Henry Shuman

Emeritus Professor


740 Clinical Research Building

415 Curie Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Description

Biological molecule motors transduce chemical energy into mechanical work, the fundamental mechanism underlying muscle contraction and other forms of Cell Motility. Recent advances in sample preparation, instrumentation, including infrared laser optical traps (laser tweezers) and data analysis now enable the measurement of mechanical properties on single motor molecules. We have constructed an enhanced version of the laser tweezers and have developed new protocols to quantitatively measure the mechanics of single molecules of myosin interacting with actin filaments.

Lung surfactant is a complex mixture of lipids and proteins which functions to lower the surface tension of the air-water interface of the alveolar hypophase. Lung epithelial type II cells regulate the alveolar surfactant pool size by both secreting the contents of lamellar bodies, the surfactant storage vesicle, into the alveolar space and also retrieving surfactant from the alveolar space. Our current research is aimed at identifying the lamellar body membrane components involved in organelle biogenesis and secretion.

Degrees & Education

BS, Cornell University, 1966

PhD, Cornell University, 1971

Other Perelman School of Medicine Affiliations

Pennsylvania Muscle Institute

Institute for Environmental Medicine

Professional Affiliations

Biophysical Society