Francisco J. Asturias, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Director, Cryo-EM Facility
Department of Biochemistry and
Molecular Genetics. University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine
University of Colorado

Dr. Asturias was born in Guatemala, where he completed his undergraduate studies and received a B.Sc. in Chemistry. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania where he focused on X-ray diffraction studies of membrane stacks and received a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry. After completing his doctoral studies, Dr. Asturias moved to Stanford University to pursue postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Roger Kornberg, where he was involved in 2-D crystallographic studies of various transcription complexes, including the newly discovered Mediator, the key complex responsible for regulation of transcription initiation in all eukaryotes. Dr. Asturias started his own group at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA), where he was a faculty member from 1998 until 2016. Dr. Asturias is currently in the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the
University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine, where he is also Director of the Cryo- EM Facility. The overall goal of research in the Asturias Laboratory is to understand how large macromolecular complexes involved in various fundamental cellular processes carry out their functions. A particular focus is the use of cryo-EM and image processing to understand the structure, conformational rearrangements and interactions of complexes involved in transcription, chromatin architecture regulation, and DNA replication. The Asturias group also has a growing investment in structural analysis of clinically-relevant targets, with a long-term interest in understanding the mechanistic relevance of large-scale macromolecular rearrangements and interactions.


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