EPR spectroscopy

The intellectual thrust of the Saxena Group is focused on developing Fourier Transform electron spin resonance and its application to otherwise inaccessible problems in biophysics. The coupling of electron spin angular momentum to its environment – as revealed by the ESR spectrum – provides rich information about the electronic, structural and dynamical properties of the molecule. We are interested in measuring the precise distance between two units in a protein, in order to determine their folding patterns and conformational dynamics. To this end we develop FT-ESR Spectroscopic Rulers – multiple quantum and double resonance ESR experiments – that directly measure distances in the 1 – 7 nm lengthscale. Much of this work is based on the use of first-principles theory to develop new experimental protocols and to analyze experimental results. Our group continues to develop applications of these spectroscopic rulers that range from capturing the essence of structural changes – such as misfolding - in proteins, to measuring the atomic-level details of ion-permeation in a ligand gated ion-channel. We invite you to contact us to explore the diversity of research projects currently underway in our group.


PhD 1997,Cornell University

Postdoctoral Training

1997-1999, California Institute of Technology
1999-2001, University of California at Berkeley


Department of Chemistry
University of Pittsburgh
711 Chevron Science Center
Pittsburgh, PA  15260

Phone: (412) 624-8780
Fax: (412) 624-8611

E-mail: sksaxena@pitt.edu 

Visit lab website