About Us

Executive Committee

Peter E. Wright Peter E. Wright, Ph.D., is Chair of the HDPI Executive Committee. He is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology and holds a Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Chair at The Scripps Research Institute. His research has focused on applications of nuclear magnetic resonance to study mechanisms of protein folding, the structural basis of protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions in the regulation of gene expression, and the role of dynamics in protein function. His work on protein interactions led to the realization that many proteins do not adopt stably-folded, globular structures but are intrinsically disordered, and that protein disorder plays an important functional role in cellular signaling networks. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Jean BaumJean Baum, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and then became a Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Oxford University where she worked on partially disordered molten globule states of proteins with Chris Dobson. At Rutgers, her research interests have been the application of NMR to probe the conformation and dynamics of proteins and their connection to disease. In particular, Dr. Baum is focusing on the role of intrinsically disordered proteins in aggregation associated with neurodegenerative disease.

Steven FinkbeinerSteven Finkbeiner, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Finkbeiner completed his training at Yale, UCSF and Harvard before starting his independent laboratory at the Gladstone Institutes and UCSF. He is currently the Director of the Taube/Koret Center of Neurodegenerative Disease, Professor of Neurology and Physiology at UCSF, and Associate Director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. He has developed an automated form of imaging called robotic microscopy that has been useful for understanding how conformational states of intrinsically disordered proteins lead to neurodegeneration in murine and human stem cell models of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The strategy depends critically on advanced computational approaches including supervised machine learning and deep learning/artificial intelligence to elucidate relationships in large complex datasets.

Jeffrey C. HochJeffrey C. Hoch, Ph.D., is Professor of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at UConn Health. He directs the Gregory P. Mullen NMR Structural Biology Facility, and NMRbox: National Center for Biomolecular NMR Data Processing and Analysis. After completeing his Ph.D. at Harvard with Martin Karplus and Chris Dobson he joined the Rowland Institute for Science, established and directed by Edwin H. Land,  as a founding member. He directed the Biophysical Chemistry Group there for 22 years before moving to UConn in 2003. His primary interest is the use of computation to address challenges in bio-NMR.

Richard KriwackiRichard Kriwacki, Ph.D., is a Full Member in the Department of Structural Biology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. After earning a PhD degree in Chemistry/Biophysics at Yale University, Dr. Kriwacki initiated studies of disordered proteins during postdoctoral studies with Peter Wright at The Scripps Research Institute at a time when the concept of “functional disorder” was in its infancy. Since then, at St. Jude, Dr. Kriwacki has been involved in elucidating the functional mechanisms of cancer-associated proteins involved in the regulation of cell division, apoptosis and ribosome biogenesis, many of which are disordered.

Arthur G. Palmer Arthur G. Palmer III, Ph.D., is the Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University and the Director of NMR Spectroscopy at the New York Structural Biology Center. He received the Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute. His research interests include development and application of NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations to structure, dynamics, and function of biological macromolecules.

Rohit PappuRohit Pappu, Ph.D., is the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Center for Biological Systems Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (WU). He received his Ph.D. in Physics at Tufts University and did postdoctoral work in Computational & Molecular Biophysics at WU and at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Pappu’s research focuses on the conformational properties, functions, and phase behavior of intrinsically disordered proteins and their connection to neurodegeneration. He develops and deploys novel computational and theoretical methods that are combined with experiments.

National Advisory Committee

  • Ashok Deniz, The Scripps Research Institute
  • Keith Dunker, Indiana University
  • Jane Dyson, The Scripps Research Institute
  • David Eliezer, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Paul Langan, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Jonathon Moore, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  • Vijay Pande, Stanford University
  • Roy Parker, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Tatyana Polenova, University of Delaware
  • Kurt Wüthrich, The Scripps Research Institute

International Advisory Committee

  • Madan Babu, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
  • Martin Blackledge, Insitut de Biologie Structurale, Grenoble, France
  • Julie Forman-Kay, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
  • Christian Griesinger, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
  • Peter Tompa, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  • Markus Zweckstetter, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Göttingen, Germany

Life-Science Industry Advisory Committee

  • Frank Laukien, Bruker Corporation (Chair)
  • William Linton, Chairman & CEO,  Promega Corporation
  • Jeremy Stevenson, Formulatrix
  •  Desiree Tsao, NMR Group Leader, Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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