Danielle Tullman-Ercek Engineering of membrane proteins & protein membranes

Research Interests

Highly organized self-assembling proteins abound in the living world, and the resulting assemblies govern critical processes at all levels of life, from the formation of virus capsids to the transport of oxygen in the blood. The Tullman-Ercek lab is interested in several questions related to self-assembling systems: 1) What fundamental principles govern the precise organization of proteins at the nanoscale? 2) How does organization of biochemical processes enhance their performance? 3) How can we manipulate these protein assemblies to gain new or enhanced functions in living systems? Answering these questions permits advances in a wide range of application spaces, including vaccine development, manufacturing of therapeutics, and sustainable chemical production. Our current model systems include protein containers such as the MS2 viral capsid and bacterial organelles called microcompartments, and membrane protein machines such as the type III secretion system and multidrug efflux pumps. In the process of trying to engineer these systems to gain or improve function, we often make surprising observations that lead to new, hypothesis-driven inquiries. Our current work focuses on engineering new vaccine scaffolds, therapeutics, and sustainable biochemical production.

Selected Publications

High-Throughput Screening Test for Adhesion in Soft Materials Using Centrifugation. Chen Y, Wang Q, Mills CE, Kann JG, Shull KR, Tullman-Ercek D, and Wang M. ACS Central Science. 2021 July 28;7(7):1135-1143. 

Computational and Experimental Approaches to Controlling Bacterial Microcompartment Assembly. Li Y, Kennedy NW, Li S, Mills CE, Tullman-Ercek D, and Olvera de la Cruz M. ACS Central Science. 2021 April 28;7(4):658-670.  

An optimized growth medium for increased recombinant protein secretion titer via the type III secretion system. Burdette LA, Wong HT, and Tullman-Ercek D. Microbial Cell Factories. 2021 February 15;20:44.

Self-assembling Shell Proteins PduA and PduJ Have Essential and Redundant Roles in Bacterial Microcompartment Assembly. Kennedy NW, Ikonomova SP, Slininger Lee M, Raeder HW, and Tullman-Ercek D. Journal of Molecular Biology. 2021 January 22;433(2):166721.     

Quantitative characterization of all single amino acid variants of a viral capsid-based drug delivery vehicle. Hartman EC, Jakobson CM, Favor AH, Lobba MJ, Álvarez-Benedicto E, Francis MB, and Tullman-Ercek D. Nature Communications. 2018 April 11;9:1385. 

View all publications by Danielle Tullman-Ercek in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.