Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, The Biophysical Society (2008 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, Physics (2013)
  • Master of Science, Ecole Centrale Paris, Engineering Physics (2007)
  • Master of Science, Royal Institute of Technology, Engineering Physics (2006)

Research & Scholarship

Lab Affiliations


All Publications

  • A universal pathway for kinesin stepping NATURE STRUCTURAL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Clancy, B. E., Behnke-Parks, W. M., Andreasson, J. O., Rosenfeld, S. S., Block, S. M. 2011; 18 (9): 1020-U79


    Kinesin-1 is an ATP-driven, processive motor that transports cargo along microtubules in a tightly regulated stepping cycle. Efficient gating mechanisms ensure that the sequence of kinetic events proceeds in the proper order, generating a large number of successive reaction cycles. To study gating, we created two mutant constructs with extended neck-linkers and measured their properties using single-molecule optical trapping and ensemble fluorescence techniques. Owing to a reduction in the inter-head tension, the constructs access an otherwise rarely populated conformational state in which both motor heads remain bound to the microtubule. ATP-dependent, processive backstepping and futile hydrolysis were observed under moderate hindering loads. On the basis of measurements, we formulated a comprehensive model for kinesin motion that incorporates reaction pathways for both forward and backward stepping. In addition to inter-head tension, we found that neck-linker orientation is also responsible for ensuring gating in kinesin.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nsmb.2104

    View details for Web of Science ID 000294551200010

    View details for PubMedID 21841789

  • AN OPTICAL APPARATUS FOR ROTATION AND TRAPPING METHODS IN ENZYMOLOGY, VOL 475: SINGLE MOLECULE TOOLS, PT B Gutierrez-Medina, B., Andreasson, J. O., Greenleaf, W. J., Laporta, A., Block, S. M. 2010; 475: 377-404


    We present details of the design, construction, and testing of a single-beam optical tweezers apparatus capable of measuring and exerting torque, as well as force, on microfabricated, optically anisotropic particles (an "optical torque wrench"). The control of angular orientation is achieved by rotating the linear polarization of a trapping laser with an electro-optic modulator (EOM), which affords improved performance over previous designs. The torque imparted to the trapped particle is assessed by measuring the difference between left- and right-circular components of the transmitted light, and constant torque is maintained by feeding this difference signal back into a custom-designed electronic servo loop. The limited angular range of the EOM (+/-180 degrees ) is extended by rapidly reversing the polarization once a threshold angle is reached, enabling the torque clamp to function over unlimited, continuous rotations at high bandwidth. In addition, we developed particles suitable for rotation in this apparatus using microfabrication techniques. Altogether, the system allows for the simultaneous application of forces (approximately 0.1-100 pN) and torques (approximately 1-10,000 pN nm) in the study of biomolecules. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate how our instrument can be used to study the supercoiling of single DNA molecules.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S0076-6879(10)75015-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280733800015

    View details for PubMedID 20627165

  • Precision steering of an optical trap by electro-optic deflection OPTICS LETTERS Valentine, M. T., Guydosh, N. R., Gutierrez-Medina, B., Fehr, A. N., Andreasson, J. O., Block, S. M. 2008; 33 (6): 599-601


    We designed, constructed, and tested a single-beam optical trapping instrument employing twin electro-optic deflectors (EODs) to steer the trap in the specimen plane. Compared with traditional instruments based on acousto-optic deflectors (AODs), EOD-based traps offer a significant improvement in light throughput and a reduction in deflection-angle (pointing) errors. These attributes impart improved force and position resolution, making EOD-based traps a promising alternative for high-precision nanomechanical measurements of biomaterials.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254907500023

    View details for PubMedID 18347722

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