Yale E. Goldman is a Biophysicist and Physiologist known for his development of novel biophysical techniques and their application to mechanistic studies of muscle contraction, non-muscle molecular motors and protein synthesis. Goldman was born in Philadelphia, PA. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University, M.D. and Physiology Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975 and was Post-Doctoral Fellow at University College London, UK. He joined the faculty of the Department of Physiology at the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, in 1980, and has secondary appointments in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. He is Professor of Physiology, former Director of the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, and Associate Director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center. He was President of the Biophysical Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

My laboratory studies cell motility and protein synthesis. Motor proteins and GTP-binding proteins (G-proteins) share many structural and functional attributes. Molecular motors myosin, dynein and kinesin are prototype biological energy transducers that power many cell biological motions such as targeted vesicle transport and cell division. The ribosome translates codons in messenger RNAs into amino acid sequences with enormous speed and fidelity. Energy from splitting GTP by G-protein elongation factors (EFs) is transformed into translational accuracy and maintenance of the reading frame. We relate the structural changes in these macromolecules to the chemical and mechanical steps of the energy transduction mechanism by mapping the real-time domain motions and kinetics of the motor proteins and ribosomal elongation factors. We have developed and apply novel biophysical methods including laser photolysis of caged substrates, for instance caged ATP, nanometer tracking of position and orientation of single fluorescent probes and ultra-fast feedback infrared optical traps. The biophysical mechanisms of stepping along these machines' tracks, how they are optimized for their various specific roles in the cell, and how they work together in teams are some of the outstanding research questions and areas of progress.

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Primary Section

Section 29: Biophysics and Computational Biology

Secondary Section

Section 23: Physiology and Pharmacology