James Bardwell
Rowena G Matthews Collegiate Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Professor of Biological Chemistry
MCDB - BSB Building
1105 N University Room 5022
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
[email protected]

Available to mentor

James Bardwell
  • About
  • Links
  • Research Overview
  • Recent Publications
  • About

    James C. Bardwell, Ph.D.

    Rowena G. Matthews Collegiate Professor, MCDB HHMI Investigator
    [email protected]

    Howard Hughes Medical Investigator
    Department of Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology
    Program in Cellular Molecular Biology
    University of Michigan Biophysics
    Department of Biological Chemistry

    Jim received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in Molecular Biology. He then continued his studies in mRNA Stability at NCI, Bacterial Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Protein Folding at University of Regensburg in Germany. He has been affiliated with University of Michigan since 1996 and was appointed HHMI investigator in 2005. In Jim’s spare time he enjoys biking, kayaking, and giving tours to Natural History Museum visitors of the coral reef and octopus tanks in his office.

    • Bardwell Lab
    Research Overview

    Proteins start life as linear amino acid sequences and end up as beautifully folded, active structures. Dr. Bardwell’s laboratory focuses on recently discovered machinery that drives protein folding in the cell. Powerful genetic, structural, and biophysical tools are being used to generate a detailed picture of how these folding machines work. Members of the Bardwell lab also use directed evolution to improve protein folding. They do this by asking organisms themselves to solve difficult protein-folding problems. By examining the solutions to these problems, they are better able to understand folding in the cell. Our studies include using techniques such as bacterial genetics, biochemistry, biophysics including NMR, X-ray crystallography, and cell biology, microscopy, RNA-seq, RNAi, and CRISPR knockouts
    As a new project, Dr. Bardwell's lab plans to investigate the regeneration pathways found in jellyfish. Jellyfish possess superb regeneration powers to repair bodily damage. As their fragility has limited their use as a model organism, the labs work will include transferring the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knockout and transgenesis capabilities, that Dr. Brady at MIT developed for Clytia, into the Cassiopee jellyfish. We will focus on regeneration pathways mediated by proteins that have human homologues like Wnt. Applying what we learn about regeneration pathways from these undisputed world-master regenerators may give us some clues about how to turn these pathways back on in humans.

    Recent Publications See All Publications
    • Preprint
      Backbone 1H, 13C, and 15N chemical shift assignments for human SERF2
      Sahoo BR, Subramanian V, Bardwell JCA. Research Square, DOI:10.21203/rs.3.rs-3820038/v1
    • Journal Article
      Directed evolution unlocks oxygen reactivity for a nicotine-degrading flavoenzyme.
      Dulchavsky M, Mitra R, Wu K, Li J, Boer K, Liu X, Zhang Z, Vasquez C, Clark CT, Funckes K, Shankar K, Bonnet-Zahedi S, Siddiq M, Sepulveda Y, Suhandynata RT, Momper JD, Calabrese AN, George O, Stull F, Bardwell JCA. Nat Chem Biol, 2023 Nov; 19 (11): 1406 - 1414. DOI:10.1038/s41589-023-01426-y
      PMID: 37770699
    • Chapter
      Visualization of Chaperone Mediated Protein Folding Using X-ray Crystallography
      Wu K, Horowitz S, Bardwell JCA. 2023 Nov 1; Biophysics of Molecular Chaperones, 199 - 216. DOI:10.1039/bk9781839165986-00199
    • Preprint
      SERF2, an RNA G-quadruplex Binding Protein, promotes stress granule formation
      Sahoo BR, Deng X, Wong EL, Clark N, Yang H, Subramanian V, Guzman BB, Harris SE, Dehury B, Miyashita E, Saito H, Dominguez D, Bardwell JCA. bioRxiv, DOI:10.1101/2023.10.09.561572
    • Preprint
      Effects of protein G-quadruplex interactions on phase transitions and protein aggregation.
      Sahoo BR, Kocman V, Clark N, Myers N, Deng X, Wong EL, Yang HJ, Kotar A, Guzman BB, Dominguez D, Plavec J, Bardwell JCA. 2023 Sep 21; DOI:10.1101/2023.09.21.558871
      PMID: 37790366
    • Journal Article
      SERF, a family of tiny highly conserved, highly charged proteins with enigmatic functions.
      Sahoo BR, Bardwell JCA. FEBS J, 2023 Sep; 290 (17): 4150 - 4162. DOI:10.1111/febs.16555
      PMID: 35694898
    • Journal Article
      Surfaces Coated with Polymer Brushes Work as Carriers for Histidine Ammonia Lyase.
      Marcelino T, Docampo MAR, Qian X, Ade C, Brodszkij E, Ceccato M, Foss M, Dulchavsky M, Bardwell JCA, Städler B. Macromol Biosci, 2023 Aug; 23 (8): e2200528 DOI:10.1002/mabi.202200528
      PMID: 36971346
    • Journal Article
      The “structural” journey of a ribonucleoprotein complex: From molecules to droplets
      Mitra R, Bardwell JC. Biophysical Journal, 2023 Feb; 122 (3): 9a DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2022.11.278