Gavin M. King, PhD



Associate Professor



BS Physics Bates College Lewiston, Maine
MS Physics Dartmouth College Hanover, N.H.
PhD Physics Harvard University Cambridge, Mass.

Research description

Single molecule biophysics:
We enjoy addressing fundamental problems in biophysics via precision single-molecule measurement apparatus. Specifically, we are developing and implementing a unique ultrastable atomic force microscope (AFM) to elucidate the structure, structural energetics, and conformational fluctuations of membrane proteins. A central question is: How does the dynamic structure of these proteins influence their function? An ultrastable AFM complements traditional characterization techniques by providing an atomically precise means to address this question in physiologically relevant conditions.

Notable Honors and Service

CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2011

Selected publications

Sanganna Gari RR, Chattrakun K, Marsh BP, Mao C, Chada N, Randall LL, King GM. (2019). Direct visualization of the E. coli Sec translocase engaging precursor proteins in lipid bilayers. Science Advances 2019 Jun 12;5(6):eaav9404. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav9404. eCollection 2019 Jun. [PubMed]

Utjesanovic M, Matin TR, Sigdel KP, King GM, Kosztin I. (2019). Multiple stochastic pathways in forced peptide-lipid membrane detachment. Sci Rep. 9(1):451. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36528-4. [PubMed]

Chada N, Chattrakun K, Marsh BP, Mao C, Bariya P, King GM. (2018). Single-molecule observation of nucleotide induced conformational changes in basal SecA-ATP hydrolysis. Sci Adv. 4(10):eaat8797. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aat8797. eCollection 2018 Oct. [PubMed]

Sigdel KP, Wilt LA, Marsh BP, Roberts AG, King GM. (2018). The conformation and dynamics of P-glycoprotein in a lipid bilayer investigated by atomic force microscopy. Biochem Pharmacol. 156:302-311. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2018.08.017. [PubMed]

Sigdel KP, Pittman AE, Matin TR, King GM. (2018). High-Resolution AFM-Based Force Spectroscopy. Methods Mol Biol. 1814:49-62. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8591-3_4. [PubMed]

Li S, Kim SY, Pittman AE, King GM, Wimley WC, Hristova K. (2018). Potent Macromolecule-Sized Poration of Lipid Bilayers by the Macrolittins, A Synthetically Evolved Family of Pore-Forming Peptides. J Am Chem Soc. 140(20):6441-6447. doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b03026. [PubMed]

Marsh BP, Chada N, Sanganna Gari RR, Sigdel KP, King GM. (2018). The Hessian Blob Algorithm: Precise Particle Detection in Atomic Force Microscopy Imagery. Sci Rep. 8(1):978. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-19379-x. [PubMed]

Full list of publications here.

Current Funding

National Science Foundation Award#: 1709792; Role: PI; Collaborative Research: Lipid Bilayers and Membrane Active Peptides; Period: 8/2017 ‐ 7/2020

National Institutes of Health Award#: 1R01CA204846‐01A1; Role: co‐PI (PI: A.Roberts, Univ. of Georgia); Title: Overcoming Cancer Resistance Mediated by the Human MDR1 Transporter; Period: 9/2017 ‐ 8/2022