University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
David A. Agard, PhD

David A. Agard, PhD

Professor, Departments of Biochemistry/Biophysics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF; Scientific Director, Institute for Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Quantitative Biomedical Research, UCSF/UC-Berkeley/UC-Santa Cruz

Cancer Center Program Memberships



Yale University, New Haven, B.S., 1975, Molec. Biol. and Biophysics
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Ph.D., 1980, Biological Chemistry
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral, 1980
MRC Laboratory, Cambridge, England, Postdoctoral, 1981-82

Professional Experience

  • 1975-1978
    National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology.
  • 1980
    Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. J.W. Sedat, Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • 1981
    Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. R. Henderson, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England
  • 1983-1989
    Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF
  • 1986-1989
    Assistant Investigator in Structural Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UCSF
  • 1989-1992
    Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF
  • 1986-1992
    Associate Investigator in Structural Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UCSF
  • 1992-present
    Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics and of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF
  • 1993-present
    Investigator in Structural Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute UCSF
  • 1995-2008
    Chair, Graduate Group in Biophysics, UCSF
  • 2001-2002
    Director, Institute for Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Quantitative Biomedical Research, University of California, San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Cruz
  • 2002-2006
    Scientific Director, Institute for Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Quantitative Biomedical Research, University of California, San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Cruz

Honors & Awards

  • 1975-1978
    National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow
  • 1976
    Dreyfus Travelling Fellowship
  • 1980-1982
    Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 1983-1986
    Searle Scholar
  • 1983-1991
    Presidential Young Investigator's Award (NSF)
  • 1986
    Sidhu Award for Outstanding Contributions to Crystallography
  • 1998
    Parke-Davis Paper of the Year
  • 2006
    Election to Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators (excellence in teaching award)
  • 2007
    Election to Protein Society Executive Council
  • 2007
    Election to the NationalAcademy of Sciences
  • 2009
    Election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2011-14
    Appointment to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council

Selected Publications

  1. Tóth G, Neumann T, Berthet A, Masliah E, Spencer B, Tao J, Jobling MF, Gardai SJ, Bertoncini CW, Cremades N, Bova M, Ballaron S, Chen XH, Mao W, Nguyen P, Tabios MC, Tambe MA, Rochet JC, Junker HD, Schwizer D, Sekul R, Ott I, Anderson JP, Szoke B, Hoffman W, Christodoulou J, Yednock T, Agard DA, Schenk D, McConlogue L. Novel Small Molecules Targeting the Intrinsically Disordered Structural Ensemble of a-Synuclein Protect Against Diverse a-Synuclein Mediated Dysfunctions. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 18; 9(1):16947.
    View on PubMed
  2. Wolff G, Limpens RWAL, Zheng S, Snijder EJ, Agard DA, Koster AJ, Bárcena M. Mind the gap: micro-expansion joints drastically decrease the bending of FIB-milled cryo-lamellae. J Struct Biol. 2019 Sep 16.
    View on PubMed
  3. Chaikeeratisak V, Khanna K, Nguyen KT, Sugie J, Egan ME, Erb ML, Vavilina A, Nonejuie P, Nieweglowska E, Pogliano K, Agard DA, Villa E, Pogliano J. Viral Capsid Trafficking along Treadmilling Tubulin Filaments in Bacteria. Cell. 2019 Jun 13; 177(7):1771-1780.e12.
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  4. Li S, Fernandez JJ, Marshall WF, Agard DA. Electron cryo-tomography provides insight into procentriole architecture and assembly mechanism. Elife. 2019 Feb 11; 8.
    View on PubMed
  5. Fernandez JJ, Li S, Agard DA. Consideration of sample motion in cryo-tomography based on alignment residual interpolation. J Struct Biol. 2019 Mar 01; 205(3):1-6.
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  6. Freilich R, Betegon M, Tse E, Mok SA, Julien O, Agard DA, Southworth DR, Takeuchi K, Gestwicki JE. Competing protein-protein interactions regulate binding of Hsp27 to its client protein tau. Nat Commun. 2018 11 01; 9(1):4563.
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  7. Greenan GA, Keszthelyi B, Vale RD, Agard DA. Insights into centriole geometry revealed by cryotomography of doublet and triplet centrioles. Elife. 2018 08 06; 7.
    View on PubMed
  8. Willsey AJ, Morris MT, Wang S, Willsey HR, Sun N, Teerikorpi N, Baum TB, Cagney G, Bender KJ, Desai TA, Srivastava D, Davis GW, Doudna J, Chang E, Sohal V, Lowenstein DH, Li H, Agard D, Keiser MJ, Shoichet B, von Zastrow M, Mucke L, Finkbeiner S, Gan L, Sestan N, Ward ME, Huttenhain R, Nowakowski TJ, Bellen HJ, Frank LM, Khokha MK, Lifton RP, Kampmann M, Ideker T, State MW, Krogan NJ. The Psychiatric Cell Map Initiative: A Convergent Systems Biological Approach to Illuminating Key Molecular Pathways in Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Cell. 2018 07 26; 174(3):505-520.
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  9. Palovcak E, Wang F, Zheng SQ, Yu Z, Li S, Betegon M, Bulkley D, Agard DA, Cheng Y. A simple and robust procedure for preparing graphene-oxide cryo-EM grids. J Struct Biol. 2018 10; 204(1):80-84.
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  10. Elnatan D, Agard DA. Calcium binding to a remote site can replace magnesium as cofactor for mitochondrial Hsp90 (TRAP1) ATPase activity. J Biol Chem. 2018 08 31; 293(35):13717-13724.
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  11. Kalia R, Wang RY, Yusuf A, Thomas PV, Agard DA, Shaw JM, Frost A. Structural basis of mitochondrial receptor binding and constriction by DRP1. Nature. 2018 06; 558(7710):401-405.
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  12. Fernandez JJ, Li S, Bharat TAM, Agard DA. Cryo-tomography tilt-series alignment with consideration of the beam-induced sample motion. J Struct Biol. 2018 06; 202(3):200-209.
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  13. Moroni E, Agard DA, Colombo G. The Structural Asymmetry of Mitochondrial Hsp90 (Trap1) Determines Fine Tuning of Functional Dynamics. J Chem Theory Comput. 2018 Feb 13; 14(2):1033-1044.
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  14. Citron YR, Fagerstrom CJ, Keszthelyi B, Huang B, Rusan NM, Kelly MJS, Agard DA. The centrosomin CM2 domain is a multi-functional binding domain with distinct cell cycle roles. PLoS One. 2018; 13(1):e0190530.
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  15. Verba KA, Agard DA. Protein Expression and Purification of the Hsp90-Cdc37-Cdk4 Kinase Complex from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bio Protoc. 2017 Oct 05; 7(19).
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  16. Verba KA, Agard DA. How Hsp90 and Cdc37 Lubricate Kinase Molecular Switches. Trends Biochem Sci. 2017 10; 42(10):799-811.
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  17. Elnatan D, Betegon M, Liu Y, Ramelot T, Kennedy MA, Agard DA. Symmetry broken and rebroken during the ATP hydrolysis cycle of the mitochondrial Hsp90 TRAP1. Elife. 2017 07 25; 6.
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  18. Pederson K, Chalmers GR, Gao Q, Elnatan D, Ramelot TA, Ma LC, Montelione GT, Kennedy MA, Agard DA, Prestegard JH. NMR characterization of HtpG, the E. coli Hsp90, using sparse labeling with 13C-methyl alanine. J Biomol NMR. 2017 Jul; 68(3):225-236.
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  19. Larson AG, Elnatan D, Keenen MM, Trnka MJ, Johnston JB, Burlingame AL, Agard DA, Redding S, Narlikar GJ. Liquid droplet formation by HP1a suggests a role for phase separation in heterochromatin. Nature. 2017 07 13; 547(7662):236-240.
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  20. Keilani C, Agard D, Duhoux A, Lakhel A, Giraud O, Brachet M, Duhamel P, Bey E. Grafting both acute wound site and adjacent donor site with the same graft: an easy and safe procedure to improve healing and minimize pain in elderly and bedridden patients. Ann Burns Fire Disasters. 2017 Mar 31; 30(1):52-56.
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