The Boss

Douglas L. Theobald

Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry
Brandeis University
Kosow-Wolfson 308

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

Lab 2017 at Monadnock, NH

Beginning the White Dot trail up Mt. Monadnock, NH, June 8, 2017.

Left to right: Charles Xu, Miriam Hood, Molly Lorenz, Jacob Wirth, Rick Roy, Douglas Theobald, Christine Minor.

Post docs

Yerdos Ordabayev

Yerdos Ordabayev


Jacob Wirth

Jacob Wirth

Jacob is interested in the evolution of allostery and other cryptic long-range interactions in proteins.

Graduate students

Brandon Black

Brandon Black


Michael Sennett

Michael Sennett



Nora Perlmutter

Nora Perlmutter (2020), undergraduate

Karen Phuong

Karen Phuong (2022), undergraduate

Lab Alumni

Brian Beckett

Brian C. Beckett, PhD (2013 -- 2019)

Brian graduated from McGill in 2012 with a M.Sc. in Structural Cell Biology and in 2010 with a B.Sc. in Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Theater. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics, and is studying protein evolution and the dynamics of strong evolutionary epistasis. He is passionate about conquering scientific apathy, the education of young scientists, and donuts.

Christine Minor

Christine Minor (2019), undergraduate

Masha Rosenberg

Masha Rosenberg (2017 -- 2019)


Chloe Morales

Chloe Morales (summer 2018), high school student

Noa Don

Noa Don (summer 2018), high school student

Miriam Hood

Miriam Hood (2015 -- 2018), undergraduate

Rick Roy

Rick Roy, PhD (2012 -- 2017)

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

Molly Lorenz

Molly Lorenz (2017 -- 2018), graduate student and research technician

Molly keeps the world turning.

Charles Xu

Charles Xu (2015 -- 2017), undergraduate

Erin Devine

Erin Devine, PhD (2011 -- 2015)

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.


Meredith Roaten (summer 2015), high school student

Michelle Fry

Michelle Y. Fry (2013 -- 2015), undergraduate

Michelle made a constitutive dimer from tetrameric Apicomplexan lactate dehydrogenases. She's now a grad student at CalTech working on her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics.

Kristine Mackin

Kristine Mackin, PhD (2010 -- 2014)

Kristine successfully defended her PhD, March 20, 2014 — Congrats Dr Mackin!

Kristine's thesis project explored 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. Now making all the dollars at Decision Resources Group.

Phil Steindel

Phillip Steindel, PhD (2008 -- 2013)

Phil 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 developed Bayesian and likelihood methods for analyzing macromolecular structures, in addition to the evolution of substrate specificity in parabasalid malate and lactate dehydrogenases.

Catherine Ackley

Catherine Ackley (summer 2016), undergraduate

Catherine is a Chem-E major at Notre Dame. She spent the summer of 2014 with us, studying the tetramerization of Plasmodium falsciparum LDH.

Joe Jacobowitz

Joe Jacobowitz (2012 -- 2014), undergraduate

Joe helped figure out how Plasmodium falsciparum lactate dehydrogenase has such strong specificity for its substrate. He's good at crystallizing proteins, especially ancestral 2-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases. He's now a grad student at MIT!

Jeff Boucher

Jeff Boucher, PhD (2008 -- 2013)

Jeff successfully defended his PhD, August 7, 2013 — Congrats Dr Boucher! He is now a post-doc in Dan Bolon's lab at UMass Medical School, Worcester.

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's PhD thesis research investigated the evolution of substrate specificity in apicomplexan malate and lactate dehydrogenases.

Mackenzie Gallegos

Mackenzie Gallegos (2009 -- 2011), undergraduate and Research Technician (Brandeis 2011)

Mackenzie kept the world turning :(. Now pursuing her dream at Michigan State Veterinary School.

Adam Drake

Adam Drake (2010 -- 2013), undergraduate

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 (2011 -- 2013), undergraduate

Emily helped determine the crystal structures of both ancestral and modern malate/lactate dehydrogenases. She presently works at Brown University in Rebecca Page's lab.

Amy Eisenberg

Amy Eisenberg (2011 -- 2012), undergraduate

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. She's now a grad stuent at UC Berkeley!


Megan Peck (summer 2011), high school student

Mark Kelly

Marcus Kelly (2009 -- 2011), undergraduate

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 (2008 -- 2010), undergraduate

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 (2010), undergraduate

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

Marco Viera

M. Viera (20017 -- 2010), graduate student and research assistant

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


Marion Estelle Peyrega (summer 2008), French high school student

What is Marion doing now?


Hannah Kirsch (summer 2009), undergraduate