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Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Biodesign

We conduct research and educational training at the interface of chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering to understand and design the molecular machines of life.  The faculty-led groups may emphasize either experimental or computational research; home departments include Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, and Microbiology.  Specific efforts include:

  • Computational and biochemical studies of drug targets for cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and microbial infection
  • Synthesis and molecular characterization of environmentally benign materials for oil spill recovery, industrial coatings, and agricultural engineering
  • Design and assembly of peptide, protein, and lipid assemblies for biosensing, drug delivery, and oxygen transport
  • Modeling and construction of proteins for solar energy storage and molecular electronics
  • Development of emerging technologies for biomacromolecular targets: molecular modeling, synthetic biology, solid-state and dynamic NMR, neutron and x-ray scattering, cryoelectron microscopy


The B3 group at CCNY shares intellectual and equipment resources with researchers in CCNY's NIH-sponsored Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program, leads CUNY's Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies (MMA), and offers fellowships to domestic Ph.D. students though the Department of Education’s Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program.  Vigorous research collaborations are maintained with the world-class New York Structural Biology Center, which operates high-field NMR and cryoelectron microscopes located on the CCNY campus and offers access to x-ray beam lines at Brookhaven National Lab.  Our research-inspired educational initiatives have included partnerships with CUNY's Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, GK-12 and College Now programs; the City College Academy for Professional Preparation, Pathways Bioinformatics Center, Minority Access to Research Careers and Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement programs; the New York City high schools.




  • Zimei Bu (Chemistry): protein-based molecular machines and switches
  • Ranajeet Ghose (Chemistry): cell signaling and protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions
  • David Jeruzalmi (Chemistry): structure-function relation-ships in DNA replication and nucleotide excision repair [linked page is incomplete]
  • Reza Khayat (Chemistry): interactions viruses with their hosts in 3D
  • George John (Chemistry): biomass-based molecular design and synthesis of antibacterial paints, polymer coatings, and oil spill recovery materials
  • Themis Lazaridis (Chemistry): molecular recognition of peptides and proteins by membranes
  • Kevin Ryan (Chemistry): RNA processing, nucleic acid therapeutics, and olfactory molecular recognition using chemical biology
  • Ruth Stark (Chemistry): structural biology of fatty acid metabolism, plant cuticular protection, and fungal melanin development
  • Marilyn Gunner (Physics): thermodynamics and kinetics of photosynthesis
  • Ronald Koder (Physics): protein design for assembly of biomaterials used in medicine, green industrial catalysis, and green energy production
  • M. Lane Gilchrist, Jr. (Chemical Engineering): artificially supported biomembrane systems for microdevices, packed bed reactors, and 3D biomaterials
  • Raymond Tu (Chemical Engineering): biomolecular self-assembly for biosensors, drug delivery vehicles, and molecular electronics or optics
  • Paul Gottlieb (Microbiology and Immunology): viral pathogenicity, structure, and assembly; assembly of bacterial biofilms in clay


  • Kamilah Ali (Biology): modulation of blood cholesterol levels by apolipiproteins
  • Avrom Caplan (Biology): protein quality control and cellular system robustness
  • Shubha Govind (Biology): signal transduction in hematopoietic cancer and inflammation
  • Anuradha Janakiraman (Biology): Cell division and protein-protein interactions in bacterial cytokinesis
  • Shireen Saleque (Biology): programmed fate and function of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells
  • Valeria Balogh-Nair (Chemistry): chemical synthesis for drug design
  • Michael Green (Chemistry):  computational modeling of voltage-gated ion channel proteins
  • Mark Steinberg (Chemistry): cell and molecular biology of cancer
  • Mahesh Lakshman (Chemistry): organic synthesis related to mutagenesis and carcinogenesis
  • Barbara Zajc (Chemistry): synthesis and study of fluorinated carcinogen analogs