Our work focuses on energy coupling, assembly mechanics, and biological regulation of molecular machines using a combination of hybrid structural, bulk biochemical, and single-molecule methods. We have a long-standing interest in understanding how type II topoisomerases are inhibited by anti-cancer and antibacterial agents, how resistance to topoisomerase poisons impacts enzyme function, and how topoisomerase-DNA cleavage complexes stabilized by anti-topoisomerase drugs lead inappropriate DNA repair and genetic instabilities.

Awards and Achievements

  • Whitehead Fellow, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( 1995)
  • David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering ( 1999)
  • American Chemical Society Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry ( 2006)
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Schering Plough Research Institute Scientific Achievement Award ( 2006)
  • David A. Shirley Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement at the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ( 2008)
  • Walter and Ruth Schubert Family Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ( 2008-2013)
  • National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology ( 2011)
  • Elected into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences ( 2012)
  • Elected into the National Academy of Sciences ( 2013)