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Bunick Lab

Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of dermatology performing dermatologic research studying the three-dimensional structures of skin-related proteins using primarily x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. Dr. Bunick has more than 25 years of experience in the field of structural biology. He leads a structural biology research program in the dermatology field, with a specific niche: “atomic resolution dermatology.” Dr. Bunick’s research focuses on determining the atomic resolution structures of proteins, protein complexes, and drug-ligand complexes that are essential to formation of a functional human skin barrier or the action of a precision medicine therapy. He uses x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy to determine both the high resolution, three-dimensional structures of proteins important to both normal and diseased skin, and the mechanism of action of how dermatology drugs bind their molecular target. Knowing the structure of various skin proteins and drugs enables a better understanding of how a protein or therapeutic functions in normal and diseased skin states. Ultimately, it may lead to the development of novel therapies and/or improved patient care. In addition to wet lab/basic science research, Dr. Bunick leads clinical trial investigations at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation to evaluate cutting-edge therapies and their safety and effectiveness in patients.

Graduate & Medical Students, Post-docs, and Mentorship

Dr. Bunick's lab is committed to providing a highly intellectual and fun environment to develop the research skills necessary to succeed in life, whether in academia, industry, or elsewhere. We teach students the key processes used in our research, including protein production and purification, biochemical assays, structure determination techniques, and clinical/translational thinking. Dr. Bunick is a faculty member in the Yale Program in Translational Biomedicine, and participates in the BBS Track: Translational Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology, and Physiology (TMMPP). Those interested in performing research in the lab should reach out to Dr. Bunick.

Current Members

  • Associate Professor of Dermatology

    Research Interests
    • Biochemistry
    • Biophysics
    • Dermatitis, Atopic
    • Dermatology
    • Epidermis
    • Intermediate Filaments
    • Keratins
    • Molecular Biology
    • Skin
    • Ichthyosis Vulgaris
    • Crystallography, X-Ray
    • Computational Biology
    • Proteomics
    Dr. Christopher Bunick is an Associate Professor of Dermatology, specializing in general medical dermatology and dermatologic surgery. He also performs unique dermatologic research studying the three-dimensional structures of skin-related proteins using x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. He sees patients at Yale Dermatology Associates in Middlebury, CT. Dr. Bunick provides care of patients with all dermatologic conditions.Dr. Bunick received his B.S. at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. His PhD research studied the three-dimensional structures of calcium-binding proteins and proteins involved in DNA repair processes (e.g. the skin disease xeroderma pigmentosum). He completed medical internship, dermatology residency, and a dermatology research fellowship (mentored by Nobel Laureate Dr. Thomas A. Steitz) at Yale University School of Medicine (New Haven, CT). He performs laboratory research with the goal of using x-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and biochemistry to better understand the structure-function relationship of proteins involved in normal and diseased skin and dermatologic therapeutics.
  • Research Associate 2, MS - Bunick Lab

    Unraveling the Intricate Roles of Ubiquitous Proteins in Cellular Regulation Ubiquitous proteins like vimentin, keratin, and ubiquitin may appear unassuming, yet they exert profound influences on the intricate cell signaling networks that orchestrate cellular functions. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms by which these polypeptides modulate complex biological processes has captivated my scientific curiosity. Unraveling their enigmatic interplay with diverse macromolecular partners promises invaluable insights into the exquisite regulatory systems governing cellular behavior, with profound implications for advancing both fundamental understanding and translational applications. At the core of my research endeavors lies the quest to elucidate how ubiquitous proteins selectively interact with and perturb their molecular targets, eliciting specific cellular responses. This necessitates an integrative approach, combining structural biology techniques to visualize molecular interactions, biochemical assays to dissect binding mechanisms, and systems-level analyses to delineate functional consequences. By illuminating the intricate regulatory codes embedded within these protein-protein interactions, we gain a deeper appreciation for the exquisite choreography underlying cellular decision-making processes. Furthermore, this fundamental knowledge holds immense potential to catalyze translational efforts, paving the way for the rational design of protein modulators with therapeutic applications or the development of novel biosensors and synthetic biology tools. Ultimately, my passion lies in unveiling the enigmatic roles of ubiquitous proteins, unlocking doors to both intellectual enlightenment and practical innovation in cell biology and beyond.
  • Research Scientist in Dermatology; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Research Interests
    • Acne Vulgaris
    • Biochemistry
    • Biophysics
    • Infections
    • Molecular Biology
    • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
    • Protein Biosynthesis
    • Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases

Past Members

  • Sa Rang (Sarah) Kim, MD
  • Sherif A. Eldirany, MD
  • Alexander Hinbest, MSc
  • Bill Ke
  • Jimin Wang, PhD