Rice University logo

Michael Diehl

Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Chemistry

The Diehl laboratory’s research is deeply rooted in the development of synthetic, experimental and computational approaches to investigate protein coordination within multi-component complexes and protein networks. While focused on frontier problems in cancer and immunology, their research integrates advances from physical and biological chemistry, nanomaterials engineering, chemical biology, cellular engineering synthetic biology and single-molecule biophysics, and has facilitated the development of model protein complexes, engineered cell platforms, and molecular imaging technologies that provide new opportunities to dissect dynamic interactions among proteins within large, multicomponent and intrinsically disordered complexes. Their protein and cellular engineering approaches have enabled detailed mechanistic analyses of protein interactions and cooperativity. To date, this work has led to a new and deep fundamental understanding of mechanisms underlying collective functions of cytoskeletal motor proteins and their roles in the regulation of organelle transport. They have also developed precision imaging methods to resolve how large master-regulatory scaffolding proteins assemble multiple protein complexes locally on organelle surfaces, and coordinate the dynamics of membrane and cytoskeletal regulatory proteins during organelle biogenesis. Motivated by the need to visualize the complex sets of interactions among bio-macromolecules in protein complexes and molecular-cell pathways, the Diehl Laboratory has also developed a new class of programmable molecular imaging technologies that can expand the number of biomarkers that can be imaged simultaneously using either conventional or super-resolution optical microscopy. They are employing these technologies for comprehensive and spatially-delineated in situ analyses of protein network states within single cells and tissue sections with high resolution. Such capabilities are critical to numerous developmental cell studies as well as fundamental and clinical efforts to characterize the molecular signatures and pathologies of diseases. All of these advances are made possible by combining expertise in biomaterials engineering, molecular biology, optics and microscopy, hyperspectral imaging, single-molecule biophysics, and computational modeling.


K. Uppulary, J.W. Driver, M.R. Diehl, A.B. Kolomeisky “Analysis of cooperative responses of multiple kinesin motors to structural and chemical factors” Journal of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering 6, 38-47 (2013). 

E. Kumar, D.S. Tsao, A. Radhakrishnan, M.R. Diehl “Building cells for quantitative, live-cell analyses of collective motor protein functions.” Methods in Enzymology 128: 69–82 (2015).

T. McLaughlin, M.R. Diehl, A.B. Kolomeiski “Collective dynamics of cytoskeletal motor proteins’ Soft Matter 12(1):14-21. (2015)

D.Y. Duose, R.M. Schweller, J. Zamak, A. Rogers, W.N. Hittelman, M.R. Diehl “Configuring robust DNA strand displacement reactions for in situ molecular analyses” Nucleic Acids Research, 40, 3289-3298 (2012).

D.Y. Duose, R.M. Schweller, J. Zamak, A. Rogers, W.N. Hittelman, M.R. Diehl "Configuring robust DNA strand displacement reactions for in situ molecular analyses" Nucleic Acids Research 40, 3289-3298 (2012)

A. Rogers, P.E. Constantinou, D.K. Jamison, J.W. Driver, M.R. Diehl Construction and analysis of elastically coupled multiple-motor systems.  Methods in Enzymology, 520

H. Lu, A.K. Yefremov, C.D. Bookwalter, E.B. Kremestsova, J.W. Driver, K. Trybus, M.R. Diehl "Cooperative dynamics of elastically-coupled myosinV motors" Journal of Biological Chemistry 287, 27253-27761 (2012)

D.K Jamison, J. Driver, M.R. Diehl "Cooperative responses of multiple kinesins to variable and constant loads" Journal of Biological Chemistry 287, 3357-3365 (2012)

D.K Jamison, J. Driver, M.R. Diehl “Cooperative responses of multiple kinesins to variable and constant loads” – Journal of Biological Chemistry 287, 3357-3365 (2012).

D.W. Driver, A.R. Rogers, D.K. Jamison, R.K. Das., A.B. Kolomeisky, M.R. Diehl “Coupling between Motor Proteins Determines Dynamic Behaviors of Motor Protein Assemblies” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 12, 10398 (2010)

A.K. Efremov, A. Radhakrishan, D.S. Tsao, C.S. Bookwalter, K.M. Trybus, M.R. Diehl Delineating cooperative responses of processive motors in living cells.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 111: E334-E4343

A.K. Efremov, A. Radhakrishan, D. Tsao, C.S. Bookwalter, K.M. Trybus, M.R. Diehl “Delineating cooperative responses of processive motors in living cells” accepted to PNAS (2013)

K. Uppulary, A.K. Efremov, J.W. Driver, D.K. Jamison, M.R. Diehl, A.B. Kolomeisky "How the interplay between mechanical strain and non-mechanical interactions affect multiple kinesin dynamics" Journal of Physical Chemistry B 116, 8846-8855 (2012)

E.B. Samson, J. Zimak, B. Long, A. Qutub, E. Mace, J.S. Orange, V. Schweikart, M.R. Diehl “IQGAP1 regulates the multiple specialized cytoskeletal networks in polarized epithelial cells“ – Journal of Cell Biology submitted (2016).

K.I. McConnell, R.M. Schweller, M.R. Diehl, J. Suh. “Live-cell microarray surface coatings supporting reverse transduction by adeno-associated viruses” BioTechniques 51, 255-258 (2011)

D.S. Tsao, M.R. Diehl Molecular motors: myosins move ahead of the pack.  , 9: 9-10

D.S. Tsao, M.R. Diehl. “Molecular motors: myosins move ahead of the pack” Nature Nanotechnology 9, 9-10 (2014).

Eric Kumar, David Tsao, M. R. Diehl Motor mutants bring wild-type motors to a halt stochastically.  Biophysical Journal , 107: 279-281

D.Y. Duose, R.M. Schweller, W.N. Hittelman, M.R. Diehl “Multiplexed and Reiterative Fluorescent Labeling via DNA Circuitry” Bioconjugate Chemistry 21, 2327-2331 (2010).

R.S. Schweller, J. Zimak, D.Y. Duose, W.N. Hittelman, M.R. Diehl. "Multiplexed in situ immunofluorescence via dynamic DNA complexes" Angewandte Chemie 51, 9292-9296 (2012)

A. R. Rogers, J. Driver, P.E. Constantinou, M.R. Diehl "Negative Interference Dominates Collective Transport of Kinesin Motors in the Absence of Load" PCCP 11, 4882 (2009)

J.W. Driver, D.K. Jamison, A.R. Rogers, K. Uppulury, A.B. Kolomeisky,  M.R. Diehl “Productive cooperation among processive motors depends on their mechanochemical efficiencies” Biophysical Journal 101, 386 (2011)

J. Zimak, R.S. Schweller, W.N. Hittelman, M.R. Diehl "Programming in situ immunofluorescence intensities through interchangeable reactions of dynamic DNA complexes" ChemBioChem, Dec 21;13(18):2722-8.

Adam R. Wolfe, Bisrat G. Debeb, Lara Lacerda, Richard Larson, Arvind Bambhroliya, Xuelin Huang,Francois Bertucci, Pascal Finetti, Daniel Birnbaum, Steven Van Laere, Parmeswaran Diagaradjan, Brian Ruffell, Nicholaus J. Trenton, Khoi Chu, Walter Hittelman, Michael Diehl, Ilya Levental ,Naoto T. Ueno, Wendy A. Woodward. (2015) Simvastatin prevents triple-negative breast cancer metastasis in pre-clinical models through regulation of FOXO3a. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 154, 495-508

D.K. Jamison, J.D. Driver, M.R. Diehl “Structure-function analyses of single, multiple motor complexes” invited and in preparation for special issue in Methods in Enzymology (October 2013).

D.K. Jamison, J.W. Driver, A.R. Rogers, P.E. Constantinou, M.R. Diehl “Two Kinesins Transport Cargo Primarily via the Action of One: Implications for Intracellular Transport,” Biophysical Journal 99, 2967-2977 (2010).

K. Uppulary, J.W. Driver, M.R. Diehl, A.B. Kolomeisky “Analysis of cooperative responses of multiple kinesin motors to structural and chemical factors” Journal of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering: Special issue on biomolecular motors and motor assemblies, 6, 38-47 (2013).

 T. McLaughlin, M.R. Diehl, A.B. Kolomeiski “Frameworks for analyses of collective motor functions’ Softmatter invited and in preparation (2015)

M.R. Diehl “Templating a molecular tug-of-war” Science 338, 626-623 (2012)

Wang, Qian; Cheung, Margaret; Diehl, Michael; Onuchic, José; Jana, Biman; Kolomeisky, Anatoly; Cooperativity of Kinesin Motor Proteins under External Loads.  Biophysical Journal, 112 2017: 426a

Schweikhard, Volker; Samson, Edward; Tsao, David; McLaughlin, Tyler; Diehl, Michael; Coordinating Role of IQGAP1 in the Regulation of Multivesicular Endosomal Compartment Dynamics.  Biophysical Journal, 112 2017: 431a

Wang, Qian; Diehl, Michael R; Jana, Biman; Cheung, Margaret S; Kolomeisky, Anatoly B; Onuchic, José N; Molecular origin of the weak susceptibility of kinesin velocity to loads and its relation to the collective behavior of kinesins.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 2017: E8611-E8617

Samson, Edward B; Tsao, David S; Zimak, Jan; McLaughlin, R Tyler; Trenton, Nicholaus J; Mace, Emily M; Orange, Jordan S; Schweikhard, Volker; Diehl, Michael R; The coordinating role of IQGAP1 in the regulation of local, endosome-specific actin networks.  Biology open, 6 2017: 785-799

M.R. Diehl*, K. Zhang, H.J. Lee, D.A. Tirrell Engineering Cooperativity in Biomotor-Protein Assemblies.  Science, 311 2006: 1468

K. Zhang, M.R. Diehl, D.A. Tirrell Artificial Polypeptide Scaffold for Protein Immobilization.  J. Am. Chem. Soc., 127 2005: 10136

M.R. Diehl, D.W. Steuerman, H-R. Tseng, S.A. Vignon, A. Star, P.C. Celestre, J.F. Stoddart, J.R. Heath Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube-Based Molecular Switch Tunnel Junctions.  Chem. Phys. Chem., 4 2003: 1335

M.R. Diehl, S. Yaliraki, R. Beckman, M. Barahona, J.R. Heath Self-Assembled, Deterministic Carbon Nanotube Wiring Networks.  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 41 2002: 353

M.R. Diehl, J.-Y.Yu, J.R. Heath, G.A. Held, H. Doyle, S. Sun, C.B. Murray Crystalline, Shape, and Surface Anisotropy in Two Crystal Morphologies of Superparamagnetic Cobalt Nanoparticles by Ferromagnetic Resonance.  J. Phys. Chem. B., 105 2001: 7913

Michael R. Diehl
Diehl Lab
Diehl Laboratory

  • B.S. Chemistry (1997) The College of New Jersey
  • Ph.D. Physical Chemistry (2002) University of California
  • Beckman Senior Research Fellow Biophysics, Bioengineering (2002-2005) California Institute of Technology
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Biomolecular Imaging, Biophysics, Cellular Engineering, Protein and Molecular Bioengineering, Immunology, Cancer
Email: diehl@rice.edu
Phone: (713) 348-4568
Office: BioScience Res Collaborative, 515