Jonathan Sachs

Jonathan Sachs

Jonathan Sachs

Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering


Nils Hasselmo Hall
Room 7-126
312 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


  • BS, Mathematical Biochemistry, University of Michigan, 1996

  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2003

  • NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University, March 2004 - August 2006

Research Interests

The Sachs Lab is making innovative discoveries at the molecular scale. The work combines experimental biophysics and cell biology with sophisticated computational modeling using some of the world’s fastest supercomputers to explain how molecules malfunction in inflammatory diseases like arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. We use that new knowledge to develop cutting edge approaches to discover new therapeutic strategies, including small molecule drug discovery and protein engineering.

Selected Publications

Lewis, A. K., Valley, C. C., and Sachs, J. N. (2012) TNFR1 signaling is associated with backbone conformational changes of receptor dimers consistent with over-activation in the R92Q TRAPS mutant, Biochemistry In Press.

Valley, C. C., and Cembran, A., and Lewis, A. K., and Gao, J., and Sachs, J.N. (2012) The methionine-aromatic motif plays a unique role in stabilizing protein structure, J. Biol. Chem In Press.

Valley, C.C., Lewis, A.K., Mudaliar, D.J., Perlmutter, J.D., Braun, A.R., Karim, C.B., Thomas, D.D, Brody, J.R. and Sachs, J.N. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces Death Receptor 5 networks that are highly organized. J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 15;287(25):21265-78.

Braun, A.R., Sevcsik, E., Chin, P., Rhoades, E., Tristram-Nagle, S., and Sachs, J.N. α-Synuclein induces both positive mean curvature and negative Gaussian curvature in membranes. J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Feb 8; 134(5):2613-20.

Valley, C.C., Perlmutter, J.D., Braun, A.R., and Sachs, J.N. NaCl interactions with phosphatidylcholine bilayers do not alter membrane structure, but induce long-range ordering of ions and water. J Membrane Biology. 2011 Nov; 244(1):35-42.

Braun, A.R., Sachs, J.N. Extracting experimental measurables from molecular dynamics simulations of membranes. Annual Reports in Computational Chemistry, ARCC Vol 7, Chapter 6.

Perlmutter, J.D., Drasler W.J., Xie W., Gao J., Popot J.L., and Sachs J.N. All-atom and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of a membrane protein stabilizing polymer. Langmuir. 2011 Sep 6;27(17):10523-37.

Perlmutter, J.D., Sachs, J.N. Inter-Leaflet Interaction and Asymmetry in Phase Separated Lipid Bilayers: Molecular Dynamics Simulations. J Am Chem Soc. 2011 May 4;133(17):6563-77.

Braun, A.R., Brandt, E., Edholm, O., Nagle, J.F., and Sachs, J.N. Determination of Electron Density Profiles and Area from Simulations of Undulating Membranes. Biophys J. 2011 May 4;100(9):2112-20.

Brandt, E., Braun, A.R., Sachs, J.N., Nagle, J.F., and Edholm, O. Interpretation of Fluctuation Spectra in Lipid Bilayer Simulations. Biophys J. 2011 May 4;100(9):2104-11.

Perlmutter, JD., Sachs, JN. Inhibiting Lateral Domain Formation in Lipid Bilayers: Simulations of Alternative Steroid Headgroup Chemistries. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009 131:16362–16363.

Perlmutter, JD., Sachs, JN. Experimental verification of lipid bilayer structure through multi-scale modeling. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Biomembr. 2009 1788:2284-2990.

Perlmutter, JD., Braun, AR, and Sachs, JN. Curvature Dynamics of alpha-Synuclein Familial Parkinson’s Disease Mutants: Molecular Simulations of the Micelle-and Bilayer-Bound Forms. J. Biol. Chem. 2009 284: 7177-7189.

Kucerka, N., Perlmutter J., Pan J., Tristram-Nagle S., Katsaras J. and Sachs JN. The effect of cholesterol on short- and long-chain monounsaturated lipid bilayers as determined by molecular dynamics simulations and x-ray scattering. Biophys. J. 2008. 95:2792-2805.