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Michael Westberg

Michael Westberg

Assistant Professor Department of Chemistry


  • Protein Engineering
  • Computational Protein Design
  • Directed Evolution
  • Photoactive Proteins
  • Optogenetics
  • Chemogenetics
  • Light microscopy and spectroscopy
  • Chemical and Synthetic Biology
  • Biophysical Chemistry
  • Photochemistry and Photophysics

Head of Functional Protein Design Lab

Assistant Professor Michael Westberg
PhD in Biophysical Chemistry

Designing proteins to study and control biological, chemical, and physical principles and processes

Nature has evolved a fantastic range of proteins to support life. However, there are many challenges of modern society that evolution has never been tasked to solve.

We are building a multidisciplinary program combining computational and experimental methods to design, characterize, and apply light- and ligand-controlled protein tools for studying and controlling biological processes. In the process of designing non-natural proteins, we modify and study the interactions between proteins, small molecule ligands, and light to discover and refine fundamental chemical and physical design principles. This knowledge will improve our ability to design complex protein functions and new biotechnologies.

The long-term mission is to establish an efficient pipeline for generating protein-based tools for investigating cell signaling dynamics, deciphering disease mechanisms in neuroimmunology, validating drug targets, creating biomedical solutions, and sustainable biotechnologies.

Recent publications

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