Molecular Biophysics Faculty and Research

Program faculty have diverse backgrounds and interests, ranging from mathematics and theoretical physics to neurobiology and genetics.

Research in the Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program is highly interdisciplinary, comprising faculty drawn from the departments of Biophysics, Pharmacology, Physiology, Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and others. A list of faculty with their research interests is given below.

Paul Blount, Ph.D.
Blount Lab
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of channels that gate in response to membrane tension

Yuh Min Chook, Ph.D.
Chook Lab
Research Interests: Structures and mechanisms of nuclear transport and the nuclear pore complex

David R. Corey, Ph.D.
Corey Lab
Research Interests: Engineering proteins and nucleic acids for novel function

Elizabeth J. Goldsmith, Ph.D.
Goldsmith Lab
Research Interests: Crystallographic studies of signal-transducing proteins

Nick Grishin (Nikolai Grichine), Ph.D.
Grishin Lab
Research Interests: Computational biology; analysis of protein sequences and structures

Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Hibbs Lab
Research Interests: Ion channel structure-function, membrane protein structural biology

Khuloud Jaqaman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Jaqaman Lab
Research Interests: Quantitative single-molecule imaging of receptor organization and signaling; linking molecular and cellular behavior across multiple scales; computational image analysis and data multiplexing

Qiu-Xing Jiang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Jiang Lab
Research Interests: Structure and function of large membrane assemblies, including ion channels and transporters using electron cryo-microscopy and crystallographic analysis to generate 3D structures and perform functional studies in in vitro or in vivo systems

Youxing Jiang, Ph.D.
Jiang Lab
Research Interests: Structure and function of ion channels/transporters using X-ray protein crystallography and electrophysiological tools

Ege Kavalali, Ph.D.
Kavalali Lab
Research Interests: Synaptic functional architecture and dynamics of presynaptic specializations

Xin Liu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Liu Lab
Research Interests: Roles of chromatin and nuclear organization in transcriptional regulation; structural and biochemical studies of chromatin dynamics during transcriptional activation and repression.

Xuelian (Sue) Luo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Luo Lab
Research Interests: Protein structure determination by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); protein folding; cell cycle checkpoints and cancer

Craig R. Malloy, M.D.
Research Interests: The analysis of metabolism in intact tissues by NMR spectroscopy; development of new methods to understand metabolic processes in functioning cells

Ralph P. Mason, Ph.D.
Mason Lab
Research Interests: Development of novel techniques for prognostic radiology with emphasis on tumor oxygenation, pH, and efficacy of gene therapy; nuclear magnetic resonance, bioluminescence, PET and SPECT

Matthew Merritt, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Merritt Lab
Research Interests: Understanding metabolic flux in living systems using stable isotope tracer technology. In addition, development of hardware for Dynamic Nuclear Polarization, a method for enhancing magnetic resonance signals by factors of 10000 or greater.

Yunsun Nam, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Nam Lab
Research Interests: Mechanisms of RNA-mediated gene regulation; Structural and biochemical studies of non-coding RNA function.

Zbyszek Otwinowski, Ph.D.
Otwinowski Lab
Research Interests: Three-dimensional structures of biological molecules

Margaret A. (Meg) Phillips, Ph.D.
Phillips Lab
Research Interests: Polyamine and pyrimidine metabolism in trypanosome and malaria parasites

Arun Radhakrishnan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Radhakrishnan Lab
Research Interests: Understanding how protein sensors measure levels of cholesterol in cell membranes.

Rama Ranganathan, M.D., Ph.D.
Ranganathan Lab
Research Interests: The evolutionary design of proteins and cellular signaling networks

Michael Reese, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Reese Lab
Research Interests: Biochemistry; Biophysics; Cell signaling, kinases, pseudokinases; Host-pathogen interaction; co-evolution; Immunology; Structural biology

Kimberly Reynolds, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Reynolds Lab
Research Interests: Statistical analysis and rational design of cellular systems

Luke Rice, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Rice Lab
Research Interests: Integrating structure, kinetics, and computation to understand the molecular determinants and regulatory mechanisms of microtubule dynamics

José Rizo-Rey (Josep Rizo), Ph.D.
Rizo-Rey Lab
Research Interests: Biophysical studies of the mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and intracellular membrane fusion

Michael K. Rosen, Ph.D.
Rosen Lab
Research Interests: Structural, biochemical, and cell biological mechanisms of signal transduction that control the actin cytoskeleton

Daniel Rosenbaum, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Rosembaum Lab
Research Interests: Structure and mechanism of integral membrane signaling proteins

Elliott Ross, Ph.D.
Ross Lab
Research Interests: Mechanisms of G-protein signaling; amplification, selectivity, response timing; structure/function of GTPase-activating proteins and associated receptors

Sandra Schmid, Ph.D.
Schmid Lab
Research Interests: Mechanisms governing and regulation of clathrin-mediated endocytosis, structure and function of the GTPase dynamin

Philip J. Thomas, Ph.D.
Thomas Lab
Research Interests: Structure, function, and folding of membrane proteins

Erdal Toprak, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Toprak Lab
Research Interests: Antibiotic Resistance and Sensitivity; Single Molecule Biophysics; Synthetic Biology

E. Sally Ward, Ph.D.
Ward Lab
Research Interests: Antibody engineering; fluorescence microscopy; Fc receptor and growth factor receptor trafficking; development of therapies for cancer and autoimmunity

Guanghua (Andy) Xiao, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Statistical methods for genomics/proteomics and in spatial/image analysis

Yang Xie, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Processing and analysis of high throughput data; false discovery rate estimation; integrated analysis methodology; Bayesian analysis methodology; design and analysis of clinical trials

Hongtao Yu, Ph.D.
Yu Lab
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of cell-cycle progression and mitotic checkpoints; structure determination of cell cycle regulatory proteins

Hong Zhang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Zhang Lab
Research Interests: Structural enzymology; NAD biosynthesis and regulation; structure-based drug design

Xuewu Zhang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Zhang Lab
Research Interests: Biochemical and Structural studies of regulation mechanisms for signaling proteins, especially receptor-mediated signaling pathways in neuron development and axonal guidance

Associate Members

These faculty members do not accept graduate students. They participate in teaching, co-mentoring, exam and dissertation committees, and all other program responsibilities.

Joseph Albanesi, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Mechanisms of membrane fusion; role of lipids in membrane trafficking; membrane vesiculation of dynamin

Dominika Borek, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Eukaryotic chromatin organization, mutational rates and spectra, biological signals and noise

Chad Brautigam, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Basic processes in living organisms at atomic level, using X-ray crystallography, analytical ultracentrifugation, isothermal titration calorimetry, and other biophysical techniques

Zhe Chen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Structural and functional studies of proteins in signal transduction

Johann Deisenhofer, Ph.D.
Deisenhofer Lab
Research Interests: Crystallography of biological macromolecules; structure and function of proteins

William Russ, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Evolutionary principles of enzyme design

Diana R. Tomchick, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Basic processes in living organisms at atomic level using X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and other biophysical techniques