Claudiu Gradinaru
Position: Principal Investigator
Claudiu was born in Bacau, “the town of purple twilight", in eastern Romania. He obtained his M.Sc. in Physics/Biophysics in 1995 from University of Bucharest and his Ph.D. degree with Prof. Rienk van Grondelle in 2001 from VU University Amsterdam. After postdocs at Leiden University and Sandia Laboratories, in 2006, Claudiu started his independent biophysics research lab in the Physics department at University of Toronto. His research focuses on observing the microscopic “dance” of interacting proteins and other biomolecules at single-molecule level. Outside the lab, Claudiu enjoys football, wine, international cinema and discovering nature. more >>

Dennis Fernandes
Position: PhD student
Project: The Spatial Organization and Conformational Dynamics of G Protein Coupled Receptors
Background: ...
Gregory Gomes
Position: PhD Student
Project: The Intrinsically Disordered Sic1 Protein: Size, Shape and Interaction Dynamics at Single-Molecule Level
Background: Greg completed his undergraduate studies at McMaster University in Engineering Physics, specializing in photonics and biophotonics. Greg then joined the Gradinaru group in the fall of 2012. Since then, he has been working on a collaborative project with the Forman-Kay group at Sick Kids focused on understanding the physical properties of intrinsically disordered proteins. He works on the Sic1 protein, its multiphosophorylated form and its complex with the Cdc4 protein. His aspirations are to continue towards an academic career, eventually narrowing his focus on research topics in neuroscience. Outside of the lab, his interests are musical instruments, reading, cacti, climbing, canoeing and Belgian beer.

Yuchong Li
Position: PhD Student
Project: Single-Molecule Fluorescence Studies of M2 Muscarinic Receptors in the Membrane of Live Cells
Background: Yuchong finished his B.Sc. degree at Nanjing University in China. He then came to UofT for graduate studies and joined the Gradinaru group in the fall of 2010. His Master thesis was about the development and implementation of the Photon Counting Histogram (PCH)- a data analysis method for analyzing protein oligomerization behaviour. His current research project focuses on G-protein coupled receptors and is a close collaboration with Prof. James Wells’ group from the department of Pharmacy at UofT. Besides having fun with single-molecule spectroscopy techniques, Yuchong is also learning to play harmonica and flute.
Zhenfu Zhang
Position: PhD Student
Project: Mapping Disordered Protein Conformations Using Single-Molecule Fluorescence Techniques
Background: Zhenfu was born in Shanghai, China. Zhenfu completed his undergraduate studies in Physics at Shanghai University in 2009, specializing in Microelectronics. Zhenfu left for Toronto in 2010 to begin his PhD studies at the University of Toronto. After initially doing some “weird” quantum optics measurements, he got involved in the fascinating area of biophysics, by joining the single molecule biophysics research lab of Prof. Gradinaru in 2011. Zhenfu is particually interested in studying interactions between anticancer ligands and target proteins as well as protein folding, unfolding and misfolding mechanisms. He also likes to develop new setups and analysis methods to help answer biophysics/biochemistry questions. Outside the lab, Zhenfu is interested in traveling, hiking, biking, reading and watching movies.

Former Group Members
Sergei Musikhin
Faculty, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
Douglas Goh
Bio-Imaging Research Officer, Astar, Singapore
Sangkyu Lee
PhD Student, Medical Physics, McGill University

Maxim Prigozhin
Postdoc, Steven Chu lab, Stanford University
Daniel Badali
PhD Student, IMPRS_UFAST Hamburg, Germany
Masood Samim
PhD Student, Barzda Lab, UTM

Denys Marushchak
Postdoc, Rothman Lab, Yale School of Medicine
Susanne Scharf
Subin Yoo
Medical School, Catholic University of Korea

Jinkyue Ree
South Korea
Daniel Jacobs
MSc Student IBBME (Biomedical Engineering) UofT
Anthony Pugliese
MSc Student Physics UofT

Jordan Rebelo
MSc Student Chemistry UofT
Darius Chia
Undergraduate Student Physics, UTM
Amir Mazouchi
Postdoc, Milstein lab, UTM

Jessica Kun
Undergraduate student, Integrated Science, McMaster
Abdulah Bahram