Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Thomas Perkins photo.

Thomas Perkins | 303-492-5291 (office) | 303-492-5235 (fax) | Website


My research focuses on single molecule measurements of biological systems. One outstanding question is: how do motor proteins transduce chemical energy into physical motion? Another is: how does the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins affect their functions? We specialize in developing and applying high precision measurements using optical traps and atomic force microscopes to answer these and other interesting questions. 


  • A.B. in Physics,  Harvard University, magna cum laude
  • Ph.D. in Physics, Stanford University, thesis advisor  Steve Chu, 1997
  • Post-doctoral work at Princeton and Stanford, in the group of Steve Block

Research Associate

David Jacobson photo.

David Jacobson

David received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied the electrostatics of single-stranded nucleic acids.

Graduate Student

Gayle Geschwind photo.

Gayle Geschwind

Placeholder Person image.

Patrick Heenan

Arnulf Taylor photo.

Arnulf Taylor

Arnulf earned his Bachelors in Engineering Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Undergraduate Student

Nick Dawson photo.

Nick Dawson

Science Support

Lyle Uyetake photo.

Lyle Uyetake

Lyle earned his Bachelors in Chemistry and Biochemistry/Biophysics at Oregon State University.  His early research was in organic synthesis and protein purification. Most of his research experience since then has been in the fields of Parasitology and Cancer Biology. His main focus here is using molecular biology techniques to design unique DNA constructs to be used in AFM and optical trapping.