Education
Ph.D.      Bioengineering, University of Washington (2007)
B.S.        Physics, University of Utah (2001)
Postdoc  Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, University of Vermont (2013)


Overview: Myosin motor protein biophysics over multiple scales
Proteins are the biological machines of life, performing all the required functions of cells to facilitate cellular function and organismal performance. Proteins do not operate independently in living systems; instead, protein activity is coupled by network properties of the system. The motor protein myosin generates forces and movement at the molecular level in all muscles (and influences a lot of cytoskeletal dynamics too). While many biophysical studies of proteins focus on unitary protein activity, my research focuses on coordinated protein activity within interconnected networks across multiple biological scales—from molecules to cells and tissues. With a focus on muscle contraction and relaxation dynamics, studies in my laboratory integrate mathematical modeling, computational simulations, and experimental analyses to investigate myosin energetics, myosin regulation, and mechanisms of mechanical coupling that underlie contractility. By applying these techniques to a variety of healthy and diseased muscle preparations from multiple species, over multiple scales (proteins, cells, and tissues), we capitalize on functional diversity to better characterize the role of muscle in locomotion and heart disease.



Fun with fruit flies and mammalian
skeletal muscle at Argonne National Labs
in 2008.  Photo credit: Mark S. Miller