Michael Cianfrocco grew up in a small town in upstate New York and went to undergraduate at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, where he majored in biochemistry. After that, he did his Ph.D. in biophysics in the lab of Eva Nogales at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on single particle cryo-electron microscopy of human transcription factor complexes. Following his graduate work, he pursued postdoctoral research jointly in the labs of Samara Reck-Peterson and Andres Leschziner at University of California, San Diego. During this time, he helped pioneer the use of cloud computing tools for cryo-EM while also discovering a novel mode of dynein regulation by its binding partner Lis1. 
In his own lab, Michael is passionate about exploring cell biology through the lens of microtubule motor protein transport, and how he can use computational tools to streamline and enhance the power of cryo-EM to determine new and exciting structures. 
Office: Room 3163A
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216

Research Areas

  • structural biology
  • cryo-electron microscopy
  • microtubule-based intracelluar transport
  • dynein
  • kinesin
  • single-molecule methods
  • B.S., Biochemistry, Providence College (2007)
  • Ph.D., Biophysics, University of California, Berkeley (2012)
    Advisor: Eva Nogales
  • Postdoctoral fellowships, Depts. of Cell Biology and Molecular & Celluar Biology, Harvard Medical School & Harvard University; Dept. of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego (2013-2017)
    Joint advisors: Samara Reck-Peterson, Andres Leschziner
  • Damon Runyon (HHMI) Cancer Research Foundation Award for postdoctoral research (2013)
  • Biological Sciences Scholar, University of Michigan (2017)