Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Department of Biochemistry
Molecular Biophysics
Columbia University &
the Howard Hughes
Medical Institute
650 West 168th Street
Black Building Room 536
New York, NY 10032
Map (PDF)
Map (Google)

Phone: 212-342-2944 (office)
Phone: 212-342-2943 (lab)
Fax: 212-305-7932
Email: ecg2108@columbia.edu

© September 2008
Eric C. Greene.
All Rights Reserved.

Our group uses single-molecule optical microscopy to study fundamental interactions between proteins and nucleic acids - we literally watch individual protein molecules or protein complexes as they interact with their DNA substrates. Our overall goal is to reveal the molecular mechanisms that cells use to repair, maintain, and decode their genetic information. This research combines aspects of biochemistry, physics, and nanoscale technology to answer questions about complex biological problems that simply can not be addressed through traditional biochemical approaches. The primary advantages of our approaches are that we can actually see what proteins are bound to DNA, where they are bound, how they move, and how they influence other components of the system - all in real-time, at the level of a single reaction. Our research program is focused on studying the regulation and activity of proteins that are involved in repairing damaged chromosomes. We are particularly interested in determining the physical basis for the mechanisms that proteins use to survey DNA molecules for damage and initiate repair processes, and how these initial steps are coordinated with downstream events that lead to completion of repair. As part of our work, we are also actively pursuing the development of novel experimental tools that can be used to facilitate the study of single biochemical reactions. In particular, we are applying techniques derived from nanotechnology to our biological research, and using nano- and micro-scale engineering to facilitate the development of new, robust experimental platforms that enable "high throughput" single molecule imaging.

More information regarding prospective students can be found at Biomedical Graduate Studies @ Columbia.

Green DNA Curtain

End Labeled DNA Curtain

DNA Curtains with Fluorescent

"To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires
creative imagination and marks real advances in science."
-Albert Einstein

"I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but
I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice of those who have said why take so
much trouble and what good is it?"
-Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723)