Gary Pielak

Gary Pielak

Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biophysics; Jointly appointed with the School of Medicine

   Genome Sciences Building 3250
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  Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Protein Biophysics Emphasizing Studies in Living Cells

Research Synopsis

My graduate students and I work in two areas:
High-resolution protein NMR studies in living cells.
Biophysics of tardigrade dessication-tolerance proteins.

Professional Background

BS Chem., Bradley U, 1977; PhD Biochemistry, with J. Ivan Legg, Washington State U, 1983; Postdoc with Michael Smith, U British Columbia, 1983-1986; Postdoc with Robert JP Williams, Oxford. 1986-1988; DuPont Young Faculty Award; Morrow Young Faculty Award; NIH Pioneer Award; National Science Foundation Program Director; UNC Lifetime Mentor Award; UNC Medical School Excellence in Basic Science Mentoring Award

Research Group

News & Publications

We quantified the stability of a model protein complex, the A34F GB1 homodimer, in buffer, Escherichia coli cells and Xenopus laevis oocytes. The complex is more stable in cells than in buffer and more stable in oocytes than E. coli.


Water is key to protein structure and stability, yet the relationship between protein–water interactions and structure is poorly understood, in part because there are few techniques that permit the study of dehydrated protein structure at high resolution. Here, we describe liquid-observed vapor exchange (LOVE) NMR, a solution NMR-based method that provides residue-level information about the structure of dehydrated proteins.