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José Onuchic

Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Chair of Physics; professor of chemistry; professor of biosciences


M. G. van der Linden, D. C. Ferreira, L. C. de Oliveira, J.N. Onuchic and A. F. P. de Araujo Ab initio protein folding simulations using atomic burials as informational intermediates betweensequence and structure,.  Prot.: Struct. Func. Bioinf.,, 82 2014: 1186-1199

F. Morcos, N.P. Schafer, R.R. Cheng, J.N. Onuchic, and P.G. Wolynes Coevolutionary information, protein folding landscapes, and the thermodynamics of natural selection.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111 2014: 12408-12413

Sun, J.K. Noel, J.I.Sulkowska, H. Levine and J.N. Onuchic Connecting thermal and mechanical protein (un)folding landscapes.  Biophys. J., 107 2014: 2941-2952

M. Lu, J.N. Onuchic and E. Ben-Jacob Construction of an effective landscape for multistate genetic switches.  Phys. Rev. Lett., 113 2014: art. no. 078102

B. Jana, F. Morcos and J.N. Onuchic From structure to function: the convergence of structure based models and co-evolutionary information.  Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 16 2014: 6496-6507

. S. Tamir,S. Rotem-Bamberger, C. Katz, F. Morcos, K.L. Hailey, J.A. Zuris, C. Wang, A.R. Conlan, C.H. LIpper, M.L. Paddock, R. Mittler, J.N. Onuchic, P.A. Jennings, A. Friedler and R. Nechushtai Integrated strategy reveals the protein interface between cancer targets Bcl-2 and NAF-1.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111 2014: 5177-5182

J. Zimmermann, R.L. Hayes, M. Basan, J.N. Onuchic, W.-J. Rappel and H. Levine Intercellular Stress Reconstitution from Traction Force Data,.  Biophys. J., 107 2014: 548-554

M. Lu, B. Huang, S.M. Hanash, J.N. Onuchic and E. Ben-Jacob Modeling putative therapeutic implications of exosome exchange between tumor and immune cells.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111 2014: E4165–E4174

X.C. Lin, N.R. Eddy, J.K.Noel, P.C. Whitford, Q.H. Wang, J. Ma, and J.N. Onuchic Order and disorder control the functional rearrangement of influenza hemagglutinin.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111 2014: 12049-12054

J.N. Onuchic Physics transforming the Life Sciences.  Phys. Biol., 11 2014: art. no. 053006

E. Haglund, J.I. Sulkowska, J.K. Noel, H. Lammert, J.N. Onuchic and P.A. Jennings Pierced lasso bundles are a new class of knot-like motifs.  PLoS Comp. Biol., 10(6) 2014: e1003613

R.L. Hayes,, J.K. Noel, P.C. Whitford, U. Mohanty, K.Y. Sanbonmatsu and J.N. Onuchic Reduced Model Captures Mg2+-RNA Interaction Free Energy of Riboswitches.  Biophys. J., 106 2014: 1508-1519

B. Huang, M. Lu, M.K. Jolly, I. Tsarfaty, J. Onuchic and E. Ben-Jacob The three-way switch operation of Rac1/RhoA GTPase-based circuit controlling amoeboid-hybrid-mesenchymal transition.  Scientific Reports (Nature), 3 2014: art. no. 06449

R.R. Cheng, F. Morcos, H. Levine and J.N. Onuchic Toward rationally redesigning bacterial two-component signaling systems using coevolutionary information.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111 2014: E563-E571

M. Lu, M.K. Jolly, J. Onuchic and E. Ben-Jacob Towards decoding the principles of cancer metastasis circuits.  Cancer Res., 74 2014: 4574-4587

E.L. Baxter , J.A. Zuris , Charles Wang , H.L Axelrod , A.E Cohen , M.L. Paddock , R. Nechushtai , J.N. Onuchic, and P.A. Jennings Allosteric control in a metalloprotein dramatically alters function.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110 2013: 948-953

D.T. Capraro, H. Lammert, D.K. Heidary,, M. Roy, L.A. Gross, J.N. Onuchic, and P.A. Jennings Altered Backbone and Side-Chain Interactions Result in Route Heterogeneity during the Folding of Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta ).  Biophys. J., 105 2013: 975-983

F. Morcos, B. Jana, T. Hwa, and J.N. Onuchic. Evolutionary footprints across protein lineages help capture multiple protein conformations.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110 2013: 20533-20538

B.T. Andrews, D.T. Capraro, J.I. Sulkowska, J.N. Onuchic, and P.A. Jennings Hysteresis as a Marker for Complex, Overlapping Landscapes in Proteins.  J. Phys. Chem. Let., 4 2013: 180-188

J.K. Noel, J.N. Onuchic and J.I. Sulkowska Knotting a protein in explicit solvent.  J. Phys. Chem. Let., 4 2013: 3570-3573

J.I. Sulkowska, J.K. Noel, C.A. Ramirez-Sarmiento, E.J. Rawdon, K.C. Millett, and J.N. Onuchic. Knotting pathways in proteins.  Biochem. Soc. Trans., 41 2013: 523-527

J.N. Onuchic, P.A. Jennings, and E. Ben-Jacob Learning from Cancer how to Defeat Bacteria.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110 2013: 3212

M. Lu, M.K. Jolly, H. Levine, J.N. Onuchic and E. Ben-Jacob MicroRNA-based regulation of epithelialhybridmesenchymal fate determination.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110 2013: 18144-18149

Y.-S. Sohn, S. Tamir, L. Song, D. Michaeli, I. Matouk, A.R. Conlan, Y. Harir, S.H. Holt, Vladimir S., M.L. Paddock, A. Hochberg, I.Z. Cabanchick, J.N. Onuchic, P.A. Jennings and R.Nechushtai NAF-1 and mitoNEET are central to human breast cancer proliferation by maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis and promoting tumor growth.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110 2013: 14676-14681

F. Bai , Y. Xu , J. Chen , Q. Liu , J. Gu , X. Wang , J. Ma , H. Li , J.N. Onuchic, and H. Jiang The free energy landscape of the binding process of HupA to TcAChE.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110 2013: 4273-4278

W.A. Eaton, M. Gruebele, V. Lubchenko and J.N. Onuchic Tribute to Peter G. Wolynes.  J. Phys. Chem. B, 117 2013: 12669-12671

M. Lu, M. Jolly, R. Gomoto, B. Huang, J. Onuchic and E. Ben-Jacob Tristability in Cancer Associated miRNA-TF Chimera Toggle Switch.  J. Phys. Chem. B, 117 2013: 13164-13174

D. Schultz, M. Lu, T. Stavropoulos, J. Onuchic, and E. Ben-Jacob Turning Oscillations into Opportunities: Lessons from a Bacterial Decision Gate.  Scientific Reports (Nature), 3 2013: art. no.1668

D.T. Capraro, M. Roy, J.N. Onuchic, S. Gosavi, and P.A. Jennings Beta-Bulge triggers route-switching on the functional landscape of interleukin-1 beta.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109 2012: 1490-1493

P.C. Whitford, K.Y. Sanbonmatsu, and J.N. Onuchic Biomolecular dynamics: order-disorder transitions and energy landscapes.  Rep. Prog. Phys., 75 2012: 076601

J.I. Sulkowska , E.J. Rawdon , K.C. Millett , J.N. Onuchic, and A. Stasiak Conservation of complex knotting and slipknotting patterns in proteins.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109 2012: E1715-E1723

J.I. Sulkowska, J.K. Noel, and J.N. Onuchic Energy landscape of knotted protein folding.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109 2012: 17783-17788

D. T. Capraro, S. Gosavi, M. Roy, J.N. Onuchic, and P.A. Jennings Folding Circular Permutants of IL-1 beta: Route Selection Driven by Functional Frustration.  PLoS ONE, 7(6) 2012: e38512

J.I. Sulkowska, F. Morcos, M. Weigt, T. Hwa and J.N. Onuchic Genomics-aided structure prediction.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109 2012: 10340-10345

J. Singh, P. Whitford, N. Hayre, J.N. Onuchic, and D. Cox Large-Scale Conformational Change in the Mammalian Prion Protein.  Prot.: Struct. Func. Bioinf., 80 2012: 1299-1307

R. Hayes, J. Noel, U. Mohanty, P. Whitford, S. Hennelly, J. Onuchic and K. Sanbonmatsu Magnesium Fluctuations Modulate RNA Dynamics in the SAM-I Riboswitch.  J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134 2012: 12043-12053

J.K. Noel, A. Schug, A. Verma, W. Wenzel, A.E. Garcia, and J.N. Onuchic Mirror Images as Naturally Competing Conformations in Protein Folding.  J. Phys. Chem. B, 116 2012: 6880-6888

D.N. Beratan and J.N. Onuchic Redox redux.  PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS , 40 2012: 13728-13728

E.L. Baxter, P.A. Jennings and J.N. Onuchic Strand swapping regulates the iron-sulfur cluster in the diabetes drug target mitoNEET.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109 2012: 1955-1960

M.A. Jamros, L.C. Oliveira, P.C. Whitford, J.N. Onuchic, J.A. Adams, P. Jennings Substrate-Specific Reorganization of the Conformational Ensemble of CSK Implicates Novel Modes of Kinase Function.  PLoS Comp. Biol., 8(9) 2012: e1002695

H. Lammert, P.G. Wolynes, and J.N. Onuchic. The Role of Atomic Level Steric Effects and Attractive Forces in Protein Folding.  Prot.: Struct. Func. Bioinf., 80 2012: 362-373

J.K. Noel, P.C. Whitford and J.N. Onuchic. The Shadow Map: A General Contact Definition for Capturing the Dynamics of Biomolecular Folding and Function.  J. Phys. Chem. B, 116 2012: 8692-8702

E. Haglund, J.I. Sulkowska , Z. He, G.-S. Feng, J.N. Onuchic and P. Jennings The Unique Cysteine Knot Regulates the Pleotropic Hormone Leptin.  PLoS ONE, 7(9) 2012: e45654

H. Lammert, J.K. Noel and J.N. Onuchic The dominant folding route minimizes backbone distortion in SH3.  PLoS Comp. Biol., 8(11) 2012: e1002776

J.K. Noel and J.N. Onuchic The many faces of structure-based potentials: from protein folding landscapes to structural characterization of complex biomolecules.  Computational Modeling of Biological Systems: From Molecules to Pathways 2012: 31-54

B. Jana, C. Hyeon and J.N. Onuchic The origin of minus-end directionality and mechanochemistry of Ncd motors.  PLoS Comp. Biol., 8(11) 2012: e1002783

J. Wang, R.J. Oliveira, X. Chua, P.C. Whitford, J. Chahine, W. Han, E. Wang, J.N. Onuchic and V.B.P. Leite Topography of funneled landscapes determines the thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109 2012: 15763-15768

D. Schultz, J.N. Onuchic, and E. Ben-Jacob Turning death into creative force during biofilm engineering.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109 2012: 18633-18634

C. Hyeon and J.N.Onuchic A Structural Perspective on the Dynamics of Kinesin Motors.  Biophys. J., 101 2011: 2749-2759

Y. Suzuki, J.K. Noel, and J.N. Onuchic A semi-analytical description of protein folding that incorporates detailed geometrical information.  J. Chem. Phys., 134 2011: 245101

R. Nechushtai , H. Lammert , D. Michaeli , Y. Eisenberg-Domovich , J. Zuris , M. Luca , D. Capraro , A. Fish , O. Shimshon , M. Roy , A. Schug , P. Whitford , O. Livnah , J.N. Onuchic, and P.A. Jennings Allostery in the ferredoxin protein motif does not involve a conformational switch.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 108 2011: 2240-2245

F. Morcos , A. Pagnani , Br. Lunt , A. Bertolino , D. Marks , C. Sander, R. Zecchina , J.N. Onuchic, T. Hwa and Ma. Weigt Direct-coupling analysis of residue co-evolution captures native contacts across many protein families.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 108 2011: E1293-E1301

P. C. Whitford, Y. Yu, S. Hennely, A. Ahmed, F. Tama, C. Spahn, J. N. Onuchic, and K. Y. Sanbonmatsu Excited states of ribosome translocation revealed through integrative molecular modeling.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 108 2011: 18943-18948

J.A. Zuris, Y. Harir, A.R. Conlan, M. Shvartsman, S. Tamir, M.L. Paddock, J.N. Onuchic, R. Mittler, Z.I. Cabantchik, P.A. Jennings, and R. Nechushtai Facile transfer of [2Fe-2S] clusters from the diabetes drug target, MitoNEET, to an apoacceptor protein.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 108 2011: 13047-13052

E.B. Baxter, P.A. Jennings, and J.N. Onuchic Interdomain communication revealed in the diabetes drug target mitoNEET.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 108 2011: 5266-5271

F.M. Ferreira, L.C. Oliveira, G.G. Germino, J.N. Onuchic, and L.F.Onuchic The Macromolecular Assembly of Polycystin-2 Intracytosolic C-Terminal Domain.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 108 2011: 9833-9828

Rice Department of Chemistry website
Rice University Physics Department website
SMOG: Structure-based Models for Biomolecules
Direct Coupling Analysis (DCA)

  • B.S. Electrical Engineering (1980) Universidade de Sao Paulo
  • B.S. Physics (1981) Universidade de Sao Paulo
  • M.S. Applied Physics (1982) Universidade de Sao Paulo
  • Ph.D. Chemistry (1987) California Institute of Technology
  • Department of BioSciences
  • Department of Chemistry
  • JOSE ONUCHIC has led the biological physics community as it attempts to devise an integrated picture of a variety of model biochemical and biological systems. His research has expanded across the scales of molecular-level interactions to cellular systems to organized multi-cellular structures. At Rice he will move this view towards medical applications focusing on cancer. In protein folding, he has introduced the concept of protein folding funnels as a mechanism for the folding of proteins. Convergent kinetic pathways, or folding funnels, guide folding to a unique, stable, native conformation. Energy landscape theory and the funnel concept provide the theoretical framework needed to pose and to address the questions of protein folding and function mechanisms. He also works on theory of chemical reactions in condensed matter with emphasis on biological electron transfer. He is also interested in stochastic effects in gene networks with connections to bacteria decision-making and cancer.
Email: jonuchic@rice.edu
Phone: (713) 348-4197
Office: BioScience Research Collaborative , 1005F