Barad Lab Members


Barad Lab Members

The Barad lab welcomes people of any race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, caregiver and family commitments, political affiliation, sexual orientation, and eligible age or disability status.

Ben is a structural biologist with a special interest in emerging computational and experimental methods in electron microscopy. In January 2024, he founded the Barad lab at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR. His long term goal is to build workflows that unify and contextualize protein structure and cellular ultrastructure into a multi-scale understanding of cellular function and regulation.

He completed his undergraduate degree in Biological Chemistry at Stanford University, where he worked with Elizabeth Sattely investigating bacterial degradation of the plant polymer lignin. While there, he grew to love the collective regulation of large-scale ultrastructural features of organisms (such as the plant cell wall) by individual enzymes. This is a passion that has continue to fuel his scientific path to this day.

He received his PhD in biophysics from UCSF in the lab of James Fraser, where he developed methods for the building and validating atomic models generated from single particle electron microscopy. He also developed novel computational analysis tools for time-resolved x-ray scattering experiments and investigated the mechanisms of activity of mammalian chitinases.

Previous to starting the Barad lab, he worked as a postdoc with Danielle Grotjahn, using cryo-electron tomography of focused ion beam-thinned cells to quantify mitochondrial morphology and solve in situ protein structures. While there, he developed the Surface Morphometrics Pipeline, the ongoing development of which continues in the Barad lab. He also developed automation advances that allowed the collection and processing of hundreds of tilt series, and used these advances to study changes to the architecture and regulation of mitochondrial fission in response to varied chemical and genetic perturbations. Some of that work is ongoing!

Beyond his scientific interests, Ben is excited about food and cooking, coffee, 3D printing, and games.


Jessica Cope
Jessica Cope
she/her/hers
Research Assistant
[email protected]
jessicamcope

Jessica’s focus is on the cellular rearrangements undergone by mammalian cells following bacterial infection using cryo-electron tomography. She graduated UC Berkeley in 2024 where she studied Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology and did her undergraduate research in the polyubiquitination mechanism of the membrane embedded Pex2-10-12 E3 ligase, a protein complex involed in peroxisomal targeted protein import.


Andrew Gustafson
Andrew Gustafson
he/him/his
Graduate Student
[email protected]
0000-0001-5253-0001
andrewgust

Andrew is interested in working at the interface of chemistry and biology to reveal the underlying mechanisms of frequently intractable cellular processes such as lipid trafficking and membrane dynamics. He wants to accomplish this by utilizing an approach that bridges the disciplines of biochemistry, chemical biology, and structural biology, to achieve a greater understanding from the molecular to the cellular level.


The Barad lab is hiring!