Joe grew up Cleveland, OH where he attended Case Western Reserve University. At Case he developed a deep interest in using optical spectroscopy to probe the dynamics of molecules, spending four years in the laboratory of Cather Simpson where he studied the photophysics of metalloporphyrins. For his graduate work Joe joined the laboratory of Andrei Tokmakoff in the Dept. of Chemistry at MIT. While there Joe developed and applied ultrafast infrared spectroscopies to probe the dynamics of water's hydrogen bonding network, providing some of the first direct observations of the intermolecular motions of hydrogen bonded water molecules. Upon graduating Joe joined the lab of Antoine van Oijen, then at HMS, to apply his optical background to problems in mechanistic biochemistry. As a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow Joe studied the dynamics of the replisome the multiprotein machine that carries out DNA replication. In July 2010 he started his own lab at Harvard Medical School.
Brandon studied chemistry as an undergraduate at Western New England University where he became interested in enzymatic reactions during research with Dr. Anne Poirot. To continue his study of enzymes, he pursued a PhD at Wesleyan University in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry with Dr. Manju M. Hingorani. At Wesleyan, Brandon learned to uncover molecular mechanisms using transient kinetic assays. His graduate research focused on understanding the initiation of bacterial DNA mismatch repair (MMR) and nucleotide excision repair (NER), in which MutS and UvrA2 mechano-chemically couple their actions with ATP hydrolysis to initiate DNA repair. During this work, Brandon developed an interest in single-molecule experiments to expand his ability to understand molecular mechanisms. This led him to join the Loparo Lab, where he now studies end processing during non-homologous end joining using single-molecule techniques. Outside of lab, Brandon enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, and astronomy.
As a postdoc, my research interest is focused on understanding how cells faithfully copy and transmit their genetic information. In reality, this is a very challenging task in that genomic DNA is constantly damaged. Particularly, I have been studying translesion synthesis (TLS), by which cells tolerate replication-blocking DNA lesions. To understand how TLS is regulated in E. coli cells, I am combining multidisciplinary approaches ranging from genetics to fluorescence imaging.
During my PhD years in biophysics, I studied how a G protein-coupled receptor signaling is regulated with a FRET-based sensor that I developed.
Mimi is originally from New Jersey and graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Neuroscience. While at BU, she studied social brain evolution in the lab of Dr. James Traniello. She initially quantified brain region scaling in Mycocepurus goeldii to investigate the correlation between behavioral differentiation and brain allometry. Later, she studied the relationship between the gut microbiome and brain metabolism in Zootermopsis angusticollis termites. Since joining the Loparo lab in June of 2021, she has been involved in several ongoing projects and hopes to master new research techniques. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, thrifting, and spending time with friends.
Andrew is a native of Connecticut and attended Eastern Connecticut State University to study biochemistry. While working on antibody engineering at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Andrew became fascinated with the physical properties of macromolecular interactions and decided to attend graduate school at Wesleyan University to pursue this interest. There he worked with Professor Ishita Mukerji on projects involving the photochemistry of fluorescent base analogs and the nature of protein-DNA interactions. After a short post-doctoral position in the Wade lab at John Hopkins School of Medicine where his focus was on the rules governing promiscuous ligand recognition by multi-drug resistance proteins, he moved back north to Boston to join the Loparo Lab to work on developing a molecular model for non-homologous end-joining, a DNA double-strand break repair mechanism.
Sadie was first introduced to the world of macromolecules during her undergraduate career at Emmanuel College, where she worked with Dr. Allen Price on single-molecule methods to study the behavior of DNA-binding proteins. While dissecting their target-site search mechanisms, she became fascinated by the fact that the dynamics of such structurally diverse interactions can actually be governed by universal principles. She is particularly intrigued by the robust regulation of biochemical processes both through and in spite of deviations from standard DNA topology. As a result, she stuck around Boston with the Loparo lab to continue investigating these themes in a DNA damage-dependent context.In her spare time (and even in the lab), Sadie may be found singing or playing ukulele. Additionally, as a proud Milwaukee, Wisconsin Cheesehead, she will also often be seen searching the greater Boston area for Brew City fare.
Pradeep hails from Bangalore, in the southern part of India. He completed his Bachelor in Engineering in Biotechnology from Sir. MV Institute of Technology, where he was interested in developing green systems for nanoparticle synthesis. He later joined as a Graduate student at the Centre for BioSystems, Science and Engineering in the Indian Institute of Science. Here he was jointly advised by Prof. Sandhya Visweswariah and Prof. Ganapathy Ayappa. He was interested in understanding the mechanisms associated with membrane damage by pore-forming toxins and applied artificial membrane systems, single-molecule imaging and spectroscopy to address these questions. In the Loparo Lab, he is studying the mechanism of pathway choice to resolve eukaryotic DNA double strand breaks. Outside the lab, Pradeep is a big fan of Football (soccer) and is a big Arsenal fan. He enjoys books, stand-up comedy and exploring the city.
Irina grew up in Moscow, Russia, and moved to the US to attend Dartmouth College. There, she majored in biophysical chemistry and through her undergraduate thesis became interested in biophysical research that investigates the interplay between protein structure and function. She then moved to Bethesda for a two-year fellowship at the NIH to study transporter mechanism and function, jointly supervised by Dr. José Faraldo-Gómez and Dr. Joe Mindell. Following her time at the NIH, she became a graduate student at the Biophysics program at Harvard and joined the Kruse and Loparo groups in 2019 to work on elucidating the mechanism and regulation of cell wall biogenesis with single-molecule imaging. In her spare time, Irina enjoys going to the symphony, climbing and backpacking with friends, as well as reading soulful Russian classics.
Ben studied biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked in the laboratory of Tobias Baumgart and investigated the biophysics of protein partitioning within plasma membranes. He then entered the PhD program at the MIT Department of Biology and joined the laboratory of Bob Sauer, where he used biochemical and biophysical techniques to study how a protein-unfolding machine, ClpX, harnesses the energy of ATP binding and hydrolysis to perform mechanical work. As a postdoc, Ben is pursuing his biochemical and biophysical interests in the laboratories of Johannes Walter and Joe Loparo at Harvard Medical School, where he uses single-molecule fluorescence techniques in Xenopus egg extracts to study DNA repair by the non-homologous end joining pathway. Outside the lab, Ben enjoys spending time with his family, cooking (and eating), riding his bike around Boston, and hiking in the Blue Hills with his dog.
Yufan grew up in Hangzhou, China. After a year at Zhejiang University, she came to the US to continue her undergraduate education in Chemistry at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She realized her passion in biophysical chemistry while studying the energy landscape of protein folding in the laboratory of Prof. Silvia Cavagnero. She then moved to Stanford for her Ph.D work, where she investigated the origin of enzyme catalysis using vibrational Stark spectroscopy and crystallography under the guidance of Prof. Steven Boxer. The more she learns about proteins the more she is fascinated by their remarkable versatility. She is now excited to learn how protein complexes coordinate the repair of DNA breaks with single-molecule techniques. Outside of work she enjoys travelling, all kinds of sports, board games and books.
Allen holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in physics from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in physics from California Institute of Technology. Allen most recently worked for Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, Inc. as a research investigator.