21(4):609-10. doi: 10.1261/rna.050542.115
  • Mundigala H, Michaux JB, Feig AL, Ennifar E, Rueda D. (2014) HIV-1 DIS stem loop forms an obligatory bent kissing intermediate in the dimerization pathway. Nucleic Acids Res. 42(11):7281-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku332
  • Faner MA, Feig AL. (2013) Identifying and characterizing Hfq-RNA interactions.Methods. 63(2):144-59. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.04.023.
  • Swett, R., Cisneros, G. A., Feig, A. L. (2012) Conformational Analysis of Clostridium difficile Toxin B and its Implications for Substrate Recognition. PLOS One. 7(7): e41518. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041518
  • Kern, S. M. and Feig, A. L. (2011) Adaptation of Clostridium difficile toxin A for use as a protein translocation system. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.405(4) 570-574. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.01.070.
  • Abdeen, S. J., Swett, R. J., and Feig, A. L. (2010) Peptide inhibitors targeting Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, ACS Chem Biol 5, 1097-1103.
  • Salim, N.N., Faner, M.A., Philip, J., and Feig, A. L. (2012) Requirement of Upstream Hfq Binding (ARN)x Elements in glmS and the Hfq C-Terminal Region for GlmS Up-regulation by sRNAs GlmZ and GlmY. Nucl. Acids Res. 40, 8021-32. doi:10.1093/nar/gks392
  • Salim, N. Lamichhane, Zhao, R. Banerjee, T. R. Rueda, D and Feig, AL. (2012) Thermodynamic and Kinetic
  • Analysis of an RNA Kissing Interaction and its Resolution into an Extended Duplex. Biophys. J.102, 1097-1107. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2011.12.052
  • Salim NN, Feig AL. (2010) An upstream Hfq binding site in the fhlA mRNA leader region facilitates the OxyS-fhlA interaction. PLoS One. 2010 Sep 28;5(9). pii: e13028. PMID: 20927406
  • Mikulecky, PJ and Feig, AL. (2006) Heat Capacity Changes Associated with Nucleic Acid Folding. Biopolymers, 82, 38-58.


Currently Teaching

  •  WInter 2019: CHM1230 - BUILD Research Coordination Network Section

  • CHM 1230 General Chemistry 1 Laboratory, 1 credit hour, W2019

Courses taught

CHM 5600 Survey: Biochemistry, 3 credit hours, F2018
CHM 7600 Structure and Function: Biomolecules, 3 credit hours, F2018
UGR 1050 Research Methods, 1 credit hour, F2018
CHM 6610 Biochemistry Laboratory, 3 credit hours, W2018

Citation Index