Alanna Schepartz

Alanna Schepartz's picture
Research Scientist
225 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-8499
203 432 5094

Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Member of Yale faculty since 1988


Our lab seeks to understand how macromolecular interactions control sophisticated biological processes such as information transfer, intracellular trafficking, and compartmentalization. Our approach is to develop new chemical, biophysical, and optical tools that control, manipulate, or mimic protein assemblies inside the cell, and use them to interrogate biology in ways that would otherwise be impossible. Current topics include: (1) the development and application of fluorogenic small molecules to monitor protein conformational changes associated with information transfer and; (2) organelle function and dynamics at super-resolution in live cells; (3) a wholesale re-engineering of the bacterial translation machinery to synthesize a/ß-peptides, polyketides, and sequence-defined polymer such as next-generation Kevlars, polyurethanes, and polyolefins; and (4) the discovery and characterization of a novel cellular machinery that facilitates the highly efficient endosomal release of protein therapeutics into the cytosol and nucleus of mammalian cells. Graduate students in our lab hail from all over Yale, including the departments of Chemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. But no matter what their background, all students become expert in tools and techniques that span the chemistry-biology-bio-engineering continuum, from organic synthesis to structure determination and from cell biology to genetic engineering.


B.S. State University of New York-Albany, 1982
Ph.D. Columbia University, 1987
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Caltech, 1987-88


Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research, SUNY@Albany, 1982
Award for Excellence in Teaching, Columbia University, 1983
Pegram Award for Graduate Research, Columbia University, 1986
National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1987
David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellow, 1990
Eli Lilly Biochemistry Fellow, 1991
Morse Faculty Fellow, Yale University, 1991
National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1991
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1993
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 1994
A.C.S. Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, 1995
A.C.S. Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, 1997
Dylan Hixon ‘88 Award for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences, Yale University, 1999
Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award, 2002
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, 2002-2007
Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2003-2005
Associate Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2005-2016
Frank H. Westheimer Prize Medal, Harvard University, 2008
ACS Chemical Biology Prize, 2010
Alexander M. Cruickshank Prize, 2010
American Academy of Arts & Sciences Fellow, 2010
American Chemical Society Fellow, 2010
Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry, 2012
Co-Editor, Molecular Imaging, Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 2012
Co-Editor, Supramolecular Chemistry for Biology, Materials and Medicine, Israel Journal of Chemistry, 2013
Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2014
Editor-in-Chief, Biochemistry, 2016-present
Wheland Medal, University of Chicago

Recent Publications

H. Takakura, Y. Zhang, R. S. Erdmann, A. D. Thompson, Y. Lin, B. McNellis, F. Rivera-Molina, S. N. Uno, M. Kamiya, Y. Urano, J. E. Rothman, J. Bewersdorg, A. Schepartz, & D. Toomre. Long time-lapse nanoscopy with spontaneously blinking membrane probes. Nat. Biotechnol. 2017, 35, 773-780. Highlight: Nanoscopic imaging that lasts, Nat. Methods, 2017, 14, 833.

C.M. Czekster, W.E. Robertson, A.S. Walker, D. Söll, & A. Schepartz. In vivo biosynthesis of a ß-amino acid-containing protein. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 5194-5197. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b1023

A. Doerner, R. Scheck, & A. Schepartz. Growth factor identity is encoded by discrete coiled-coil rotamers in the EGFR juxtamembrane region. Chem. Biol. 2015, 22, 776-784. DOI: 10.1016/j.chembio.2015.05.008

J.R. LaRochelle, G.B. Cobb, A. Steinauer, E. Rhoades, & A. Schepartz. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy reveals highly efficient cytosolic delivery of certain penta-arg proteins and stapled peptides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 2536-2541.

Research Interests

Room Number: 
CRB 310