Linda Columbus


Postdoctoral Research: The Scripps Research Institute
Advisors: Kurt Wuthrich and Scott Lesley
NMR and X-ray crystallography of Membrane proteins.

PhD: The University of California Los Angeles (2001)
Advisor: Wayne Hubbell
Mapping protein backbone dynamics with EPR Spectroscopy and site – directed spin labeling.

BA, high honors: Smith College (1996)
Advisor: David Bickar

Professor Columbus is interested in accelerating membrane protein techniques to investigate the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins involved in bacterial pathogenesis.

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Linda’s CV

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Jennifer Martin

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2016)
BS: Biology, Penn State Berks (2011)

Jen’s research aims to compare the binding affinity and selectivity of various Opa proteins with their cognate receptors, both in vivo (expressed on the surface of Neisseria gonhorrhoeae) and in vitro (reconstituted into liposomes). Additionally, she aims to identify the molecular determinants of the interactions between Opa proteins and their receptors in vitro, in order to gain a better understanding of bacterial pathogen – host interactions.

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Tracy Caldwell

Graduate Student


BS: Biophysical Chemistry, James Madison University (2015)
Tracy’s research aims to understand the effects of membrane mimics on membrane protein structure, dynamics, and function. She will use Lipoprotein Signal Peptidase (LspA), a target for antibiotic development, as a model system.

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Steven Keller

Graduate Student

BS: Physics, Davidson College (2014)
Steven is a joint graduate student with Brant Isakson. His research focuses on the molecular interactions between alpha-globin and eNOS and the physiological consequences of this interaction.

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Marissa Kieber

Graduate Student

BS: Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2012)

Marissa’s research aims to determine the loop dynamics of Neisserial Opa proteins and to define the interaction surface of Opa-CEACAM binding using EPR. A low resolution Opa60 –CEACAM1 binding complex will be generated using EPR data coupled with computational approaches (in collaboration with the Kasson laboratory).

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Jason Kuhn

Graduate Student

BS: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2010)

Jason research focuses on the binding and uptake of Opa proteoliposomes into target cells expressing surface CEACAM receptors. He is interested in determining which cellular uptake mechanisms Opa proteoliposomes engage as well as their intracellular processing following cell entry. Liposomes are clinically useful for their ability to enhance therapeutic delivery of drug and imaging compounds to target cells, and Jason is particularly interested in exploring the potential of Opa proteoliposomes to target delivery to specific cell phenotypes.

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Nicole Swope

Graduate Student


BS: Biochemistry, Saginaw Valley State University (2015)
Nicole’s research focuses on studying the transient interactions and binding interface of Neisserial Opa proteins and CEACAM receptors using NMR techniques. In order to obtain high-quality distances between interacting residues, she will develop PRE experiments optimized for studying the Opa-CEACAM complex in vitro.

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Katie Ahn

Undergraduate Researcher

Katie is working on the structure and function of IncA.

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Katherine Lake

Undergraduate Researcher

Katherine is working on deciphering the mechanism of phosphoglucose isomerase.

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