Cleveland Center for Membrane and Structural Biology names new director

After an international search, the Department of Pharmacology announced Phoebe L. Stewart, PhD, as director of the Cleveland Center for Membrane and Structural Biology (CCMSB), effective Nov. 1. Stewart comes to Case Western Reserve University after working as a professor of molecular physiology and biophysics and associate director of the Center for Structural Biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She previously was assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA School of Medicine.

Stewart brings a wealth of expertise in cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) and three-dimensional image reconstruction. She is recognized for her work on the structure of human adenovirus, a valuable viral vector for advancing cell biology as well as gene therapy and vector-based vaccine applications. She has also applied cryo-EM structural methods to visualize DNA repair enzymes, small heat-shock proteins, and circadian clock complexes. A major focus of her research is in developing hybrid structural methods, which involve combining cryo-EM structural data with information derived from x-ray crystallography, NMR, SAXS, EPR, and de novo protein structure predictions. In 2012, Stewart will serve as chair of the International Conference on Structural Analysis of Supramolecular Assemblies by Hybrid Methods.

Stewart received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Harvard University and her doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.