Tamir Gonen

A Short Biography:

Dr Gonen is an expert in electron crystallography and cryo EM. He determined the 1.9Å resolution structure of the water channel aquaporin-0 by electron crystallography, the highest resolution for any protein determined by cryo EM techniques at the time. Dr Gonen established his own laboratory at the University of Washington in 2005 together with the very first cryo EM laboratory in the Pacific Northwest, a resource that continues to benefit many researchers at the UW School of Medicine and beyond. He has authored many publications from his laboratory concerning membrane protein structure and function. More recently Dr Gonen was honored with a Career Development award from the American Diabetes Association, became a Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand, as well as being chosen one of only 50 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientists around the country. In 2011 Dr Gonen accepted a position as a Group Leader at the HHMI Janelia Research Campus where he began developing MicroED as a new method for structural biology. With this method Dr Gonen has pushed the boundaries of cryoEM and determined a number of previously unknown structures at resolutions close to 1Å. In 2017 Dr Gonen moved his laboratory to the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Professor of Biological Chemistry and Physiology, where he continues studying membrane protein structure and function using cryoEM and MicroED.

Work Titles
UCLA Professor, Biological Chemistry Professor, Physiology Member, Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology GPB Home Area Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Contact Information:

Email Address:


Research Interest:

The Gonen laboratory is a laboratory of membrane structural biochemistry. We study the structures and functions of membrane proteins involved in homeostasis. The main methods we use are cryoEM (single particle and MicroED) as well as X-ray crystallography.

Detailed Biography:


1996     Science Deans Honors List for Organic Chemistry

1996     Science Deans Honors List for Inorganic Chemistry

1997     Science Deans Honors List for Inorganic Chemistry

1997     Summer Research Scholarship, University of Auckland New Zealand

1998     Senior Prize in Biological Sciences, University of Auckland New Zealand

1998     First Class Honors in Biological Sciences, University of Auckland New Zealand

1999     Doctoral Scholarship, Unibersity of Auckland, New Zealand

2009     American Diabetes Association Career Development Award

2009     Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist

2011     Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus Group Leader

2012     Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand

2017     Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute


A selected list of publications:

Rodriguez Jose A, Ivanova Magdalena I, Sawaya Michael R, Cascio Duilio, Reyes Francis E, Shi Dan, Sangwan Smriti, Guenther Elizabeth L, Johnson Lisa M, Zhang Meng, Jiang Lin, Arbing Mark A, Nannenga Brent L, Hattne Johan, Whitelegge Julian, Brewster Aaron S, Messerschmidt Marc, Boutet Sébastien, Sauter Nicholas K, Gonen Tamir, Eisenberg David S   Structure of the toxic core of α-synuclein from invisible crystals Nature, 2015; 525(7570): 486-90.
Nannenga Brent L, Shi Dan, Hattne Johan, Reyes Francis E, Gonen Tamir   Structure of catalase determined by MicroED eLife, 2014; 3(9): e03600.
Nannenga Brent L, Shi Dan, Leslie Andrew G W, Gonen Tamir   High-resolution structure determination by continuous-rotation data collection in MicroED Nature methods, 2014; 11(9): 927-30.
Wisedchaisri Goragot, Park Min-Sun, Iadanza Matthew G, Zheng Hongjin, Gonen Tamir   Proton-coupled sugar transport in the prototypical major facilitator superfamily protein XylE Nature communications, 2014; 5(7068): 4521.
Shi Dan, Nannenga Brent L, Iadanza Matthew G, Gonen Tamir   Three-dimensional electron crystallography of protein microcrystals eLife, 2013; 2(7451): e01345.
Reichow Steve L, Clemens Daniel M, Freites J Alfredo, Németh-Cahalan Karin L, Heyden Matthias, Tobias Douglas J, Hall James E, Gonen Tamir   Allosteric mechanism of water-channel gating by Ca2+-calmodulin Nature structural & molecular biology, 2013; 20(9): 1085-92.
Zheng Hongjin, Wisedchaisri Goragot, Gonen Tamir   Crystal structure of a nitrate/nitrite exchanger Nature, 2013; 497(7451): 647-51.
Gonen Shane, Akiyoshi Bungo, Iadanza Matthew G, Shi Dan, Duggan Nicole, Biggins Sue, Gonen Tamir   The structure of purified kinetochores reveals multiple microtubule-attachment sites Nature structural & molecular biology, 2012; 19(9): 925-9.
Reichow Steve L, Korotkov Konstantin V, Hol Wim G J, Gonen Tamir   Structure of the cholera toxin secretion channel in its closed state Nature structural & molecular biology, 2010; 17(10): 1226-32.
Zheng Hongjin, Olia Adam S, Gonen Melissa, Andrews Simeon, Cingolani Gino, Gonen Tamir   A conformational switch in bacteriophage p22 portal protein primes genome injection Molecular cell, 2008; 29(3): 376-83.
Gonen Tamir, Cheng Yifan, Sliz Piotr, Hiroaki Yoko, Fujiyoshi Yoshinori, Harrison Stephen C, Walz Thomas   Lipid-protein interactions in double-layered two-dimensional AQP0 crystals Nature, 2005; 438(7068): 633-8.

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