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.

Luke Rice, Ph.D.

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

Paul Blount, Ph.D.

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

Yuh Min Chook, Ph.D.

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

David Corey, Ph.D.

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

Jan Erzberger, Ph.D.

Jan Erzberger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Erzberger Lab

Research Interests: Structural and biochemical characterization of dynamic protein-RNA complexes during ribosome biogenesis

Kendra Frederick, Ph.D.

Kendra Frederick, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Frederick Lab
Research Interests: Protein folding and structure in cellular environments

Elizabeth J. Goldsmith, Ph.D.

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

Nick Grishin (Nikolai Grichine), Ph.D.

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

Mike Henne, Ph.D.

Mike Henne, Ph.D., Assistant Professor 
Henne Lab
Research Interests: Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Sculpting; formation and dynamics of inter-organelle membrane contact sites (MCSs) in human health and disease

Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.

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

Khuloud Jaqaman, Ph.D.

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

Youxing Jiang, Ph.D.

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

Lukasz Joachimiak, Ph.D.

Lukasz Joachimiak, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Joachimiak Lab
Research Interests: Molecular recognition in protein folding, chaperone structural biology and neurodegeneration

Xiaochun Li, Ph.D.

Xiaochun Li, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor
Li Lab
Research Interests: 

Milo Lin, Ph.D.

Milo Lin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Lin Lab
Research Interests: Theoretical and computational approaches to predict protein folding and aggregation; evolutionary dynamics

Xin Liu, Ph.D.

Xin Liu, Ph.D., Associate 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.

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.

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

Yunsun Nam, Ph.D.

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.

Daniela Nicastro, Ph.D.

Daniela Nicastro, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Nicastro Lab
Research Interests: 3D structures and cell biological functions of macromolecular complexes in situ, such as dyneins and microtubules in cilia

Zbyszek Otwinowski, Ph.D.

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

Margaret A. (Meg) Phillips, Ph.D.

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

Arun Radhakrishnan, Ph.D.

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

Michael Reese, Ph.D.

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.

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

José Rizo-Rey (Josep Rizo), Ph.D.

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

Michael K. Rosen, Ph.D.

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

Daniel Rosenbaum, Ph.D.

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

Elliott Ross, Ph.D.

Elliott Ross, Ph.D., Professor
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.

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

Ruhma Syeda, Ph.D.

Ruhma Syeda, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Syeda Lab
Research Interests: Mechanistic studies of volume sensors and mechanosensors, ion channel structure-function and related channelopathies

Philip J. Thomas, Ph.D.

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

Erdal Toprak, Ph.D.

Erdal Toprak, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Toprak Lab
Research Interests: Antibiotic resistance and sensitivity; single molecule biophysics; synthetic biology


Jeffrey Woodruff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Woodruff Lab
Research Interests: Live-cell microscopy, micro-rheology, and in vitro reconstitution to understand oocyte ageing, embryogenesis, and cancer onset.

Jeffrey Woodruff, Ph.D.

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

Yang Xie, Ph.D.

Yang Xie, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Xie Lab
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.

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

Xuewu Zhang, Ph.D.

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.

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

Xiaochen Bai, M.D..

Xiaochen Bai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Cryo-EM studies of membrane protein complex in signaling transduction pathway

Dominika Borek, Ph.D.

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

Chad Brautigam, Ph.D.

Chad Brautigam, Ph.D., 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.

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

Johann Deisenhofer, Ph.D.

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

Yang Li, Ph.D.

Yang Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Cryo-EM; Structural and functional studies of proteins

William Russ, Ph.D.

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

Diana R. Tomchick, Ph.D.

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