Lab Members

Andrew Kruse

Principal Investigator

Research in my lab aims to elucidate the molecular basis of transmembrane signaling through the use of biochemistry, pharmacological studies, and structural biology. We are particularly interested in signaling pathways with connections to human health and disease, including G protein-coupled receptors and other transmembrane receptors. In the long term, we aim to leverage a detailed molecular understanding of these pathways to facilitate the development of new and better therapeutics.

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Assaf Alon

Postdoctoral Fellow

Assaf studied for his PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, under the supervision of Prof. Deborah Fass. His studies focused on elucidating the catalytic mechanism of the disulfide catalyst Quiescin-Sulfhydryl Oxidase (QSOX) by X-ray crystallography, FRET, and other biophysical methods. After receiving his PhD in 2012, Assaf joined the lab of Dr. Sarel Fleishman, also at the Weizmann, for a short postdoc aimed at switching species preference of antibodies using computational design. Assaf joined the Kruse lab in January 2016. Assaf is married and has two kids, a boy and a girl. In his free time he enjoys reading, cooking, and hiking with his family

Anthony Banks


Anthony is from Ireland, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in experimental physics at University College Dublin. After moving to Chicago in 2009 he did a Master’s degree in applied physics at DePaul University, then 4 years as a biophysics research assistant at Florida State University. Anthony is married and he and his wife have two dogs. He has also worked as a painter, in the retail industry, in bars, and done door-to-door sales.  He enjoys sports, music, reading, swimming, and spending time with his wife.

Clare Canavan

Graduate Student

Clare graduated from Georgetown University in 2018 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. There, she studied transcriptional regulation by the cAMP Receptor Protein in Dr. Rodrigo Maillard’s lab. She joined the Chemical Biology program in 2019 and is jointly mentored by Dan Kahne. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing and spending time with friends. 


Sarah Erlandson

Graduate Student

Sarah graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2015, where she studied the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of the Wrap53 gene in the lab of Prof. David Reisman. After graduating from USC, she became a graduate student in the BBS program and joined the Kruse lab in 2016. 

Morgan Gilman

Postdoctoral Fellow

Morgan received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Dartmouth College under the supervision of Dr. Jason McLellan. Her thesis research centered on determining the molecular mechanisms of the interactions between viral fusion glycoproteins and the host humoral immune system, with a primary focus on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). She joined the Kruse lab in August 2019. 

Conor McMahon

Postdoctoral Fellow

Conor received a Ph.D. from Princeton University under the advisement of Fred Hughson. While there, his work focused on characterizing trafficking proteins using structural and genetic methods. His research in the Kruse Lab focuses on engineering novel nanobodies for use as molecular tools and potential therapeutic agents.

Irina Shlosman

Graduate Student
Irina graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016, majoring in biophysical chemistry. In college, she worked in the lab of Prof. Jon Kull studying transcriptional regulation of virulence in Y. pestis. She then moved to Bethesda for a two-year fellowship at the NIH to study transporter mechanism and function, jointly supervised by Dr. José Faraldo-Gómez and Dr. Joe Mindell. Following her time at the NIH, she became a graduate student at the Biophysics program at Harvard and joined the Kruse and Loparo groups in 2019 to work on elucidating the mechanism and regulation of cell wall biogenesis with single-molecule imaging. In her spare time, Irina loves climbing, backpacking with friends and reading soulful Russian classics.

Meredith Skiba

Postdoctoral Fellow

Katherine Susa

Graduate Student

Katherine graduated from Williams College in 2015 with a B.A. in Chemistry. At Williams, she conducted research on a stress response sigma factor in Streptomyces coelicolor. After graduating, she moved to the Bay Area to work at a biotech company, and then moved back to the east coast to become a student in the Chemical Biology program. She joined the Kruse Lab in 2017 and is jointly mentored by Steve Blacklow.

Niranjan Varma

Postdoctoral Fellow
Niranjan received his doctorate in Biology from ETH Zurich, Switzerland under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gebhard F.X. Schertler at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerland. His thesis focused on the structural and spectroscopic characterization of photosensitive G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Niranjan joined the Kruse lab in December, 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow and is focussed on understanding. In his spare time, he enjoys astronomy, skiing, sports, and photography.