Welcome to the Rhoades lab!

We are interested in understanding the underlying principles that govern the functions of intrinsically disordered proteins and why these proteins are so frequently associated with disease.  To do this, we use single-molecule fluorescence and other biophysical techniques to study protein conformations and dynamics, protein-protein interactions, and protein-membrane interactions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Currently, the proteins of interest to our group include tau, α-synuclein, islet amyloid polypeptide, and troponin.

Single molecule fluorescence – applied to protein molecules that are either diffusing freely through solution (using confocal microscopy) or those localized to a surface (using total internal reflection microscopy) – is an elegant and powerful approach to studying biological molecules and processes.

Lab News

  • May 2024 – Taylor was awarded a Provost’s Graduate Academic Engagement
    Fellowship at the Netter Center.  Way to go, Taylor!
  • May 2024 – Congrats to Taylor and Olivia for passing their candidacy exams!
  • April  2024 – Ibrahim won a Chemistry Department Teaching Award for excellence in teaching! Way to go, Ibrahim!
  • March 2024 – Karen successfully defended her PhD thesis! Way to go, Dr. Acosta!
  • March 2024 – Bernard was awarded theThe Madeleine M. Joullié Excellence in Chemistry Award! Way to go, Bernard!
  • April 2024 –  BMB students Shayna Brotzman and Kamiel Beckley join us
    for research rotations.  Welcome Shayna and Kamiel!
  • February 2024 – Maeve was part of the team that brought home the Ivy
    League Indoor Track & Field title – Way to go Maeve!
  • February 2024 – Emily, Jenny, Chris and Polina presented posters at the
    BPS conference in Philly;  Emily and Chris were selected for Flash talks
    in the IDP subgroup.
  • February 2024 – Emily’s collaborative paper with the Bugaj lab on
    submicroscopic protein clusters was published in Cell Systems.
  • February 2024 – Nima’s collaborative paper  with the Shalem lab   on
    NatB and alpha-synuclein was published in Science Advances.
  • January 2024 – BMB graduate student Paola Miranda Castrodad joined us
    for a rotation – welcome Paola!
  • January 2024 – Chemistry graduate students Bernard and Ibrahim officially join the lab as co-advised students with the Petersson lab. Welcome Bernard and Ibrahim!


  • December 2023 – Olivia earned a spot on the CBI training grant –
    congratulations, Olivia!December 2023 – Lab alumnus Melissa’s paper on alpha-synuclein and neurexin1-beta was published in Molecular Biology of the Cell.
  • December 2023 – Jenny, Emily, and Polina attend the annual BMB Retreat, with Jenny and Emily presenting posters.
  • November 2023 – Chemistry graduate students Abe Eafa and Bernard Abakah join us for a rotation.
  • October 2023 – Jenny’s collaborative review  with the Petersson lab on
    membranes in alpha-synuclein aggregation was published in Biomolecules.
  • October 2023 – Jenny’s collaborative methods paper on approaches for
    making alpha-synuclein with various PTMs (with alumnus Buyan and the
    Pratt and Petersson labs) was published in Methods.
  • October 2023 – The Rhoades and Petersson labs go apple picking and have a BBQ afterwards; check out our new lab photo at the orchard!
  • September 2023 – Chemistry graduate students Ibrahim Saleh and Andy Saks join us for a rotation.
  • August 2023 – The Rhoades lab has its 1st annual day of science retreat, with a hike and happy hour at Wissahickon.
  • August 2023 – Ritobrita Chakraborty joins the lab as a post-doc; welcome Ritobrita!
  • July 2023 – Polina was appointed to the Structural Biology Training grant; way to go Polina!
  • April 2023 – Polina successfully passed her candidacy exam- congrats Polina!
  • April 2023 – Taylor received a departmental teaching award for general chemistry, congrats Taylor!
  • February 2023 – Jenny and Karen attend the BPS conference in San Diego, Jenny gave a poster and Karen gave a talk, way to go girls!
  • January 2023 – BMB graduate student Grace joins us for a rotation.
  • January 2023 – Chemistry graduate students Olivia and Taylor join the lab- Welcome!


  • December 2022 – Jenny received a travel award from BPS- Way to go Jenny!
  • November 2022 – Lab alumnus Sanju’s paper with the Berger lab was published in JBC- Congrats!
  • June 2022 – Undergraduate students Amy and Maeve join the lab for the summer- Welcome!
  • June 2022 – Karen conducted outreach in Puerto Rico with the LRSM PREM program.
  • May 2022 – Emily successfully passed her candidacy exam- way to go Emily!
  • May 2022 – Jenny and Karen received travel awards from the Protein Society for their upcoming conference- way to go Jenny and Karen!
  • April 2022 – Nima received a postdoctoral fellowship award from the Alzheimer’s Association- way to go Nima!
  • April 2022 – Sanju left us for a job as a medical writer at Prescott Communications Group in Chicago- good luck and we will miss you!
  • April 2022- Polina received a teaching award from the department-Way to go!
  • April 2022 – Lab alumnus Buyan won the 2022 Professor John G. Miller Award for the best thesis in the Chemistry Department. Way to go Buyan!
  • January 2022 – Sanju successfully defended her thesis. Congratulations, Dr. Wickramasinghe!


  • December 2021 – Chemistry graduate student, Polina Holubovska, joins the lab- Welcome Polina!
  • December 2021 – Nuno leaves us to return to his research position in Lisboa Portugal- we will miss you Nuno!
  • October 2021 – Chemistry graduate student, Polina Holubovska, joins us for a rotation.
  • October 2021 – Chris Brue joined the lab as a post-doc; he comes from the Meade lab at Northwestern University. Welcome Chris!
  • October 2021 – Buyan left for her post-doc in the Rapoport lab at Harvard- good luck and we will miss you!
  • September 2021 – Chemistry graduate student, Bethann Flint, joins us for a rotation.
  • September 2021 – Fulbright Scholar Nuno Bernardes arrived in lab. He will be studying the role of cellular glycans in cancer using FCS.
  • July 2021 – Buyan successfully defended her thesis. Congratulations, Dr. Pan!
  • July 2021 – Chemistry graduate student, Emily Brackhahn, officially joined the lab.
  • July 2021 – Liz became co-director of the Vagelos Molecular Life Sciences Program.
  • June 2021 – We welcomed undergraduate Amy Wu to the lab to work on neurexin/alpha-synuclein interactions.
  • June 2021 – Buyan was selected to give a talk in the “Molecular Basis of
    Proteinopathies” seminar series. Congratulations, Buyan!
  • May 2021 – Yifan graduated from Haverford. Way to go Yifan! He will be spending the next year doing research in the lab of Fei Chen at the Broad Institute.
  • May 2021 – Karen’s paper with the Sachs lab at University of Minnesota
    was accepted by npj Parkinson’s Disease.
  • May 2021 – Jenny was reappointed to the CBI training grant –
    congratulations Jenny!
  • April 2021 – Chemistry graduate student Emily Brackhahn joined us for a
  • April 2021 – Liz gave a talk in the “Experimental and Computational
    Approaches in Unraveling Mechanisms of Amyloid Formation” session at the
    ACS Meeting. Buyan gave a talk in the Organic Division.
  • April 2021 – Buyan’s paper on phosphorylated alpha-synuclein appeared in
    ChemBioChem – yay Buyan!

See more…