C. James McKnight, PhD

Associate Provost and Dean, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences

C. McKnight
700 Albany St Ctr for Adv Biomed Res


My expertise is in protein structure, function, dynamics and folding and chemistry. Methods used include molecular biology, chromatography, NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, UV/Vis and circular dichroism spectroscopy, electron microscopy, molecular modeling and dynamics. We look at actin binding proteins (especially those containing villin-type headpiece domains) and lipid binding proteins including apolipoprotein B, the essential protein component of low density lipoprotein (LDL, the bad cholesterol) whose elevated levels are correlated with atherosclerosis, stroke, heart and cardiovascular disease.

Other Positions

  • Associate Professor, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, PhD
  • University of Delaware, MA
  • Washington College, BS

Classes Taught

  • DMD 514 & OHS 730
  • GMS FC713
  • GMSFC711
  • GMSPH731
  • MS 147


  • Published on 1/4/2024

    Vugmeyster L, Ostrovsky D, Rodgers A, Gwin K, Smirnov SL, McKnight CJ, Fu R. Persistence of Methionine Side Chain Mobility at Low Temperatures in a Nine-Residue Low Complexity Peptide, as Probed by 2 H Solid-State NMR. Chemphyschem. 2024 Feb 16; 25(4):e202300565. PMID: 38175858.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/14/2023

    Vugmeyster L, Nichols PJ, Ostrovsky D, McKnight CJ, Vögeli B. Slow methyl axes motions in perdeuterated villin headpiece subdomain probed by cross-correlated NMR relaxation measurements. Magnetochemistry. 2023 Jan; 9(1). PMID: 36776538.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/26/2020

    Nichols PJ, Falconer I, Griffin A, Mant C, Hodges R, McKnight CJ, Vögeli B, Vugmeyster L. Deuteration of nonexchangeable protons on proteins affects their thermal stability, side-chain dynamics, and hydrophobicity. Protein Sci. 2020 07; 29(7):1641-1654. PMID: 32356390.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/18/2018

    Vugmeyster L, Griffin A, Ostrovsky D, Bhattacharya S, Nichols PJ, McKnight CJ, Vögeli B. Correlated motions of C'-N and Ca-Cß pairs in protonated and per-deuterated GB3. J Biomol NMR. 2018 Oct; 72(1-2):39-54. PMID: 30121872.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/21/2018

    Miears HL, Gruber DR, Horvath NM, Antos JM, Young J, Sigurjonsson JP, Klem ML, Rosenkranz EA, Okon M, McKnight CJ, Vugmeyster L, Smirnov SL. Plant Villin Headpiece Domain Demonstrates a Novel Surface Charge Pattern and High Affinity for F-Actin. Biochemistry. 2018 03 20; 57(11):1690-1701. PMID: 29444403.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/27/2017

    Xiao R, Dane EL, Zeng J, McKnight CJ, Grinstaff MW. Synthesis of Altrose Poly-amido-saccharides with ß-N-(1?2)-d-amide Linkages: A Right-Handed Helical Conformation Engineered in at the Monomer Level. J Am Chem Soc. 2017 10 11; 139(40):14217-14223. PMID: 28902504.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/13/2017

    Falconer IB, Mant CT, McKnight CJ, Vugmeyster L, Hodges R. Optimized purification of a fusion protein by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography informed by the linear solvent strength model. J Chromatogr A. 2017 Oct 27; 1521:44-52. PMID: 28942999.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/12/2016

    Chin SL, Lu Q, Dane EL, Dominguez L, McKnight CJ, Straub JE, Grinstaff MW. Combined Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Experimental Studies of the Structure and Dynamics of Poly-Amido-Saccharides. J Am Chem Soc. 2016 05 25; 138(20):6532-40. PMID: 27119983.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/29/2015

    Harpole KW, O'Brien ES, Clark MA, McKnight CJ, Vugmeyster L, Wand AJ. The unusual internal motion of the villin headpiece subdomain. Protein Sci. 2016 Feb; 25(2):423-32. PMID: 26473993.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/12/2015

    Raina D, Agarwal P, Lee J, Bharti A, McKnight CJ, Sharma P, Kharbanda S, Kufe D. Characterization of the MUC1-C Cytoplasmic Domain as a Cancer Target. PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0135156. PMID: 26267657.

    Read at: PubMed

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