Skip to Main Content

Enrique M. De La Cruz, PhD

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; Head, Branford College

Contact Information

Enrique M. De La Cruz, PhD

Mailing Address

  • Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

    PO Box 208114, 266 Whitney Avenue

    New Haven, CT 06520-8114

    United States

Research Summary

Identifying the chemical and physical principles of work production by molecular motor protein enzymes and polymers has emerged as a major area in contemporary Biochemistry and Biophysics. My research program integrates comprehensive kinetic and thermodynamic analyses of catalytic reaction pathways with computational and mathematical modeling to develop and test predictive models of work output by molecular motor proteins, enzyme function and adaptation, and biopolymer fragmentation. Our work has revealed how enzymatic adaptations among evolutionary related molecular motor proteins determine their biological function, and how cells regulate the length and assembly dynamics of polymers that drive cell movement.

Our current and future efforts focus primarily in three areas:

  1. identifying the molecular origins of actin filament elasticity and the mechanical basis of filament severing by regulatory proteins;
  2. defining how ATP utilization by DEAD-box proteins (DBPs) is coupled to duplex rRNA unwinding; and
  3. determining the catalytic pathways, specificities and biological activities of nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPP) enzymes.

Specialized Terms: Cytoskeleton; RNA helicases; Kinetics; Thermodynamics; Polymer Mechanics; Processivity

Extensive Research Description

Persistence software can be found on our Lab page.


Research Interests

Biochemistry; Biophysics; Cytoskeleton; Kinetics; Molecular Biology; Thermodynamics; RNA Helicases

Selected Publications