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

My research presents an exceptional opportunity for developing a new generation of vaccine and drug delivery systems. These macromolecules are designed to integrate a customized set of critical biological properties, such as tunable biodegradability, biocompatibility, self-assembly with vaccine antigens, protein therapeutics, or small drugs, targeting capabilities, and environmentally triggered modulated release. They are then precisely engineered through the use of proprietary processes... more

William Bentley
Fischell Department of Bioengineering

We employ the tools of "functional" genomics to understand the regulation of genetic circuits during applied stresses. In particular, we use DNA microarrays for analyzing gene expression on a global basis. This, coupled with transcriptional promoter probes, quantitative RT-PCR, Northern and Western analyses ultimately enables close to real time detection of gene expression in targeted circuits. We are currently focusing on stress-related and nutritionally- regulated pathways such as those... 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

My research interests are focused on the development of next generation vaccines and protein-based therapeutics for infectious disease and cancer.  Our 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 protein... 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

We are structural biologists interested in the relationship between the function and structure of proteins. We use X-ray crystallography to determine the structures of molecules of interest, along with various computational tools to analyze these structures. Our projects involve mechanisms of complex human disease; structure and function of Myovirus phage CBA120 tailspike proteins; giardia drug targets and their structure, function and inhibitor design; and the pyruvate phosphate dikinase... more

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
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

The long-term research interests of my lab include B cell response to viral infection, HIV-1 vaccine development and HIV pathogenesis and anti-viral therapy. Current, research efforts focus on investigating the development of B cell response targeting HIV envelope glycoproteins (Env) and searching for novel immunogen and immunization regimens to better elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies. Such studies aim to develop a better understanding of the mechanism underlying protective immunity... more

Shuwei Li
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Protein tyrosine phosphorylation is a dynamic and low-abundant posttranslational modification that plays critical roles in many biological processes including cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. The appropriate level of protein tyrosine phosphorylation in vivo is maintained by both protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) and protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), while either up- or down-regulation can lead to various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, etc. Historically, studies on PTPs... more

Alexander MacKerell
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

I am currently the Grollman-Glick Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore and the Director of the University of Maryland Computer-Aided Drug Design Center. I am the also Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of SilcsBio LLC.  My group's research interests include the development of theoretical chemistry methods, with emphasis on empirical force fields, including the CHARMM additive and Drude polarizable force fields, structure-... more

John Marino
Biomolecular Measurement Division

The research of my group is driven by an overarching goal of developing NMR and other biophysical measurements to accurately and precisely define the structure, stability and dynamics of protein and RNA structural folds, ligand complexes and biomolecular interactions at a atomic level.  In addition to enabling fundamental insights into biomolecular structure and function, our work aims to provide a validated measurement infrastructure that supports biopharmaceutical development and... more

Roy Mariuzza
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Research in our laboratory is directed at understanding the molecular basis of ligand recognition by cell surface receptors of the immune system. 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 sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of... 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
Fischell Department of Bioengineering

The focus of my research program is the study of the mechanisms of endocytic vesicular transport in the context of their role in physiology and disease, and their translational application for the controlled delivery of nano-scale therapeutics to precise targets at the sub-cellular level.

Site-specific delivery of therapeutic compounds to sites of pathology is an important goal that would permit to optimize the efficiency of such agents and minimize their potential toxicity. However... more

Daniel Nelson
Department of Veterinary Medicine

The Nelson lab develops a novel class of enzymes that lyse specific bacteria on contact and represent an alternative to antibiotics for both human and animal pathogens. As such, they are known as "enzybiotics". On the human side, we have enzybiotics effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (i.e. MRSA), Clostridium difficile, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). On the animal side, we have enzybiotics effective... more

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

We employ the tools of structural biology to study the molecular mechanisms of vir­­­al entry into host cells and the mechanisms by which the host humoral immune system develops responses that prevent entry. Surface glycoproteins of enveloped viruses, which mediate entry through host-cell receptor engagement and fusion of the viral and host-cell membranes, are the main targets of neutralizing antibodies that interfere with glycoprotein-mediated entry. We study the structures of neutralizing... more

John Orban
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

My research interests are focused on the application of high field NMR spectroscopic methods to determine novel protein structures in order to gain insight into function at the molecular level. Related to this area, I am also interested in probing the complex relationship between protein sequence and structure. While NMR spectroscopy plays a key role in most of our studies, my laboratory also uses a number of other biophysical tools as well as bioinformatics, chemistry, biochemistry, and... more

Gregory Payne
Fischell Department of Bioengineering

My research focuses on using biology’s materials, mechanisms and lessons to fabricate high-performance soft matter that is cheap, safe and sustainable. In particular, my group focuses on building structure/function using stimuli-responsive biological polymers (especially polysaccharides), enzymes (especially tyrosinase and transglutaminase) and redox-active phenolics.

Research Interests

  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Biofabrication (... more
Brian Pierce
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

We develop and apply algorithms to model and design protein-protein interactions. With a major focus on immune recognition and therapeutics, we are particularly interested in T cell receptors, antibodies and vaccine design. Using computational protein design and docking algorithms, such as Rosetta, ZAFFI and ZDOCK, we are exploring ways to improve antibody and TCR targeting of viruses and tumor antigens, and to better predict uncharacterized interactions. Recent efforts in vaccine design... 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
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

As a Section Leader in Structural Biology at the Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics, I am responsible for using X-ray crystallographic techniques to accelerate the development of agenst that modulate the function of a wide array of potential therapeutic targets. These targets have been selected through consultations with investigators in the University System of Maryland and beyond. A significant fraction of the Structural Biology portfolio arose via my association with the University of... more

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
Scott Walsh
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Our research focuses on the specific interactions between cellular proteins, called cytokines, and specific proteins on the cell surfaces, called cytokine receptors. The cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions trigger intercellular communication that determines how an immune cell develops, differentiates, grows, survives and dies. One such cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction that is of particular interest is interleukin-7 (IL-7). IL-7 signaling is essential for the development,... more

David Weber
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The primary project in my laboratory involves studying the structure and function of S100B, a growth factor in the brain and skin. S100B is a dimeric Calcium-binding protein that is overproduced during gliosis in patients with Alzheimer disease, Down syndrome, and AIDS related dementia. Presumably, the function of S100B is related to its ability to bind a variety of target proteins in a Ca2+-dependent manner. One such target is the tumor suppressor protein, p53. For this protein, we have... more

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

We study innate immunity in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Our lab has done genetic and molecular screens to identify Drosophila mutants impaired in either their humoral (antimicrobial peptide induction) or cellular immune response to different microbes. We have identified genes from a number of these screens and have gained insight into the molecular mechanisms important for host defense against pathogens. Our long-term goal is to take the information from our studies of Drosophila... more

Shunyuan Xiao
Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture

The long term goal of our research is to understand and engineer plant resistance against fungal pathogens. We use the Arabidopsis - powdery mildew interaction as the model pathosystem to study how plants fight against fungal infection at the host-pathogen interface and how fungi suppress host immunity and cause diseases. Our previous research led to the identification and characterization of an Arabidopsis protein named RPW8 that confers broad-spectrum resistance to all infectious powdery... 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