John King

Assistant Professor
595 Seeley G. Mudd Building
Research Interests: 
Protein dynamics
Nonequilibrium thermodynamics
Physical chemistry
Basic science
Teaching Interests: 
Statistical Mechanics
Quantum Mechanics
Physical Chemistry

The King Lab is devoted to basic science, with a particular interest in the physics that underlies protein function. One of our main focuses is understanding the possible role of non-native conformations in biochemical processes. A key feature of proteins and nucleic acids is that they typically adopt a low-energy ground state structure. However, both equilibrium and nonequilibrium fluctuations can push biological macromolecules into well-defined high-energy excited states that are both rare and short-lived. Understanding the possible function of such excited states remains a significant challenge in biophysics. Pursuing problems such as this requires a combined experimental/computational approach, the development of novel experimental techniques, and collaborations that span disciplines.

The King Lab is actively recruiting students – so if you love basic science please get in touch!

Representative publications:
S. Talele and J.T. King “Nonequilibrium Reaction Cycle of Operating Pump Protein Studied with Single-Molecule Spectroscopy”, ChemPhysChem, 23, e2022000 (2022).
S.J. Lee, S. Talele, J.T. King “Protein-Bath Coupling at Intermediate Timescales”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 12, 10942 (2021).
A. Shakya and J.T. King “Modern Optical Microscopy Methods to Study Biomolecular Condensates” Curr. Opin. Colloid Interface Sci., 52, 101421 (2021).
S.J. Park, A. Shakya, J.T. King “Depletion layer dynamics of polyelectrolyte solutions under Poiseuille flow” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 116, 16256 (2019).
A. Shakya, J.T. King “Non-Fickian molecular transport in protein-DNA droplets” ACS Macro Lett., 7, 1220 (2018).