Member of Yale faculty since 1982
Research in the Zilm lab involves development of new NMR methods and their application to important problems in chemistry, materials science, and biology. A major focus of current research is prion protein (PrP) and the role its various phase states play in both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and infectious prion diseases. NMR and other biophysical methods are used to study complex coacervates involving anionic polymers or oligomers of amyloid-beta (Aβo), and the conditions leading to liquid-liquid phase separation of PrP. This work has provided important insights into the role of co-factors in the formation of infectious prions, and the sequence of molecular events involving PrP and Aβo that result in AD. Examples of NMR methods research include determining protein secondary structure from NMR spectra via machine learning without requiring spectral assignments; use of machine learning to elucidate protein structure from 2D NMR spectra without the need for sequential assignments; development of quasi optical dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) instrumentation for simultaneous high field DNP enhanced NMR and EPR of macromolecular complexes and materials. The research program is highly interdisciplinary involving longstanding collaborations at Yale and Dartmouth medical schools, within the chemistry department, and several instrument companies.
B.S. University of Utah, 1976
Ph.D. University of Utah, 1981
Postdoctoral study in Chemical Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1982-83
IBM Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1982-83
Dreyfus Newly Appointed Young Faculty in Chemistry Award, 1983
Franz-Vögt Prize of the Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, FDR, 1987
Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1988
IR-100 Award, 1987
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006
Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists, 2008
Robert Vaughn Lecturer, 2009
Yale University Seton Elm-Ivy Award, 2012
Member, Connecticut Academy of Sciences, 2014
Günther Laukien Prize, 2017
Harwood F. Byrnes /Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize, 2018
Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Utah, 2019
Carroll, A.M., Eaton, S., Eaton, G., Zilm, K.W. “Electron Spin Relaxation of P1 Centers in Synthetic Diamonds with Potential as B1 standards for DNP Enhanced NMR” J. Magn. Reson. 2021 Jan; 322:106875. doi: 10.1016/j.jmr.2020.106875. Epub 2020 Nov 13. PMID: 33307296.
Phan, V.C., Fry, E.A., Zilm, K.W. “Accounting for the temperature dependence of 13C spin–lattice relaxation of methyl groups in the glycyl–alanyl-leucine model system under MAS with spin diffusion”, Journal of Biomolecular NMR, 2019, 73(8-9), 411-421.
Kostylev, M.A., Marcus D. Tuttle, M.D., Lee, S., Klein, L.E., Takahashi, H., Cox, T.O., Gunther, E.C., Zilm, K.W. and Strittmatter1, S.M. ” Liquid and Hydrogel Phase Transitions of Prion Protein Are Coupled with Conformational Shifts and Triggered by Alzheimer’s Amyloid-β Oligomers”, Molecular Cell, 2018, 72(3), 426-443.
Zurawel A. A., Walsh, D. J., Fortier, S. M., Chidawanyika, T., Sengupta, S., Zilm, K. W. and Supattapone, S., “Prion Nucleation Site Unmasked by Transient Interaction with Phospholipid Cofactor”, Biochemistry, 2014, 53 (1), 68-76.
Fry, E.A., Sengupta, S, Phan„ V.C., Kuang, S. and Zilm, K.W. “CSA Enabled Spin Diffusion Leads to MAS Rate Dependent T1s at High Field”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, 133, 1156-1158 .