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Nikolay Dokholyan

G. Thomas Passananti Professor, Penn State College of Medicine

Professional Appointments and Affiliations 

G. Thomas Passananti Professor

Vice Chair for Research

Department of Pharmacology

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Penn State College of Medicine


R120 Pharmacology 

Hershey, PA 17033


(717) 531-5177‬


Mailing Address

R120 Pharmacology 

Hershey, PA 17033 US 


1999-2002 National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, USA. Area of research: Biophysics

1999 Ph.D., Boston University, USA. Physics

1994 M.S., Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia. Physics

1992 B.S., Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia. Physics

Honors and Awards

2014-Present G. Thomas Passananti Professorship

2014-2018 Michael Hooker Distinguished Professorship

2013 American Physical Society Fellow

2011-present Book Series Editor, Series in Computational Biophysics

2011 Editor-in-Chief, Research and Reports in Biochemistry

2004-2006 March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award

2004 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill IBM Junior Faculty Development Award

2003 Recipient of a UNC Research Council Award

1999-2002 NIH postdoctoral fellowship

1998-1999 NIH Molecular Biophysics Predoctoral Traineeship

1995,1998,2001 NSF Young Scientist Travel Award

1994 Red Diploma

1990-1994 Recipient of Honorary Stipend, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology


Dr. Dokholyan received his PhD in Physics at the Boston University under the supervision of Dr. H. Eugene Stanley in 1999. His work spanned the area of statistical mechanics and its applications to biological macromolecules. Upon graduation Dr. Dokholyan joined Dr. Eugene Shakhnovich at Harvard University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology as a NIH NRSA Fellow. His work was focused on protein folding, design, and evolution. Dr. Dokholyan joined Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in 2002, promoted to an Associate Professor in 2008, and to Full Professor in 2011. Dr. Dokholyan is currently the Director of the Center for Computational and Systems Biology and the Graduate Director of the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics at UNC. Dr. Dokholyan has published 180 per review articles and 16 book chapters. Dr. Dokholyan was named American Physical Society Fellow in 2013. In 2014, Dr. Dokholyan was named Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor. Over the past decade Dr. Dokholyan has been working in two principal directions: (i) methodology development to understand and engineer molecular structure and function and (ii) application of these methodologies to understand the etiologies of human diseases and develop therapeutic strategies.

Selected Publications

Xu, L., Chirasani, V. R., Carter, J. S., Pasek, D. A., Dokholyan, N. V., Yamaguchi, N., and Meissner, G. "Ca 2+ -mediated activation of the skeletal-muscle ryanodine receptor ion channel", Journal of Biological Chemistry, in press, (2018)

Rackley, L., Stewart, J. M., Salotti, J., Krokhotin, A., Shah, A., Halman, J. R., Juneja, R., Smollett, J., Lee, L., Roark, K., Viard, M., Tarannum, M., Vivero-Escoto, J., Johnson, P. F., Dobrovolskaia, M. A., Dokholyan, N. V., Franco, E., and Afonin, K. A. "RNA fibers as optimized nanoscaffolds for siRNA coordination and reduced immunological recognition", Advanced Functional Materials, 1805959: 1- 11, (2018)

Dagliyan, O., Krokhotin, A., Ozkan-Dagliyan, I., Deiters, A., Der, C. J., Hahn, K. M.,and Dokholyan, N. V. "Computational design of chemogenetic and optogenetic split proteins", Nature Communications, 9:4042-, (2018)

Cloer, E. W., Siesser, P. F., Cousins, E. M., Goldfarb, D., Weir, S. J., Mowrey, D. D., Harrison, J. S., Dokholyan, N. V., and Major, M. B. "p62-dependent phase separation of patient-derived KEAP1 mutations and NRF2", Molecular and Cellular Biology, in press, (2018)

Han, Q., Liu, D., Convertino, M., Wang, Z., Jiang, C., Kim, Y. H., Luo, X., Zhang, X., Nackley, A., Dokholyan, N. V., and Ji, R. "miRNA-711 Binds and Activates TRPA1 Extracellularly to Evoke Acute and Chronic Pruritus", Neuron, 99:449-463, (2018)

Luo, J., Samantha, S., Convertino, M., Dokholyan, N. V., and Deiters, A. "Reversible and tunable photoswitching of protein function through genetic encoding of azobenzene amino acids in mammalian cells", ChemBioChem, 19:2178-2185, (2018)

Wang, C., Aleksandrov, A., Yang, Z., Forouhar, F., Proctor, E. A., Kota, P., An, J., Kaplan, A., Khazanov., N., Boel, G., Stockwell, B. R., Senderowitz, H., Dokholyan, N. V., Riordan, J. R., Brouillette, C. G., and Hunt, J. F. "Ligand binding to a remote site thermodynamically corrects the F508del mutation in the human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator", Journal of Biological Chemistry, in press, (2018)

Zhu, C., Beck, M. V., Griffith, J. D., Deshmukh, M., and Dokholyan, N. V. "Large SOD1 aggregates, unlike trimeric SOD1, do not impact cell viability in a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 115:4661-4665, (2018)

Li, B., Urano, D., Mowrey, D. D., and Dokholyan, N. V., Torres, M. P., Jones, A. M. "Tyrosine phosphorylation switching of a G protein substrate", Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293:4752-4766, (2018)

Shobair, M., Popov, K., I., Dang, Y., L., He H., Stutts, M., J., and Dokholyan, N. V. "Mapping allosteric linkage to channel gating by extracellular domains in the human epithelial sodium channel", Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293:3675-3684, (2018)

Kaur, G., Guruprasad, K., Temple, B. R. S., Shirvanyants, D. G., Dokholyan, N. V., and Pati, P. K. "Structural complexity and functional diversity of plant NADPH oxidases", Amino Acids, 50:79-94, (2018)

Zhang, Y., Hashemi, M., Lv, Z., Williams, B., Popov, K.I., Dokholyan, N.V., and Lyubchenko, L. "High-speed atomic force microscopy reveals structural dynamics of alpha-synuclein monomers and dimers", The Journal of Chemical Physics, 148:123322-, (2018)

Xu, L.,Mowrey, D. D., Chirasani, V. R., Wang, Y., Pasek, D. A., Dokholyan, N. V., and Meissner, G. "G4941K substitution in the pore-lining S6 helix of the skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor increases RyR1 sensitivity to cytosolic and luminal Ca2+", Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293:2015-2028, (2018)