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Department of Molecular Medicine

Josh Chappie

The Chappie

Assistant Professor

Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in the Life Sciences

Department of Molecular Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
Office: (607) 253-3654
Lab: (607) 253-3871
Fax: (607) 253-3659


Research Interests

Our lab utilizes a combination of structural biology, biochemistry, and cell biology to dissect the mechanisms of complex molecular machines. Research efforts are divided between two major areas: 1) the structure and function of mechanochemical GTPases and 2) investigating the mechanisms of bacterial defense systems, specifically those targeting modified DNA. Together these endeavors have important implications for human diseases such as centronuclear myopathy, Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, and cholesterol trafficking disorders and also in the development of new therapeutic strategies for treating antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in humans and animals. We maintain a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to science and have partnered with investigators at Cornell and NIH to tackle challenging biological problems.


  • Ph.D.. - 2009   Biophysics, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
  • B.S./M.S. - 2003   Biochemistry, Brandeis University

Professional Experience

  • 2013-present   Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Cornell University
  • 2009-2013   Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH

Honors and Awards

  • 2013-present   Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in the Life Sciences 
  • 2012   NIDDK Fellows Scientific Retreat Travel Award for Outstanding Poster
  • 2012    Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE), National Institutes of Health
  • 2011    Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE), National Institutes of Health
  • 2006   Scripps Research Institute Graduate Retreat Biology Poster Award
  • 1999-2003   Justice Brandeis Scholar, Brandeis University

Professional Society Memberships

  • Biophysical Society
  • American Society for Cell Biology

Professional Service

  • 2009-2013   Member, NIDDK Fellows Advisory Board


Selected Publications

  1. Chappie, J.S., and Dyda, F. (2013) Building a fission machine – structural insights into dynamin assembly and activation.  J. Cell Sci. 126:2773-2784.
  2. Chappie, J.S., Mears, J.A., Fang, S., Leonard, M., Schmid, S.L., Milligan, R.A., Hinshaw, J.E., and Dyda, F. (2011) A pseudoatomic model of the dynamin polymer identifies a hydrolysis-dependent power stroke.  Cell 147:209-222.
  3. Wilson-Kubalek, E.M., Chappie, J.S., and Arthur, C.P. (2010) Helical crystallization of soluble and membrane binding proteins.  Meth. Enzymol. 481:45-62.
  4. Chappie, J.S., Acharya, S., Leonard, M., Schmid, S.L., and Dyda, F (2010) G domain dimerization controls dynamin’s assembly-stimulated GTPase activity.  Nature 465:435-440.
  5. Chappie, J.S., Acharya, S., Liu, Y.W., Leonard, M., Pucadyil, T.J., and Schmid, S.L. (2009) An intramolecular signaling element that modulates dynamin function in vitro and in vivo.  Mol. Biol. Cell. 20:3561–3571.

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