Oliver Beckstein | People | Beckstein Lab

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Oliver Beckstein

Oliver Beckstein

Oliver Beckstein, Dipl.-Phys., DPhil, is the principal investigator and heads the lab.

He obtained his undergraduate degree (Diplom Physik) from the Department of Physics at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany and his doctoral degree (DPhil – the Oxford version of the PhD) from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, UK. He held a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton College, Oxford and worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Tom Woolf at Johns Hopkins University and Mark Sansom in Oxford. He became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and the Center for Biological Physics at Arizona State University in 2012 and an Associate Professor with tenure in 2018.


DPhil in Biochemistry, Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, University of Oxford, UK. Advisor: Prof. M.S.P. Sansom. Dissertation: Principles of Gating Mechanisms of Ion Channels
Diplom Physik, Department of Physics, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany). Advisor: Prof. O. Pankratov. Thesis: Structural and electronic properties of platinum silicides from ab-initio calculations

Positions and Employment

Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Center for Biological Physics, Arizona State University
Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Center for Biological Physics, Arizona State University
Research Associate with Prof. M.S.P. Sansom, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, UK
Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. T.B. Woolf, Department of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
Junior Research Fellow, Merton College, University of Oxford, UK

Scientific Interests

Computational biophysics: Quantitatively predicting the function and activity of proteins from the knowledge of their structures alone and so to better understand biological phenomena at the molecular level, in particular transmembrane transport processess catalyzed by membrane proteins such as secondary active transporters and ion channels. This work contributes to the fields of structural biology, physiology, nanobiotechnology, and drug discovery. Computational method and software development: Development of novel algorithms to sample and analyze molecular systems and distribution as open source software (e.g. MDAnalysis).