Cliff I. Stains

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor Profile Image

Department of Chemistry
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
409D Hamilton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0304
(402) 472-2617


Postdoctoral, MIT
Ph.D., University of Arizona
B.S., Millersville University

Research Interests

Chemical biology, directed evolution, split-protein reassembly, biomolecular interactions, cell signaling

Current Research

Our laboratory conducts research at the interface of chemistry and biology. We are particularly interested in employing chemical tools and principles to investigate cell migration and cellular signaling pathways. We are actively developing strategies for: 1) labeling proteins with fluorescent molecules, 2) controlling biological processes with precise spatial and temporal resolution, 3) engineering fluorescent proteins, and 4) quantifying signaling flux through biologically important pathways. These efforts are supported by a combination of multidisciplinary approaches including protein evolution, synthesis, and molecular biology.

Figure 1
Figure 1. The use of a genetically encodable, turn-on fluorescence label for selectively imaging a transmembrane protein. Note that washing is not required since the unbound environment-sensitive fluorophore is dark.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Reversible protein folding induced by small molecules (a) or light (b).

For more information, please visit the Stains Research Group Homepage

Selected Publications

(1) Stains, C. I.; Tedford, N. C.; Walkup, T. C.; Luković, E.; Goguen, B. N.; Griffith, L. G.; Lauffenburger, D. A. & Imperiali, B. Interrogating Signaling Nodes Involved in Cellular Transformations using Kinase Activity Probes. Chem. Biol. 19, 210-217 (2012).

(2) Stains, C. I.; Luković, E. & Imperiali, B. A p38a-Selective Chemosensor for use in Unfractionated Cell Lysates. ACS Chem. Biol. 6, 101-105 (2011).

(3) Stains, C. I.*; Furman, J. L.*; Porter, J. R.; Rajagopal, S.; Li, Y.; Wyatt, R. T. & Ghosh, I. A General Approach for Receptor and Antibody-Targeted Detection of Native Proteins Utilizing Split-Luciferase Reassembly. ACS Chem. Biol. 5, 943-952 (2010).
*These authors contributed equally to the work.

(4) Stains, C. I.; Furman, J. L.; Segal, D. J. & Ghosh, I. Site Specific Detection of DNA Methylation Utilizing mCpG-SEER. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 9761-9765 (2006).

(5) Stains, C. I.; Porter, J. R.; Ooi, A. T.; Segal, D. J. & Ghosh, I. DNA Sequence-Enabled Reassembly of the Green Fluorescent Protein. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127, 10782-10783 (2005).