Faculty Courtesy Appointments

Axel Brunger

Member, National Academy of Sciences

Research Interest: Axel Brunger's goal is to understand the molecular mechanism of synaptic neurotransmission. He is particularly interested in the structure, function, and dynamics of key players in the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery. His lab is also working on the mechanism of action of clostridial neurotoxins that target this machinery. Other projects include the ATPases of the AAA family that are involved in protein complex disassembly and degradation. A molecular understanding of these complex protein m.


Zev Bryant

Research Interest: Molecular motors lie at the heart of biological processes from DNA replication to vesicle transport. My laboratory seeks to understand the physical mechanisms by which these nanoscale machines convert chemical energy into mechanical work.


E. Peter Geiduschek
Consulting Professor

Biography: E. Peter Geiduschek received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. Dr. Geiduschek is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology

Research Interest: The central theme of my research has been the enzymology of gene regulation, specifically of transcriptional regulation and its principal focus has been on fundamental mechanisms, approached from a molecular genetic and biochemical perspective. It is now widely appreciated that the transcriptional apparatus of all cells (archaeal, bacterial and eukaryotic) has common evolutionary roots. It follows that transcription-regulatory mechanisms should also share certain broadly similar mechanistic features. In that spirit, my laboratory worked in parallel with bacteria and their viruses, with eukaryotes, and with archaea. As a member of Roger Kornberg’s group, the principal focus of my current thinking is on RNA polymerase II and chromatin.


Uel Jackson McMahan

Research Interest: We are currently investigating mechanisms involved in synaptic transmission and synaptogenesis using electron microscope tomography in ways that provide in situ 3D structural information at macromolecular resolution.


Vijay Pande

Research Interest: Many of the wonders associated with biomolecules rest in their functionality, but before they can carry out any function, many of these molecules must accomplish another amazing feat: them must first assemble themselves. Moreover, these molecules must build complex structures quickly and reliably. It is intriguing to consider how one can design molecules to self assemble. Actually, this is an extremely old problem: for billions of years, Nature has been honing its skills at molecular design. Can we benefit from Nature's billion year investment in the R & D of molecular self assembly?