Min Su, Ph.D.

I am interested in advancing understanding of structure-function relationships of toxins and enzymes such as Helicobacter pylori VacA and Cytochrome P450 using Cryo-EM. A better understanding of these structures will increase our knowledge of chloride channels in host cell membranes as well as drug metabolism, thus facilitating the development of therapeutics to target these protein-protein interactions.

In addition, I am interested in the technical development of high-tilt image acquisition and CTF determination as a general approach to differentiate protein complex conformational states due to preferred particle orientation in Single-Particle Cryo-EM.

Research Projects

Development of goCTF program: Geometrically-Optimized CTF determination for Single-Particle Cryo-EM. 



  • Research Assistant Scientist, U-M Life Sciences Institute
  • Cryo-EM Resource Director, U-M Life Sciences Institute


  • B.E., Automation, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China
  • M.S.E. , Automation, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China
  • Ph.D., Engineering: Instrumentation and Signal Processing, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China
  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


  • Cristie-David A, Chen J, Nowak D, Park S, Banaszak Holl M, Su M, Marsh ENG. Coiled Coil-Mediated Assembly of an Icosahedral Protein Cage with Extremely High Thermal and Chemical Stability. (Submitted), 2018.
  • Skiba M, Sikkema A, Moss N, Lowell A, Su M, Sturgis R, Gerwick L, Gerwick W, Sherman D, Smith J. Biosynthesis of t-Butyl in Apratoxin A: Functional Analysis and Architecture of a PKS Loading Module. ACS ChemBio. 2018.
  • Zhang H, Yokom AL, Cheng S, Su M, Hollenberg PF, Southworth DR, Osawa Y. The full-length cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP102A1 dimerizes at its reductase domains and has flexible heme domains for efficient catalysis. J Biol Chem. 2018.
  • Badieyan S, Sciore A, Eschweiler JD, Koldewey P, Cristie-David AS, Ruotolo BT, Bardwell JCA, Su M, Marsh ENG. Symmetry-Directed Self-Assembly of a Tetrahedral Protein Cage Mediated by de Novo-Designed Coiled Coils. Chembiochem. 18(19):1888-1892, 2017.
  • Gates SN, Yokom AL, Lin J, Jackrel ME, Rizo AN, Kendsersky NM, Buell CE, Sweeny EA, Mack KL, Chuang E, Torrente MP, Su M, Shorter J, Southworth DR. Ratchet-like polypeptide translocation mechanism of the AAA+ disaggregase Hsp104. Science. 357(6348):273-279. 2017.
  • Su M.*, Guo E.Z. *, Ding X., Li Y., Tarrasch J.T., Brooks C.L., Xu Z., Skiniotis G. Mechanism of Vps4 hexamer function revealed by cryo-EM. Science Advances. 3(4):e1700325. 2017.
  • Yokom AL, Gates SN, Jackrel ME, Mack KL, Su M, Shorter J, Southworth DR. Spiral architecture of the Hsp104 disaggregase reveals the basis for polypeptide translocation. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 23(9):830-7, 2016.
  • Ewens CA, Su M, Zhao L, Nano N, Houry WA, Southworth DR. Architecture and Nucleotide-Dependent Conformational Changes of the Rvb1-Rvb2 AAA+ Complex Revealed by Cryoelectron Microscopy. Structure. 24(5):657-66, 2016.
  • Sciore A, Su M, Koldewey P, Eschweiler JD, Diffley KA, Linhares BM, Ruotolo BT, Bardwell JC, Skiniotis G, Marsh EN. Flexible, symmetry-directed approach to assembling protein cages. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.113(31):8681-6, 2016.
  • Yee A, Oleskie AN, Dosey AM, Kretz CA, Gildersleeve RD, Dutta S, Su M, Ginsburg D, Skiniotis G. Visualization of an N-terminal fragment of von Willebrand factor in complex with factor VIII. Blood. 126(8):939-42, 2015.
  • Shukla AK, Westfield GH, Xiao K, …Su M. (12/29) …, Lefkowitz RJ. Visualization of arrestin recruitment by a G-protein-coupled receptor Nature. 14;512(7513):218-22, 2014.
  • Yokom AL, Morishima Y, Lau M, Su M, Glukhova A, Osawa Y, Southworth DR. Architecture of the nitric-oxide synthase holoenzyme reveals large conformational changes and a calmodulin-driven release of the FMN domain. J Biol Chem. 289(24), 2014.
  • Patterson DP, Su M, Franzmann TM, Sciore A, Skiniotis G, Marsh EN. Characterization of a highly flexible self-assembling protein system designed to form nanocages. Protein Sci. 23(2):190-9, 2014.
  • Su M, Fang L, Su Z. A likelihood and resampling based approach to dichotomizing a continuous biomarker in medical research. J Biopharm Stat. 23(3):637-47. 2013.
  • Strunk B*, Loucks C*, Su M*, Vashisth H, Cheng S, Schilling J, Brook C, Karbstein K, Skiniotis G. Ribosome Assembly Factors Prevent Premature Translation Initiation by 40S Assembly Intermediates. Science. 333(6048):1449-53, 2011.
  • Westfield G*, Rasmussen S*, Su M*, Dutta S*, DeVree B, Chung KY, Calinski D, Velez-Ruiz G, Oleskie A, Woods V, Liu T, Pardon E, Steyaert J, Chae PS, Kobilka B, Sunahara R, Skiniotis G. Structural flexibility of the Gαs α-helical domain in the β2 adrenoceptor Gs complex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 108(38):16086-91, 2011.
  • He Y*, Su M*, Fang PA, Zhang C, Ribbe AE, Jiang W, Mao C. On the Chirality of Self-assembled DNA Octahedra. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 49(4):748-51, 2010.
  • Serwer P, Wright ET, Hakala K, Weintraub ST, Su M, Jiang W. DNA Packaging-Associated Hyper-Capsid Expansion of Bacteriophage T3. J Mol Biol. 397(2):361-74, 2010.
  • Ko SH, Su M, Zhang C, Ribbe AE, Jiang W, Mao C. Synergistic Self-Assembly of RNA and DNA Molecules. Nature Chem. 2(12):1050-1055, 2010.
  • Zhang C, Su M, He Y, Leng Y, Ribbe AE, Wang G, Jiang W, Mao C. Exterior modification of a DNA tetrahedron. Chem Commun. 28;46(36):6792-4. 2010.
  • Zhang C, He Y, Su M, Ko SH, Ye T, Leng Y, Sun X, Ribbe AE, Jiangh W, Mao C. DNA self-assembly: from 2D to 3D. Faraday Discuss. 143:221-33, 2009.
  • Zhang C, Ko SH, Su M, Leng Y, Ribbe AE, Jiang W, and Mao C. Symmetry Controls the Face Geometry of DNA Polyhedra. J Am Chem Soc. 131(4):1413-1415, 2009.
  • Zhang C, Su M, He Y, Zhao X, Fang P, Ribbe E.A., Jiang W and Mao C. Conformational flexibility facilitates self-assembly of complex DNA nanostructures. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.105 (31):10665-9, 2008.
  • He Y, Tao Y, Su M, Zhang C, Ribbe E.A., Jiang W and Mao C. Hierarchical Self-Assembly of DNA into Symmetric Supramolecular Polyhedra. Nature. 42(6):1938-43, 2008.