Emad Tajkhorshid

 Emad Tajkhorshid

Contact Information

3147 Beckman Institute, MC-251
405 N. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Affiliate Faculty
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Additional Campus Affiliations


Emad Tajkhorshid is Hastings Endowed Chair in the Biochemistry Department, as well as holds additional appointments across multiple colleges that include Chemistry, Bioengineering, Pharmacology, Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, Computational Science and Engineering, and the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois. He is also a full time faculty member of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He joined the faculty of the Departments of Biochemistry (LAS) and Pharmacology (UI COM) in 2007 and was fast tracked to associate professor with tenure in 2010 and then again to the rank of professor in 2013. His tenure dossier was selected as one of the two top UIUC tenure cases on campus. In 2015, Professor Tajkhorshid was named a University of Illinois Scholar, after being nominated by both UIUC and UIC campuses. In 2016, he was awarded the Faculty Excellence Award from the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at UIUC. Later that year he was named Endowed Chair in Biochemistry. Emad Tajkhorshid directs the leads the NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics and the Computational Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics Group at the Beckman Institute. Dr. Tajkhorshid has authored over 200 research articles (H-index 64) with over 23,000 citations in such high profile journals as Nature, Science, Cell, eLife, and PNAS. He has delivered nearly 200 invited lectures at international meetings, universities, and research institutes. He has served on the Editorial Boards of multiple major journals, including Biophysical Journal, Journal of Biological Chemistry, PLoS Computational Biology, and Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication.

Research Description

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. 

Distinctions / Awards

  • NIH Transformative Award, 2017-2022
  • Endowed Chair of Biochemistry, 2016-
  • MCB Faculty Excellence Award, 2016
  • University of Illinois Scholar, 2015-2018
  • UIUC top tenure packages of the year, 2010

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Sun, C, S. Benlekbir, P. Venkatakrishnan, Y. Wang, S. Hong, J. Hosler, E. Tajkhorshid, J. L. Rubinstein, and R. B. Gennis Structure of the Alternative Complex III in a supercomplex with cytochrome oxidase Nature International Journal of Science 557 2018, p. 123-126.
Wen, P-C, J. M. Vanegas, S. B. Rempe, and E. Tajkhorshid Probing key elements of teixobactin-lipid II interactions in membrane Chemical Science 9 34 2018, p. 6997-7008.
Jiang, T, K. Yu, H. C. Hartzell, and E. Tajkhorshid Lipids and Ions Traverse the Membrane by the Same Physical Pathway in the nhTMEM16 Scramblase eLife 2017.
Chen, S, Y. Zhao, Y. Wang, M. Shekhar, E. Tajkhorshid, and E. Gouaux Activation and Desensitization Mechanism of AMPA Receptor-TARP Complex by Cryo-EM Science Direct 170 6 2017, p. 1234-1246.
Verhalen, B, R. Dastvan, S. Thangapandian, Y. Peskova, H. A. Koteiche, R. K. Nakamoto, E. Tajkhorshid, and H. S. Mchaourab Energy Transduction and Alternating Access of the mammalian ABC Transporter P-glycoprotein Nature International Journal of Science 543 2017, p. 738-741.
Zeng, F, Y. Chen, J. Remis, M. S. Shekhar, J. C. Phillips, E. Tajkhorshid, and H. Jin Structural Basis of Co-translational Quality Control by ArfA and RF2 Binding to Ribosome Nature International Journal of Science 541 2017, p. 554-557.
Arcario, M. J, C. G. Mayne, and E. Tajkhorshid A membrane-embedded pathway delivers general anesthetics to two interacting binding sites in the Gloeobacter violaceus Ion Channel Journal of Biological Chemistry 292 23 2017, p. 9480-9492.
Mansoor, S. E, W. Lü, W. Oosterheert, M. Shekhar, E. Tajkhorshid, and E. Gouaux X-ray structures of human P2X3 receptor define complete gating cycle and antagonist action Nature International Journal of Science 538 2016, p. 66-71.