Melike Lakadamyali, PhD

Assistant Professor

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764 Clinical Research Building

415 Curie Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Office: 215-746-5150

Lab: 215-573-9700

melikel@mail.med.upenn.edu

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Melike Lakadamyali, PhD


Assistant Professor of Physiology

Other Perelman School of Medicine Affiliations


Degrees & Education

  • BS University of Texas at Austin, 2001

  • PhD Harvard University, 2006


Awards & Honors

  • 2016 Technical University of Munich-Institute for Advanced Study Hans Fisher Junior Fellow

  • 2016 Finalist for La Vanguardia Newspaper, best research in Spain award

  • 2014 Ramon y Cajal Fellowship, Spanish Ministry of Education

  • 2013 EMBO Young Investigator Award


Professional Affiliations

  • Biophysical Society

  • American Society for Cell Biology


Research Interests

Cell Biophysics, Intracellular Transport, Chromatin Organization, Super-resolution microscopy

Research Description

My main interest is to study biology at the level of its macromolecular machines and to gain a quantitative biophysical understanding of how these machines drive important cell biological processes. Since new tools enable new biology, I also develop advanced microscopy methods that aim to overcome the limitations of current methods and help us to visualize the macromolecular machineries of the cell in action with high spatiotemporal resolution.


Specifically, I am interested in the molecular machinery involved in two fundamental biological processes: transport machinery that drives intracellular trafficking of vesicles and transcriptional machinery that drives gene expression. At the heart of and common to both biological problems is the interaction of multiple proteins with each other and with other proteins to form functional macromolecular nanoscopic complexes. The spatial and temporal organization of these interactions is tightly regulated and the failure to form these macromolecular complexes in the right place and at the right time can have catastrophic consequences.


Studying the spatiotemporal organization and regulation of these macromolecular complexes necessitates non-invasive tools that can visualize them with high spatial and high temporal resolution. Single molecule imaging and in recent years the emergence of super-resolution microscopy have opened new doors to visualize the dynamic assembly and disassembly of macromolecular complexes in living cells. Over the recent years, my group has been pioneering major developments in the field of super-resolution microscopy (Balint et al, PNAS 2013, Durisic et al Nature Methods 2014, Tam et al PLoS One 2014, Cella-Zanacchi et al Nature Methods, accepted). These methods have enabled us to gain novel insights into the transport of vesicles along their cytoskeletal tracks (Balint et al, PNAS, 2013, Verdeny et al, JCS, 2017) and the spatial organization of nucleosomes along the chromatin fiber (Ricci et al, Cell). Importantly, we have taken a highly quantitative biophysical approach in studying these biological processes, going beyond qualitative descriptions towards precise quantitative models. For example, we have made important strides in quantifying the stoichiometry of macromolecular assemblies such as nucleosomes at nanoscale resolution (Durisic et al, J. Neuroscience 2012, Durisic et al Nature Methods, 2014, Ricci et al Cell, 2015, Cella-Zanacchi et al, Nature Methods, accepted).


Lab Members

Nitin Mohan, PhD, postdoc

Peter Relich, PhD, postdoc

Shreyasi Thakur, PhD, postdoc


Click here for a full list of publications.
(searches the National Library of Medicine's PubMed database.)


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