Skip to main content

Department ofBiology


Michelle E. McCully

Assistant Professor


B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis

Ph.D. in Bioengineering, University of Washington

IRACDA Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California San Francisco

McCully Lab Web Page 

Research and Teaching Interests

My research at Santa Clara University investigates how proteins function and move. Proteins are large molecules made in all organisms and perform countless jobs in cells. I am particularly interested in the differences between the proteins that organisms make naturally and proteins that scientists design in the lab. The McCully Lab uses a combination of experimental and theoretical techniques to investigate the relationships between these proteins’ shapes, movements, and functions.

Teaching biology using innovative techniques is one of my passions. My students are active in the classroom, solving problems and discussing biological phenomena in groups. I encourage students to connect their own experiences to the biological processes they are studying, and they regularly discuss the importance of increasing gender, racial, and socioeconomic diversity in the fields of science and medicine.


BIOL 18 - Exploring Biotechnology L&L

BIOL 25 - Investigations in Cellular and Molecular Biology Lab

BIOL 172 - Molecular Modeling


Wang D, McCully ME, Luo Z, McMichael J, Tu AY, Daggett V, Regnier M. Structural and Functional Consequences of Cardiac Troponin C L57Q and I61Q Ca 2+ -Desensitizing Variants. Arch Biochem Biophys. 535:68-75, 2013.

McCully ME, Beck DAC, Daggett V. Promiscuous contacts and heightened dynamics increase thermostability in an engineered variant of the Engrailed Homeodomain. Prot Eng Des Sel. 26:35- 45, 2013.

McCully ME, Beck DAC, Daggett V. Multimolecule test-tube simulations of protein unfolding and aggregation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 109:17851-17856, 2012.

McCully ME and Daggett V. Folding and Dynamics of Engineered Proteins. In Protein Engineering Handbook, vol. III. Eds. Lutz S and Bornscheuer UT. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. pp. 89-114, 2012.

Wang D, Robertson I, Li M, McCully ME, Crane ML, Luo Z, Tu AY, Daggett V, Sykes B, Regnier M. Structural and functional consequences of the cardiac troponin C L48Q Ca 2+ -sensitizing mutation. Biochemistry. 51:4473-4487, 2012

Morrone A, McCully ME, Bryan PN, Brunori M, Daggett V, Gianni S, Travaglini-Allocatelli C. The denatured state dictates the topology of two proteins with almost identical sequence but different native structure and function. J Biol Chem. 286:3863-3872, 2011.

McCully ME, Beck DAC, Fersht AR, Daggett V. Refolding the Engrailed Homeodomain: Structural Basis for the Accumulation of a Folding Intermediate. Biophys J. 99: 1628-1636, 2010.

Bean GJ, Flickinger ST, Westler W, McCully ME, Sept D, Weibel DB, Amann KJ. A22 disrupts the bacterial actin cytoskeleton by directly binding and inducing a low-affinity state in MreB. Biochemistry. 48: 4852-7, 2009.

McCully ME, Beck DAC, Daggett V. Microscopic reversibility of protein folding in molecular dynamics simulations of the engrailed homeodomain. Biochemistry. 47: 7079-7089, 2008.

Kim K,* McCully ME,* Bhattacharya N, Butler B, Sept D, Cooper JA. Structure/function analysis of the interaction of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate with actin-capping protein: implications for how capping protein binds the actin filament. J Biol Chem. 282: 5871-5879, 2007.

*Authors contributed equally to this work