Gira Bhabha

Assistant Professor

Skirball Institute, Dept of Cell Biology

PhD, 2011 - Scripps Research Institute

Gira Bhabha Lab
cryo electron microscopy, cellular transport, motor proteins, trafficking, host-pathogen interactions, structural biology

Contact Information
NYU Langone Medical Center
Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
540 1st Avenue, 2nd Floor Lab 14
New York, NY 10016
Admin Contact
Alberta Chan
Tel: (646) 501-4509

Structural mechanisms of molecular machines important in cellular transport and motility

From atoms to cells to organisms, life is in constant motion. All cells face the challenge of transporting molecules from one location to another within the cell, and this is essential for the cell to function normally. Proteins that are responsible for proper transport range from simple globular proteins to large multi-protein complexes. We are interested in understanding how structure, function and dynamics of proteins are coordinated to function in biological systems. We use structural biology techniques such as Cryo EM and X-ray crystallography, in combination with biochemical and functional assays to study complex macromolecular machines. Using this hybrid approach, we aim to study the structural mechanisms of how macromolecular protein machines are so spectacularly coordinated in normal cells, and what goes wrong when they break.

Selected Publications: 
  • Damian C Ekiert*, Gira Bhabha*, Garrett Greenan, Sergey Ovchinnikov, Jeffery S Cox, Ronald D Vale. 2016. Architectures of lipid transport systems for the bacterial outer membrane. ·
  • Bhabha G, Johnson GT, Schroeder CM, Vale RD. How Dynein Moves Along Microtubules. Trends Biochem Sci. 2016 Jan;41(1):94-105. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2015.11.004. Review. PubMed PMID: 26678005; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4706479.
  • Bhabha G, Cheng HC, Zhang N, Moeller A, Liao M, Speir JA, Cheng Y, Vale RD. Allosteric communication in the dynein motor domain. Cell. 2014 Nov 6;159(4):857-68. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.10.018. PubMed PMID: 25417161; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4269335.
  • Bhabha G, Ekiert DC, Jennewein M, Zmasek CM, Tuttle LM, Kroon G, Dyson HJ, Godzik A, Wilson IA, Wright PE. Divergent evolution of protein conformational dynamics in dihydrofolate reductase. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2013 Nov;20(11):1243-9. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2676. PubMed PMID: 24077226; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3823643.
  • Bhabha G, Lee J, Ekiert DC, Gam J, Wilson IA, Dyson HJ, Benkovic SJ, Wright PE. A dynamic knockout reveals that conformational fluctuations influence the chemical step of enzyme catalysis. Science. 2011 Apr 8;332(6026):234-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1198542. PubMed PMID: 21474759; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3151171.