The Boss

Douglas L. Theobald

Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry
Brandeis University
Kosow-Wolfson 308

MS 009
415 South St
Waltham, MA 02454
(781) 736-2303

Lab 2013 with Brandeis Castle

The lab, with the lovely historic Brandeis Usen Castle in background, August 2, 2013.

Left to right: Rick Roy, Erin Devine, Brian Beckett, Joe Jacobowitz, Kristine Mackin, Jeff Boucher, Phil Steindel, Douglas Theobald.


Jeff Boucher

Jeff Boucher

Jeff just successfully defended his PhD, August 7, 2013 — Congrats Dr Boucher!

Jeff also holds a BS in Biochemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and he was a graduate student in the Biochemistry program here at Brandeis. In his former life, Jeff spent over four years slaving for biotechnology companies in the Boston area, including Pierce Biotechnology, Phylogix, and Epitome Biosystems. Jeff is investigating the evolution of substrate specificity in Apicomplexan malate and lactate dehydrogenases.

Phil Steindel

Phillip Steindel

Phil just successfully defended his PhD, September 23, 2013 — Congrats Dr Steindel!

Phillip Steindel was a graduate student in the Biophysics and Structural Biology program. He has a BS in Chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill. Phil is developing Bayesian and likelihood methods for analyzing macromolecular structures, in addition to the evolution of substrate specificity in parabasalid malate and lactate dehydrogenases.

Graduate students

Brian Beckett

Brian C. Beckett

Mr Beckett is our local Canadian, hailing from McGill. Brian is studying the role of strong epistasis in the evolution of substrate specificity in the Apicomplexan malate and lactate dehydrogenases.

Erin Devine

Erin Devine

Erin studies the evolution of visual cone opsins in metazoans. She's also interested in the physical constraints on rhodopsin and GPCR structure and evolution, and the implications for discerning homology from convergence.

Kristine Mackin

Kristine Mackin

Kristine's thesis project explores the biophysical constraints on the evolution of bacteriorhodopsin and the implications for convergence of the GPCR protein fold in rhodopsins from bacteria, arachaea, and eumetazoans.

Rick Roy

Rick Roy

Rick works on understanding the functional and structural constraints on universally conserved residues in Type I rhodopsins.


Michelle Fry

Michelle Y. Fry (2015)

Michelle is making a constitutive dimer from tetrameric Apicomplexan lactate dehydrogenases.

Joe Jacobowitz

Joe Jacobowitz (2014)

Joe is figuring out how Plasmodium falsciparum lactate dehydrogenase has such strong specificity for its substrate. He's good at crystallizing proteins, especially ancestral 2-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases.

Lab Alumni

Mackenzie Gallegos

Mackenzie Gallegos, Research Technician (Brandeis 2011)

Mackenzie kept the world turning :(.

Adam Drake

Adam Drake, undergraduate student (2013)

Adam's thesis research developed better phylogenetic methods for modeling the evolution of transmembrane proteins by explicitly incorporating structural information. He graduated in 2013 with an MS/BS in Biochemistry, highest honors. Adam is now spending the summer of 2013 in the Adirondack woods.

Emily Chen

Emily Chen, undergraduate student (2013)

Emily helped determine the crystal structures of both ancestral and modern malate/lactate dehydrogenases.

Amy Eisenberg

Amy Eisenberg, undergraduate student (2012)

Amy's senior thesis was on the physical requirements on the position and identity of the conserved "counterion" aspartate residue in bacteriorhodopsin, including its evolutionary implications.


Megan Peck, High school student

Mark Kelly

Marcus Kelly, undergraduate student (2011)

While in the lab, Mark's senior thesis involved the development of membrane protein specific substitution matrices for modeling transmembrane proteins. Mark is currently a graduate student at Stanford.

Nat Lazar, Halloween 2008

Nathaniel Lazar, undergraduate student (2010)

During his tenure in the lab, Nat's thesis research involved developing structural methods for analyzing and determining rates of evolution specific to particular protein families. Nat is currently a graduate student at Cornell.

Bojan Rajkovic

Bojan Rajkovic, undergraduate student (2010)

Bojan Rajkovic. The j is pronounced like a y and the c is pronounced like a tch.

Marco Viera

M. Viera, Research Assistant

Marco was the lab's Research Assistant from 2007 to 2010. Marco used to keep the world turning.


Marion Estelle Peyrega, French high school student

What is Marion doing now?


Hannah Kirsch, undergraduate student (2010)