Cafiso Lab Group University of Virginia

About Professor Cafiso

My research interests have been directed at membranes and membrane proteins, and over the last 30 years we have developed new magnetic resonance approaches to investigate membrane protein structure and dynamics. One area of investigation in my laboratory involves the molecular mechanisms of membrane transport; and in particular, the molecular mechanisms by which bacterial outer-membrane proteins function in the active transport of nutrients. A second area is focused on the protein-membrane and protein-protein interactions that mediate neuronal exocytosis.

During my time at the University of Virginia, I have mentored and directed graduate research dissertations for over 40 students. The majority of these students have been from the Department of Chemistry, but I have also directed students who entered through the Biomedical Sciences Program. Students in my laboratory participate in courses and training programs offered by our Biophysics Program as well as the mentoring and training programs offered by Chemistry. The vast majority of these former students are employed in academia, major research institutes or in biotechnology.

Curriculum Vitae

Education:

  • Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif. A.B. 1974 Biophysics
  • Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif. Ph.D. 1979 Biophysics
  • Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif. 1979 - 1980 Postdoctoral Study
  • Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. 1980 - 1981 Postdoctoral Study

Employment/Research Appointments:

  • 1975-1976 Research Assistant, Department of Molecular Biology, Univ. of California, Berkeley. Research: isolation and characterization of heat sensitive E. coli DNA polymerase mutants (mentor Donald Glaser)
  • 1976-1979 Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, Univ. of California, Berkeley. Research: the synthesis and development of EPR probes of membrane potential and the investigation of photoreceptor electrostatics (mentor: Wayne L. Hubbell).
  • 1979-1980 Postdoctoral Fellow of the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research, Department of Chemistry, Univ. of California, Berkeley. Research: the investigation of the ion selective properties of photoreceptor and model membrane systems (mentor: Wayne L. Hubbell).
  • 1980-1981 Postdoctoral Fellow of the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research, Department of Chemistry, Stanford Univ. Research: investigation of the structure and dynamics of cell and model membrane systems (mentor: Harden M. McConnell).
  • 1981-1987 Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the Univ. of Virginia.
  • 1987-1992 Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Univ. of Virginia.
  • 1992-2008 Professor of Chemistry at the Univ. of Virginia.
  • 2008-2011 Commonwealth Professor, University of Virginia, Department of Chemistry
  • 2008-2011 Chair, Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia
  • 2011-present. Alfred Burger Professor of Biological Chemistry, University of Virginia. Research activities include investigating the molecular basis of membrane transport and the molecular interactions regulating cell signaling and membrane trafficking. Teaching responsibilities have included physical chemistry, biochemistry, and spectroscopy.

Societies/Service/Honors:

  • 1977 - American Society for the Advancement of Science
  • 1978 - Biophysical Society
  • 1979 - 1981 Jane Coffin Childs Foundation Fellow
  • 1981 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award for Distinguished New Faculty in Chemistry
  • 1981 - American Chemical Society
  • 1987 - 1998 Member, NIH IRG Study Section
  • 1990 - 1994 Member, NSF Biophysics Panel
  • 1994 - 2001 Editorial Board, Biophysical Journal.
  • 1996 - Adhoc member, NIH BBCB study section
  • 2001 - Faculty of 1000 contributor
  • 2003 - 2007 Ad hoc member, BBCB Study Section
  • 2005 NIH Biomembranes Study Section
  • 2006 - Editorial Board, European Journal of Biophysics.
  • 2007 - Joint Faculty Appoint, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
  • 2008 - Editorial Board, Biophysical Journal.
  • 2008 - 2012 Member, NIH college of CSR Reviewers
  • 2008 - 2009 Member, NIH Special EMphasis Study Section
  • 2008 - 2011 Ad hoc member, BBM Study Section
  • 2010 Commonwealth Professorship
  • 2010 Elected Fellow, Biophysical Society
  • 2011 Alfred Bruger Professorship
  • 2013 Piette lectureship, International EPR Society