Principal Investigators

IBBR Scientists. Experts exploring new horizons. And advancing understanding.

IBBR’s faculty unites distinguished scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, The University of Maryland School of Medicine, and from across research departments within the University of Maryland. Our principle investigators come together across disciplines and agencies to discover tomorrow’s biotechnology solutions.

Name Profile
Alexander Andrianov
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

Dr. Alexander Andrianov is a leader in the field of polyphosphazenes with a long-standing interest in applications of polymers for drug delivery systems and biomaterials.  He has been involved in all aspects of technology development and commercialization, including product advancement from the research laboratory to manufacturing and clinical trials.  Dr. Andrianov has served in various executive and managerial roles at a number of biotechnology companies focusing on drug delivery... more

William Bentley
Fischell Department of Bioengineering

Dr. William E. Bentley develops and uses molecular tools to engineer cells for enhanced function (synthetic biology) and to open “communication” pathways for innovative device design and fabrication (bioelectronics). His lab has engineered cells and small consortia of cells to execute advanced functions such as detecting and killing pathogens. His lab has also adapted natural bacterial signaling pathways to build components and systems that enable bidirectional... more

Robert Brinson
Biomolecular Measurement Division

Robert focuses on the development and application of high resolution NMR methods for the analysis of structure in protein therapeutics.

Robert received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Wake Forest University in 2005 where he studied the photo-activation of caged biocides under the direction of Paul Jones. He then entered the field of structural biology as a NIH/NIST NRC postdoctoral fellow under John Marino (NIST) and Stuart Le Grice (NCI). Under their direction, Robert performed high... more

James Culver
Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture

Research in our laboratory is multidisciplinary with efforts directed at understanding virus biology and its role in disease as well as studies aimed at engineering viruses and other biological components for application in nano-based systems and devices. We utilize a multitude of approaches in our studies and collaborate with scientists in fields ranging from structural biology to microfabrication. Our goal is to utilize discoveries in virus biology to develop new approaches for their... more

Frank Delaglio
Biomolecular Measurement Division

I develop computational methods for extracting useful information from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) data, to support development and manufacturing of drugs and vaccines, and to support basic research in structural biology.  At IBBR I focus on development of approaches for characterization of the high order structure of biologics, so that these important therapeutics can continue to be safe and effective, and become more available and affordable.  My areas of interest include... more

Edward Eisenstein
Fischell Department of Bioengineering

Our research is focused on engineering biological systems to make them more useful for a range of applications in health, energy and biomanufacturing. Approaches are being developed for identifying plant genes that contribute to specialized metabolism and new tools are being tested for their functional characterization. Coupling new advances in gene discovery with metabolic engineering of plants will catapult identification of new biologically active plant natural products for clinical... more

Thomas Fuerst
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Dr. Fuerst’s research is focused on the development of next-generation vaccines and protein-based therapeutics for infectious disease and cancer.  The Fuerst group brings together an assemblage of scientific disciplines including virology, immunology, analytical chemistry, cell biology, structural biology, computational biology, and protein engineering.  The multidisciplinary programs include:  (1) a structure-based vaccine design program focused on enveloped viruses, (2) a scaffold-based... more

Travis Gallagher
Biomolecular Measurement Division

Travis Gallagher received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas for his crystallographic studies of histidine decarboxylase. He then accepted an NRC postdoctoral fellowship working with Gary Gilliland (then at CARB), which led to his present position at NIST/IBBR. He has crystallized and determined the structures of some dozens of proteins. His interest in the science of protein crystallization fits with his current role as co-manager of the Biomolecular Crystallization... more

Alexander Grishaev
Biomolecular Measurement Division

The main focus of my lab is integrative structural biology where the atomic structure of a bio-macromolecule is derived by combining experimental data from several complementary biophysical techniques within a computational framework that maximally restrains the derived model. Our primary experimental techniques are solution X-ray and neutron scattering as we aim to design methodologies for maximizing the information content and fidelity of interpretation of these data. An important part of... more

Osnat Herzberg
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Osnat Herzberg is a structural biologist interested in the relationship between the function and structure of proteins and how protein-ligand interactions can guide drug discovery.  The Herzberg lab uses X-ray crystallography and other biophysical, biochemical, and cellular approaches to better understand various experimental systems.

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Jeffrey Hudgens
Biomolecular Measurement Division

My research includes work in H/D exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) for biopharmaceutical analysis, comparability of innovator and biosimilar drugs measured with HDX-MS, improvement of measurement and quality assurance protocols for HDX-MS, covalent and noncovalent bonding interactions of biological drugs (and other biological materials) with surfaces and nanoparticles, and high-performance mass spectrometry.

NOTE: Dr. Hudgens has an NRC Postdoctoral... more

Zvi Kelman
Biomolecular Measurement Division

We wish to understand the mechanism of chromosomal DNA replication. The goal of the laboratory is to elucidate the mechanism of initiation and elongation of DNA replication in archaea and other microorganisms using a combination of biochemical, biophysical, structural and genetic approaches.

The research in the laboratory focuses on two anaerobic thermophilic euryarchaeal species, Thermococcus kodakarensis and Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus. Using the... more

Yuxing Li
Microbiology and Immunology

Dr. Yuxing Li’s lab studies how B cells, a critical part of the immune system, respond to viral infection, and applies these findings toward antibody discovery and the development of vaccines and therapeutics to treat viral infections. 

Dr. Li’s work has focused on defining broadly neutralizing antibody responses elicited by HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins during natural infections and in animal models. These findings contributed substantially to the in-depth understanding of HIV... more

Alexander MacKerell
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Dr. Alexander MacKerell’s research involves the development and application of computational methods to investigate the relationships of structure and dynamics to function in a range of biological and chemical systems. These efforts include empirical force field development, implementation of novel sampling methodologies, understanding the physical forces driving the structure and dynamics of proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates, and computer-aided drug design (CADD) studies and... more

John Marino
Biomolecular Measurement Division

Dr. John Marino’s research is focused on developing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other biophysical measurements to accurately and precisely define the conformational structure, stability, and dynamics of biomolecules and their interactions at a molecular level. 

In addition to enabling fundamental insights into biomolecular structure and function, Dr.  Marino’s work provides innovative, yet practical methods that can form the basis for a robust measurement infrastructure that... more

Roy Mariuzza
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics


Research in Dr. Roy Mariuzza’s laboratory focuses on understanding how immune system cell surface receptors recognize molecules.  Several classes of recognition molecules are under study:  antibodies, T cell receptors (TCRs), natural killer (NK) cell receptors, and variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs). 


T cell recognition of self-antigens in multiple sclerosis

Multiple... more

Curtis Meuse
Biomolecular Measurement Division

Dr. Curtis W. Meuse is a Scientist in the Biochemical Science Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and his Ph.D. in Chemistry, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst studying thin polymer layers using infrared spectroscopy. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Chemical Physics at the National Institutes of Health, he synthesized specifically... more

Ella Mihailescu
Biomolecular Measurement Division

The controlled flow of ions (Na+, K+, Ca+, Cl-, etc) in and out of cells is a fundamental process that drives all living organisms. At the molecular level, the control flow of ions is orchestrated by ion channels embedded in cellular membranes. The ion channels respond to a diversity of stimuli (ligand binding, membrane polarity, mechanical stress) by opening and closing with different frequencies, creating the ionic micro-environment  needed to propagate or initiate an action. Most membrane... more

John Moult
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Our primary research focus is on computational modeling of biological systems. Some of our interests include:

  • Modeling of effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on protein structure and human diseases
  • Modeling alternative splicing and its effects on protein folds
  • Bioinformatics for structural genomics projects
  • Construction of protein families
  • Bacterial evolution and horizontal transfer of genes
  • Development of fold... more
Silvia Muro
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

Dr. Silvia Muro’s research focuses on how molecules are transported within cells using intracellular transport systems, and applications of this research are being used to develop controlled delivery of therapeutics to precise disease targets.

Targeted delivery of therapeutic compounds is critical to improving the effectiveness of drugs and reducing undesirable side effects.  Currently, most therapeutics do not have the ability to specifically target tissues or cells and, as a result... more

Angus Murphy
Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture
Daniel Nelson
Department of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Nelson is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of antimicrobial discovery.  The alarming increase of multidrug-resistant bacteria, the emergence of new pathogens, and the desire to reduce/eliminate antimicrobial use in agriculture products have prompted new antimicrobial discovery initiatives.  Researchers seek to identify and develop alternative antimicrobial therapeutics that are not susceptible to traditional antibiotic resistance mechanisms. 

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Vincent Njar

Building on my long-standing interest in the rational discovery and development of small molecules as anti-cancer agents, the major objective of my current research is to design, synthesize and evaluate novel patentable compounds in suitable model systems with potentials to prevent and/or treat breast and prostate cancers. My group is also working on understanding mechanisms of anti-cancer actions of the novel agents and is working at the interface of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology/... more

David O'Brochta
Department of Entomology

As an insect molecular geneticist, my research interests focus on the development of genetic technologies and their application to the study of insects. Research in my laboratory primarily focuses on insect vectors of disease with particular interest in Anopheles mosquitoes. Current research programs include efforts to understand the physiological genetics of insect blood cells and salivary glands. These two tissues play a variety of important roles in the life of mosquitoes and their... more

Gilad Ofek
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

Dr. Gilad Ofek’s research interests lie in understanding the structural organization of viruses and their recognition and neutralization by molecules of the immune system. Of particular interest are the Ebola and HIV-1 viruses. The Ofek lab employs the tools of structural biology to better understand immunological function and the pathways by which effective, and ineffective, antibody responses develop against these viruses in the context of natural infection and vaccination.  Durable,... more

John Orban
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Orban’s research interests focus on the area of protein structural biology and design, particularly in understanding how the malleability of protein folds relates to biological function.  High field solution NMR spectroscopy and other biophysical and biochemical methods are employed in my laboratory.

Protein switches

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Gregory Payne
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

The last century witnessed spectacular advances in both microelectronics and biotechnology yet there remains considerable opportunity to create synergies between the two.  The Payne laboratory aims to fabricate high-performance material systems to span the capabilities of biology and information technology. Through an extensive network of international collaborations their group focuses on two primary areas of research.

  • Biofabrication of the Bio-device Interface... more
Brian Pierce
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

Dr. Brian Pierce’s laboratory develops and applies computer algorithms to better understand how the immune system recognizes pathogens and cancer, and his lab is particularly interested in antibodies, T cell receptors, and vaccine design. 

Recent efforts have focused on studying the structure of hepatitis C virus (HCV) to inform the design of novel vaccine candidates. This work includes the development of a pioneering epitope-based vaccine for HCV that elicits neutralizing antibodies... more

Edvin Pozharskiy
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Prasad Reddy
Biomolecular Measurement Division

In the area of microbial forensics and bioterrorism, we are working on the characterization of virulence factors to understand the molecular basis of pathogenesis in Yersinia pestis (plague causing bacteria) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis disease). We use adenylyl cyclase (AC), one of the virulence factors in Bacillus anthracis (anthrax disease), as a model system to understand the AC’s role in other bacterial pathogens. Adenylyl cyclases (ACs) are classified into four major... more

John Schiel
Biomolecular Measurement Division

John leads an analytical biochemistry team co-located at NIST and the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR)  He is leading the LC, CE-, and MS-based biomanufacturing research efforts; developing a suite of fundamental measurement science, standards, and reference data to enable more accurate and confident characterization of product quality attributes. John is the coordinator for protein reference materials related to the biopharmaceutical industry, including the... more

Vitalii Silin
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research
Arlin Stoltzfus
Biosystems & Biomaterials Division

The Stoltzfus group focuses on issues in molecular evolution, bioinformatics, and evolutionary theory, using computer-based approaches.  We explore models and to test hypotheses about the evolution of genes, proteins, and genomes. We also develop software and participate in community efforts to improve interoperability of software and data used in evolutionary analysis. Current projects focus on: evaluating the role of mutation bias in parallel evolution; building a system to disseminate... more

Eric Toth
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

Dr. Eric Toth applies biochemical and biophysical techniques, including X-ray crystallography, to accelerate the development of agents that modulate the function of a wide array of potential therapeutic targets.  These efforts include the development of next-generation protein therapeutics, novel vaccines, and small molecule inhibitors of biologically important proteins.

Therapeutic Protein Design and Development

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Illarion Turko
Biomolecular Measurement Division

The lab is focused on the mass spectrometry-based quantitative techniques to assess age-related proteomic changes in brain and retina.

Current scientific interests include:

  1. Multiple Reaction Monitoring Measurements for proteins involved in the generation, disposal, and function of oxysterols in the senescent retinal pigmented epithelium.
  2. Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry for analysis of structural changes in cytochrome P450s during interactions with... more
David Vanderah
Biomolecular Measurement Division

My research at NIST have centered on the preparation of organic materials for the modification of surfaces for optimization of biosensors, protein arrays, protein structure-function studies, and ultrathin film metrology. Currently, much of my work is directed toward the synthesis of lipidic anchor molecules that form the basis of tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs), increasingly being used for the study of integral membrane proteins (IMPs). Some of my work has focused on understanding... more

Kristen Varney
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
David Weber
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

As Director of the Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics (CBT) located within IBBR, Dr. Weber manages state-of-the-art scientific studies that investigate mechanisms involved in disease states and develops drugs to treat them.  His laboratory is one of many in the CBT developing small-molecule inhibitors geared toward treating cancer, diabetes, and infectious disease. 

One such project involves studies of the structure, function, and inhibition of the S100 family of calcium-binding... more

Paul Wilder
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Louisa Wu
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Dr. Louisa Wu’s laboratory studies immunity using the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) genetic model system.  The lab has identified genes involved in immunity against bacteria and plans to apply the knowledge gained from its Drosophila studies to identify novel human genes that are critical for bacterial immunity.


Regulation of immune signaling in Drosophila

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Shunyuan Xiao
Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture

Dr. Xiao’s research interests center on understanding and engineering plant resistance against fungal pathogens.  Globally, up to 15% of crop losses are due to pathogens, including fungi.  The Xiao lab has developed model systems to study powdery mildew on diverse plant species including barley, grape, strawberry, tomato, and Arabidopsis.  These pathosystems have given the Xiao lab the ability to conduct molecular, genetic, and evolutionary studies of plant-powdery mildew... more

Wenbo Yu
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

I develop and use computational methods to study protein-protein, protein-small molecule complex systems and explore their conformational changes, interaction profiles and thermodynamic properties. Currently at CBT and IBBR, I focus on development and application of computer-aided drug design (CADD) approaches for drug discovery, especially for cancer related targets. Collaborate with experimentalists, we are studying new therapeutic targets, improving drug performances and exploring... more