The Biochemistry Department is delighted to announce that Timothy Street has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Biochemistry. He will arrive at Brandeis in early September.
Timo received his undergraduate degree in Physics from UC Berkeley and his PhD in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins. For the past few years he has been carrying out postdoctoral research at UCSF in the lab of David Agard. He works at the nexus of structural biology and the physical chemistry of protein folding, focusing on a perplexing, challenging class of “molecular chaperones,” proteins that help other proteins fold properly into their native conformations. One of the great puzzles in this biologically crucial field is how these chaperones recognize and engage with the proteins emerging from the ribosome that are improperly folded and need their energy-dependent attention. Moreover, this process is intimately related to the unfolded protein response, a kind of cellular panic-button. To attack these kinds of questions, Timo applies a wide range of structural and kinetics methods and in his postdoctoral work has shown how these may be cleverly integrated to picture the mechanisms of highly dynamic chaperone proteins. He is beginning new projects to develop sensors that will allow him to dissect the actions of chaperones in live cells, to complement the mechanistic pictures emerging from his in vitro studies in purified, defined systems.