Dylan Murray

Dylan Murray

Position Title
Assistant Professor

124 Chemistry

The Murray lab focuses on understanding the physical chemistry of low sequence complexity protein domains and how these properties relate to their macroscopic behavior in cells. 30% of human proteins contain a domain that is biased towards a subset of the 20 natural amino acids and appear to be random semi-repetitive genetic gibberish. However, these domains are responsible for the formation of dynamic membraneless organelles during normal cellular function and mature into pathological aggregates in degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Chemically speaking, these structures correspond to biomolecular condensates, or protein phase separations, that exhibit varying degrees of dynamics and disorder. Although models have been developed to explain this behavior for simple chemical polymers, a comprehensive molecular-level understanding of how the more complex protein polymers transition into and between these phases remains elusive. We use nuclear magnetic resonance and other tools from physical chemistry to study the structure, thermodynamics, and kinetics of biomolecular condensates to achieve a more complete understanding of the fundamental physical chemistry underlying these fascinating cellular phenomena.

Education, Awards and Professional Highlights

  • Appointed to UC Davis Faculty (2018)
  • PRAT Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (2015-2018)
  • Ph.D. Florida State University (2014)
  • Michael Kasha Graduate Student Paper Award (2012)
  • Florida State University Graduate Fellow (2008)
  • Keynote Speaker, Sigma Xi Research Symposium, State University of New York at Plattsburgh (2007)
  • B.S. State University of New York at Plattsburgh (2004)

Representative Publications

The most current list of publications can be found at Pubmed.

* Denotes authors contributed equally