Research

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Structural Biology & Biophysics

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Researchers in Structural Biology and Biophysics employ a wide variety of approaches to the study of mechanistic biology problems at the molecular level. Research interests include protein and nucleic acid structure and function, mechanisms of gene regulation at the transcriptional and translational levels, protein and RNA processing, metal trafficking, mechanisms of viral infection, and membrane-embedded transporters and their mechanisms of regulation. These research questions are addressed using a variety of methods including basic biochemistry, proteomics, X-ray crystallography, solution NMR spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and single-molecule manipulations.

Northwestern fosters a highly collaborative environment for multi-disciplinary studies and provides researchers with access to outstanding research facilities equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation such as the Keck Biophysics Facility and a dedicated beam line at the Advanced Photon Source of the Argonne National Laboratories for Northwestern University researchers. The training in this concentration is broad and interdisciplinary through research and specialized courses in advanced topics. Research in this area frequently integrates several disciplines, and involves collaborative efforts between preceptors from various fields. Outstanding students may be nominated for support from the Molecular Biophysics Training Program.

 

Faculty List

Luis Amaral, PhD

Luís Amaral, PhD
Email: amaral@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Integrative approach to modeling cellular signaling pathways

Vadim Backman, PhD Vadim Backman, PhD
Email: v-backman@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Development of novel optical spectral and imaging techniques for non-invasive screening, diagnosis and detection of disease, and characterization of biological and bioengineered tissue

Jason Brickner, PhD

Jason Brickner, PhD
Email: j-brickner@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Cell biology of transcription

Marco Gallio, PhD

Marco Gallio, PhD
Email: marco@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Processing of temperature stimuli in the brain

Yuan He, PhD

Yuan He, PhD
Email: yuanhe@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Structure and function of macromolecular machines on genes

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Brian M. Hoffman, PhD
Email: bmh@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Long-range interprotein electron transfer

Michael Jewett

Michael Jewett, PhD
Email: m-jewett@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Engineering cell-free systems for medicine, biotechnology and synthetic biology

Neha Kamat

Neha Kamat, PhD
Email: nkamat@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Artificial cell/protocell models, membrane biophysics, emergent behaviors from synthetic membranes, membrane stress-sensing

Neil L. Kelleher, PhD

Neil Kelleher, PhD
Email: n-kelleher@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Top-down proteomics, natural products discovery, chromatic oncobiology, and computational proteomics

Robert A. Lamb, PhD

Robert A. Lamb, PhD
Email: ralamb@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Viral glycoproteins, ion channels, and RNA-binding proteins

Joshua Leonard

Joshua Leonard, PhD
Email: j-leonard@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Engineering cellular systems and biomolecules for immunotherapy, synthetic biology, and biotechnology

Julius Lucks

Julius Lucks, PhD
Email: jblucks@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Unraveling the RNA sequence/structure/function code for biology, medicine and biotechnology

John F. Marko, PhD

John F. Marko, PhD
Email: john-marko@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Protein-DNA interactions, chromosome structure and dynamics, single-molecule biophysics

Thomas J. Meade, PhD

Thomas J. Meade, PhD
Email: tmeade@northwestern.edu

Research Interests:Bioinorganic coordination chemistry, biological molecular imaging, transcription factor inhibitors, and electronic biosensors

Alfonso Mondragón, PhD

Alfonso Mondragón, PhD
Email: a-
mondragon@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: DNA topoisomerases, catalytic RNA molecules, and the molecular basis of spectrin flexibility

Richard I. Morimoto, PhD

Richard I. Morimoto, PhD
Email: r-morimoto@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Regulation and function of molecular chaperones

Teri W. Odom, PhD

Teri W. Odom, PhD
Email: todom@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Controlling the size and shape of noble metals at the nanoscale

Thomas V. O'Halloran, PhD

Thomas V. O'Halloran, PhD
Email: t-ohalloran@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Metalloregulatory proteins

Heather Pinkett, PhD

Heather Pinkett, PhD
Email: h-pinkett@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Membrane proteins with emphasis on the structure and function of membrane-embedded transporters and their mechanisms of regulation

Ishwar Radhakrishnan, PhD

Ishwar Radhakrishnan, PhD
Email: i-radhakrishnan@northwestern.edu

Research Interests:Structure, function and dynamics of proteins involved in eukaryotic gene regulation

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Indira Raman, PhD

Email: i-raman@northwestern.edu

Research Interests:Neuronal ion channels and synaptic transmission

Amy C. Rosenzweig, PhD Amy C. Rosenzweig, PhD
Email: amyr@northwestern.edu

Research Interests:Structural biology and bioinorganic chemistry, metal uptake, transport and storage, oxygen activation by
metalloenzymes, biological methane oxidation, membrane protein crystallography

Richard B. Silverman, PhD Richard B. Silverman, PhD
Email: agman@chem.northwestern.edu

Research Interests:Medicinal, bioorganic, and enzyme chemistry

Danielle Tullman-Ercek, PhD Danielle Tullman-Ercek, PhD
Email: ercek@northwestern.edu

Research Interests:Engineering of membrane proteins and protein membranes

Vinzenz Unger

Vinzenz Unger, PhD

Email: v-unger@northwestern.edu

Research Interests:Transport of transition metals; structure and function of membrane associated synaptic scaffolds; methods development for membrane protein crystallization and single particle approaches

Reza Vafabakhsh, PhD

Reza Vafabakhsh, PhD
Email: reza.vafabakhsh@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Development of methods for quantitative hierarchical characterization of synaptic players at different length scales

Sadie Wignall, PhD

Sadie Wignall, PhD
Email: s-wignall@northwestern.edu

Research Interests: Spindle assembly and chromosome segregation during cell division