Christopher W. Akey, PhD

Professor, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

Christopher Akey
700 Albany St Ctr for Adv Biomed Res


We are studying the structure and function of macromolecular machines and chaperones. In our work, we use biochemistry and molecular biology coupled with structural electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography and molecular modeling. This hybrid approach allows us to create snapshots of these large assemblies and thus, to infer function from form.

Other Positions

  • Member, Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Cornell University, PhD
  • University of Richmond, BS


  • Published on 9/21/2023

    Akey CW, Echeverria I, Ouch C, Nudelman I, Shi Y, Wang J, Chait BT, Sali A, Fernandez-Martinez J, Rout MP. Implications of a multiscale structure of the yeast nuclear pore complex. Mol Cell. 2023 Sep 21; 83(18):3283-3302.e5. PMID: 37738963.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/3/2022

    Akey CW, Singh D, Ouch C, Echeverria I, Nudelman I, Varberg JM, Yu Z, Fang F, Shi Y, Wang J, Salzberg D, Song K, Xu C, Gumbart JC, Suslov S, Unruh J, Jaspersen SL, Chait BT, Sali A, Fernandez-Martinez J, Ludtke SJ, Villa E, Rout MP. Comprehensive structure and functional adaptations of the yeast nuclear pore complex. Cell. 2022 01 20; 185(2):361-378.e25. PMID: 34982960.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/15/2018

    Dorstyn L, Akey CW, Kumar S. New insights into apoptosome structure and function. Cell Death Differ. 2018 07; 25(7):1194-1208. PMID: 29765111.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/14/2018

    Kim SJ, Fernandez-Martinez J, Nudelman I, Shi Y, Zhang W, Raveh B, Herricks T, Slaughter BD, Hogan JA, Upla P, Chemmama IE, Pellarin R, Echeverria I, Shivaraju M, Chaudhury AS, Wang J, Williams R, Unruh JR, Greenberg CH, Jacobs EY, Yu Z, de la Cruz MJ, Mironska R, Stokes DL, Aitchison JD, Jarrold MF, Gerton JL, Ludtke SJ, Akey CW, Chait BT, Sali A, Rout MP. Integrative structure and functional anatomy of a nuclear pore complex. Nature. 2018 03 22; 555(7697):475-482. PMID: 29539637.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/19/2017

    Mendez DL, Akey IV, Akey CW, Kranz RG. Oxidized or Reduced Cytochrome c and Axial Ligand Variants All Form the Apoptosome in Vitro. Biochemistry. 2017 Jun 06; 56(22):2766-2769. PMID: 28510448.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/1/2016

    Cheng TC, Akey IV, Yuan S, Yu Z, Ludtke SJ, Akey CW. A Near-Atomic Structure of the Dark Apoptosome Provides Insight into Assembly and Activation. Structure. 2017 Jan 03; 25(1):40-52. PMID: 27916517.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/4/2016

    Cheng TC, Hong C, Akey IV, Yuan S, Akey CW. A near atomic structure of the active human apoptosome. Elife. 2016 Oct 04; 5. PMID: 27697150.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/23/2013

    Park E, Ménétret JF, Gumbart JC, Ludtke SJ, Li W, Whynot A, Rapoport TA, Akey CW. Structure of the SecY channel during initiation of protein translocation. Nature. 2014 Feb 6; 506(7486):102-6. PMID: 24153188.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/1/2013

    D'Brot A, Chen P, Vaishnav M, Yuan S, Akey CW, Abrams JM. Tango7 directs cellular remodeling by the Drosophila apoptosome. Genes Dev. 2013 Aug 1; 27(15):1650-5. PMID: 23913920.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/11/2013

    Farelli JD, Gumbart JC, Akey IV, Hempstead A, Amyot W, Head JF, McKnight CJ, Isberg RR, Akey CW. IcmQ in the Type 4b secretion system contains an NAD+ binding domain. Structure. 2013 Aug 6; 21(8):1361-73. PMID: 23850453.

    Read at: PubMed

View 44 more publications: View full profile at BUMC

View all profiles