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Welcome to the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus. We are a Top Ten Medical School in primary care, pediatrics, family medicine and rural medicine, and offer physical therapy and physician assistant programs.

The Graduate School at UC Denver

Faculty Members

The Program In Structural Biology and Biochemistry has 26 full-time faculty members from the School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, and the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (NJMRC) for teaching students and supervising their research.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
BA, University of Vermont
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University

The long-term goal of our research is to determine the molecular principles and logic that underlie transcriptional regulation in humans. As a model system, we studying the human steroid receptors, how they assemble at complex promoter sequences, and the relationship between these interactions and cellular outcomes. Our group uses thermodynamic approaches to experimentally dissect receptor- promoter binding energetics and statistical thermodynamics to synthesize overall behavior; we collaborate closely with Dr. James Lambert¹s lab (UCDenver Pathology) to link these findings to in vivo behavior.​​

PubMed Publications​  

O: 303-724-6118  Lab: 303-724-6119  University of Colorado-Denver  School of Pharmacy Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences Building Room  Office: 4117  Lab: 4450D​​

Bain, David
Brad Bendiak
Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, CU


Structural analysis of protein glycosylation
using NMR and mass spectrometry​.

PubMed Publications​

Office Location: RC-1 South, Room 12113
Mailing Address:
Mail Stop 8108​
12801 East 17th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: 303-724-3453
Fax: 303-724-3420

Bendiak, Brad

John Cambier

Chairman, Department of Immunology, CU


Ida and Cecil Green Distinguished Professor and Chairman,
Integrated Department of Immunology
University of Colorado Denver and
National Jewish Health
Phone: (303) 398-1325
Dr. Cambier's National Jewish Health webpage

Cambier, John

Uwe Christians

Professor Department of Anesthesiology, CU

MD/Ph.D.  Medizinische Hochschule Hannover​

We are committed to advancing individual medicine by examining the unique biology of an individual to assess truly personalized treatments. Our state of the art facility provides integrated solutions to systems biology and is located at Colorado's Fitzsimons Bioscience Park.​

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website


Bioscience East, Suite 100  1999 N. Fitzsimons PKWY Aurora, CO 80045 303-724-5663​

Christians, Uwe

Mair Churchill​

Director of the Program In Structural Biology and Biochemistry, Department of Pharmacology, CU


My lab is interested in understanding the molecular basis of essential processes that regulate gene expression. We use biophysical, biochemical methods, and structural methods, including X-ray crystallography. Our insights into these fundamental mechanisms will contribute to a better understanding and ability to regulate gene expression processes involved in human diseases from cancer and heart disease to bacterial infections and will assist in drug development efforts.​

PubMed Publications​

University of Colorado Denver
Department of Pharmacology
Mail Stop 8303, RC1-South
12801 East 17th Ave
Aurora CO 80045
Phone: (303) 724-3670
Fax: (303) 724-3663

Churchill, Mair E. A.
Department of Pediatrics, CU

We are developing new technologies for more sensitive and efficient analysis. Currently, the usual approach to protein separation is 2D gel electrophoresis. Although powerful, this step is labor-intensive and time-consuming.We are currently developing qualitative and quantitative protein analyses in biological tissues and fluids that avoid this step.​

PubMed Publications​

Department of Pediatrics/Div Endocrinology
University of Colorado Denver
at Fitzsimons (RC1 South Tower, Room 12-104)
P.O. Box 6611 MS 8119
Aurora, Colorado 80045​

Duncan, Mark W.

Elan Eisenmesser​

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, CU


We are interested in understanding multiple molecular interactions that go awry during both inflammatory diseases and cancer progression. The novelty in our group’s approach is that we utilize highly integrative methods to probe interactions from atomic resolution techniques to cell-based techniques. When cellular and clinical studies are combined with molecular and biochemical studies, a complete understanding of the particular system under study can be drawn.​

PubMed Publications​

Phone: (303) 724-3246

Eisenmesser, Elan

Kirk Hansen

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, CU

Kirk Hansen.jpg

We are focused on developing and utilizing strategies for the detection and characterization of proteins in health and disease. Our goal is to understand underlying mechanisms of disease at the molecular level using mass spectrometry as our primary analytical tool.
Using cell culture models we are performing studies to identify ECM components and modifications that influence metastatic potential of breast epithelial cells. We are also developing quantification methods to identify mediators of multiple organ failure in shock models and patients.

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

Phone: (303) 724-5544

Hansen, Kirk

Robert Hodges

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, CU


​Synthetic peptide and antipeptide approaches play major roles in understanding protein structure and function. 

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

Phone: (303) 724-3253

Hodges, Robert

Michael Holers

 Division of Rheumatology, CU


The basic and translational research focus of my laboratory is on two areas. The first is the roles of complement receptors and membrane regulatory proteins in the immune response, with a special emphasis on B lymphocytes and autoimmune diseases. The second is the role of autoantibodies and the evolution of autoimmunity in RA from the pre-symptomatic autoantibody-positive period through the onset of clinically active disease.

PubMed Publications​​

Lab Website

Barbara Davis Center (Anschutz), Room 3102-E Phone: 303-724-7605

Holers, Michael

Lawrence Hunter

Department of Pharmacology; Director, Center for Computational Pharmacology, CU


Development and application of advanced computational techniques for biomedicine, particularly the application of statistical and knowledge-based techniques to the analysis of high-throughput data and of biomedical texts. Also, neurobiologically and evolutionarily informed computational models of cognition, and ethical issues related to computational bioscience.
My laboratory is currently focused on knowledge-driven extraction of information from the primary biomedical literature, the semantic integration of knowledge resources in molecular biology, and the use of knowledge in the analysis of high-throughput data.

PubMed Publications​

Hunter, Lawrence

Aaron Johnson

Assistant Professor Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Ph.D., Rockefeller University

Our work focuses on the formation and regulation of chromatin domains and their ultimate roles in the nucleus. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms of heterochromatin establishment and function. Heterochromatin operates in organisms from yeast to humans to determine cell identity and maintain genome stability by silencing genes. Because heterochromatin functions in such central processes, misregulation of this genomic structure can have dire consequences such as cancer or abnormal development. Our work investigates the mechanisms by which silencing is carried out. We use a combination of in vitro assembly of chromatin domains, mechanistic biochemistry, proteomic analysis, and genome-wide chromatin profiling to understand the complex superstructural “neighborhoods” of chromosomes​.

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

Phone: (303) 724-3224  E-mail:

Johnson, Aaron

David Jones

Department of Pharmacology, CU


The action of small molecules at receptors and other proteins in signalling cascades leads to major changes in behavior. These small molecules act by producing a change in protein structure and dynamics that ultimate leads to changes in nueronal signalling. Our research focuses on two different classes of modulators of neuronal signal transduction, namely alcohols and pheromones. Alcohols act on a variety of receptors and other neuronal proteins, and lead to pharmacological changes that can result in alcohol intoxication and alcohol dependency. ​

PubMed Publications​

Mail Stop 8303, RC1-South
12801 East 17th Ave
Aurora CO 80045
Phone: (303) 724-3600
Fax: (303) 724-3663

Jones, David N. M.

John Kappler

Professor, Department of Immunology


Brandeis University-PhD, Biochemistry, 1970, Lehigh University-BA, Chemistry, 1965​

Atopic Dermatitis, Autoimmunity/Rheumatology, Basic Immunology, Cancer, Chronic Beryllium Disease, Genetics, Immunobiology, Molecular Immunology, Type-1 Diabetes, Structural Biology ​

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

Phone: 303-398-1322  E-Mail:

Kappler, John

Jeffery Kieft

Associate Professor Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, CU


Our research focuses on understanding the structure and function of the most versatile of all biological macromolecules: RNA. Our main focus is to understand RNAs produced and used by viruses to take over an infected cell. We are motivated by two premises: (1) infectious diseases (such as viruses) are still the largest threat to human health worldwide, and (2) by studying how viruses take over the cell’s machinery, we learn a tremendous amount about fundamental processes within the cell itself.​

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

Phone: (303) 724-3257

Kieft, Jeffrey

Tatiana Kutateladze

Department of Pharmacology, CU


Research in my group focuses on the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and phosphoinositide signaling. We apply high field NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and a wide array of biochemical and molecular biology approaches to characterize the atomic-resolution structures and functions of chromatin- and lipid-binding proteins implicated in cancer and other human diseases.​

PubMed Publications​

Mail Stop 8303, RC1-South
12801 East 17th Ave
Aurora CO 80045
Phone: (303) 724-3593
Fax: (303) 724-3663

Kutateladze, Tatiana*

​Daniel LaBarbera

Department of Pharmacuetical Sciences

Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, Arizona State University

The LaBarbera laboratory is focused on drug discovery and development targeting cancer and diabetes. To accomplish this we utilize a multidisciplinary approach encompassing assay development for high-throughput screening (HTS) and confocal image based high-content screening (HCS), natural products small molecule library development, mechanism of action studies, and drug design and medicinal chemistry. The LaBarbera lab has pioneered techniques in validating and implementing 3D-tissue culture models of human disease for HCS/HTS, including: human lens epithelial spheroids (lentoids) for diabetic eye disease research and the multicellular tumor spheroid (MCTS) model for cancer research. We couple these models with surrogate biomarker reporters for phenotypic screening to identify small molecule bioactive modulators of human disease. Once we identify lead compounds we determine and validate their molecular target(s) and characterize the mechanism(s) of action using in silico, in vitro, cell based, and in vivo models to design more potent “druglike” lead compounds with a long-term goal of clinical translation.

PubMed Publications

Office Location:

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (V20) 
Second Floor 
Room 2101

Lab Location:

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (V20) 
Second Floor 
Room 2420D-G


LaBarbera Daniel

​Changwei Liu

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics​


Ph.D., Chinese Academy of Sciences

​Our group has two major research interests: 1) investigate the biochemical mechanisms by wich proteasomal activities are regulated in cells; and 2) determine new fuctions of the spinal muscular atrophy protein--survival motor neuron.  We use biochemical, cell biological and proteomics approaches for our studies.

PubMed Publications

Lab Website​

Office: RC1 South 9104 ​Phone: 303-724-3208  Email:

Liu, Changwei

Krishna Mallela

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, CU


Muscular dystrophy (MD) refers to a group of degenerative muscle diseases that cause progressive muscle weakness. MD affects all types of muscles. For example, decreased function of heart muscles causes heart diseases that include cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. At present there is no cure available for MD, although certain palliative treatments are available to ease the pain associated with MD. Duchenne MD (DMD) and Becker MD (BMD) are two prominent types of MD, which are caused by the deficiency of a vital muscle protein known as dystrophin.​

PubMed Publications​

University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences  Mail Stop C238  12850 E. Montview Blvd. V20-4123   Aurora, CO 80045  Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (V20)   Fourth Floor   Room 4123​
Mallela, Krishna

Robert Murphy

Department of Pharmacology, CU


Research in this laboratory focuses on the basic biochemistry and pharmacological control of lipid mediators derived from both enzymatic and nonenzymatic pathways largely employing techniques of sophisticated mass spectrometry to address critical issues. The term lipid mediators is used here in the context that many of the compounds under investigation have potent and diverse biological activities that permit cells to intercommunicate with each other. ​

PubMed Publications​

Mail Stop 8303, RC1-South
12801 East 17th Ave
Aurora CO 80045
Phone: (303) 724-3352
Fax: (303) 724-3357

Murphy, Robert C.

David Pollock

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, CU


Protein, RNA, and other functional molecules that exist in living organisms are the product of millions of years of evolution. The substitutions that have occurred over the years had to have been compatible with the constraints of structure and function, and thus the evolutionary record provides critical data for understanding macromolecular structure/function/sequence relationships.​

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

Phone: (303) 724-3234

Pollock, David

Nichole Reisdorph

Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology


Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, PhD​

Dr. Reisdorph's research is designed to integrate clinical proteomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics in order to develop and customize clinically relevant methodologies to diagnose or monitor disease states. Results from these studies will also significantly enhance the knowledge of the biochemical mechanisms of diseases. In addition, Dr’s Reisdorph’s facility will specialize in post-translational modification analysis as well as the identification of differentially regulated proteins from a variety of sources including cell extracts, biofluids, and tissue samples. Dr. Reisdorph uses a variety of techniques in her work, including two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, DiGE, tandem mass spectrometry, and quantitative labeling and non-labeling strategies.   Dr. Reisdorph organizes proteomics hands-on workshops and web-based courses through National Jewish and the University of Colorado Denver. Since 2005, Dr. Reisdorph and her team have instructed almost a dozen 3-4 day workshops, for a total of over 120 individuals, who come from a variety of backgrounds. Dr. Reisdorph is currently expanding her training program to include additional hands on courses, such as quantitative proteomics, and distance-learning courses, such as database searching.​

PubMed Publications

Riesdorph, Nichole

Natalie Serkova

Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology


University of Bremen, Germany Ph.D. 1996​

Our research interests are in developing physiologically-based imaging end-points for cancer detection and response to novel anti-cancer therapies. We are also interested in developing novel molecular probes and protocols for non-invasive imaging of inflammation proteins, oncoproteins and endogenous metabolites (so-called "molecular imaging").​

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

University of Colorado Denver  Department of Pharmacology  Mail Stop B113, AO1  12800 East 19th Ave   Aurora CO 80045  Phone: (303) 315-1878  E-mail:

Serkova, Natalie

Chandra Tucker

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology


Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA​

I have several areas of interest. First, I am interested in the study of protein homeostasis and signaling pathways, with particular interest in development of novel tools for conditionally perturbing and analyzing the function of such pathways in live cells. To this end, I am developing optogenetic tools that allow use of light for precise control of protein function in cells. When combined with optical sensors and other signaling readouts, these can allow real-time perturbing and monitoring of cellular processes. In other work, I am developing sensors that detect perturbations to protein stability, and using these to identify chemical and genetic factors affecting protein homeostasis​.

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

University of Colorado Denver  Department of Pharmacology  Mail Stop 8303, RC1-South  12801 East 17th Ave, Room L18-6113   Aurora CO 80045  Phone: (303) 724-6337  Fax: (303) 724-3663  E-mail:

Tucker, Chandra

Gongyi Zhang

Associate Processor Department of Immunology at National Jewish Health


Ph.D. Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Signal Transduction. 

Membrane Proteins.

Transcription Regulation.​

PubMed Publications

​Phone: 303-398-1715


Zhang, Gongyi

Rui Zhao

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, CU


My laboratory has two major research focuses. The first is to understand the molecular mechanism of pre-mRNA splicing using a combination of X-ray crystallography, molecular biology, biochemistry and yeast genetics approaches. Splicing of pre-mRNA is essential for gene expression in all eukaryotes. In higher eukaryotes such as mammals, an average of 95% of the nucleotides in the primary transcript (pre-mRNA) of a protein-encoding gene are introns. ​

PubMed Publications​

Lab Website

Phone: (303) 724-3269
E-mail: Rui.Zhao@ucdenver.ed

Zhao, Rui




Elizabeth Wethington, Program Administrator
Voice: 303-724-7280 | Email:
12800 E. 19th Avenue, Mail Stop 8303, Research Complex 1 South Tower, Room 6129, Aurora, CO 80045

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