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Joe Howard PhD

Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Physics; co-Director, Quantitative Biology Institute

Contact Information

Joe Howard, PhD

Office Location

  • 266 Whitney Avenue, Ste Room 334
    New Haven, CT, 06511

Mailing Address

  • Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

    P.O. Box 208114, 266 Whitney Ave

    New Haven, CT, 06520-8114

    United States

Joe Howard
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Jonathon (Joe) Howard is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and a Professor of Physics at Yale University. He is best known for his research on motor proteins and the cytoskeleton, and the development of techniques for observing and manipulating individual biological molecules. Brought up in Australia, where he studied at the Australian National University, he has had a distinguished career in the United States—he was a professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle—and in Germany, where he played a key role, as Director, in establishing the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, one of the most successful research institutes in Europe. In 2013 he returned to the United States where he enjoys teaching, writing and new research projects on cell motility and neuronal morphology.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    Australian National Univ, Neurobiology (1983)
  • BS
    Australian National Univ, Mathematics (1979)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    University of California, San Francisco
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    University of Bristol


  • Alan J. Hunt Memorial Lecture
    Ann Arbor, United States 2015
  • Woods Hole Physiology Course
    Falmouth, United States 2015
  • Bragg Lecture
    Cambridge, United Kingdom 2014
  • Arthur K. Parpart Endowed Lecture
    Falmouth, United States 2014
  • Poincaré Seminar
    Paris, France 2009
  • George A. Feigen Memorial Lecture
    Stanford, United States 2006

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
FellowBiophysical Society2016
External MemberMax Planck Society, Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems2016
Pioneer AwardNational Institutes of Health2015
Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics & BiochemistryYale University2013
Timoshenko FellowMechanical Engineering, Stanford University2008
MemberEuropean Molecular Biology Organization2004
Scientific MemberMax Planck Society, Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics2000, 2014
MERIT AwardNational Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases2000
FellowJohn Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation1996
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical SciencesPew Charitable Trusts1990
Sloan Research FellowAlfred P. Sloan Foundation1990
Australian National Undergraduate ScholarAustralian National University1976

Professional Service

Center for Mechanobiology, SingaporeReview Panel, Chair2015 - Present
Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden, Dresden University of TechnologyScientific Advisory Board, Member2013 - Present
RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center (QBiC), Kobe/Osaka, JapanAdvisory Council, Chair2013 - 2017
RIKEN, Wako, JapanRIKEN Advisory Council, Member2013 - Present

Departments & Organizations