Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics Training Program

Participating Faculty


Jessica Anna, Ph.D. 

Using ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopic techniques to explore condensed phase dynamics, photochemistry and photophysics 

Yair Argon, Ph.D. 
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 

Functions of molecular chaperones in folding cell surface receptors and secreted proteins 

Paul H. Axelsen, M.D.

Biophysical studies of molecular recognition and rational drug design

Tobias Baumgart, Ph.D. 
Chemistry/Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Thermodynamics and mechanics of membrane curvature sensing and generation

Ben E. Black, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Chromosome segregation; chromatin structure; epigenetic centromere specification; hydrogen/deuterium exchange 

George Burslem, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Chemical biology of lysine post-translational modifications

Yi-Wei Chang, Ph.D. 
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Structural cell biology through cryo-electron tomography

David W. Christianson, Ph.D.

Protein crystallography; metalloenzymes; enzymes of terpenoid and steroid biosynthesis

Gideon Dreyfuss, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Nuclear transport, hnRNP complexes, RNA-binding proteins, spinal muscular atrophy, x-ray crystallography

Roberto Dominguez, Ph.D. 

Structural biology & biophysics of proteins that regulate actin cytoskeleton and membrane dynamics 

Roland L. Dunbrack, Jr., Ph.D.
Fox Chase Cancer Center 

Protein structure prediction 

Feng Gai, Ph.D. 

Spectroscopic study of protein folding/misfolding 

Yale E. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D. 

Motor proteins and protein synthesis studied by spectroscopy and mechanics 

Mark D. Goulian, Ph.D. 

Two-component signaling, bacterial regulatory circuits 

Paul A. Janmey, Ph.D. 

Cytoskeleton, phosphoinositide signalling, cell mechanics 

John Karanicolas, Ph.D. 
FCCC/ Biochemistry and Biophysics

Computational chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, rational drug design

Melike Lakadamyali, Ph.D.

Super resolution microscopy; spatiotemporal organization and regulation of these macromolecular complexes

Kathy (Fange) Liu, Ph.D.  
Biochemistry and Biophysics

RNA Modifications: functions, mechanisms, and relationships to metabolic syndromes 

Kristen W. Lynch, Ph.D. Biochemistry and Biophysics

Biochemical, structural and biophysical basis of regulation of RNA processing.

Ronen Marmorstein, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics

X-ray crystallography, epigenetics, tumor suppressors, oncoproteins, kinases, aging, structure-based inhibitor design 

Megan L. Matthews, Ph.D.

Uniting enzymology and chemical biology to develop novel chemical proteomics technologies 

Vera Moiseenkova-Bell, Ph.D.
Pharmacology/Biochemistry and Biophysics

My program has two main areas of research. First is to determine the structural basis of TRP channel activation, inhibition and desensitization mechanisms by utilizing cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM); Second is to understand how TRP channels regulate cellular functions and the role of their dysregulation in human disease.

Kenji Murakami, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Transcription initiation and regulation in eukaryotes; electron microscopy

Michael Ostap, Ph.D.

Molecular mechanisms of cell motility 

Amish J. Patel, Ph.D. 

Molecular simulation and thermodynamics; Soft matter and complex fluids

Trevor M. Penning, Ph.D.

Structure-function of aldo-keto reductases; role in steroid hormone action and chemical carcinogenesis

E. James Petersson, Ph.D.

Development of methods for protein labeling by semi-synthesis, application to the study of folding and proteolysis 

Ravi Radhakrishnan, Ph.D.
Bioengineering/Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Computational structural biology and systems biology; cell membrane mediated trafficking; targeted drug delivery; cancer signaling 

Ravinder Reddy, Ph.D.

Sodium and oxygen-17 MR methods; multiple quantum and polarization transfer MR techniques

Elizabeth Rhoades, Ph.D.

Single molecule fluorescence characterization of conformational ensembles of proteins states in vitro and in cells

Jeffery G. Saven, Ph.D.

Theory, simulation and design of proteins and molecular systems

Nikolaos G. Sgourakis, Ph.D. 
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Dr. Sgourakis’ research focuses on understanding the intricate molecular mechanisms that determine the vast repertoire of peptide antigens displayed by the proteins of the Major Histocompatibility Complex for immune surveillance by T cells and Natural Killer cells.

Kim A. Sharp, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Theory of protein and nucleic acid structure and function

James Shorter, Ph.D. 
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Regulation of beneficial or neuropathogenic prions and amyloids by protein-remodeling factors, molecular chaperones, and small molecules

Emmanuel Skordalakes, Ph.D.
Wistar Institute

Structure function of telomeric complexes; cancer and aging

David W. Speicher, Ph.D.
Wistar Institute

Cancer proteomics; structure-function of membrane proteins: structural mass spectrometry

Cornelius Taabazuing, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics


Gregory D. Van Duyne, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Structural biology; protein-protein interactions; x-ray crystallography

Sergei A. Vinogradov, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Functional macromolecules, optical imaging probes, porphyrin chemistry, dendrimer chemistry, oxygen microscopy and tomography

Felix W. Wehrli, Ph.D.

MRI studies of architecture, physiology and function of tissues

Walter RT Witschey, Ph.D.

Develop effective ways to non-invasively characterize the relationships between brain, heart and arteries in cardiovascular disease and the progression of heart failure

*denotes membership in Training Grant Executive Committee
FCCC = Fox Chase Cancer Center (Penn affiliate)
PSOM = Perelman School of Medicine
SAS = School of Arts & Sciences
SEAS = School of Engineering and Applied Sciences