UW Nanopore Biophysics

University of Washington Department of Physics
3910 15th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98195


Jens Gundlach

principal investigator

After beginning his career as a nuclear physicist, Jens moved into precision gravitational physics. His gravity experiments provided the most precise measurement of the fundamental gravitational constant to date, and continue to test for deviations from general relativity that might provide clues about a theory of everything, unifying the standard model and gravitation. Inspired by the immediate impact of his wife's work in medicine, Jens started the nanopore lab in 2006 with one of his gravity graduate students, and quickly discovered that the most of the fundamental skills required of scientists are identical across different fields. He continues to lead both groups, and to this day is one of the only biology/gravity combination experimentalists in the world.


Jonathan Craig


After finishing his undergraduate education at UC Santa Cruz studying physics, mathematics, and astronomy, Jon joined the UW nanopore lab in 2013 as a graduate student and began working on the developing foundations of SPRNT, and using SPRNT to study the helicase Hel308. Jon obtained his PhD in physics in 2017, and has continued to study helicase dynamics using SPRNT as a postdoc. Jon is also developing nanopore methods for single-molecule detection of unnatural base pairs in DNA using nanopore sequencing methods.


Andrew Laszlo


Andrew completed his PhD from the nanopore lab in 2014, with a focus on nanopore DNA sequencing and using nanopores to detect epigenetic modifications such as 5-methylcytosine without chemical modification. Now as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab, his primary research interests are in further development and application of SPRNT to new enzymes.


Henry Brinkerhoff

graduate student

Henry graduated with a BS in physics from University of Pittsburgh in 2011. He joined the nanopore lab as a technician in 2012, and transitioned to the physics PhD program in 2014. Much of his work has been on analysis methods for nanopore data, using statistics, machine learning and dynamic programming to create many of the workhorse tools used by the lab for SPRNT and sequencing. He has also worked extensively on a new, more accurate method for nanopore DNA sequencing, and presently is using single molecule biophysics techniques to measure the force applied by the nanopore to DNA.


Sinduja Marx

graduate student

Sinduja graduated with a BS in Bioengineering from University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining the nanopore lab, she worked with nanopore sequencing platforms in industry. She joined the Molecular Engineering PhD program to work on building de novo nanopores from first principles in conjunction with the Baker Lab. Much of her time is spent designing protein pores using Rosetta, a macromolecular modelling software, testing their function by expressing them in E. Coli and incorporating them in lipid bilayers.

Matthew Noakes

graduate student

Matthew joined the nanopore lab in 2014 as a physics PhD student after completing his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley. His research aims to use a deep biophysical understanding of the nanopore system to design new experimental methods and data analysis techniques for high accuracy nanopore sequencing. He is also working on developing bioinformatics tools tailored to nanopore sequencing data.


Ian Nova

graduate student

Ian is a PhD candidate in Molecular Engineering and Sciences. He has been a member of the lab since 2011, working first as an undergrad researcher, then technician, and now graduate student. He is using SPRNT to investigate the kinetics and mechanics of RNA polymerase.


Katherine Baker


Katherine joined the nanopore lab as an undergraduate research assistant in 2015. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2017 with a BS in physics and biochemistry. She continues to work for the lab as a technician, and can be found running experiments, working on hardware, and using her machining skills to fabricate the newest nanopore devices.


Jasmine Bowman


Joining the lab in October 2016, Jasmine is currently working as a nanopore laboratory technician and is vital to data collection and sample preparation for our nanopore sequencing experiments.


Jonathan Mount


Joining the group in 2016, Jonathan is a technician who performs the single-molecule DNA translocation experiments essential to SPRNT. His duties include biochemistry to create custom nucleic acid constructs, materials preparation and experimental troubleshooting.


Jesse Huang


Jesse is an undergraduate researcher in physics and applied mathematics at UW, expecting to graduate in 2018.