Emad Tajkhorshid's directory photo.

Emad Tajkhorshid



Primary Affiliation

Theoretical and Computational Biophysics


Status Full-time Faculty

Home Department of Biochemistry

Phone 244-6914


Address 3147 Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue

  • Biography


    • B.S., Tehran University, 1989

    • Ph.D., University of Heidelberg, 2001

  • Honors
    • 2017-2022: NIH Transformative Award

    • 2016- : Endowed Chair of Biochemistry

    • 2016: MCB Faculty Excellence Award

    • 2015-2018: University of Illinois Scholar

    • 2010: UIUC top tenure packages of the year

  • Research

    Research areas:

    • Computational bioengineering

    • Biomolecular modeling

    Research interests:

    • Drug discovery

    • Infectious diseases

    • Ion channels

    • Membrane biology

    • Molecular pharmacology

    • Neuroscience

    • Protein biochemistry and protein structure

    • Signal transduction

    • Virology

    The Tajkhorshid Group focuses on developing and applying advanced computational techniques to characterization of biological phenomena, particularly membranes and membrane proteins, with the aim of achieving the most detailed microscopic view of structural and dynamical bases underlying biological function. Major areas of his extensive research portfolio, which have enjoyed continuous support from multiple federal funding agencies (NIH, NSF, DOE, DOD) over many years, include mechanistic studies of membrane transport proteins, principles of energy transduction and coupling in bioenergetic proteins, and lipid modulation of protein function, e.g., in signaling proteins associated with the cellular membrane.

  • 2023

    • Arango, A. S., Park, H., & Tajkhorshid, E. (2023). Topological learning approach to characterize lipids. Biophysical journal, 122(3S1), 22a.
    • Chan, C. K., Nguyen, J. T., Gupta, C., Perez, A., Mileykovskaya, E., Tajkhorshid, E., & Singharoy, A. (2023). Disordered regions of respiratory supercomplexes offer new pathways for substrate channeling in crowded membranes. Biophysical journal, 122(3S1), 302a.
    • Chen, T., Kapoor, K., & Tajkhorshid, E. (2023). Post-translational modifications optimize the ability of SARS-CoV-2 spike for effective interaction with host cell receptors. Biophysical journal, 122(3S1), 299a.
    • Galles, G. D., Infield, D. T., Clark, C. J., Hemshorn, M. L., Manikandan, S., Fazan, F., Rasouli, A., Tajkhorshid, E., Galpin, J. D., Cooley, R. B., Mehl, R. A., & Ahern, C. A. (2023). Tuning phenylalanine fluorination to assess aromatic contributions to protein function and stability in cells. Nature communications, 14(1), [59].
    • Hasdemir, H. S., Roy, P., Das, A., & Tajkhorshid, E. (2023). Regioselective metabolism of cannabinoids by cytochrome P450 2J2. Biophysical journal, 122(3S1), 339a.


    • Sun, C., Benlekbir, S., Venkatakrishnan, P., Wang, Y., Hong, S., Hosler, J., Tajkhorshid, E., Rubinstein, J. L., & Gennis, R. B. (2018). Structure of the alternative complex III in a supercomplex with cytochrome oxidase. Nature, 557(7703), 123-126.
    • Wen, P. C., Vanegas, J. M., Rempe, S. B., & Tajkhorshid, E. (2018). Probing key elements of teixobactin-lipid II interactions in membranes. Chemical Science, 9(34), 6997-7008.


    • Arcario, M. J., Mayne, C. G., & Tajkhorshid, E. (2017). A membrane-embedded pathway delivers general anesthetics to two interacting binding sites in the Gloeobacter violaceus ion channel. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 292(23), 9480-9492.
    • Chen, S., Zhao, Y., Wang, Y., Shekhar, M., Tajkhorshid, E., & Gouaux, E. (2017). Activation and Desensitization Mechanism of AMPA Receptor-TARP Complex by Cryo-EM. Cell, 170(6), 1234-1246.e14.
    • Jiang, T., Yu, K., Hartzell, H. C., & Tajkhorshid, E. (2017). Lipids and ions traverse the membrane by the same physical pathway in the nhTMEM16 scramblase. eLife, 6, [e28671].
    • Verhalen, B., Dastvan, R., Thangapandian, S., Peskova, Y., Koteiche, H. A., Nakamoto, R. K., Tajkhorshid, E., & McHaourab, H. S. (2017). Energy transduction and alternating access of the mammalian ABC transporter P-glycoprotein. Nature, 543(7647), 738-741.
    • Zeng, F., Chen, Y., Remis, J., Shekhar, M., Phillips, J. C., Tajkhorshid, E., & Jin, H. (2017). Structural basis of co-translational quality control by ArfA and RF2 bound to ribosome. Nature, 541(7638), 554-557.


    • Mansoor, S. E., Lü, W., Oosterheert, W., Shekhar, M., Tajkhorshid, E., & Gouaux, E. (2016). X-ray structures define human P2X 3 receptor gating cycle and antagonist action. Nature, 538(7623), 66-71.