Recommended Readings: Gregory M. Alushin, Ph.D. Monday November 13th, 2017

Monday Lectures

Monday, November 13, 2017  3:45 p.m.

Carson Family Auditorium

Gregory M. Alushin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Head

Laboratory of Structural Biophysics and Mechanobiology

The Rockefeller University

Cytoskeletal Structural Plasticity in Force Generation and Mechanosensation

Recommended Readings:

Empirical Articles

Omabegho T, Gurel PS, Cheng CY, Kim LY, Ruijgrok PV, Das R, Alushin GM, Bryant Z. (2017). Controllable molecular motors engineered from myosin and RNA. NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY. PLEASE REQUEST FROM MARKUS LIBRARY.

Swaminathan V, Alushin GM, Waterman CM. (2017). Mechanosensation: A Catch Bond That Only Hooks One Way. CURRENT BIOLOGY. 27 (21):R1158–R1160

Kim, Laura Y.; Thompson, Peter M.; Lee, Hyunna T.; et al. (2016). The Structural Basis of Actin Organization by Vinculin and Metavinculin. JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY.  428 (1): 10-25

Skau, Colleen T.; Fischer, Robert S.; Gurel, Pinar; et al. (2016). FMN2 Makes Perinuclear Actin to Protect Nuclei during Confined Migration and Promote Metastasis. CELL. 167 (6):1571-+

Review Papers

Thomas DG, Robinson DN. (2017). The fifth sense: Mechanosensory regulation of alpha-actinin-4 and its relevance for cancer metastasis. SEMINARS IN CELL AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. PLEASE REQUEST FROM MARKUS LIBRARY.

Mishra, Mithilesh; Huang, Junqi; Balasubramanian, Mohan K. (2014). The yeast actin cytoskeleton. FEMS MICROBIOLOGY REVIEWS. 38 (2): 213-227

Book Chapter

Luo, Tianzhi; Robinson, Douglas N. (2011). The Role of the Actin Cytoskeleton in Mechanosensation. MECHANOSENSITIVITY AND MECHANOTRANSDUCTION. Mechanosensitivity in Cells and Tissues. 4: 25-65


Recommended Readings: Sten Linnarsson, Ph.D. Friday November 10th, 2017

Friday Lectures

Friday, November 10, 2017  3:45 p.m.

Caspary Auditorium

Sten Linnarsson, Ph.D.


Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics

Karolinska Institute

Unraveling Brain Development using Single-cell Technologies

Recommended Readings:


Ed Yong. Oct 14, 2016. A Google Maps for the Human Body. The Atlantic

Empirical Articles

Cervo, Pia Rivetti di Val; Romanov, Roman A.; Spigolon, Giada; et al. (2017). Induction of functional dopamine neurons from human astrocytes in vitro and mouse astrocytes in a Parkinson’s disease model. NATURE. 35 (5): 444-+

La Manno, Gioele; Gyllborg, Daniel; Codeluppi, Simone; et al. (2016). Molecular Diversity of Midbrain Development in Mouse, Human, and Stem Cells. CELL. 167 (2): 566-+  

Marques, Sueli; Zeisel, Amit; Codeluppi, Simone; et al. (2016). Oligodendrocyte heterogeneity in the mouse juvenile and adult central nervous system. SCIENCE. 352 (6291): 1326-1329

Zeisel, Amit; Munoz-Manchado, Ana B.; Codeluppi, Simone; et al. (2015). Cell types in the mouse cortex and hippocampus revealed by single-cell RNA-seq. SCIENCE. 347 (6226): 1138-1142

Islam, Saiful; Zeisel, Amit; Joost, Simon; et al. (2014). Quantitative single-cell RNA-seq with unique molecular identifiers.  NATURE METHODS. 11 (2): 163-+

Review Paper

Shapiro, Ehud; Biezuner, Tamir; Linnarsson, Sten (2013). Single-cell sequencing-based technologies will revolutionize whole-organism science.  NATURE REVIEWS GENETICS. 14 (9): 618-630




Recommended Readings: Seth Darst, Ph.D. Monday November 6th, 2017

Monday Lectures

Monday, November 6, 2017  3:45 p.m.

Carson Family Auditorium

Seth Darst, Ph.D.

Jack Fishman Professor and Head

Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics

The Rockefeller University

Promoter Melting by Bacterial RNA Polymerase – One Step at a Time

Recommended Readings:

Feklistov, Andrey; Bae, Brian; Hauver, Jesse; et al. (2017). RNA polymerase motions during promoter melting. SCIENCE. 356 (6340): 863-866

Hubin, Elizabeth A.; Fay, Allison; Xu, Catherine; et al. (2017). Structure and function of the mycobacterial transcription initiation complex with the essential regulator RbpA. ELIFE. 6

Chen, James; Wassarman, Karen M.; Feng, Shili; et al. (2017). 6S RNA Mimics B-Form DNA to Regulate Escherichia coli RNA Polymerase. MOLECULAR CELL. 68 (2): 388-+

Bae, Brian; Feklistov, Andrey; Lass-Napiorkowska, Agnieszka; et al. (2015). Structure of a bacterial RNA polymerase holoenzyme open promoter complex. ELIFE. 4

Davis, Elizabeth; Chen, James; Leon, Katherine; et al. (2015). Mycobacterial RNA polymerase forms unstable open promoter complexes that are stabilized by CarD.  NUCLEIC ACIDS RESEARCH. 43 (1): 433-445

Chen, Jie; Darst, Seth A.; Thirumalai, D. (2010). Promoter melting triggered by bacterial RNA polymerase occurs in three steps. PNAS. 107 (28): 12523-12528


Recommended Readings: Timothy Ryan, Ph.D., Monday October 23th, 2017

Monday Lectures

Monday, October 23, 2017  3:45 p.m.

Carson Family Auditorium

Timothy Ryan, Ph.D.

Tri-Institutional Professor

Department of biochemistry

Weill Cornell Medical College

The Cost of Thinking: Metabolic Fitness at the Synapse Level

Recommended Readings:

Jaime de Juan Sanz (2017). The surprising metabolism of “exercising” neurons. Plos Blogs

Ashrafi, Ghazaleh; Ryan, Timothy A. (2017). Glucose metabolism in nerve terminals. CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROBIOLOGY. 45:156-161

Ashrafi, Ghazaleh; Wu, Zhuhao; Farrell, Ryan J.; et al. (2017). GLUT4 Mobilization Supports Energetic Demands of Active Synapses. NEURON. 93 (3): 606-+

Jang, SoRi; Nelson, Jessica C.; Bend, Eric G.; et al. (2016). Glycolytic Enzymes Localize to Synapses under Energy Stress to Support Synaptic Function. NEURON. 90 (2): 278-291

Magistretti, Pierre J.; Allaman, Igor (2015). A Cellular Perspective on Brain Energy Metabolism and Functional Imaging. NEURON. 86 (4): 883-901

Rangaraju, Vidhya; Calloway, Nathaniel; Ryan, Timothy A.(2014). Activity-Driven Local ATP Synthesis Is Required for Synaptic Function. CELL. 156 (4): 825-835

Recommended Readings: Tom Maniatis, Ph.D., Friday October 6th, 2017

Friday Lectures

Friday, October 06, 2017  3:45 p.m.

Caspary Auditorium

Tom Maniatis, Ph.D.

Isidore S. Edelman Professor and Chair

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Columbia University Medical Center

The Generation and Function of Protocadherin Cell Surface Diversity in Mammalian Neural Circuit Assembly

Recommended Readings:

Technology Networks Wrong Wiring Causes Depression. Apr 28, 2017

Rubinstein, Rotem; Goodman, Kerry Marie; Maniatis, Tom; et al. (2017). Structural origins of clustered protocadherin-mediated neuronal barcoding. SEMINARS IN CELL & DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. 69 (SI): 140-150. PLEASE REQUEST FROM MARKUS LIBRARY.

Chen, Weisheng V.; Nwakeze, Chiamaka L.; Denny, Christine A.; et al. (2017). Pcdh alpha c2 is required for axonal tiling and assembly of serotonergic circuitries in mice. SCIENCE. 356 (6336): 406-410

Mountoufaris, George; Chen, Weisheng V.; Hirabayashi, Yusuke; et al. (2017). Multicluster Pcdh diversity is required for mouse olfactory neural circuit assembly. SCIENCE. 356 (6336): 411-413  

Goodman, Kerry Marie; Rubinstein, Rotem; Thu, Chan Aye; et al. (2016). gamma-Protocadherin structural diversity and functional implications. ELIFE. 5: e20930  

Chen, Weisheng V.; Maniatis, Tom (2013). Clustered protocadherins. DEVELOPMENT. 140 (16): 3297-3302

Lefebvre, Julie L.; Kostadinov, Dimitar; Chen, Weisheng V.; et al. (2012). Protocadherins mediate dendritic self-avoidance in the mammalian nervous system. NATURE. 488 (7412): 517-+

Recommended Readings: Sue Biggins, Ph.D., Friday May 5th, 2017

Friday Lectures

Friday, May 5th, 2017   3:45 p.m.

Caspary Auditorium

Sue Biggins, Ph.D.

Member and Associate Director

Division of Basic Sciences

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Sensing Tension at Kinetochores

Recommended Readings: 

Miller, Matthew P.; Asbury, Charles L.; Biggins, Sue (2016). A TOG Protein Confers Tension Sensitivity to Kinetochore-Microtubule Attachments. CELL. 165(6): 1428-1439

Musacchio, Andrea (2015). The Molecular Biology of Spindle Assembly Checkpoint Signaling Dynamics. CURRENT BIOLOGY.  25(20): R1002-R1018

Biggins, Sue (2015). Under tension: Kinetochores and Basic Research. GENETICS. 200(3): 681-682

London, Nitobe; Biggins, Sue (2014). Signalling dynamics in the spindle checkpoint response. NATURE REVIEWS MOLECULAR CELL BIOLOGY. 15 (11): 735-747

Sarangapani, Krishna K.; Duro, Eris; Deng, Yi; et al. (2014). Sister kinetochores are mechanically fused during meiosis I in yeast. SCIENCE. 346(6206): 248-251

Biggins, Sue (2013). The Composition, Functions, and Regulation of the Budding Yeast Kinetochore. GENETICS. 194(4): 817-846

Gonen, Shane; Akiyoshi, Bungo; Iadanza, Matthew G.; et al. (2012). The structure of purified kinetochores reveals multiple microtubule-attachment sites. NATURE STRUCTURAL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY. 19( 9): 925-929







Recommended Readings: Shixin Liu Ph.D. Monday November 14 2016

Monday Lectures

Monday November 14, 2016   3:45 p.m.

Caspary Auditorium

Shixin Liu   Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, The Rockefeller University

Laboratory of Nanoscale Biophysics and Biochemistry

Watching Biological Machines in Action

Recommended Readings:

 Liu, Shixin; Chistol, Gheorghe; Hetherington, Craig L.; et al.  A Viral Packaging Motor Varies Its DNA Rotation and Step Size to Preserve Subunit Coordination as the Capsid Fills.  CELL    157 (3):702-713     APR 24 2014

Chemla, Yann R.  High-Resolution, Hybrid Optical Trapping Methods, and Their Application to Nucleic Acid Processing Proteins.  BIOPOLYMERS   105(10): 704-714    OCT 2016

Ha, Taekjip.  Single-molecule methods leap aheadNATURE METHODS    11(10)1015-1018    OCT 2014

Guo, Peixuan; Grainge, Ian; Zhao, Zhengyi; et al.  Two classes of nucleic acid translocation motors: rotation and revolution without rotation. CELL AND BIOSCIENCE  4:54     SEP 16 2014

Casjens, Sherwood R.  The DNA-packaging nanomotor of tailed bacteriophages.  NATURE REVIEWS MICROBIOLOGY   9(9):647-657   SEP 2011

Chemla, YR; Aathavan, K; Michaelis, J; et al.  Mechanism of force generation of a viral DNA packaging motor. CELL   122(5 ): 683-692   : SEP 9 2005 

Recommended Readings: David Baker, Ph.D., April 29

Special Lecture Series
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
3:45 p.m., Carson Family Auditorium (CRC)

David Baker, Ph.D.,
Professor of Biochemistry,
University of Washington
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Post-Evolutionary Biology: Design of Novel Protein Structures, Functions and Assemblies

Recommended Readings

Empirical Articles

Bradley, P., Misura, K. M., & Baker, D. (2005). Toward high-resolution de novo structure prediction for small proteins. Science, 309(5742), 1868-1871.

Cooper, S., Khatib, F., Treuille, A., Barbero, J., Lee, J., Beenen, M., … & Popović, Z. (2010). Predicting protein structures with a multiplayer online game. Nature, 466(7307), 756-760. doi:10.1038/nature09304

Eiben, C. B., Siegel, J. B., Bale, J. B., Cooper, S., Khatib, F., Shen, B. W., … & Baker, D. (2012). Increased Diels-Alderase activity through backbone remodeling guided by Foldit players. Nature Biotechnology, 30(2), 190-192. doi:10.1038/nbt.2109

Jiang, L., Althoff, E. A., Clemente, F. R., Doyle, L., Röthlisberger, D., Zanghellini, A., … & Baker, D. (2008). De novo computational design of retro-aldol enzymes. Science, 319(5868), 1387-1391. doi:10.1126/science.1152692

Review Papers

Adams, P. D., Baker, D., Brunger, A. T., Das, R., DiMaio, F., Read, R. J., … & Terwilliger, T. C. (2013). Advances, interactions, and future developments in the CNS, Phenix, and Rosetta structural biology software systems. Annual Review of Biophysics, 42, 265-287.doi: 10.1146/annurev-biophys-083012-130253

Das, R., & Baker, D. (2008). Macromolecular modeling with Rosetta. Annual Review of Biophysics, 77, 363-382. doi:10.1146/annurev.biochem.77.062906.171838

Recommended Readings: Jue Chen, Ph.D., February 27

Friday Lecture Series / Ph.D. Recruitment Lecture
Friday, February 25, 2015
3:45 p.m., Caspary Auditorium

Jue Chen, Ph.D.,
Head of Laboratory of Membrane Biology and Biophysics,
The Rockefeller University
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Understanding Molecular Pumps: Insights from Structural BiologyRecommended Readings

Empirical Articles

Chen, S., Oldham, M. L., Davidson, A. L., & Chen, J. (2013). Carbon catabolite repression of the maltose transporter revealed by X-ray crystallography. Nature, 499(7458), 364-368. doi:10.1038/nature12232

Jin, M. S., Oldham, M. L., Zhang, Q., & Chen, J. (2012). Crystal structure of the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein from Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature. 490(7421), 566-569. doi:10.1038/nature11448

Oldham, M. L., Chen, S., & Chen, J. (2013). Structural basis for substrate specificity in the Escherichia coli maltose transport system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(45), 18132-18137. doi:10.1073/pnas.1311407110

Review Papers

Chen, J. (2013). Molecular mechanism of the Escherichia coli maltose transporterCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology, 23(4), 492-498. doi: 10.1016/

Recommended Readings: Amédée des Georges, Ph.D. October 20

Special Lecture Series
Monday, October 20, 2014
4:00 p.m., Carson Family Auditorium

Amédée des Georges, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate,
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics,
Columbia University

Structures of Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Complexes by Single-Particle Cryo-EM, a Powerful Tool for the Study of Heterogeneous Samples

Recommended Readings

Empirical Articles

Hashem, Y., des Georges, A., Dhote, V., Langlois, R., Liao, H. Y., Grassucci, R. a, … Frank, J. (2013). Hepatitis-C-virus-like internal ribosome entry sites displace eIF3 to gain access to the 40S subunit. Nature, 503(7477), 539–543. doi:10.1038/nature12658

Hashem, Y., des Georges, A., Dhote, V., Langlois, R., Liao, H. Y., Grassucci, R. a, … Frank, J. (2013). Structure of the mammalian ribosomal 43S preinitiation complex bound to the scanning factor DHX29. Cell, 153(5), 1108–1119. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.04.036

Hashem, Y., des Georges, A., Fu, J., Buss, S. N., Jossinet, F., Jobe, A., … Frank, J. (2013). High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the Trypanosoma brucei ribosome. Nature, 494(7437), 385–389. doi:10.1038/nature11872

Review Papers

Jackson, R. J., Hellen, C. U. T., & Pestova, T. V. (2010). The mechanism of eukaryotic translation initiation and principles of its regulation. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 11(2), 113–127. doi:10.1038/nrm2838