All Research Areas

Primary Faculty

Philip Andrews, Ph.D.

Protein interactions and the role of post-translational modifications in controlling these interactions

Ryan Baldridge, Ph.D.

Mechanisms of membrane-bound protein quality control systems

Ruma Banerjee, Ph.D.

Chemical biology of hydrogen sulfide signaling; regulation of mammalian sulfur metabolism in health and disease; structural enzymology of human B12 trafficking proteins

Uhn-Soo Cho, Ph.D.

Biochemical and structural studies of kinetochore assembly, histone chaperones, and Sestrin-mediated mTORC1 regulation

Michael Cianfrocco, Ph.D.

Structural biology and biophysics underlying microtubule-based intracellular transport

Peter Freddolino, Ph.D.

Bacterial chromosomal structure and its effect on gene regulation; structure-function relationships in transcriptional regulators; merging experimental and computational data in protein-DNA and protein-RNA binding free energy landscapes; high throughput structure-based function prediction; optimal use of crosslinking mass spectrometry for structure determination; structural genomics

Robert Fuller, Ph.D.

Protein localization and processing in the eukaryotic secretory pathway

Daniel Goldman, Ph.D.

Identification of signaling pathways, chromatin alterations, and gene expression programs that drive central nervous system regeneration using the retina as a model system

Phyllis Hanson, M.D., Ph.D.

Protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions involved in membrane trafficking and organelle structure

Tom Kerppola, Ph.D.

Protein interactions and modifications in living cells and animals; roles of transcription factor complexes in the control of gene expression; mechanisms whereby cells and animals recognize and respond to synthetic chemicals

James Morrissey, Ph.D.

Biochemistry of the human blood clotting system; structural studies of protein-membrane complexes

Ruthann Nichols, Ph.D.

Structure-activity relationship and signaling pathways of neuropeptides and receptors of the RFamide peptide family and their role in regulating heart rate and muscle contractions

Patrick O'Brien, Ph.D.

Biochemical, biophysical, and structural approaches to understanding mechanisms of human DNA repair

Bruce Palfey, Ph.D.

Enzyme reaction mechanisms and inhibitor design, with a focus on therapeutically important flavoproteins

Stephen Ragsdale, Ph.D.

Molecular mechanisms and interactions of proteins involved in heme metabolism, the circadian clock, the global carbon cycle, and methylmercury; molecular mechanisms of redox, heme, and gas signaling pathways

Kaushik Ragunathan, Ph.D.

Molecular mechanisms that define how histone modifications and the dynamic interactions of histones with histone binding proteins encode stable and heritable patterns of gene expression

Mark Saper, Ph.D.

Structural studies of bacterial cell wall endopeptidases (“autolysins”) to understand how they are regulated during cell growth and division

Audrey Seasholtz, Ph.D.

Molecular regulation of key mediators of the mammalian stress response: Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH), CRH receptors and binding protein, and corticosteroid receptors; dysregulation of the stress response in depression, anxiety disorders, and addiction

Janet Smith, Ph.D.

Structure-function studies of proteins using X-ray crystallography, with an emphasis on complex enzymes and the replication proteins of flaviviruses and alphaviruses

Raymond Trievel, Ph.D.

Chemical and structural biology of enzymes that covalently modify histones, transcription factors, and other nuclear proteins; current research focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the specificities of histone methyltransferases and demethylases and on developing new assays and reagents to characterize them

David Turner, Ph.D.

Transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms that control neuronal differentiation; regulation of gene expression in the mammalian retina by microRNAs and other small RNAs

Michael Uhler, Ph.D.

Role of protein phosphorylation in the regulation of neuronal gene transcription and ion channel function in the mammalian nervous system

Anne Vojtek, Ph.D.

Molecular and biochemical analysis of signaling pathways that regulate cell proliferation and neural differentiation

Zhaohui Xu, Ph.D.

Structural biology and molecular mechanisms of protein folding and trafficking in eukaryotic cells

Yan Zhang, Ph.D.

Biology, mechanisms, and technological applications of bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems 

Secondary Joint Faculty

James Bardwell, Ph.D.

Roles of molecular chaperones and disulfide catalysts in protein folding; experimental evolution of protein folding

Wei Cheng, Ph.D.

Using biochemical approaches aided by biophysical tools to mechanistically dissect the responses of B cells to particulate antigens both in vivo and in vitro, with a focus on the quantitative features of viral particles and their impact on B cells

Yali Dou, Ph.D.

Functions of chromatin modification enzymes in transcription regulation, cell fate determination, and cancer

Renny Franceschi, Ph.D.

Signals regulating the formation and functioning of osteoblasts, the cells that produce and mineralize the extracellular matrix of bone; control of gene expression in osteoblasts

Ursula Jakob, Ph.D.

Biochemical aspects of the bacterial response to oxidative stress

Roland Kwok, Ph.D.

How protein post-translational modifications, especially acetylation and phosphorylation, alter protein function in cancer cells

Neil Marsh, Ph.D.

Structure and mechanism of radical S-adenosylmethionine-dependent enzymes, enzymes in hydrocarbon biosynthesis and degradation, design of self-assembling protein nano-cages

Brian Ross, Ph.D.

Molecular imaging of biological processes in living tissue, including noninvasive detection of molecular signaling events to investigate cancer growth and response to therapy

Debra Thompson, Ph.D.

Molecular studies of the function of the mammalian retina, including mechanisms that control signal transduction and tissue-specific gene expression in the retinal pigment epithelium

Nils Walter, Ph.D.

Powerful single molecule studies of mechanistic structure-dynamics-function relationships in RNAs of biomedical and bioanalytical significance; current work ranges from small bacterial riboswitches to RNA-protein complexes involved in human disease

Yang Zhang, Ph.D.

Development of advanced bioinformatics methods to predict 3-dimensional structures of proteins from amino acid sequences and deduce the biological functions based on the sequence-to-structure-to-function paradigm; protein design (or inverse protein folding); protein-ligand docking; drug discovery