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Tobias S Ulmer, PhD
Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute
ZNI 111 1501 San Pablo Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 4326


Dr. Ulmer received his PhD from the University of Oxford after completing his undergraduate work at the University of Zurich. After completing postdoctoral work at NIH, Dr. Ulmer establishes his research group at the University of Southern California (USC).

His research program centers on elucidating the molecular mechanism underlying physiological function and pathological dysfunction, respectively, of biological processes at atomic resolution. Specifically, the three-dimensional structure of proteins, their dynamics as well as protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions are determined. As a principal research tool, high-resolution, multidimensional solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is employed. His overarching interest is devoted to the structural biology of proteins that are either membrane embedded or membrane surface-bound.

Specifically, his laboratory focuses on understanding
(1) the structural basis of transmembrane signaling in cell surface receptors, and
(2) the mechanism of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 regulation.


Schmidt T, Ye F, Situ AJ, An W, Ginsberg MH, Ulmer TS. A Conserved Ectodomain-Transmembrane Domain Linker Motif Tunes the Allosteric Regulation of Cell Surface Receptors. J Biol Chem. 2016 Aug 19; 291(34):17536-46. View in: PubMed

Kim K, Punj V, Kim JM, Lee S, Ulmer TS, Lu W, Rice JC, An W. MMP-9 facilitates selective proteolysis of the histone H3 tail at genes necessary for proficient osteoclastogenesis. Genes Dev. 2016 Jan 15; 30(2):208-19. View in: PubMed

Schmidt T, Situ AJ, Ulmer TS. Structural and thermodynamic basis of proline-induced transmembrane complex stabilization. Sci Rep. 2016; 6:29809. View in: PubMed

Kim JM, Kim K, Schmidt T, Punj V, Tucker H, Rice JC, Ulmer TS, An W. Cooperation between SMYD3 and PC4 drives a distinct transcriptional program in cancer cells. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Oct 15; 43(18):8868-83. View in: PubMed

Rinaldi C, Schmidt T, Situ AJ, Johnson JO, Lee PR, Chen KL, Bott LC, Fadó R, Harmison GH, Parodi S, Grunseich C, Renvoisé B, Biesecker LG, De Michele G, Santorelli FM, Filla A, Stevanin G, Dürr A, Brice A, Casals N, Traynor BJ, Blackstone C, Ulmer TS, Fischbeck KH. Mutation in CPT1C Associated With Pure Autosomal Dominant Spastic Paraplegia. JAMA Neurol. 2015 May 1; 72(5):561-70. View in: PubMed

Schmidt T, Suk JE, Ye F, Situ AJ, Mazumder P, Ginsberg MH, Ulmer TS. Annular Anionic Lipids Stabilize the Integrin aIIbß3 Transmembrane Complex. J Biol Chem. 2015 Mar 27; 290(13):8283-93. View in: PubMed

Kim JM, Kim K, Punj V, Liang G, Ulmer TS, Lu W, An W. Linker histone H1. 2 establishes chromatin compaction and gene silencing through recognition of H3K27me3. Sci Rep. 2015; 5:16714. View in: PubMed

Situ AJ, Schmidt T, Mazumder P, Ulmer TS. Characterization of membrane protein interactions by isothermal titration calorimetry. J Mol Biol. 2014 Oct 23; 426(21):3670-80. View in: PubMed

Lokappa SB, Suk JE, Balasubramanian A, Samanta S, Situ AJ, Ulmer TS. Sequence and Membrane Determinants of the Random Coil-Helix Transition of a-Synuclein. J Mol Biol. 2014 May 15; 426(10):2130-44. View in: PubMed

Samanta S, Situ AJ, Ulmer TS. Structural characterization of the regulatory domain of brain carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1. Biopolymers. 2014 Apr; 101(4):398-405. View in: PubMed

Mazumder P, Suk JE, Ulmer TS. Insight into a-Synuclein Plasticity and Misfolding from Differential Micelle Binding. J Phys Chem B. 2013 Oct 3; 117(39):11448-59. View in: PubMed

Suk JE, Situ AJ, Ulmer TS. Construction of covalent membrane protein complexes and high-throughput selection of membrane mimics. J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jun 6; 134(22):9030-3. View in: PubMed

Sahu D, Zhao Z, Tsen F, Cheng CF, Park R, Situ AJ, Dai J, Eginli A, Shams S, Chen M, Ulmer TS, Conti P, Woodley DT, Li W. A potentially common peptide target in secreted heat shock protein-90a for hypoxia-inducible factor-1a-positive tumors. Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Feb; 23(4):602-13. View in: PubMed

Kim C, Schmidt T, Cho EG, Ye F, Ulmer TS, Ginsberg MH. Basic amino-acid side chains regulate transmembrane integrin signalling. Nature. 2012 Jan 12; 481(7380):209-13. View in: PubMed

Rao JN, Warren GZ, Estolt-Povedano S, Zammit VA, Ulmer TS. An Environment-dependent Structural Switch Underlies the Regulation of Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase 1A. J Biol Chem. 2011 Dec 9; 286(49):42545-54. View in: PubMed

Lokappa SB, Ulmer TS. Alpha-synuclein populates both elongated and broken helix states on small unilamellar vesicles. J Biol Chem. 2011 Jun 17; 286(24):21450-7. View in: PubMed

Jeong KW, Kim K, Situ AJ, Ulmer TS, An W, Stallcup MR. Recognition of enhancer element-specific histone methylation by TIP60 in transcriptional activation. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2011; 18(12):1358-65. View in: PubMed

Rao JN, Jao CC, Hegde BG, Langen R, Ulmer TS. A combinatorial NMR and EPR approach for evaluating the structural ensemble of partially folded proteins. J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Jun 30; 132(25):8657-68. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS. Structural basis of transmembrane domain interactions in integrin signaling. Cell Adh Migr. 2010 Apr-Jun; 4(2):243-8. View in: PubMed

Suk JE, Lokappa SB, Ulmer TS. The clustering and spatial arrangement of beta-sheet sequence, but not order, govern alpha-synuclein fibrillogenesis. Biochemistry. 2010 Feb 23; 49(7):1533-40. View in: PubMed

Rao JN, Kim YE, Park LS, Ulmer TS. Effect of pseudorepeat rearrangement on alpha-synuclein misfolding, vesicle binding, and micelle binding. J Mol Biol. 2009 Jul 17; 390(3):516-29. View in: PubMed

Kim C, Lau TL, Ulmer TS, Ginsberg MH. Interactions of platelet integrin alphaIIb and beta3 transmembrane domains in mammalian cell membranes and their role in integrin activation. Blood. 2009 May 7; 113(19):4747-53. View in: PubMed

Lau TL, Kim C, Ginsberg MH, Ulmer TS. The structure of the integrin alphaIIbbeta3 transmembrane complex explains integrin transmembrane signalling. EMBO J. 2009 May 6; 28(9):1351-61. View in: PubMed

Lau TL, Dua V, Ulmer TS. Structure of the integrin alphaIIb transmembrane segment. J Biol Chem. 2008 Jun 6; 283(23):16162-8. View in: PubMed

Rao JN, Dua V, Ulmer TS. Characterization of alpha-synuclein interactions with selected aggregation-inhibiting small molecules. Biochemistry. 2008 Apr 22; 47(16):4651-6. View in: PubMed

Lau TL, Partridge AW, Ginsberg MH, Ulmer TS. Structure of the integrin beta3 transmembrane segment in phospholipid bicelles and detergent micelles. Biochemistry. 2008 Apr 1; 47(13):4008-16. View in: PubMed

Mac TT, von Hacht A, Hung KC, Dutton RJ, Boyd D, Bardwell JC, Ulmer TS. Insight into disulfide bond catalysis in Chlamydia from the structure and function of DsbH, a novel oxidoreductase. J Biol Chem. 2008 Jan 11; 283(2):824-32. View in: PubMed

Hung KC, Mac TT, Ulmer TS. NMR assignment of the periplasmic oxidoreductase DsbH from Chlamydia. Biomol NMR Assign. 2007 Dec; 1(2):195-6. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS, Bax A. Comparison of structure and dynamics of micelle-bound human alpha-synuclein and Parkinson disease variants. J Biol Chem. 2005 Dec 30; 280(52):43179-87. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS, Bax A, Cole NB, Nussbaum RL. Structure and dynamics of micelle-bound human alpha-synuclein. J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 11; 280(10):9595-603. View in: PubMed

Jaroniec CP, Ulmer TS, Bax A. Quantitative J correlation methods for the accurate measurement of 13C'-13Calpha dipolar couplings in proteins. J Biomol NMR. 2004 Oct; 30(2):181-94. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS, Campbell ID, Boyd J. Amide proton relaxation measurements employing a highly deuterated protein. J Magn Reson. 2004 Feb; 166(2):190-201. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS, Soelaiman S, Li S, Klee CB, Tang WJ, Bax A. Calcium dependence of the interaction between calmodulin and anthrax edema factor. J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 1; 278(31):29261-6. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS, Ramirez BE, Delaglio F, Bax A. Evaluation of backbone proton positions and dynamics in a small protein by liquid crystal NMR spectroscopy. J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Jul 30; 125(30):9179-91. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS, Calderwood DA, Ginsberg MH, Campbell ID. Domain-specific interactions of talin with the membrane-proximal region of the integrin beta3 subunit. Biochemistry. 2003 Jul 15; 42(27):8307-12. View in: PubMed

García-Alvarez B, de Pereda JM, Calderwood DA, Ulmer TS, Critchley D, Campbell ID, Ginsberg MH, Liddington RC. Structural determinants of integrin recognition by talin. Mol Cell. 2003 Jan; 11(1):49-58. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS, Campbell ID, Boyd J. The effects of dissolved oxygen upon amide proton relaxation and chemical shift in a perdeuterated protein. J Magn Reson. 2002 Aug; 157(2):181-9. View in: PubMed

Ulmer TS, Werner JM, Campbell ID. SH3-SH2 domain orientation in Src kinases: NMR studies of Fyn. Structure. 2002 Jul; 10(7):901-11. View in: PubMed

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