Kelvin Chu

Department of Physics
Cook Building
82 University Place
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405-0125

kelvin.chu at uvm.edu

802-656-0817 (FAX)

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Office: 513 Cook


I am currently on assignment with the National Science Foundation in the Office of International and Integrative Activities in the Office of the Director.

My NSF contact information is here.

From 2006-2012, I worked for the Vermont State EPSCoR organization to build research and education infrastructure in Vermont. I served as Senior Associate Director of the organization, which has oversight of the EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture.

These duties included serving as Associate Director for Vermont EPSCoR (EPS-0701410, EPS-1101317, EPS-1107945) and the Vermont Genetics Network (GM103449). In addition, I served on the Executive Committee for the Northeast Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (EPS-0918284). My portfolio included evaluation and assessment, private sector initiatives, and cyberinfrastructure initiatives.

In 2012, I accepted a position as a Program Officer in EPSCoR office at the National Science Foundation. (link).


I received my Sc.B. in Physics from Brown University and my Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I was a  Director's Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Lab working on kinetic crystallography of heme proteins before coming to UVM in 1998.

I am interested in the structural and functional consequences of dynamics of biological molecules.  The projects in my lab are aimed at achieving a quantitative understanding of biological function and enzyme mechanism.  My interests include spectroscopy of proteins and nucleic acids and the use of biomolecules in nanotechnological applications.  I am affiliated with the Center for X-ray Crystallography and the Structural Biology effort at UVM.

Current projects

  • Magnetic circular dichroism on small organic molecules (meso tetra-phenylporphyrin)

  • Protein dynamics of heme proteins (myoglobin, hemoglobin, cytochrome P450cam);

Selected publications
  • K. Miller, N. Lasry, K. Chu and E. Mazur "Role of physics lecture demonstrations in conceptual learning." Phys. Rev. St Phys. Educ. Res.9:020113 (2013). [Link]

  • W. DeWitt and K. Chu "Imaging Protein Statistical Substate Occupancy in a Spectrum-Function Phase Space." Phys. Rev. Lett. 105:098101 (2010). [Link]

  • K. Chu  “Determination of Reaction Intermediate Structures in Heme Proteins.” Meth. Molec. Biol., Macromolecular Crystallography Protocols. The Humana Press, NJ, USA. 19-30. (2007).

  • H. Frauenfelder, B. H. McMahon, R.H. Austin, K. Chu and J.T. Groves "The role of structure, energy landscape, dynamics, and allostery in the enzymatic function of myoglobin." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98:2370-2374 (2001). [Link]

  • I. Schlichting and K. Chu "Trapping intermediates in the crystal: ligand binding to myoglobin.” Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol.10:744-752 (2000). [Link]

  • I. Schlichting, J. Berendzen, K. Chu, A.M. Stock, S.A. Maves, D.E. Benson, R.M. Sweet, D. Ringe, G.A. Petsko and S.G. Sligar "The catalytic pathway of cytochrome P450cam at atomic resolution.” Science 287:1615-1622 (2000). [Link]

  • M. Brunori, B. Vallone, F. Cutruzzola, C. Travaglini-Allocatelli, J. Berendzen, K. Chu, R.M. Sweet, and I. Schlichting "The role of cavities in protein dynamics: crystal structure of a novel photolytic intermediate of myoglobin" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 97:2058-2063  (2000). [Link]

  • K. Chu, J. Vojtĕchovský, B.H. McMahon, R.M. Sweet, J. Berendzen and I. Schlichting "Crystal structure of a new ligand-binding intermediate in wildtype carbonmonoxymyoglobin.” Nature 403:921-923  (2000). [Link]