Welcome to the Laboratory of Enrique M. De La Cruz in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University.  Identifying the chemical and physical principles of work production by molecular motor protein enzymes and polymers has emerged as a major area in contemporary Biochemistry and Biophysics.  Our research program integrates experimental approach of comprehensive kinetic and thermodynamic analyses of catalytic reaction pathways and mechanical properties of biopolymers with computational and mathematical modeling, and image analysis to develop and test predictive models of work output by molecular motor proteins, enzyme function and adaptation, and biopolymer fragmentation and assembly.  Our work has revealed how enzymatic adaptations among evolutionary related molecular motor proteins determine their biological function, and how cells regulate the length and assembly dynamics of polymers that drive cell movement and other vital activities.  Our research is interdisciplinary, and our different backgrounds include biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, but we all have fun here.

Our current and future efforts focus primarily in three areas:

  1. identifying the molecular origins of actin filament elasticity and the mechanical basis of filament severing by regulatory proteins;
  2. defining how ATP utilization by DEAD-box proteins (DBPs) is coupled to duplex rRNA unwinding and RNA export;
  3. determining the catalytic pathways, specificities and biological activities of nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPP) enzymes.


Enrique De La Cruz is recognized among 100 inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in US
September 18, 2020
On Sep. 15, 2020, Prof. Enrique De La Cruz is among 100 scientists recognized as Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America by Cell Press. A big congratulations to...
September 27, 2016
One of two MB&B professors to win prestigious awards from the Biophysical Society this year, Enrique De La Cruz received the Emily Gray award for his “tireless efforts as...