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Think and Do The Extraordinary

Keith Weninger

Professor and University Faculty Scholar, Associate Department Head

University Faculty Scholar

Riddick Hall 144



Professor Weninger received his PhD in 1997 from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). After postdoctoral appointments at UCLA (1997-2000) and Stanford University (2000-2004), he joined the faculty of North Carolina State University in 2004 as an assistant professor.

Research Description

Professor Weninger develops single molecule fluorescence methods and applies them to study biomolecular systems. In particular, his lab uses single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to characterize the conformational dynamics of multimeric protein complexes. Specific topics of interest include DNA mismatch repair and intrinsically disordered proteins.

Honors and Awards

  • He received the Career Award at the Scientific Interface for his work in biophysics from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Selected Publications

Precision and accuracy of single-molecule FRET measurements—a multi-laboratory benchmark study
Björn Hellenkamp, Sonja Schmid, Olga Doroshenko, Oleg Opanasyuk, Ralf Kühnemuth, Soheila Rezaei Adariani, Benjamin Ambrose, Mikayel Aznauryan, Anders Barth, Victoria Birkedal, Mark E. Bowen, Hongtao Chen, Thorben Cordes, Tobias Eilert, Carel Fijen, Christian Gebhardt, Markus Götz, Giorgos Gouridis, Enrico Gratton, Taekjip Ha, Pengyu Hao, Christian A. Hanke, Andreas Hartmann, Jelle Hendrix, Lasse L. Hildebrandt, Verena Hirschfeld, Johannes Hohlbein, Boyang Hua, Christian G. Hübner, Eleni Kallis, Achillefs N. Kapanidis, Jae-Yeol Kim, Georg Krainer, Don C. Lamb, Nam Ki Lee, Edward A. Lemke, Brié Levesque, Marcia Levitus, James J. McCann, Nikolaus Naredi-Rainer, Daniel Nettels, Thuy Ngo, Ruoyi Qiu, Nicole C. Robb, Carlheinz Röcker, Hugo Sanabria, Michael Schlierf, Tim Schröder, Benjamin Schuler, Henning Seidel, Lisa Streit, Johann Thurn, Philip Tinnefeld, Swati Tyagi, Niels Vandenberk, Andrés Manuel Vera, Keith R. Weninger, Bettina Wünsch, Inna S. Yanez-Orozco, Jens Michaelis, Claus A. M. Seidel, Timothy D. Craggs & Thorsten Hugel
Nature Methods, 15, (2018), 669–676, doi:10.1038/s41592-018-0085-0

Phosphorylation-induced conformational dynamics in an intrinsically disordered protein and potential role in phenotypic heterogeneity
P. Kulkarni, M. K. Jolly, D. Y. Jia, S. M. Mooney, A. Bhargava, L. T. Kagohara, Y. H. Chen, P. Y. Hao, Y. A. He, R. W. Veltri, A. Grishaev, K. Weninger, H. Levine, J. Orban
PNAS, (2017), doi:10.1073/pnas.1700082114

Prostate-associated gene 4 (PAGE4), an intrinsically disordered cancer/testis antigen, is a novel therapeutic target for prostate cancer
P. Kulkarni, A. K. Dunker, K. Weninger, J. Orban
Asian Journal of Andrology, 18, (2016), 695-703, doi:10.4103/1008-682X.181818

MutL traps MutS at a DNA mismatch
R. Qiu, M. Sakato, E.J. Sacho, H. Wilkins, X. Zhang, P. Modrich, M.M. Hingorani, D.A. Erie, K.R. Weninger
PNAS, (2015), doi:10.1073/pnas.1505655112

Phosphorylation-Induced Conformational Ensemble switching in an Intrinsically Disordered Cancer/Testis antigen
Y. He, Y. Chen, S.M. Mooney, K. Rajagopalan, A. Bhargava, E. Sacho, K. Weninger, P.N. Bryan, P. Kulkarni, J. Orban
J. Biol. Chem, (2015), doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.658583

Single molecule studies of DNA mismatch repair
D.A. Erie, K.R. Weninger
DNA Repair, 20, (2014), 71-81, doi:10.1016/j.dnarep.2014.03.007

Dynamics of MutS-mismatched DNA complexes are predictive of their repair pheontypes
V.C. DeRocco, L.E. Sass, R. Qiu, K.R. Weninger, D.A. Erie
Biochemistry, 53, (2014), 2043-2052, doi:10.1021/bi401429b

The Cancer/Testis antigen PAGE4, a regulator of c-Jun transactivation, is phosphorylated by Homeo-domain interacting protein kinase 1, a component of the stress-response pathway
S.M. Mooney, R. Qiu, J.J. Kim, E.J. Sacho, K. Rajagopalan, D. Johng, T. Shiraishi, P. Kulkarni, K.R. Weninger
Biochemistry, 53, (2014), 1670-1679, doi:10.1021/bi500013w

Immobilization of proteins for single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements of conformation and dynamics
U.B. Choi, K.R. Weninger, M.E. Bowen
Methods Mol Bio, 896, (2012), 3-20, doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-3704-8_1

Large conformational changes in MutS during DNA scanning, mismatch recognition and repair signalling
R. Qiu, V.C. DeRocco, C. Harris, A. Sharma, M.M. Hingorani, D.A. Erie, K.R. Weninger
The EMBO Journal, 31, (2012), 2528-2540, doi:10.1038/emboj.2012.95

Opacity and transport measurments reveal that dilute plasma models of sonoluminescence are not valid
Shahzad Khalid, B. Kappus, K. Weninger, S. Putterman
Physical Review Letters, 108, (2012), 104302, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.104302

Complexin arrests a neighbor
K. R. Weninger
Nature Strucutral and Molecular Biology, 18, (2011), 861, doi:10.1038/nsmb.2118

Beyond the random coil: Stochastic conformational switching in intrinsically disordered proteins
U.B. Choi, J.J. McCann, K. Weninger, M. Bowen,
Structure, 19, (2011), 566, doi:10.1016/j.str.2011.01.011

Three-dimensional molecular modeling with single molecule FRET
A.T. Brunger, P. Strop, M. Vrljic, S. Chu, K. Weninger,
Journal of Structural Biology, 173, (2011), 497, doi:10.1016/j.jsb.2010.09.004