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 Leptosphaeria rhodopsin, human aquaporins 1/2, and A2A receptor.
  2. Cyanobacterial rhodopsins and other novel microbial rhodopsins. We study a photosensory rhodopsin from cyanobacteria (ASR) in collaboration with V. Ladizhansky and cyanobacterial chloride pump in collaboration with J. Heberle and A.N. Bondar, as well as other novel microbial rhodopsins.


Faculty & Staff PhD Students MSc Students Undergraduate Research Students
Leonid Brown (Faculty) Suelen Camargo*
Xiao Peng*
Maryam Saliminasab
Philip Drewniak Alyssa Palmateer

* 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.