John Marko Professor

Research Summary:

Our lab uses biophysical methods, with particular emphasis on micromanipulation of single DNA molecules and single chromosomes, to study the internal structure of chromosomes in vivo, and to study chromosome-organizing proteins and DNA topoisomerases in vitro. We also develop mathematical models relevant to these types of experiments. Projects in progress involve combining fluorescence microscopy and force microscopy in experiments on DNA-protein complexes and whole chromosomes, and in-vivo studies of coupling of chromosome dynamics to gene expression.

Selected Publications:

The SMC1-SMC3 cohesin heterodimer structures DNA through supercoiling-dependent loop formation. Sun M, Nishino T, and Marko JF. Nucleic Acids Research. 2013 July 8;41(12):6149-6160.

ATP Hydrolysis Enhances RNA Recognition and Antiviral Signal Transduction by the Innate Immune Sensor, Laboratory of Genetics and Physiology 2 (LGP2). Bruns AM, Pollpeter D, Hadizadeh N, Myong S, Marko JF, and Horvath CM. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2013 January 11;288(2):938-946.

Histone H1 compacts DNA under force and during chromatin assembly. Xiao B, Freedman BS, Miller KE, Heald R, and Marko JF. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2012 December 15;23(24):4864-4871.

Range of Interaction between DNA-Bending Proteins is Controlled by the Second-Longest Correlation Length for Bending Fluctuations. Zhang H and Marko JF. Physical Review Letters. 2012 December 14;109(24):248301.

Self-organization of domain structures by DNA-loop-extruding enzymes. Alipour E and Marko JF. Nucleic Acids Research. 2012 December;40(22):11202-11212.

Selected Honors:

National Science Career Award, 1998

University Scholar Award, University of Illinois, 1999

American Physical Society Fellow, Division of Biological Physics, 2006

Catalyst Awards, Chicago Biomedical Consortium, 2007, 2013