Ilya Finkelstein


Dr. Ilya Finkelstein received his B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University with Professor Michael D. Fayer.  In 2007, he joined the group of Prof. Eric C. Greene at Columbia University Medical Center as an NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow.  A unifying theme of Dr. Finkelstein’s research career is the development and application of biophysical methods that can observe proteins as they undergo their physiological functions in real time.

Dr. Finkelstein’s research interests at the University of Texas at Austin focus on understanding how our cells are able to stave off genomic instability and avoid cancer. Genomic instability, which arises from defects in DNA-maintenance pathways, is a defining feature of most cancers. Dr. Finkelstein's highly interdisciplinary research program combines aspects of single-molecule biophysics, traditional biochemistry and micro-/nano-scale engineering to directly observe the key biochemical steps of DNA maintenance, including repair, replication and transcription. His research addresses fundamental questions regarding how cells coordinate multi-protein molecular machines and how these machines function on a highly condensed DNA-protein substrate.


 Lee J*, Finkelstein IJ*, Sherratt DJ and Greene, EC. Single molecule imaging of DNA curtains reveals mechanisms of KOPS sequence targeting by the DNA translocation by FtsK. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2012; 109: 6531-6536.    * Co-first authorship.

Finkelstein IJ and Greene, EC. Supported lipid-bilayers and DNA curtains for high-throughput single-molecule studies. Methods in Molec. Biol. 2011; 745:447-61.

Finkelstein IJ, Visnapuu ML, Greene EC. Single-molecule imaging reveals mechanisms of protein disruption by a DNA translocase. Nature. 2010; 468: 983-987.


Figure 1.  DNA Curtain with individual RNA Polymerase molecules (magenta)