Photobiophysics Group

Present Research Activities

We have been studying a diverse family of photoactive retinal-binding proteins, microbial rhodopsins. We use modern biophysical methods (including time-resolved spectroscopy in the visible, FTIR spectroscopy, NMR, and Raman) in combination with molecular biology. Lately, we also expand into other eukaryotic membrane proteins. Currently, we are working on two major themes. 

  1. Functional expression of helical eukaryotic membrane proteins for solid-state NMR studies (in collaboration with V. Ladizhansky) - currently includes human aquaporins 1 and 2.
  2. Several collaborations on new microbial rhodopsins. We study novel photosensory rhodopsins, inward and outward light-driven ion pumps, enzymerhodopsins, and channelrhodopsins.


Name Role
Leonid Brown Faculty
Azam Askari PhD Candidate
Zain Ali * PhD Candidate
Philip Drewniak Reseach Assisstant

* Co-supervised with Vlad Ladizhansky

Research Support

The research is (or was) supported by grants from NSERC, CFI/OIT(MRI), PREA, Research Corporation, AFMNet, NRF Korea, DAAD, MTCU, and University of Guelph. Our students, postdocs, and visiting scientists are (or were) supported by scholarships and fellowships from NSERC, OGS, CIHR, MITACS, Bruker, Trillium Ontario, and JSPS.