Structural Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics

Research in this graduate focus group spans the areas of structural biology, bioinformatics, ion channels, membrane transport, metallobiochemistry, optical biology, crystallography and protein folding. The research groups within this focus are actively involved in the area of investigating molecular function with the aid of high-resolution techniques. The tools used here vary among the breadth of established biophysical techniques.

State-of-the-art instrumentation is available for structural biology and molecular biophysics studies.  This includes a Rigaku 007 rotating anode CCD system for x-ray data collection, continually updated crystallographic and modeling software, and regular access to synchrotron x-ray data collection facilities.  Crystallization robots are available via collaboration. Laboratories maintain state-of-the-art 3D-graphics workstations and computing servers and have free access to campus-wide computing servers and clusters.  The UCI Biomolecular NMR facility includes a Varian Inova 800 MHz NMR spectrometer; NMR hardware is available for both liquid, semi-solid and solid-state samples.  A Biacore 3000 (SPR) instrument is installed in a dedicated spectroscopy room and is available to the UCI community.  Further instrumentation includes atomic force microscopy (AFM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), a Jasco J-720 circular dichroism (CD) spectropolarimeter, MSC titration calorimeter (ITC), a Microcal VP-DSC scanning calorimeter and differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF).

Focus Area Coordinator:  Rachel Martinrwmartin@uci.edu

  • Geoff Abbott, abbottg@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology & Biophysics
    Biology and pharmacology of voltage-gated potassium channels, voltage-independent potassium channels, and ion transporters.
  • Dana W. Aswad, dwaswad@uci.edu, Ph.D. Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Regulation of protein function and gene expression by post-translational modification. Biochemistry of protein damage, aging, and repair.
  • Melanie Cocco, mcocco@uci.edu Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Conformations and dynamics of soluble DNA-binding proteins and development of new strategies to study membrane protein structures using NMR spectroscopy and other biophysical techniques; projects involve understanding cancer and repair of CNS damage
  • Paul Gershon, pgershon<a>uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Mechanistic and structural characterization of vaccinia viral proteins, with an emphasis on specific mRNA synthetic and modification enzymes, using mass spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and crystallography
  • Alan L. Goldin, agoldin@uci.edu M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and Physiology & Biophysics
    Sodium channel mutations and CNS disease; Localization of sodium channels in neurons
  • Celia Goulding, celia.goulding@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Structural and biochemical studies of molecular assemblies in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Michael Greenm.green@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Chemistry
    Structure-function relationships in metalloproteins, protein engineering, and biological C-H bond activation
  • Steven Gross, sgross@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Laser tweezers; in vivo study of molecular motors
  • Naoto Hoshi, nhoshi@uci.edu, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology and Biophysics
    M-type potassium ion channel regulation through protein complex
  • Yilin Huyilinh@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Member, Biofuel Innovation Center
    Biofuel, activation and reduction of carbon dioxide, structure & function of metalloenzymes involved in methanogenesis, photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation
  • Lan Huanglanhuang@uci.edu,Ph.D., Professor of Physiology & Biophysics
    Defining the structure and function of protein complexes using cross-linking mass spectrometry and integrative modeling, Proteasomal biology, Ubiquitination, Chemical biology, Quantitative Proteomics, Protein-protein interactions; Regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system.
  • Rongsheng Jin, r.jin@uci.edu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physiology & Biophysics
    Structure and function of synaptic proteins; neurotoxins and receptors; protein complexes; protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions; X-ray crystallography
  • Chang Liu, ccl@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Engineered genetic systems for rapid evolution, chemical biology, synthetic biology, and cell biology
  • Hartmut “Hudel” Luecke, hudel@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Physiology & Biophysics and Chemistry
    Biochemistry and macromolecular crystallography of membrane proteins, structure-based drug design on cancer; angiogenesis and immunological targets
  • Ray Luo, rluo@uci.edu Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Computational biochemistry; protein structure prediction and folding mechanisms, protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions; simulation methodologies for computational biology and chemistry
  • Andrej Luptak, aluptak@uci.edu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemistry, and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
    RNA biology and chemistry
  • Rachel Martin, rwmartin@uci.edu Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Solid state NMR spectroscopy of proteins
  • Medha Pathak, medhap@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology & Biophysics
    How mechanical forces shape neural stem cells behavior in vitro and in vivo; Transduction of mechanical forces by the Piezo1 ion channel.
  • Thomas L. Poulos, poulos@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Physiology & Biophysics
    Protein engineering and crystallography on heme containing enzymes and related redox proteins, including nitric oxide synthase, cytochrome P450 and peroxidases
  • Jennifer Prescher, jpresche@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Probing biological systems with chemical tools and noninvasive imaging
  • Markus Ribbe, mribbe@uci.edu Ph.D., Chancellor’s Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, and Chemistry Director, Biofuel Innovation Center
    Biofuel, artificial enzymes, assembly & function of enzymes containing complex metal cofactors
  • Donald F. Senear, dfsenear@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Interactions of proteins and DNA in transcriptional regulation using biophysical, chemical and molecular biological approaches
  • Francesco Tombola, ftombola@uci.edu Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics
    Molecular mechanisms of coltage-gated ion channel function
  • Sheryl Tsai, sctsai@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Drug design and crystallography of protein complexes
  • Gregory A. Weiss, gweiss@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Co-Director of the Chemical Biology Initiative
    Using molecular evolution in a test tube (phage display) to explore the chemistry and biology of cells

 

Faculty – Secondary Affiliation

  • Pierre Baldi, pfbaldi@ics.uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science, Biological Chemistry, and Development & Cell Biology
    Bioinformatics, computational biology, probabilistic modeling, and machine learning
  • Michael Buchmeier, m.buchmeier@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Viral biology and pathogenesis, structural and functional proteomics of viruses, and biodefense related pathobiology
  • Michael D. Cahalan, mcahalan@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Physiology & Biophysics
    T cell activation: ion channels, calcium signaling, and gene expression
  • Michael Demetriou, mdemetri@uci.edu M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
    Molecular biology and glycobiology of T cell dysfunction in autoimmune demyelinating disease
  • Feng Qiao, qiao@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry
    Telomeres & telomerase and their roles in cancer and stem cell diseases; Structural, biochemical and molecular genetic analyses of nucleoprotein assemblies
  • Rozanne M. Sandri-Goldin, rmsandri@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
    Structure and functional analysis of a multifunction herpes virus regulatory protein
  • Albert Siryaporn, asirya@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Bacterial pathogenesis, mechanical signal transduction, and biofilm development
  • Wenqi Wang, wenqiw6@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
Signaling network in organ size control and cancer development