John Straub, PhD
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences
Dept of Chemistry

PhD, Columbia University
MPhil, Columbia University
MA, Columbia University

John Straub explores protein dynamics and thermodynamics using theoretical and computational methods, with a particular focus on elucidating pathways for conformational change associated with protein energy transfer, signaling, folding, and aggregation.

The Straub Group investigates fundamental aspects of protein dynamics and thermodynamics underlying the formation of protein structure, through folding and aggregation, and enabling protein function, through pathways of energy flow and signaling. Student and postdoctoral research scientists in the Straub Group work to develop and employ state-of-the-art computational methods while working in collaboration with leading experimental research groups.

Kinetic and thermodynamic properties defining protein aggregation are elucidated through pioneering computational studies of the earliest stages of amyloid protein aggregation, including the formation of small oligomers (dimers through hexamers) from monomeric protein, and the production of monomeric protein from amyloid precursor proteins.

Novel computational algorithms for enhanced sampling of conformational ensembles in complex biomolecular systems include effective approaches for global optimization and enhanced conformational sampling, in complex molecular systems, and novel coarse-grained models of proteins, for use in protein structure prediction.

Novel computational approaches for the exploration of reaction dynamics allow for direct simulation of both ultrafast (quantum) and long-time (classical) dynamical events that translate how protein structure supports dynamical energy flow associated with protein function.

Pathways and mechanism for energy and signal flow in proteins are explored using classical and quantum dynamical simulations. This includes fundamental aspects of energy transfer associated with ligand binding and redox events in a variety of heme protein systems, with the ultimate goal of relating protein dynamics to function. Professor Straub’s book, “Proteins: Energy, Heat and Signal Flow,” co-edited with David Leitner, captures the state-of-the-art in theoretical studies of protein dynamics and signaling.

2016 Boston University: United Methodist Church Scholar/Teacher of the Year
2013 Nagoya University: JSPS Invitation Fellow
2006 Montana State University: Visiting Professor
2005 Boston University: Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching
1998 Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University: Fellow
1995-1997 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow

Probing the roles of membrane and cholesterol on Aß biogenesis and prion protein interactions
06/01/2019 - 02/28/2023 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Probing the role of membrane domains and interfaces in protein assembly and function
07/01/2019 - 06/30/2022 (PI)
National Science Foundation

Probing the Role of Membrane and Cholesterol on APP-C99 Structure and Dynamics
03/01/2015 - 05/31/2019 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Complex Role of Solvationin Protein Structure and Dynamics in Micelles and Membranes
08/01/2014 - 07/31/2017 (PI)
National Science Foundation

06/15/2011 - 05/31/2015 (PI)
National Science Foundation

Faculty for the Future Fellowship (Schlumberger)
05/15/2012 - 04/30/2014 (PI)
Schlumberger Foundation, Inc.

AstraZeneca Graduate Fellowship in Organic Chemistry
01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012 (Subcontract PI)
AstraZeneca AstraZeneca

Scientific Communication and Professional Networking and Chemistry Education Opportunities
06/02/2011 - 08/31/2012 (PI)
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2020 Probing the roles of membrane and cholesterol on A? biogenesis and prion protein interactions 5R01GM107703-06 13
2020 Probing the roles of membrane and cholesterol on A? biogenesis and prion protein interactions 5R01GM107703-06 13
2019 Probing the roles of membrane and cholesterol on A? biogenesis and prion protein interactions 2R01GM107703-05 13
2018 Probing the role of membrane and cholesterol on APP-C99 structure and dynamics 5R01GM107703-04 13
2017 Probing the role of membrane and cholesterol on APP-C99 structure and dynamics 5R01GM107703-03 13
2016 Probing the role of membrane and cholesterol on APP-C99 structure and dynamics 5R01GM107703-02 13
2015 Probing the role of membrane and cholesterol on APP-C99 structure and dynamics 1R01GM107703-01A1 13
2009 Probing the Principles Governing Protein Aggregation 5R01GM076688-08 31
2008 Probing the Principles Governing Protein Aggregation 5R01GM076688-07 31
2007 Probing the Principles Governing Protein Aggregation 5R01GM076688-06 31
Showing 10 of 16 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Chakraborty D, Straub JE, Thirumalai D. Differences in the free energies between the excited states of Aß40 and Aß42 monomers encode their aggregation propensities. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Aug 18; 117(33):19926-19937. PMID: 32732434
  2. Hutchison JM, Shih KC, Scheidt HA, Fantin SM, Parson KF, Pantelopulos GA, Harrington HR, Mittendorf KF, Qian S, Stein RA, Collier SE, Chambers MG, Katsaras J, Voehler MW, Ruotolo BT, Huster D, McFeeters RL, Straub JE, Nieh MP, Sanders CR. Bicelles Rich in both Sphingolipids and Cholesterol and Their Use in Studies of Membrane Proteins. J Am Chem Soc. 2020 Jul 22; 142(29):12715-12729. PMID: 32575981
  3. Baiz CR, Blasiak B, Bredenbeck J, Cho M, Choi JH, Corcelli SA, Dijkstra AG, Feng CJ, Garrett-Roe S, Ge NH, Hanson-Heine MWD, Hirst JD, Jansen TLC, Kwac K, Kubarych KJ, Londergan CH, Maekawa H, Reppert M, Saito S, Roy S, Skinner JL, Stock G, Straub JE, Thielges MC, Tominaga K, Tokmakoff A, Torii H, Wang L, Webb LJ, Zanni MT. Vibrational Spectroscopic Map, Vibrational Spectroscopy, and Intermolecular Interaction. Chem Rev. 2020 Aug 12; 120(15):7152-7218. PMID: 32598850
  4. Frame NM, Kumanan M, Wales TE, Bandara A, Fändrich M, Straub JE, Engen JR, Gursky O. Structural Basis for Lipid Binding and Function by an Evolutionarily Conserved Protein, Serum Amyloid A. J Mol Biol. 2020 03 27; 432(7):1978-1995.View Related Profiles. PMID: 32035904
  5. Bandara A, Panahi A, Pantelopulos GA, Straub JE. Exploring the Structure and Stability of Cholesterol Dimer Formation in Multicomponent Lipid Bilayers. J Comput Chem. 2019 Oct 05; 40(26):2348. PMID: 31418884
  6. Bandara A, Panahi A, Pantelopulos GA, Nagai T, Straub JE. Exploring the impact of proteins on the line tension of a phase-separating ternary lipid mixture. J Chem Phys. 2019 May 28; 150(20):204702. PMID: 31153187
  7. Caputo HE, Straub JE, Grinstaff MW. Design, synthesis, and biomedical applications of synthetic sulphated polysaccharides. Chem Soc Rev. 2019 Apr 15; 48(8):2338-2365.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30742140
  8. Baul U, Chakraborty D, Mugnai ML, Straub JE, Thirumalai D. Sequence Effects on Size, Shape, and Structural Heterogeneity in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins. J Phys Chem B. 2019 04 25; 123(16):3462-3474. PMID: 30913885
  9. Urano R, Pantelopulos GA, Straub JE. Aerosol-OT Surfactant Forms Stable Reverse Micelles in Apolar Solvent in the Absence of Water. J Phys Chem B. 2019 03 21; 123(11):2546-2557. PMID: 30688469
  10. Sakae Y, Straub JE, Okamoto Y. Enhanced sampling method in molecular simulations using genetic algorithm for biomolecular systems. J Comput Chem. 2019 01 15; 40(2):475-481. PMID: 30414195
Showing 10 of 109 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 109 publications over 26 distinct years, with a maximum of 14 publications in 2009


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590 Commonwealth Ave
Boston MA 02215
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(617) 353-6466 (fax)

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