Gradinaru, Claudiu

Ph.D. | Professor | Physics | Biophysics and Physical Chemistry

Contact Information

905 828 3833
905 828 5425
Mailing Address: 
3359 Mississauga Road
Postal Code: 
L5L 1C6
Gradinaru Photo

Research Areas:

Single-molecule biophysics, protein folding and dynamics

Research Profile:

Gradinaru PhotGradinaru biophysics research laboratory employs advanced laser and detectiontechnology to capture conformational dynamics and molecular interactions at the single-molecule level. Single-molecule techniques are now widely applied in life sciences and nanotechnology due to their unique ability to go beyond the intrinsic disorder and complexity of biological systems and provide new clues for theoretical models and computer simulations. Several ultrasensitive microscopes, which were designed specifically for single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy, have been built in our lab. A wide range of photon-level experimental capabilities are available, making the lab unique in Canada. Currently, the group focuses on two main directions of research. First, we study intrinsically disordered proteins by using single-molecule spectroscopy and polymer physics theory to understand the determinants of “fuzzy structures” in biology and how this class of proteins involved in various diseases interact with other (drug) molecules. Second, we study the role of oligomerization and conformational dynamics in G protein coupled-receptors (GPCRs), a large class of membrane proteins that are the main target of medicinal drugs.

Courses Taught:

PHY100H5 and PHY332H5 (undergraduate), PHY2702H1 (graduate)


Garry, J., Li, Y. Shew, B., Gradinaru, C.C., and Rutenberg, A. R., (2020). Bayesian Counting of Photobleaching Steps with Physical Priors. J. Chem. Phys. 152(2): 024110.

Ahmed, S.M., Nishida-Fukuda, H., Li, Y., McDonald, W.H., Gradinaru, C.C., and Macara, I.G. (2018). Exocyst Dynamics during Vesicle Tethering and Fusion. Nature Communications, volume 9, 5140. 

Li, Y., Shivnaraine, R.V., Huang, F., Wells, J.W., and Gradinaru, C.C. (2018). Ligand-Induced Coupling between Oligomers of the M2 Receptor and the Gi1 Protein in Live Cells. Biophys. J., 115, 881-895.

Fernandes, D.D., Bamrah, J., Kailasam, S., Li, Y., Gomes, G.-N., Wieden, H.-J., and Gradinaru, C.C. (2017). Characterization of Fluorescein Arsenical Hairpin (FlAsH) as a Probe for Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Scientific Reports, 7:13063, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-13427-8.

Song, J., Gomes, G.-N., Shi, T., Gradinaru, C.C., and Chan, H.S. (2017). Conformational Heterogeneity and FRET Data Interpretation for Dimensions of Unfolded Proteins. Biophys. J., 113, 1012-1024.

Gomes, G.-N. and Gradinaru, C.C. (2017). Insights into the Conformations and Dynamics of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins using Single-Molecule Fluorescence. BBA - Proteins and Proteomics, Special Issue “Biophysics in Canada”, 1865, 1696-1706. 


Liu, B., D. Chia, V. Csizmok, P. Farber, J. D. Forman-Kay, and C. C. Gradinaru (2014). The effect of intrachain electrostatic repulsion on conformational disorder and dynamics of the Sic1 protein. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 118:4088-4097.

Mazouchi, A., A. Bahram, and C. C. Gradinaru. 2013. Sub-diffusion decays in fluorescence correlation spectroscopy: dye photophysics or protein dynamics? The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 117:11100-11111.

Dodgson, B. J., A. Mazouchi, D. W. Wegman, C. C. Gradinaru, and S. N. Krylov. 2012. Detection of a Thousand Copies of miRNA without Enrichment or Modification. Analytical chemistry 84:5470-5474.

Saleem, Q., B. Liu, C. C. Gradinaru, and P. M. Macdonald. 2011. Lipogels: single-lipid-bilayer-enclosed hydrogel spheres. Biomacromolecules 12:2364-2374.

Badali, D., and C. C. Gradinaru. 2011. The effect of Brownian motion of fluorescent probes on measuring nanoscale distances by Förster resonance energy transfer. The Journal of chemical physics 134:225102.

Avadisian, M., S. Fletcher, B. Liu, W. Zhao, P. Yue, D. Badali, W. Xu, A. D. Schimmer, J. Turkson, and C. C. Gradinaru. 2011. Artificially Induced Protein–Membrane Anchorage with Cholesterol‐Based Recognition Agents as a New Therapeutic Concept. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 50:6248-6253.

Liu, B., A. Mazouchi, and C. C. Gradinaru. 2010. Trapping Single Molecules in Liposomes: Surface Interactions and Freeze− Thaw Effects. The Journal Of Physical Chemistry B 114:15191-15198.

Gradinaru, C. C., D. O. Marushchak, M. Samim, and U. J. Krull. 2010. Fluorescence anisotropy: from single molecules to live cells. Analyst 135:452-459.